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The Russian Academy of Sciences Expeditions to the Steppes in the Late Eighteenth Century

DAVID MOON
The Slavonic and East European Review
Vol. 88, No. 1/2, Personality and Place in Russian Culture (January/April 2010), pp. 204-236
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20780418
Page Count: 33
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The Russian Academy of Sciences Expeditions to the Steppes in the Late Eighteenth Century
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Abstract

In the late eighteenth century a number of scientific expeditions organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences travelled across the steppe region of the Russian Empire. The leaders were Germans (the best known was Peter Pallas), a Swede, and a Russian who received part of his education at a German university. This article interrogates the issue of 'personality' and 'place' by analysing how the expedition leaders reacted to the steppe environment — a semi-arid grassland with few trees, but fertile soil — through the lens of their backgrounds, education, and previous experience of natural environments that were forested.

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