DAPPER, Olfert. Naukeurige Beschryving der Eilanden in de Archipel der Middelantsche Zee, …, Cyprus, Rhodes, Kandien, Samos, Scio, Negroponte, Lemnos, Paros, Delos, Patmos, en andere, in groten getale…, Amsterdam, Wolfgangh,…, 1688.
The Flemish physician Olfert Dapper (1636-1689), a man of letters and an excellent Classical scholar, was born in Amsterdam and studied in Utrecht. Although Dapper never travelled, he dedicated himself to geographical studies, documenting his wealth of knowledge by citing the numerous sources in his works. Systematic and pivotal, he directed a team of collaborators in an exemplary manner, publishing with remarkable frequency 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 illustrated with maps and engravings of rare beauty.
This publication 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 portolans, isolaria (such as those by C. Buondelmonti, B. Bordone, T. Porcacchi, M. Boschini, V.M. Coronelli), contemporary travel accounts (P. Belon, G. Sandys, Sieur Du Loir, J. Spon, G. Wheler, et alii) and reliable maps of the time (J. & C. Blaeu, et alii), as well as on testimonies by Dutch merchants. His work was published in French (1703 and 1730) and the passages dealing with Crete were also translated into Greek (in 1836 and 1999). This particular book was a reference work and a useful guide for all subsequent travellers.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou