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[PIACENZA Francesco / ALBRIZZI, Girolamo]. Distintissima descrittione della città, porto & isola di Scio, qonquistata dalle armi della Sereniss. Republica di Venetia, Venice, Girolamo Albrizzi, 1694.

The edition deals with the history and geography of Chios island. It describes the castles and villages (Armolia, Kardamyla, Kambia, Katarraktis, Kalamoti etc.), and the local products, covering subjects such as mastic crops, Nea Moni, the location of the putative School of Homer, ariousios wine, promontories, islets, ancient sanctuaries, women and female costumes. The author uses excerpts from the travel accounts by P. Belon, H. Favolio, P. Della Valle, J. Thevenot, and the texts accompanying the map of Nikolaos Sophianos. The plate is attributed to Francesco Piacenza and the edition is the work of Girolamo Albirizzi. It was issued when the Venetians took Chios in September 1694. They maintained control of the island until February 1695, when the island became an Ottoman domain again.

Francesco Piacenza (1637-1687) was an Italian jurist, diplomat and chess player. He was professor of civil and canon law and secretary to the Catholic Embassy in Germany; as a chess player, he was able to travel widely in Italy and other European countries. He published a treatise on chess, outlining strategies of attack and defence. After his exploration of the Aegean islands, he wrote a thorough and systematic description of the Aegean Sea, with maps of all the islands, and a short exposition on Central Greece and the Peloponnese.

Piacenza's work was published posthumously. It includes engravings of excellent quality, while the description of the islands covers approximately seven hundred pages; Piacenza sourced this material from earlier isolaria, and nautical and geographical works. Finally, the edition is completed by an extremely interesting index.

Girolamo Albirizzi came from a noble family of Bergamo. He founded the Albirizzi publishing house in the late 17th century. Albirizzi made use of his library and archive to compose several editions on the history of Veneto (“Protogiornale Veneto”, “Pallade Veneta”, “Giornale Veneto de' Letterati”). He also founded and directed the successful scholarly review “Galleria di Minerva”, as well as the academy of the same name. Albirizzi collaborated with Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, founder of the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti, and with physician and naturalist A. Vallisnieri.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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