Dante could only have had a very superficial idea about distant Russia which in his time was under the dominion of Genghis Khan’s mongols, or rather by his successors since the great monarch had died about forty years before Dante’s birth. But Dante must have been able to have had a less imprecise knowledge of at least the region of the Crimea and the river Don, known originally as Tanai, since the maritime republics, especially Venice and Genoa, had close commercial contacts with that region. [...]
Translation in blank hendecasyllables by Aleksandr A. Ilyushin (b. 1940), Russian historian, man of letters, translator and poet. Edition published at Moscow in 2008 (first edition 1995).
Translation in terza rima by Michail Leonidovič Lozinskij (Gàtčina 1886 – Saint Petersburg 1955), Russian poet and translator. Edition in three volumes published at Moscow in 1974 (First edition 1946). Illustrated by Mikhail Ivanovič Pikov (1881-1971), Russian painter and illustrator.