Talk:Vitus Bering

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Old talk[edit]

"It wasl long before the value of Bering's work was fully recognized; but Captain Cook was able to prove his accuracy as an observer. Nowadays, the Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island and the Bering Land Bridge bear the Russian explorer's name."

Isn't he Danish?hi

He is Danish by birth, but Russian in the capacity of an explorer. Mikkalai 21:07, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

It is funny how if somebody was born in Europe and then served his whole career in Russia, he is never Russian explorer but always German, French, etc... Especially if it is somebody like Bering whose name is very important on geographical maps. However if somebody was born in Russia but then served his career in let's say US he is never Russian but always American explorer or at best Russian American.
Compare for example Igor Sikorsky who not only was born in Russia, but also created many of his aircraft in Russia, including the biggest of that time bomber. However he is never called Russian. Another example is television inventor Zvorykin, who is never called Russian inventor but American inverntor or Russian American.
Bering spent in Denmark almost none of his career as an explorer. However attempts to properly name him Russian explorer in Wikipedia are unseccessfull. Obviously he was ethnic Danish, but as an explorer he is Russian. As well obviously the expedition was personally organized by Russian Emperor whithout who Bering could not have been able to get anywhere near Bering's Strait. It was not like Amundsen who personally organized his expeditions, raising funds etc. Peter I thought up these expeditions, and then hired Bering and others to complete them. Bering had precise orders from the Emperor where to go and what to look for.
Let's compromise here and call Bering Danish Russian (which I myself find absurd but at least you cannot call it biased) same way they call Sikorsky and Zvorykin Russian Americans. Rozmysl (talk) 21:56, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense. Get a source that call him "a Russian explorer" and you may have a case. Columbus was not a "Spanish explorer" because he worked for the Spanish, and Bertel Thorvaldsen was not an "Italian sculptor" because he worked his whole adult life in Rome. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:09, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Google Scholar search ""Vitus Bering" "Danish explorer"" = 99 hits (many of which say "in Russian service"), ""Vitus Bering" "Russian explorer" = 64 hits, most of which are not referring to Bering at all, and all the ones that are seem to be prefixed "Danish born" or similarly. You have no case.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:15, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Also the comparisons with Sikorsky and Zvorykin are irrelevant since they were both naturalized American citizens and therefore in a real sense Russian-Americans. Bering did no such thing. The compromise I can offer is to not include any mention of nationality but simply say where he was born and that he worked in Russian service. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:26, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Bering held an officer's rank in Russian Navy for which he would have to swear an oath to the Russian Emperor which in effect made him naturalized Russian. As for proving a point by citing number of Google hits, THAT is nonsense. Another thing, which language hits do you count in google searches? If I make same Google searches that you did but in Russian then for "витус беринг" "датский мореплаватель" I get 6540 hits, but for "витус беринг" "русский мореплаватель" I get 103000 hits. I did not try searching in Daninsh, French etc.
As for the reals sources, every single Russian source calls him a Russian navigator, by sheer number of Russian publications this number will be much more than number of Danish publications, just because Denmark is so much smaller than Russia, and all other languages have no relevance here, I bet Bering even did not know English, right? But wait, Russian and Danish are irrelevant here, because the whole universe speaks English, and obviously English speakers own the Internet, too (with English portion of Google at the top).Rozmysl (talk) 19:16, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Add to that, that Russians wrote multiple researches on Bering, since all first sources ect. were in Russia and in Russian, and nobody else obviously had access to Russian archives etc. All other-language books have no choice but use translation from Russian souces about Bering. You should know that all the factual information on Internet originally comes from printed research material. In case of Bering, all original research material about him had to be Russian.Rozmysl (talk) 19:48, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Show or quote a single non-Russian original research or biography on Bering, by original I mean one that would use original documents, written reports, ship logs, archive records, etc. Instead you quote number of English language Google hits. What a joke!Rozmysl (talk) 20:04, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
We are not talking about nationality here. English language is sometimes very limited so Danish in English is both adjective and noun, whereas in other languages Danish is only adjective, and for a noun there is another word, like Dane or so. As a result, for somebody who knows another language in addition to English, "Russian explorer" is not necessarily an explorer of Russian nationality.
Bering did exactly the same thing as Sikorsky and Zvorykin, he left Denmark for Russia in young age, and never returned back. He even had his name changed in Russian manner, something Zvorykin and Sikorsky never did: in Russian documents he was called Ivan Ivanovich Bering. And these (Russian) were the only documents he ever used or signed, he never had any other documents.Rozmysl (talk) 19:30, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Show a source saying that he swore an oath of allegiance to Russia "making him effectively a Russian naturalized citizen", otherwise the claim is irrevelant. I don't have to bend over backwards to find Russian language sources. And yes, we are talking about nationality here. You have not presented a single source fort your claim that he should be called "russian", untill you do there is no conversation. And yes English usage is what counts in the English wikipedia, in the Russian wikipedia you can call him whatever you want as I am sure they do in the Danish one. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:18, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Here is one of the first I found in Google: "In 1703, Bering joined the Russian navy. He later became a Russian citizen."
Now YOU show me a single source he was not a Russian officer.
Since you mentioned term "naturalized citizen", a specifically American bureaucratic term (there is no such thing as "naturalized" citizen in Russia), I'll dare to guess that you are from US. In the US, you do pronounce oath of allegiance to become an officer.
Another source, this time American since it has .gov domain:

