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LABORDE, Léon Emmanuel S.J. de, Marquis. Athènes aux XVe, XVIe et XVIIe siècles, Paris, Jules Renouard, 1854.

Simon Joseph Léon Emmanuel, Marquis de Laborde (1807-1869) was a French archaeologist and politician. At the age of twenty he accompanied his father on a journey throughout most of Southern Europe and Asia Minor, drawing monuments of the East with exceptional talent. Laborde continued on to Egypt and Arabia (1828) and remained a traveller throughout his life, residing in various countries of Europe for long periods.

Laborde was secretary of the French embassy in Rome, alongside Chateaubriand. However, in 1845 he gave up his diplomatic career and dedicated himself to writing historical and literary works, while remaining in charge of the antiquities in the Musée de Louvre. He published accounts of his travels in Arabia (1830) and Asia Minor (1838 -1862), as well as a study on the history of engraving. He embarked on writing ambitious works on the monuments and the libraries of Paris, but was unable to bring them to term. He also collaborated with reputable journals of the time. In this important two-volume edition, information, descriptions and drawings by early travellers (A. Thevet, Τ.Η. Arundel, J. Carrey, P. Babin, J. Spon, A.G. Guillet, V.M. Coronelli "et alii"), as well as unpublished material, were used for the first time as a source for research on the antiquities of the city. Laborde's book remains one of the most important studies on Athenian monuments.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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