Bălţi Steppe - Poets and Personalities About Bălţi Steppe

Poets and Personalities About Bălţi Steppe

  • In the 5th century BC, Herodotus visited the countryside between the rivers Dnister and Prut and described the place as "a plain with deep black earth, rich in grass and well irrigated".
  • Lithuanian Prince Jogaila spoke of Moldavia as "a rich and fructiferous country".
  • According to the testimony of Venetian Mateus de Murano, "the country was very well located, rich with cattle and all kinds of fruits, pastures are perfect".
  • Rich natural resources of Moldavia/Bălţi steppe always attracted nomads. Fleeing their devastating incursions, inhabitants of Moldavia/Bălţi steppe left the brooded places and hided in forests. French knight Guilbert de Lannoy, who visited these places in 1421, has mentioned insignificant population of the region: "we moved through large deserts".
  • Counsellor of Hungarian King George Reihersdorf (middle of 16th century) was complaining of travel through "empty, uninhabited lands". In 1541, he produced the first geographical map (preserved to this day) of the Principality of Moldavia, with rivers Dnister and Prut shown, as well as cities and other localities, but also highlighted large steppes.
  • A map of Moldavia was drawn by the German diplomat Sigismund von Herberstein. On his map one can see woodless spaces - Bălţi steppe in the north, and Bugeac Steppe in the south.
  • In the 17th century, pilgrims Pavel Aleppskii (a Syrian deacon) and Ioan Lukianov (a Russian priest) traveled on their way to the Holy land through Moldavia/the Bălţi steppe. These two travelers were stricken by the disastrous state of the land that used to blossom: "It better be not ravaged, as no other such can be found, it may yield any kind".
  • English traveler John Bell, who also visited Moldavia/Bălţi steppe, and wrote about fecund soils and "small nice towns" - speaking of Bălţi and other localities situated next to Răut.
  • Russian geographer K. Laksman described Bălţi steppe in the beginning of the 19th century: "To the north is located a steppe with almost no trees at all. To the north-west the steppe is not as woodless".
  • Scientist K. Arseniev mentioned that the north of Bessarabia is "a genuine mix of arid steppes with most fertile pastures, rich meadows and gardens".
  • Travelers and scholars were amazed by the contrast between rich natural resources of Moldavia/Bălţi steppe and its low population in war torn 18th century, pitiful state of agriculture, as well as the poverty of the local population.
  • "Desert, waste, naked steppe... The settling among limitless expanses of Bălţi steppe happened not "in accordance" with logic, but "against" it. The life of remote ancestors of Bălţiers was full of difficulties and crosses, but they managed to resist."
  • "Moldavian fields, as described by both ancient and contemporary writers, are great in their fertility, by far surpassing the richness of the mountains" (Dimitrie Cantemir, "Descriptio Moldaviae"
  • "Will someone describe Bessarabian steppes, indeed, they do merit a description. However for this, one needs the talent of unforgettable Gogol, who has so beautifully depicted us the steppes of his homeland. And Bessarabian steppes are not less beautiful." (Constantin Stamati-Ciurea)

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