Detailed Map of Olearius' travels
Astrakhan, Persia's city at the mouth of the Volga. Camels and a Tatar wagon appear in the foreground of the view, where Tatar merchants set out their wares.
Olearius participated in an embassy to Moscow and later to Persia, in an attempt to secure for Frederick III a favorable position at the end of the Silk Route. He travelled extensively in Russia and Persia, meeting with the Czar and the Shah. The party's descent of the Volga resulted in the first detailed mapping of the river and Olearius' account of the expedition, first published in German in 1646, and translated into French in 1656 and again in 1659, is one of the most important early accounts of European travels in Russia.