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TEXIER, Charles Félix Marie. Asie Mineure. Description géographique, historique et archéologique des provinces et des villes de la Chersonnèse d’Asie, Paris, Firmin-Didot, MDCCCLXXXII [=1882].

Charles Félix Marie Texier (1802-1871) was a French archaeologist and architect. In 1823 he entered the School of Fine Arts and by 1827 he had already become inspector of public works in Paris. He conducted excavations in Fréjus and Ostia. During 1828 and 1829 he directed archaeological missions on behalf of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. In 1833, after just one journey, Texier published "Asie mineure: description géographique, historique et archéologique des provinces et des villes de la Chersonnèse d’Asie", overshadowing all the preceding rather simplistic related studies. In 1839 he embarked on an archaeological mission to Armenia, Mesopotamia and Persia, the results of which were published between 1843 and 1845. From 1840 he was Professor of Archaeology at the Collège de France, from 1843 inspector of public buildings in Algeria and in 1855 he was elected an academician.

Texier’s work on Asia Minor was first published in three large-format volumes (1839-1849). An abridged Greek translation of it was published also in the nineteenth century. Many of the illustrations were used in later editions on similar subjects. Texier’s encyclopedic spirit extends beyond archaeology to geography, geology and ethnology. He was among the first to study Byzantine architecture and published a well-documented and impressive edition, again in large format, on the subject.

With R. Chandler (1765), W.M. Leake (early 19th century) and Texier, travellers begin gradually to penetrate the vast interior of Asia Minor. The first explorations were made in the area of Bithynia but the easternmost regions, linked more with looting antiquities than with romantic itineraries, held a dual attraction for travellers, because of their rich Graeco-Roman past and the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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