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Abich and Barth came from a North German bourgeois background and received a strict religious education. Later, when studying at the University of Berlin, both came under the strong influence of the geographer Carl Ritter and of his Pietist family. Abich became the doyen of Caucasus geology, and engaged in intensive and often perilous fieldwork in the region between 1842 and 1876. The help he received during his first two years in the field convinced him that it was God's will for him to bring this work to completion. His trust in the Bible was so firm that, after...

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