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Rossica

Exotic people and landscapes

As the 16th century drew to a close, Russia began looking towards eastern expansion, beyond the Urals, to Siberia and later in the 19th century, to Caucasia and Central Asia. Territorially, Russia became a European-Asian power.

View of the city of Karasu Basar in the Crimea (Peter Simon Pallas: Bemerkungen auf einer Reise in die südlichen Statthalterschaften des russischen Reichs, volume 2, Leipzig 1801)

The exotic non-Christian tribes commanded by Russian domination aroused the ethnographic interest of scholars and travelers. Russia itself was becoming a "bringer of culture" to the "uncivilized people" of Asia. This reinforced Russia's self-image as a European country.

Village on the Crimean peninsula (Peter Simon Pallas: Bemerkungen auf einer Reise in die südlichen Statthalterschaften des russischen Reichs, volume 2, Leipzig 1801)