[HERBERSTEIN, SIGISMUND, Freiherr VON, and others]. Rerum Moscoviticarum auctores varii. Frankfurt: heirs of Andreas Wechel 1600. Small folio, 315 x 191 mm. (12 3/8 x 7½ in.), contemporary German light brown calf over pasteboard, covers with panel design of blind roll-tooled borders and blind fillets, spine in six gilt-panelled compartments each with gilt fleuron, the second lettered in gilt, evidence of ties, rubbed, some leather loss at extremities, upper inner hinge split, marginal browning to title and second leaf, first folding map a bit creased, scattered light spotting, a few leaves browned. Woodcut printer's device on title, 7 full-page woodcuts (including portrait of the Grand-Duke of Muscovy and woodcut arms of Herberstein), 3 folding woodcut maps of Russia and Moscow, one folding genealogical table, woodcut initials and one armorial text cut.
Von Herberstein (1486-1566), by birth a Syrian, travelled to Russia in 1516 and 1526 as ambassador for the court of Emperor Maximilian and his successor Charles V. His Rerum Moscoviticarum, first published in Vienna in 1549, was the first authentic Western European account of Russia. The woodcuts, copies of those in the earlier editions, show skating on ice, bison, and the accoutrements of Russian soldiers. This edition also includes Paulo Giovio, De Legatione Basilii magni Principis Moschoviae ad Clementem VII, Tilmann Bredenbach, Historia belli Livonici, Paul Oderborn, Ionannis Basilidis magni Moscoviae ducis vita, and Reinhold Heidenstein, De Bello Moschovitico commentarium, all previously published.
Provenance: Purchase note on front endpaper, "July 30 1905, 0-9-6" -- Rolle, engraved armorial bookplate.