"In 1703, Bering enlisted in the newly formed Russian navy. He moved to Russia, where he married and had children. Apart from a single visit to Copenhagen in 1715, Bering never saw Denmark again... Having distinguished himself during Russia's war with Sweden (The Great Nordic War), Bering was promoted from second lieutenant to commander. In 1725, he was selected by Czar Peter I (Peter the Great) to explore far northeastern Siberia and seek a North East Passage."
So not only Bering was a Russian Navy officer, he actually fought in the Russian Navy in a war with Sweden.
Thank you, you've given me a wonderful idea. I am describing Bering as a Russian Navy officer.
"Usage" as you call Google hits, no matter English or not, has nothing to do with history. Probably ipad will give 1000 times more hits than than say Planet Earth, so what?Rozmysl (talk) 06:00, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
1. Your first source is a kids educational website and not a reliable source by a long shot. Was there even such a thing as citizenship in 18th century Russia? One cannot find a source to prove a negative. No one has argued that he returned to Denmark - that still does not make him a Russian, and the source does not say he was. Fighting on the Russian side against the Swedes isn't very relevant, since the Danes also fought the Swedes at this time.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:33, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
And Here is what I call a real source, as opposed to Google hits.

REPORT OF FLEET-CAPTAIN BERING ON HIS EXPEDITION TO THE EASTERN COAST OF SIBERIA. To the most Serene Sovereign, the high and powerful, the Empress of all the Russia.: A short relation of the Siberian Expedition upon which (I) was sent. Of your Imperial Majesty the most humble servant and fleetcaptain, W.I.Bering. On February 5 of the late year 1725 I received from her Imperial Majesty the Empress Ekaterina Alexievna, of happy and well-deserving memory, the autographic instructions of his Imperial Majesty Peter the Great, of happy and well-deserving memory, a copy of which is hereunto affixed. Instructions. (1.) There should be built on the Kamchatka [River], or at some other place adjacent, one or two boats with decks. (2.) With these boats [you are directed] to sail along the coast which extends northwards and which is supposed (since no one knows the end of it) to be continouous with America. (3.) And therefore [you are directed] to seek the point where it connects with America and to go to some settlement under European rule, or if any European vessel is seen, learn of it what the coast visited is called, which should be taken down in writing, an authentic account prepared, placed on the chart and brought back here. From The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. II, No.2, 1890. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rozmysl (talkcontribs) 06:14, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

