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DAPPER, Olfert. Naukeurige Beschryving Van Morea, Eertijts Peloponnesus; En de Eilanden, Gelegen onder de kusten van Morea, en binnen en buiten de Golf van Venetien..., Amsterdam, Wolfgangh, Waesbergen, Boom, Someren en Goethals, 1688.

Olfert Dapper (1636-1689) was a Flemish doctor and erudite, in particular an excellent scholar of Classic Greek and Latin literature. He was born in Amsterdam and studied at Utrect. Dapper never travelled but instead dedicated himself to geographical studies.The numerous sources he cites throughout his texts testify to the wealth of knowledge he possessed. Thorough and systematic, he directed a team of fellow writers in an exemplary manner. With remarkable frequency, Dapper published voluminous historical and geographical works on China, Asia, Africa, America and Amsterdam, as well as on the islands of the Eastern Mediterranean. His books are embellished with maps and engravings of rare beauty.

This edition is based mainly on ancient Greek and Latin sources: Herodotus, Pausanias, Plutarch, Ptolemaeus, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Apollonius, Hesychius, Pomponius Mela, Solinus, Stephanus Byzantius, John Chrysostom and others. The author also bases his text on portolanos, isolaria (such as those by Cr. Buondelmonti, B. Bordone, T. Porcacchi, M. Boschini, V.M. Coronelli), on contemporary travel accounts (P. Belon, G. Sandys, Sieur Du Loir, J. Spon, G. Wheler e.a.) and reliable maps of the time ( J. & C. Blaeu and others) as well as on testimonies by Dutch merchants. His work was published in French (1703 and 1730) and the extracts dealing with Crete were also translated into Greek (in 1836 and 1999). Dapper's book served as a point of reference and a useful travelling guide to all travellers to come.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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