Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


JUDIN, Samuel/JAEGER, Johann Caspar: Russia, 1770, Bronze, 65 mm
Obv: Peter I on horseback riding over field of dead soldiers. HIC HONOR IN. NOBIS INVIDIOSVS ERIT. OVID (We Shall Be Envied for this Glory).
Exergue: PETRO ALEXIADI D.G. MAGNO RVSS. IMP. PIO FELICI AVG. TRIVMPHATORI (Peter Alexeevich, by the Grace of God, Great Russian Emperor, Pious and Blissful, the Most August and Triumphant)
Rev: Hercules with club, trophies below and topographical plan of Poltava in the background. POLTAVA MIRA CLADE INSIGNIS (Chronogram of 1709) (Poltava Is Astounded by this Significant Defeat).
Exergue: VNIVERSO SVECORVM EXCERCITV DELETO (All the Swedish Army Is Destroyed) D. 27. IVN. S. V.
Signed: C._.P.(Cut by S. Yudin)/ I.G.I.(Jaeger)
Ref: Sm 181; Reichel 1117; Tiregale 30, cf. Cjep 10-12; Iverson 26/3c; Spassky and Shchukina 31;  Diakov  I,  100/ 27.10; Weiss BW420

This medal is similar to that struck by P. H. Muller in 1709, the year in which the Battle of Poltava was fought. The piece shown was likely issued around 1770. The obverse is by Judin and the reverse by Jaeger. Durand observes that Judin's medal of the Battle of Poltava has placed him in the front rank of medallists (Forrer).

The medal commemorates Russia's victory against Charles XII of Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700-1721), a war in which Sweden was opposed by a coalition of forces, including Denmark, Saxony, Poland and Russia. Sweden had enjoyed several victories and had crushed the army of Peter the Great in 1700 at the Battle of Narva. In 1708 Charles XII renewed his assault on Russia but made the strategic mistake of advancing through Poland to the south of Russia, instead of attacking straight against Moscow. Although some of the Cossacks joined him, Charles had an insufficient force and was depleted by a severe winter. This combination of factors led to his decisive defeat by Peter the Great near Poltava, a town in the Ukraine, in 1709.


Battle of Poltava, (June 27 [July 8, New Style], 1709), the decisive victory of Peter I the Great of Russia over Charles XII of Sweden in the Great Northern War. The battle ended Sweden’s status as a major power and marked the beginning of Russian supremacy in eastern Europe. It was fought north and west of Poltava, west of the Vorskla River, in the Ukraine, between 80,000 Russian troops under Peter the Great and the general Prince Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov and 17,000 Swedes under Charles XII. The Swedish invasion of Russia had already failed the previous winter, with the loss of their major supply column to the Russians and their failure to receive expected reinforcements. Despite the severe shortages of men, artillery, and powder, Charles continued the war and besieged Poltava in May 1709. The Russians assembled their forces to raise the siege. They set up entrenchments (a countersiege) within a few hundred yards of the Swedish siege lines, thus forcing the Swedes to attack. Charles planned to charge past the Russian line of redoubts, without stopping to subdue them, and directly assault the main Russian defensive position. This called for extreme mobility and daring. But Charles himself lacked mobility because he had been injured a few days before, and his secondary commanders either lacked daring or failed to understand his plan. The Swedish attack faltered; the Russian counterattack, with 40,000 troops, killed or captured the entire Swedish army, except for Charles and 1,500 followers, who escaped south into Turkish territory. (from Britannica.com)


LINK  Description and Painting of Battle of Poltava (from Wikipedia)

LINK to Collection of Medals from Imperial Russia (Yale University)

LINK to Russian History in Medals: Peter the Great by Olga Less (from ANS magazine)