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Lithuania minor and Prussia on the old maps (1525-1808).


Prussia (German: Preu[beta]en; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Lithuanian: Prusija; Russian: Tlpyccux) was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history of Germany, with its capital in Berlin after 1451. By 1871, the smaller German city states were merged with Prussia, resulting in the creation of the German Empire. In November 1918 the royalty abdicated and the nobility lost most of its political power.


The area known as Prussia was inhabited in early times by West Slavic tribes, ancestors of the modern Poles, in the West, and Baltic tribes, closely related to Lithuanians, in the East (Fig. 2).

In 1226, Prussia was conquered by the Teutonic Knights, a military religious order, who converted the Prussians to Christianity. The Teutonic Knights were overthrown by the Prussians with help from Poland and Lithuania in 1454. Prussia was divided into Royal Prussia in the west and Ducal Prussia in the east. Royal Prussia was incorporated into Poland providing it with a corridor to the Baltic Sea (the "Danzig Corridor"). Ducal Prussia became a Polish territory. At this time, the port city of Danzig (modern day Gdansk) was designated a "free city".

In 1525 Ducal Prussia became a hereditary duchy under Albrecht Hohenzollern, the last grand master of the Teutonic Knights. In 1657, after an invasion by the Swedes, Poland surrendered sovereignty over Ducal Prussia which then became the Kingdom of Prussia headed by the Hohenzollern line. Prussia's power grew and in 1772, under King Friedrich II (Frederick the Great), consisted of the provinces of Brandenburg, Pomerania, Danzig, West Prussia and East Prussia.



A major event in German history was the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, making Germany a world power. It was during this war that, in 1870, Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck orchestrated the unification of the German states.

The German Empire was established under Prussian leadership with Bismarck as Chancellor. Wilhelm II, the last of the Hohenzollern dynasty, became Emperor of Germany (Kaiser) in 1888 and ruled until Germany's defeat in World War I.

After defeat in World War I, Germany was forced to give up the Danzig Corridor to Poland and Danzig once again became a free city. This caused the province of East Prussia to be separated from the rest of Germany. The Rosenberg District was at this time contained in East Prussia (Stikliorius 1980).



Lithuania Minor (Lithuanian: Mazoji Lietuva; German: Kleinlitauen;) or Prussian Lithuania (Lithuanian: Prusu Lietuva; German: Preubisch-Litauen) is a historical ethnographic region of Prussia, later East Prussia in Germany, where Prussian Lithuanians or Lietuvininkai lived. Lithuania Minor enclosed the northern part of this province and got its name due to the territory's substantial Lithuanian-speaking population. This entire region was conquered and occupied by the Teutonic Order and officially separated from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Peace Treaty at Lake Melno in 1422. It became part of the Teutonic Order until 1525, was part of Prussia until 1701, the Kingdom of Prussia until 1871, the German Empire until 1918 and the German Reich until 1945.

The term Lithuania Minor, applied to the northeastern part of the former province of East Prussia, was used to distinguish it from Lithuania Major, the Grand Principality of Lithuania. The name was first mentioned as

Klein Littaw in the Prussian Chronicle of Simon Grunau at the beginning of the 16th century (between 1517 and 1526), later repeated by others Prussian chroniclers Lucas David and Matas Pretorijus (Simon Granau's 1876-1896).

The area of Lithuania Minor embraced the land between the lower reachers of the river Danija (Germ. Dange) to the north and the major headstreams of the river Prieglius (Germ. Pregel) to the south (Fig. 4).

Prior to the invasion of the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, the main part of the territory Lithuania Minor was inhabited by the tribes of the Nadravians (Lith. nadruviai), the Scalavians (Lith. skalviai) and Curonians (Lith. kufsiai). The land became depopulated to some extent during the warfare between Lithuania and the Order. The war ended with the Treaty of Melno and the land was resettled by Lithuanian newcomers, returning refugees, and the remaining indigenous Baltic peoples. Detailed historiography and bibliographic review on this topic accomplished by Arthur Hermann (Hermann 1990).

In 789 geographer D. F. Sotzmann published the map "Prospectus Regini Borussiae tam OCCIDENTALIS EMENDATIOR ET AD STATUM pracentem concinatus jussu et auspiciis" (Vision of Kingdom of Prussia...). The map fragment is in Fig. 5 Lithuania is marked with the inscription Litauen and its department (Cammer Departement gebiet) Litthauschen (Jeger 1982).

The southwestern line ran from the Curonian Lagoon (Lith. Kursiu mares) along the Deimena river to its south, continued alongthe Prieglius river to the Alna river, up to the town of Alna and hence southward along the Asvine (Swine) river to Lake Asvinis (Germ. Nordenburger See) and from there eastward to the border of Lithuania Major (Peteraitis 1992).

At the end of World War II in 1945 the Potsdam Agreement granted the north-eastern part of East Prussia to the Soviet Union to be administered temporary until a deinite settlement could be attained in a peace conference yet to be convened. In the meantime, the area is held in the Soviet iron grip.

Practically no local inhabitants remained in this land. All the Lithuanian place names of this area were replaced with Russian place names. Such a pitiless historical fate befell the land in which the first Lithuanian book, Martynas Mazvydas' Catechism (1547), was published, where Daniel Klein's first Lithuanian grammar (1653) appeared, where Jonas Bretkunas for the first time translated the Bible, where the chef-d'oeuvre of world fame, Metai "The seasons" was written by Kristijonas Donelaitis, where the first Lithuanian newspaper (1822) appeared, and where the first herald of the renaissance of the Lithuanian nation, the newspaper Ausra "Dawn" (1883-1886) was published. It was homeland to such great thinkers as Immanuel Kant and Vydunas. Here, Gothe and Herder admired the beauty of the Lithuanian culture. The Prussian Lithuanians, Lietuvininkai were only ousted from their homeland by the two World Wars (Matulevicius 1989).

Lithuania Minor was renamed Kaliningrad Oblast in 1946 and incorporated into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). Excluded from that new entity "Kaliningrad Oblast" was the Territory of Klaipeda (Memel). It was separated from the German Empire (Reich) in 1918, became a mandate of the League of Nations under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and was placed temporarily under French administration. In 1923 it was linked with Lithuania as an autonomous district and in March 1939, ceded to Nazi Germany, after World War II returned to Lithuania.

The southern boundary of Kaliningrad Oblast, delineated by Stalin at the Potsdam Conference, stretching from the Frisches Haff (Lith. Aismares, q.v.) to the former Polish border in the Vizainis Upland, does not completely correspond to the area of Lithuania Minor and Tvanksta. The river basin of Galdape, an ancient Lithuanian and Nadravian section, was not linked to Kaliningrad Oblast. However, it has to be included since it is part of Lithuania Minor (Peteraitis 1992).

Historical items of cartography (maps, atlases, globes) like other historical objects, provide significant clues about culture and history of a nation or country. The maps reveal a lot of information about the geographical environment of one or another territory which reflect some of the features of agricultural and political life. Each beautiful old map is an actual snapshot of our history. Any of these, increasingly rare, works of art are also some of the most thoughtful (and personal) gifts you can give. Unlike so many other gifts, antique maps and prints allow you to present someone a piece of their past.

French general B. Napoleon used to say that he was able to trace the characteristics of nations as well as their fate in their maps. The fairness of the saying reveals itself nowadays while researching old maps.

1. Maps and wiews Prussian and Lithuania Minor lands from the Dutcy in Prussia to the Kingdom of Prussia, 1525-1772

The first maps in which the territories of Lithuania and Lithuania Minor are pictured were created by antique geographers from the second part of XV century. During the XVI and XVIII century cartographers from Western Europe and Poland co-operated with the cartographers of Lithuania and Prussia. Should be mention maps by XVI century Western European cartographers, such as the the first printed map of Prussia with hundreds of towns by Heinrich Zell in 1542 (Fig. 6), map of Prussia by Abraham Ortelius (Fig. 12), Gerard Mercator in 1594 (Fig. 7), several examples of works of the most eminent XVI century cartographer, K. Hennenberger: "Old Prussia" (Koenigsberg 1584), "Maps of Prussia" (Antwerp 1584), "Exact map of Prussia" (Amsterdam 1633). It is also known that in July 1529, commissioned by Bishop Mauritius Ferber, Nicolaus Copernicus and his good friend, the Frombork canon Alexander Sculteti, produced a map of the whole of Prussia (mappam, sive descriptionem terrarum Prussie). Unfortunately, its fate is unknown and it must have become lost or perished like the other maps he produced (Borawska 2010).

From the second half of XVII century in the Prussia State, cartographic work was regularly carried out and maps were published not only of the whole state but even of separate parts. Some of these show the changes taking place in Lithuania Minor in the beginning of XVIII century.



In the process of German colonization it was highly important to clarify territorial and ethnic dependability. In the map made by cartographer Samuel von Suchodoletz in the 18th c. the Old Prussia is divided into three regions: Semba, Notanga and Oberland. Four separate sheets were devoted to the counties of Klaipeda, Tilze, Ragaine and fsrutis. In 1735 Johann Friedrich Betgen in Lithuania Borussica map used the newly established city Gumbine plan and in this way revised colonization of Lithuanian settlements. The name of Lithuania Minor (Kleinlitaw) used by Simon Grunau had been first mentioned by Franz Ludwig Gussefeld in 1795, in the map Carte von dem Konigreich Preussen. The name identiies the northern land above Tilze, meanwhile the land lying south and north from Gumbine is marked as Lithuania.

Heinrich Zell (also Zeel, Czeel, Zeelius, Zellius) was a German printer and cartographer. Abaut the time of his birth nothing is known (died 1560). He was a student of Sebastian Munster. Accompanying Rheticus to Prussia, Heinrich Zell in collaboration with Nicolaus Copernicus, produced the first geostatic map of the Prussian coastline and had the first printed map of Prussia with hundreds of towns printed at Nuremberg in 1542. Zell incorporated Ermland (Warmia) records of Prussian towns in this detailed and until then unaccomplished task. Although the original of the former was lost, its geographic text with maps (Chorographia) covering Prussia, Poland and Lithuania fortunately survived in the Library of St Marks in Venice. Later altered several times, it was reproduced by inter alia Sebastian Munster (1550), Abraham Ortelius (1570), Caspar Henneberger (1576), and the chronicler of Prussia, Caspar Schtz (1592). Full description of this map is performed by W. Horn (Horn 1950).

Caspar Hennenberger (1529-1600), born in Thuringia, Prussia cartographer and historian, studied theology at the University of Konigsberg (1550). In 1595 he published a detailed book of the Prussian Ercklerung greater Landtaffel or folders (Konigsberg: George Osterberger), in which he described the places marked on the map of Prussia by "oral and written" sources. Hennenberger published the first detailed map of Prussia in 1576, the book "Kurze und wahrhatige Beschreibung des Landes zu Preussen" (short and truthful description of the land Prussia) in 1584 and "Erklarung der preubischen groberen Landtafeln oder Mappen" (explanation of the larger Prussian maps) in 1594.

The map of Prussia Caspar Hennenberger illustrated history of Prussia (Figs. 8, 12-14, 16, 19). There were only a few maps of Prussia at this time and they were incomplete and largely inaccurate. Thus K. Hennenberger started collecting material for the maps himself, travelling for seven years through Prussia, Pomerania, Lithuania Minor, communicating with local people and studying historical material. He prepared a few works on Prussian history, some of which were illustrated with maps representing Prussia until the settlements of crusaders. Hennenberger describes and illustrates the Baltic tribes and their territories before Christ, and to religious times in Prussia: Scalavonia, Nadravia, Zambia, Natangia, Bartonia, Sudavia, Varmia, Galindia, Pomesania, Vlmigania. The name of Klaipeda was fixed not in the German but in the Lithuanian form "Clypeda". The maps of K. Hennenberg are appreciably accurate, carefully edited, with good quality engraving and printing, and have are aesthetically impressive. The maps also contain plenty of historical and geographical information. The maps were published with support of the Lord of the land, Albrecht Brandenburgian, and were reprinted many times in various cartographic editions. For more then 200 years they were the only topographical resource of Prussia.


