LECHEVALIER, Jean Baptiste
The French archaeologist, astronomer and traveller Jean-Baptiste Lechevalier (1752-1836) taught in several Parisian colleges between 1772 and 1778, before his appointment as secretary to the French ambassador in Constantinople. In this post he travelled in Italy and Asia Minor, and published archaeological studies relating to those regions. In 1806 Lechevalier became librarian in the Sainte-Geneviève Library.
After his archaeological investigations in the Troad, in the years of 1785-1787, aimed at discovering Troy, Lechevalier remained in Constantinople as secretary to the French embassy under Choiseul-Gouffier. In 1787 he departed on another journey, to the regions of Moldavia and Wallachia, where he was to meet Alexandros Hypsilantis. During his stay in the area, he toured the Black Sea coast.
In this work, Lechevalier describes the regions of the Hellespont, Bithynia and Propontis. In addition, he gives detailed topographical data on the Bosporus and describes the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of Constantinople. He also makes geographical observations on the Black Sea (anc. Euxine Pontus), based on data collected by engineers Lafitte and Monnier. All these descriptions are accompanied by the first detailed maps ever drawn of these regions.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou