Author: Possevino Antonio, 1533 - 1611
Title in English: Grand Duchy of Moscow.
Published: Plantin Press, Antwerp, 1587.
Format: 8vo., folding copper-engraved map of Russia in excellent condition, pp. 1-316, [317-320], last leaf blank, occasional light foxing.
Binding: contemporary vellum lettered in ink, an excellent copy.
First Plantin edition, first issue; the second edition of this title.
Possevino (1533-1611) was a Jesuit priest and scholar sent by Pope Gregory XIII to the court of Ivan the Terrible. The book is a narrative of his negotiations and includes a description of the country, the religious situation in Muscovy, Poland and Lithuania, detailed exposition of the differences between the Catholic and Greek-Orthodox churches, and peace negotiations between Stephanus I, King of Poland and Ivan IV (the Terrible). The book was first published in Lithuania at Wilna the previous year.
Reference: The main English source of information on Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii and Herberstein is Marshall Poe's publications, particularly Herberstein and Origin of the European Image of Muscovite Government, which cites many other contemporary publications such as Giorgio, Fabri and Campense.