Besides the Great map of Prussia Kaspar Hennenberger prepared and edited the second map or the Small one (Fig. 8). The first one to have noticed it and analyzed professionally was Hans Crome. The Lithuania Minor bears the name of Skalva (Schalauen) in the small map and is marked on both banks of the Nemunas. The name of Klaipeda is written not in a German way (Memel) but in local Lithuanian form Cleypeda. In order to name rivers and local settlements K. Hennenberger selected the oldest forms found in writings of chroniclers or old writers. E.g.: Prieglius is called "Skarra" according to Simon Grunau, the Nemunas is called "Chronos" after Ptolemy. Romuva--"Ramowe" Hennenberger marks in Notanga meanwhile Duisburg and a few other authors mark it in Nadruva (Reklaitis 1975).

Work of Caspar Henneberger is one of the best cartographic works of Renaissance period and, for more than 100 years, this map had been copied by European cartographers, remade and printed in various atlases.

In Fig. 9 is presented three maps on one sheet: Pomerania (the Baltic coastline between Rostock in Germany and the Polish port of Gdansk), Livonia (now Kalingrad, Lithuania and Latvia), and Oswiecim (just west of Krakow) by Abraham Ortelius. This example has the pagination of the 1574 edition of the Theatrum erased and the number of the 1579 edition added in old ink mss: the publishers were obviously using up the remainder of an old edition.


Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was a Dutch geographer and cartographer, born in Antwerp on April 14, 1527. He studied Greek, Latin and mathematics in Antwerp and worked as a map and book dealer. He also spent time with cartography and published the first world atlas, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum", which was probably the first collection of maps in the shape of a book, 20 years before Mercator published his world atlas. In its time, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" was so successful, that it had to be re-printed 4 times in the first year of its publishing alone. Abraham Ortelius was the first cartographer, who named the sources of his maps by mentioning the cartographers. Abraham Ortelius also produced a collection of place names "Thesaurus Geographicus", which is of similar importance.

In Fig. 10 16th Century map of Prussia and Pomerania, published by Zacharias Heyns in his rare Le Miroir du Monde, ou, Epitome du Theatre dAbraham Ortelius, published in Amsterdam in 1598. As noted by Burden, all of the maps for this work are woodcuts, making it one of the last atlases to employ this means of printing. The atlas is highly sought after among collectors, prized for its rarity and the unique appearance of its maps.

Zacharias Heyns was the son of Peter Heyns, who wrote the rhyming text for Ortelius' Spieghel Der Werelt, first published in 1577. Zacharias Heyns Le Miroir du Monde was likely an attempt to continue the success of his father, although the maps bear no connection to Ortelius' work.


"Konigsberg (Karaliaucius in Lithuanian formerly known as Tvanksta) (Fig. 11) in Prussia is a most noble and famous city, which was founded in the year 1254 by the Teutonic Knights. Alongside their artisan activities, the citizens engaged first and foremost in maritime tra de. They thereby dealt in grain, solid and liquid pitch, which the Germans call resin, as well as salt, flax, hemp, wax, wood and also in a great deal of honey and mead; this is a sweet drink that is made from honey and comes fromLivonia" (commentary of Georg Braun) (Braun & Hogenberg 1599).





Konigsberg's location on the Pregel, shortly before it reaches the Vistula Lagoon on the Baltic Sea, is made especially clear in this combination of elevation and bird's-eye view directly from the south. The river separates the town of Kneiphof on the island from the Old Town (above) and the town of Lobenicht (in the west).

With the founding of the Old Town in 1254 by the Teutonic Knights, the two other towns also sprang up, but remained independent until 1724. Within Konigsberg proper, the Old Town church (Alt Steter Pfarkirch) can be seen on the let and, beside it to the right, the palace of the Teutonicut Gdansk to Lithuania, and includes the present day Russian enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast. The map is Knights (Schlos) with its tall tower (Schlos thurn).


