Медико-биологическое обоснование состояния российских городов в трудах И.Я. Лерхе и Э.Д. Кларка
This article presents an attempt to analyze some of medico-biological arguments in the descriptions of the urban life in the 18th- and the early 19th-century Russian Empire based on the travelogues of Prussian physician J.J. Lerche and British naturalist E.D. Clarke. The choice of such perusal optics of the travel literature is led by attention to the consequences of medicalization processes, which took place in European countries of the Enlightenment. Being based on the examples of urban space descriptions made by naturalists, the author reveals how medical and biological ideas together with political and social conceptions formed a way of imperial development representation and identification of opportunities for territorial and cultural transformations of the country. Thus, as a physician in Russian service, Lerche explored the natural characteristics of territories visited that allowed him to pay attention to closeness of little-known environment of Caspian towns to the Eastern landscapes as well as to conclude the potential to overcome local diseases and to acclimatize here for newcomers. Well-educated Clarke travelling as a tutor used the observations over the natural, sanitary and hygienic conditions of Moscovites’ life to establish the invariability of “barbarian” and “slave” conditions of Russians as well as their inherent “talent of imitation”.