Messerschmidt, Daniel Gottlieb

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Messerschmidt, Daniel Gottlieb


Born Sept. 16, 1685, in Danzig, present-day Gdansk, Poland; died Mar. 25 (Apr. 5), 1735, in St. Petersburg. Siberian explorer. German by birth.

Messerschmidt graduated from the University of Halle in 1707. In 1716 he was invited to St. Petersburg by Peter I, on whose instructions he traveled throughout Siberia from 1720 to 1777. He studied the local peoples, their languages, literary records, and ancient monuments. He collected important data on the local natural history and ethnology and information for use in mapping the area. Messerschmidt’s account Survey of Siberia, or Three Tables of the Simple Kingdoms of Nature (10 vols.), which contains information on history, ethnology, geography, economics, and flora and fauna, long remained unpublished, but was widely used by later explorers.


Forschungsreise durch Sibirien 1720–1727, vols. 1–4. Berlin, 1962–68. (In the series Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte Osteuropas, vol. 8, parts 1–4.)


Pekarskii, P. Nauka i literatura v Rossii pri Petre Velikom, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1862.
Lebedev, D. M. Geografiia v Rossiipetrovskogo vremeni. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Novlianskaia, M. G. Daniil Gotlib Messershmidt i ego raboty po issledovaniiu SibirL Leningrad, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.