TRANSLATION/TRADUCTION BONNER MITCHELL and RUSSELL ZGUTA, translators and editors (Columbia, Mo., U.S.A.) The Sixteenth-Century "Account of Muscovy" Attributed to Don Felippo Prenestain Introduction In his critical survey of travelers' accounts of Russia to 1700, Friedrich von Adelung includes one rather curious entry for 1575.1 He writes that there is in the Vatican Library an Italian description of Muscovy attributed to an Austrian envoy named Johann Pemstein. However, since there is no other record of any such envoy's having visited Russia in 1575, Adelung concludes that the said Johann Pernstein is actually Phillip Prenestain, who was allegedly sent by the Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II; to the court of Ivan IV in 1579 and whose name appears on a number of Latin and Italian accounts of this Imperial diplomatic mission to Moscow. Both the date 1575 and the name Johann Pemstein are the result, according to Adelung, of simple scribal error.2 Adelung's explanation for the existence of one and the same manuscript under two separate dates and two different, albeit related,3 names is appealing because of its simplicity. One can even find an additional piece of evidence to support Adelung's conclusion. Each of the known copies of the manuscript
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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