Map of Prussia by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (Fig. 15) covers northeastern Poland from abo th detali and engraved with forests, mountains, fortresses. Filled wiInteresting details: The two fractions of Prussia have the same coloration, though the western (royal Polish) fractions was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita, while the eastern (ducal) part was only a vasal of Poland. On the other hand the neighbouring territories, all of them parts of the Rzeczpostpolita, are marked by different colours. Last not least Pomerella is not shown as a part of Prussia, but as a part of Greater Poland (which was one of the Polish provinces). A few names are noted bilingually, such as "Bramberg / Bedgosky" (Bromberg / Bydgoszcz), o as a compromise as "Dantzk".

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was born 1571 in Alkmaar. He was trained from 1594 to 1596 by the famous danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. 1599 he went to Amsterdam and founded a business as globe maker. Later he started producing map and sea charts, including his first world map in 1605. In 1633 he was appointed Hydrographer for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). His most famous work was the "Atlas Novus" or "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum sive Atlas Novus" of 1635, which was published until 1655 in total six volumes.

In the Fig. 16 map of Prussia was originally drawn up by the Caspar Hennenberger (1592-1600). His map was copied until far into the 18th century by Dutch publishers. This elaboration of Henneberger's map by Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587-1652) dates from 1656. In this form, the map was published by the grand son of Visscher, Nicolaas Visscher II (1649-1702).

In the Fig. 17 is presented detailed map of Livonija by Dudley Robert, Sir (1574-1649) with a part of the coast which commences with Lockston and finishes with Port Derliuen, showing coastal towns, harbours and islands. Title from decorative cartouche. Includdes a decorative compass rose. In lover right margin: AFLucini, fece. In Italian.



In Fig. 18 finely colored map of the Dukedom of Prussia was first published around 1680 by the Amsterdam publishing firm of Justus Danckerts (1635-1701). The map shows how randomly divided the region was in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The map has color wash delineating the regions and the cities are highlighted in red. Map with Danzig, Elbing, Konigsberg to Memel, in the south the map extends to Thorn. With contemporary colored, figurative cartouche upper left. There is some staining in the margin that encroaches into the ruled line in the bottom let and right.



The Danckerts family sold and published maps during the 17th Century in Amsterdam. Justus Danckerts, the son of the business founder Cornelius Danckerts has published several Atlases together with his son Theodoras between 1680 and 1700. The plates finally have been sold to R. & J. Ottens how published them on their own name.

A stunning map of Poland first drawn by Daniel de la Feuille in 1706 (Fig, 21). Covers the entire territory of Poland as well as parts of Lithuania, Prussia, Hungary, Transylvania, Moldova and Russia. Flanked on either side by the twelve armorial crests of Poland and its immediate neighbors. Title appears at the top center in both French and Dutch. This is Paul de la Feuille's 1747 reissue of his father Daniel's 1706 map. Prepared for issue as plate in J. Ratelband's 1747 Geographisch-Toneel. Johannes Ratelband was a European map publisher based in Amsterdam. Ratelband is a rather obscure fellow, but is known to have published a series of European maps and views in association with the La Feuille family.

Cartographer Daniel de La Feuille (1640-1709) was born of Huguenot stock in Sedan (L'Ardennes), France. By 1686 Daniel established himself as a engraver, publisher, and art dealer. Not long after, in 1691, he was admitted into the Booksellers Guild. Though we are primarily concerned with his cartographic work here, his masterpiece is considered to be Devises et emblems, a collection of symbols and designs mostly likely intended as templates for silversmiths, engravers, and watchmakers. His cartographic work includes numerous individual maps and atlases, many of which continued to be published and republished well after his death.



A very beautiful map due to the highly decorative title cartouche which is uncolored, as issued. The map covers the northern portion of Poland and the Baltic coast into Lithuania. Names Gdansk and Koningberg. Very detailed throughout. Cartouche features two cherubs and female figure in military dress. Three distance scales at lower right.

