First edition of the French translation.
The first German edition was published between 1771 and 1776. The Berlin naturalist Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) took part in the scientific expedition sent to Siberia in order to observe the passage of the planet Venus on the sun disk. During his journey, he explored the Ural Mountains, the Caspian Sea, the Altai, the vicinity of Lake Baikal up to the Chinese border, the Caucasus and various parts of southern Russia.
“In 1767 Pallas was invited to work at the St. Petersbourg Academy of Sciences. He was elected ordinary academician and had the rank of acting state councillor. For more than forty years Pallas was associated exclusively with the development of Russian science. During his first years there he studied nature and the peoples of the Russian empire, participating in the ‘Academic expeditions’ of 1768-1774. His research as leader of the first Orenburg detachment of the expeditions covered both European Russia and Asia… Pallas’ writings and the other materials of the “Academic expeditions” enriched natural history by providing massive amounts of empirical data which made it possible to generalize on the geographical distribution of plants and animals and to gain knowledge about the orography, climate, population, and economy of varied and little-studied regions of Russia” (DSB).
The 108 plates include a large folding map of the Russian Empire and 107 full page or folding plates depicting maps, plans, views, costumes, flora and fauna of Russia.