Piraeus and Ports of the Mediterranean Sea. The hellenic maritime Tradition through Centuries-Engravings, Athens, Eurodimension, 2000.
A loose album with reproductions of engravings and maps of Piraeus and other ports of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The introduction outlines the history of Piraeus from antiquity to the 20th century, emphasizing how it gradually became a major port from the end of the 19th century onwards. The introductory texts which follow elaborate on Piraeus’ rise and decline as a commercial centre, present an overview of Greek maritime trade from antiquity onto the Byzantine and Ottoman era to the present, and a short history of piracy in Greek waters.
The album contains eighty four reproductions of port views. Twenty depict the port of Piraeus and the remaining represent Greek ports on the islands and the continent, the port of Istanbul, ports of the Black Sea, of Cyprus, Alexandria, Algiers, Malta and others in Sicily, the western Mediterranean, the Near East, Italy, Southern France and Mediterranean Spain.
The engravings date from the 17th century onwards but most views are from the 19th century. They come from French and English travel reviews which circulated weekly during the 19th century, such as “Le Tour du Monde, London Illustrated News”, “Le Monde Illustré”, “Le Journal Illustré” and others, as well as the Greek periodical Ethnikon Imerologion by M. Vrettos, and travel accounts such as those by V.M. Coronelli, Ol. Dapper, J. Pitton de Tournefort, J.D. Le Roy, M.-G.-F-.A. Choiseul-Gouffier, Julia Pardoe, W.H. Bartlett and others.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou