vERY ATTRACTIVE Mercator-Hondius map of the Russian Empire and Scandinavia, based upon the maps and information brought back to the Netherlands by Issac Massa.
Isaac Abrahamszoon Massa (1586-1643) was a Dutch grain trader, traveller and diplomat, the envoy to Muscovy, and author of memoirs witnessing the Time of Troubles and the maps of Eastern Europe and Siberia. Isaac Massa was born into a wealthy silk merchant's family. In 1601, Isaac left Haarlem for Moscow to assist the family trade. Isaac was witness to the second half of Boris Godunov's reign that evolved into a civil war now known as the Time of Troubles. He survived the capture of Moscow by False Dmitriy I and left Russia in 1609, before the fall of Czar Vasily Shuysky. Massa compiled an account of the 1601–1609 events presented to Stadtholder Maurice and reproduced in print in the nineteenth century. In 1612–1613 Massa published two articles on Russian events and the geography of the Land of Samoyeds, accompanied with a map of Russia, in an almanac edited by Hessel Gerritsz. His notes on his various travels have been published in conjunction with maps by Henry Hudson.
Massa is credited with five published maps of Russia and its provinces and two maps of Moscow city, including the schematic account of the 1606 battle between Vasily Shuysky and Ivan Bolotnikov's armies. Massa's rendition of the Siberian coast represented an advance in geography and for decades remained the only map of this region. It was subsequently copied by Gerardus Mercator and Jodocus Hondius, Jan Janssonius and Willem Blaeu.