In Fig. 22 map shows detailled Western and Eastern Prussia with the neightbouring Pommerania. In the top right corner of the map one can see Provincia Lituanica and Samogitia. The title is "Regnum Borussiae gloriosis auspicijs Seerenissimi et Potentissimi Princip Friderici III. Primi Borussiae Regis Elect. Brandenburg. Inauguratum die 18 Jan. A. 1701. Geographice cum vicinis regionibus adumbratum a Ioh. Baptista Homanno Norimbergae" one can see the administrative division of Prussia. The Lithuania Minor is divided into two zones: Semba (circulus Sambiensis) and Notanga (circulus Natangensis). Each zone is divided into separate lands. Semba zone is divided into Skalva (Skalvonia), Nadruva (Nardivia), IE Semba (Sambia). Notanga zone is divided into Notanga (Natangia), Barta (Bartonia), Galinda (Galindia) and Suduva (Sudavia) (Gliozaitis 2008).



Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724) was a German geographer and cartographer. In 1715 Homann was appointed Imperial Geographer of the Holy Roman Empire. In the same year he was also named a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Of particular significance to cartography were the imperial printing privileges (Latin privilegia impressoria). These protected for a time the authors in all scientific fields such as printers, copper engravers, map makers and publishers. In 1716 Homann published his masterpiece Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt (Grand Atlas of all the World).

In Fig. 24 we present map of Prussia by Vaugondy R., 1749. On the left is Pomerania and the Desert of Waldow. At the top of the map is Memel and Samland. On the right side is the Biss River and Kautten. In the center of the map is Marienburg and Riesenburg. From Atlas Portatif Universel, by Robert de Vaugondy.

Unrecorded state with erased date. Page 36 outside border top right. Mary Sponberg Pedley does not mention a state without date.

Gilles and Didier De Vaugondy (1688-1766) were father and son, respectively, and produced their atlas, globes and maps in concert. In many cases they did not use the initials of their first names when signing their maps, so it can be unclear at times who made a given map. On some maps fils or filio follows the name, designating its author as the son. In other instances, the authorship can be determined by the distinctive way each signed his maps: the father normally used "M. Robert", leaving of the last name, and the son, "Robert de Vaugondy". The Atlas Universal [Paris, 1757] was one of the most important 18th century atlases and one of the great achievements of the French Enlightenment.



Fig. 25 presents an interesting and rarely-met map of Prussia and its coast found in Atlas of the Baltic Sea, designed by A. Nagajev (Nagajev 1757). A. Nagajev (1704-1780)was an admiral, famous hydrologist as well as designer of sea-maps. He also designed the maps of the Baltic and Bering seas and the Oka river and researched the Moscow river.

In Fig. 26 is presented map of Prussia by Suchodolski J. W. In Latin: Regnum Borussias episcopatus Warmiensis, palatinatus Mariaeburgensis et Culmensis cum territorio Borussia orientalis et occidentalis, 1763.

Wladislaw Jan Suchodolec (1687-1751)-cartographer, surveyor, builder and architect. Studied at the University of Frankfurt, lived in Koningsberg. 1732-1739 -on the order of King Frederick William I gave (the great map of Prussia), Regnum Borussiae. Episcopatus Warmiensis, Palatinatus Mariaeburgensis et cum Dantiscano et icongraphia urbis Culmensis terrio Regiomontis. Jan Wladyslaw Suchodlec in the work of his father had used the earlier development of Samuel Suchodolskiego and Joseph Naronowicza-Naronskiego Detailed map of the Poland and Lithuania, showing numerous geo-political subdivsions, including Courland, Samgotia, Warsovia, Great Poland, Polesi, Volhinia, Lit Poland, Red Russia, Upper Podolia, Lower Podolia, Ukraine, Great Poland, etc. Shows towns, rivers, mountains, etc. A charming mid 18th Century English map with decorative title cartouche.



In Fig. 27 we present a map of Poland, Lithuania, Prussia by Thomas Jeffreys. Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771), "Geographer to King George III", was an English cartographer who was the leading map supplier of his day. He engraved and printed maps for government and other official bodies and produced a wide range of commercial maps and atlases, especially of North America. Thomas Jefferys was one of the more prominent commercial cartographers in London during the middle of the eighteenth century. Although he was responsible for a wide variety of prints and for maps of much of the world, he is particularly remembered for his publication of many maps of North America, such as the Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England (1755). Jefferys did not himself compile this map. Indeed, he was not a geographer per se. He was an engraver and publisher of maps which other people had compiled and drawn. In-theethically flexible map trade of the eighteenth century, he made a significant name for himself.

In Fig. 28 a detailed 18th century map of Prussia and Lithuania by L. Euler. Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) cartographer, physician and mathematician, born in Basle. Published 'Atlas Geographicus' for the Prussian Royal Academy of Sciences and Literature in Berlin. Euler spent many years in Germany and Russia where he was associated with the preparation of the Atlas of Russia.

In Fig. 29 Prussian Lithuanian map designed circa 1733 by a German engineer Johan Friedrich Betgen in two languages (Latin and German)was called "Potentissimo Borussorum Regi Friderico Wilhelmo Maiestate, Fortitudine Clementia Augustissimo Hancce Lithuanicam Borussicam;-in qua loca coloniis Salisburg ad incolendum Regio nutu concessa chorographice exhibentur D.D.D. Regiae Suae Maiestatis" (Prussian Lithuanian territory gift to the colonists of Zalcburg presented by the powerful great, strong, mighty and the highest King (1713-1740) Friedrich Wilhelm). The inhabitants of Minor Lithuania used to call the King Friedrich Wilhelm by the name Prickus Vilius. The map was printed in 1735 in Niurnberg Publishing house by Homann successors. The place names it includes are either Germanized or perverted. Despite of the above mentioned facts the map of administrative laying of Minor (Prussia) Lithuania is considered to be one of the most significant ones in the first half of the 18th c. The country is split into four districts (Memelshe, Tilsitsche, Ragnitsche and Insterburgische). It is marked that Prussian Lithuania borders Zemaitija and Trakai lands; districts are split into smaller units, called valsciai (Gliozaitis 2008).

2. Maps of New East Prussia and Lithuania Minor, 1795-1808

Ater the Peace of Hubertsburg in 1763 between Austria, Prussia and Saxony, Prussia became a European great power (Fig. 30). This gave the start to the rivalry between Prussia and Austria for the leadership of Germany.




In Fig. 31 is presented charter of the Kingdom of Prussia after its principal division into East and West and South Prussia likewise, its subdivisions in circles, re-designed by Franz Ludwig Gussefeld. The map of the Kingdom of Prussia (Carte vin dem Kooniglich Preussischen Landes Antheil nach der Theilung Polens im Jahr 1795) was published in Niurnberg in 1796. The New East-Prussia was also identified. In its north eastern part there is an inscription Klein Litaen, however, its more distinct boundaries are not marked.

Franz Ludwig Gussefeld (1744-1808) was a Prussian cartographer. At the age of seventeen, Gussefeld moved to the eastern part of Brandeburg, to get a professional training as a surveyor and cartographer. Two years later, in 1763, the War of Seven Years came to an end and the King decided to drain the lowlands of the main rivers in the Eastern Brandeburg, the Warthe and the Netze. These activities were based on large scale topographic surveys in which Gussefeld took part. F. L. Gussefeld designed more maps of the Kingdom of Prussia, e.g. in the one, published in Niurnberg in 1795 "Tabula Regini" by the inscription BORUSSIAE Littauische kreis or Lithuanian county is marked. His maps were published in the first half of the 19th century.

In Fig. 32 two sheets from 4 very rare separately published map of Prussia. Including the towns of Gdansk, Kaliningrad, Klaipeda, etc. Prepared by Gerhard and engraved by von Sauerbrey and published in Berlin, c. 1772-1786 by Carl Ludwig von Oesfeld. The early edition with "Bischoflthum Ermel" still incomplete. The map is an reduced version of a map drawn by the Prussian engineer and surveyor Simon. Gerhard from Konigsberg produced this four sheet map in 1764 and is engraved by the Konigsberg engraver Sauerbrey. The map was only after the death of Frederick the great published as a broadsheet map by Carl Ludwig von Oesfeld.

The impressive rococo cartouche in the upper left corner is entitled: "Magna mappa geographica Borussiae regnum exact exhibens, in qua non tantum limites correcti sed etiam principaliora loca, civitates, oppida & praefecturae omni studio designata sund".


The region is bordered in the north by Samland, in thewest by Natangen and in the south by Poland.

After the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceased to exist. However the rise of Napoleon in France gave the Poles hope of reunification, and many fought for him in the Polish legions, and in return Napoleon created the Duchy of Warsaw, a Polish state with some autonomy. However it was occupied by the Russians chasing Napoleon's retreating army in 1812, and after Napoleon's final defeat in 1815, the Treaty of Vienna created "Congress Poland", a puppet state of Russia.

In Fig. 34 map produced by Thomas & Andrews, shewing the Claims of Russia, Prussia and Austria. This is one of the very few maps of Poland, Lithuania and this region published in America in the 18th century. Engraved by Amos Dolittle, published in Boston 1796.

In Fig. 35 map of Prussia and Poland by Luis Brion de la Tour published in Paris in 1802. It shows the situation in Prussia and Poland after partition Poland in 1795.

Louis Brion de la Tour (1756-1823) was the Cartographer Royal to the King of France, his official title being "Ingenieur-Geographe du Roi". Despite a proliic cartographic career and several important atlases to his name, little is actually known of his life and career. What is known is that much of his work was produced in collaboration with Danish royal Cartographer Louis Charles Desnos (l. 1750-1790). His most notable work is generally regarded to be his 1766 Atlas General.



In Fig. 36 second edition of this finely engraved map by William Faden, (1750-1839) geographer to the King and H. R. H. the Prince of Wales. A map of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania including Samogitia and Curland divided according to their dismemberments with the "Kingdom of Prussia". A map from 1799 showing how the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was partitioned in 1765-1795 between Prussia, Austria, and Russia. This is an extremely detailed map which lists all the cities and small towns and labels the regions according to their English names. The boundaries former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth colored light red. The areas taken by Prussia are colored yellow, those taken by Austria colored green, and those taken by Russia are colored beige. Prussia itself is bordered in blue. Eastern Pomerania and Warmia are shown as part of Prussia but bordered in red as well.

Much of the information for this map came from a twenty-four sheet map by Rizzi Zannoni published in Paris in 1772, shortly after the first partition. A note lower left states that the map is updated to March 1797. By 1822 his catalogue listed over 350 publications. This map includes an ornately bordered small inset town plan of Warsaw and a table showing the populations of Lithuania-Poland prior to 'dismemberment' and of the individual Russian, Austrian and Prussian provinces after the partitions. Also noted is the total number of Jews in the provinces.




In Fig. 37 a very uncommon/ scarce antique engraved map Kingdom of Prusia, Lithuania, Galicia, Dutchy of Warsaw, Curland and Smogitia in early-19th century produced by Longman & Co for Crutwell.


doi: 10.3846/20296991.2013.786872


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Viktoras Lukosevicius

Faculty of Technology, Siauliai University, Vilniaus g. 141, LT-76353 Siauliai, Lithuania E-mail:

Received 11 October 2012; accepted 26 February 2013

Viktoras LUKOSEVICIUS. Doctor, Prof. Dept of Civil Engineering Technology, Siauliai University, Vilniaus g. 141, LT-76353 Siauliai, Lithuania. Ph +370 45 435819, fax +37045 516 161, e-mail:

A graduate of Kaunas Politechnic Institute (now Kaunas University of Technology), geodetic engineer, 1962. Doctor's degree at Institute of Surveying, Aerial Photography and Cartography, Moscow, 1966. Publications: 2 books, over 70 research articles; participant of conferences in USA, Brasil, Sweden, Norwey, Russia. Fellowship Winner, NATO and Italy National Science Competition, 1996. Member of Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies.

Research interests: history of geodesy and cartography.
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Date:Mar 1, 2013
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