And what is that supposed to mean? This is an excerpt from another children's website, which doesn't mention him identifying as Russian, but as a umble servant of his boss the Tzar.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:33, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, i.e. a Russian subject. Just in case you forgot, in a monarchy a "citizen" is called not a "citizen" as in a republic, but a "humble servant of the monarch". What did you expect a Russian call himself at that time, Citizen of Russian Empire? Oh, yes, my bad, Americans also expect people living in other countries call themselves "citizens".
It is an excerpt from original Bering's report. What does it matter what kind of site it is? Now you do not have a case. Show a proof that Bering was not an officer in the Russian Navy his whole life then we'll talk. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rozmysl (talkcontribs) 20:49, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Again that doesn't make him more of a Russian than Columbus was a Spaniard. Mercenaries are of course humble subjects of their employers, but that does not change their ethnicity or nationality. I am not an American so quit going on about that or I'll start pulling out the stereotypes about Russians as well. He was an officer in the Russian navy yes, but he was not a Russian. The definition is fine by me at this point so I have no reason to spend more of my time talking to you. I will of course revert further changes that are not backed by better sources than a children's website.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:14, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I cannot actually believe what you are saying. These are original written words of Bering himself, calling himself a Russian subject. And the source is The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. II, No.2, 1890. Just for your information, in a monarchy a "citizen" is called not a "citizen" as in a republic, but a "humble servant of the monarch". What did you expect a Russian call himself at that time, Citizen of Russian Empire? Oh, yes, my bad, Americans also expect people living in all other countries call themselves "citizens".
What does it matter what kind of site it is, if it quotes original Bering's documents? Show a proof that Bering did not write these words. For any reasonable man these words mean that Bering was what you call "a citizen" of Russia.
Calling Bering a mercenary is ridiculous and offensive. He was an officer and died serving Russia.
In fact, it looks to me that you yourself do not care much of what even Bering himself called himself, just to assert that he had as little common with Russia as possible, with total disregard to facts. Bering served all his life in the Russian Navy and gave his life while following orders from his commander, the Tsar. If he was not a Russian subject, but Danish, following those orders without prior consent of Danish government or military would mean that he was a traitor and a spy or whatever. And you show your total disregard to the memory of Bering himself calling his monarch "a boss" similar to mafia boss etc.Rozmysl (talk) 21:32, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Whatever...·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:37, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

"Bering" portrait[edit]

The portrait of "Vitus Bering" I've seen identified in several other places as Alexei Chirikov. It seems quite possible that the original German publication may have been in err.


Which syllable bears the stress? Is it BE-rign or Be-RING? --alfanje 16:50, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

In Russian, it is BE-ring, or ['bjɛrjink] in IPA. --Koryakov Yuri 16:09, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

It is BE-rign and not Be-RING.Manish Sharma, Lucknow, India I agree, its BE-rign. Suchi Sharma, Lucknow, India

Kawaii —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Died of What?[edit]

He died of what? AIDS? Samuelsenwd (talk) 07:40, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Obvouisly not since this disease did not exist yet. The article now state that he was reported to have died from scruvy but this may or may not have been the case.

2010-06-19 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Reconstruction from his skull[edit]

I have heard that his grave has been opened and a reconstruction of his face made from his skull. Does anyone have a picture of this reconstruction?

2010-06-19 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

non-sensical statement[edit]

"The natural route to Kamchatka was along tributaries of the Lena; but after the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) this look politically infeasible. "

One "natural route" to Okhotsk ( not Kamchatcka ) is by following tributaries of the Lena, and this would be totally unaffected by the Treaty of Nerchinsk. The other way would be by following the tributaries of the Amur, which would be affected as that Treaty put the Amur basin in the hands of the Manchus/Chinese. The statement quoted does not make sense. The only routes rendered politically infeasible by the Treaty of Nerchinsk, are the natural routes to the Pacific along tributaries of the Amur River.Eregli bob (talk) 08:22, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

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