Talk:Cristoforo Buondelmonti

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Useful info for artcle expansion[edit]

Island Studies Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2006, pp. 143-162 REVIEW ...

The Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti (c. 1385-c. 1430) went to Rhodes in 1415 to learn Greek, travel the Greek isles, and purchase ancient Greek manuscripts for patrons back in Florence. A lively and curious man, Buondelmonti explored the ruins on each island he visited to see if they corresponded with descriptions of buildings he had read in classical authors, particularly Ovid, Virgil, Pliny, and Plutarch; he also drew a map of each island. Sometime before 1420, he wrote a Liber insularum archipelagi (Book of the Islands of the Greek Archipelago), dedicated to the powerful Cardinal Jordano Orsini—probably an attempt to advance his career in the church. The work was very popular and survives in more than sixty manuscripts. In his book Buondelmonti gives accounts of seventy-two islands in the Aegean (and also of Constantinople, evidently just because he found it interesting). His approach is straightforward: he names the chief ports and towns of each island, the highest mountains, the best land and springs, and offers some remarks about the island’s history in classical mythology. He devotes somewhat more space to seven islands: Crete, Rhodes, Euboia, Corfu, Lesbos, Cos, and Chios (Buondelmonti, 1824, 1897, 2005; Turner, 1988; Lancioni, 1991: 75-78; Manners, 1997 gives references to several manuscripts of Buondelmonti’s work). Images of all of the maps in a beautiful manuscript of Buondelmonti (P/13) in the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, are conveniently available through the library’s manuscript catalog at: Buondelmonti’s great innovations were his concern with the present topography (and not just the mythological history) of the islands, and also his inclusion of a map of every island. The presence of maps with the first-hand description of an area was a multimedia revolution; the Liber insularum archipelagi was very popular throughout the 15th century, and defined a new genre: the isolario, or cartographic island book (Guglielminetti, 1989; Lancioni, 1991; Cassi and Dei, 1993; Tolias, 2002, forthcoming). With the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the Liber insularum acquired additional interest because it was no longer possible for Europeans to travel safely in the northern Aegean and see the things that Buondelmonti had seen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 8 March 2012 (UTC)