20 Set 2023 17:00

Mapping the Aegean: Cristoforo Buondelmonti’s Liber Insularum [...]

Sala Piccola, Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà (2nd Floor) and online

Benedetta Bessi
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

The Liber Insularum Archipelagi (1420) by the Florentine traveler Cristoforo Buondelmonti can be considered the first guide to the Greek islands, each of them described by a textual paragraph and illustrated by colour maps, in a format which gave rise to the new literary genre of Isolaria. In addition to offering precious information on the specific islands, the Liber occupies a relevant role in history of European cultural heritage as the travels of Buondelmonti paved the way to the rediscovery and exploration of Greece, a land whose territory, language and culture were still largely unknown to the Western Humanistic scholars.
In this seminar I will discuss the digital edition (facsimile, transcription, and English translation) of the Liber Insularumbased on the manuscript copy of the Gennadios Library, ms 71 which I am preparing in the frame of my Marie Curie project MapAeg in collaboration with the VeDPH and CESTA at Stanford. The edition includes a commentary which, in line with the major questions of the project, focuses on geographical, historical and mythological entities while an alternative access to the data is represented by the annotations of the maps. The content creation system chosen for this project focuses on integration: along time, as models will probably change and be enriched over time, and its architecture is designed to be flexible and open even to specialized contributions; along digital environments, being capable of connecting with external tools or resources, and export LOD data; and along a data flow which starts from legacy resources (like Word documents, which were the initial data core) and remodels them into a full-fledged web-based editing hub, from where any digital format can be exported, starting from TEI.

Benedetta Bessi is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the Department of Humanities at Ca’ Foscari and a member of the VeDPH team. Her project “MapAeg. Mapping the Aegean: Cristoforo Buondelmonti's Liber insularum (15th c.) and the Origins of Classical Archaeology” includes the preparation of a digital edition of this text and its maps. As a Classical archaeologist, she has conducted research and fieldwork Italy, Greece, Syria and Libya and has travelled extensively to North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East acquiring first-hand familiarity with archaeological sites, museums and the cultural heritage of these areas. Her interest in Digital Humanities lies in the possibilities that a computer-based approach offers to the study of archaeological and cultural heritage in a multidisciplinary perspective and to the dissemination of this newly acquired knowledge not only within the scholarly and academic circles but also among the more general public.

The event is part of the seminar series organized by the Venice Centre for Digital and Public Humanities (VeDPH), Department of Humanities, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. It will be held in person and online.

Link for online participation HERE.

For further information: link


L'evento si terrà in inglese


Department of Humanities (Stefano Dall'Aglio); VeDPH

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