RUSSIA (Rossiya), the general name for the European and Asiatic dominions of the " Tsar of All the Russias." Although the name is thus correctly applied, both in English and Russian, to the whole area of the Russian empire, its application is often limited, no less correctly, to European Russia, or even to European Russia exclusive of Finland and Poland. The use of the name in its most comprehensive sense dates only from the expansion of the empire in the loth century; to the historian who writes of the earlier growth of the empire, Russia means, at most, Russia in Europe, or Muscovy, as it was usually called until the 18th century, from Moscow, its ancient capital. The origin of the term " Russia " has been much disputed. It is certainly derived, through Rossiya, from Slavonic Rus or Ras (Byzantine 'Pws or 'Pw rot), a name first given to the Scandinavians who founded a principality on the Dnieper in the 9th century; and afterwards extended to the collection of Russian states of which this principality formed the nucleus. The word Rus, in former times wrongly connected with the tribal name Rhoxolani, is more probably derived from Ruotsi, a Finnish name for the Swedes, which seems to be a corruption of the Swedish rothsmenn, " rowers " or " seafarers," I. THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE The Russian empire stretches over a vast territory in E. Europe and N. Asia, with an area exceeding 8,66o,000 sq. m., or one-sixth of the land surface of the globe (one twenty-third of its whole superficics). It is, however, but thinly peopled on the average, including only one-twelfth of the inhabitants of the earth. It is almost entirely confined to the cold and temperate zones. In Novaya Zemlya and the Taimyr peninsula, it projects within the Arctic Circle as far as 770 6' and 770 40' N. respectively; while its S. extremities reach 38° 50' in Armenia, 35° on the Afghan frontier, and 42° 30' on the coasts of the Pacific. To the W. it advances as far as 20° 40' E. in Lapland, 17° in Poland, and 29° 42' on the Black Sea; and its E. limit—East Cape on the Bering Strait—is in 191° E. The White, Barents and Kara Seas of the Arctic bound it on the N., and the northern Pacific—that is, the Seas of Bering, Okhotsk and Japan—bounds it on the E. The Baltic, with the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, limits it on the N.W.; and two sinuous lines of land frontier separate it respectively from Sweden and Norway on the N.W. and from Prussia, Austria and Rumania on the W. On the S. and E. the frontier has changed frequently according to the expansion and contraction of the empire under the pressure of political exigency and expedience. The Black Sea is the principal demarcating feature on the S. of European Russia. On the W. side of that sea the S. frontier touches the Danube for some 120 m.; on the E. side of the same sea it zigzags from the Black Sea to the Caspian, utilizing the river Aras (Araxes) for part of the distance. As the Caspian is virtually a Russian sea, Persia may be said to form the next link in the S. boundary of the Russian empire, followed by Afghanistan.