Venetians and Greeks - The War for Candia previous 6/9 next

Cartography, technicians, images of the territory

From 1620 to 1640 the technicians and engineers in the service of the Venetian Republic constructed a picture of the island's history and topography, both urban and territorial, which was actually much more detailed and precise than the reports  written to the Senate  by the General Captains. The engineer Francesco Basilicata is typical of this period. Born in Palermo, he started working for the Republic in 1612. Between 1629 and 1630 he served in Candia under General Sea Captain  Pietro Giustinian, where he gathered the material later used in his comprehensive report 'Relatione di tutto il Regno di Candia' ('Report on the Entire Kingdom of Candia'). He celebrated the extraordinary urban fabric of the site, in a poignant evocation of that land of the 'hundred cities' made famous by Homer and other poets. The description of the landscape, farmhouses, fortresses, and ruins becomes the history of many different civilisations, following each other in a series culminating in a synthesis of the history and traditions of Venetian culture. This Venetian quality even inspired and influenced technical projects for the re-organisation and renewal of some areas. In 1625 Basilicata proposed to the Venetian Senate that techniques and materials used in the capital city should also be used in the restoration of the San Giorgio area.

Scholarship and technical skills were employed in an ideological approach which intended to recover the symbolic importance of the island at a time in which the Venetian ruling class was faced with dramatic choices in domestic and foreign politics alike.

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Viaggio virtuale tra le fonti storiche veneziane
Rotta: Venezia e il Levante (sec XV - sec XVIII)
© 1996 by the VENIVA consortium