BRÖNDSTED, Peter Oluf
The Danish archaeologist Peter Oluf Bröndsted (1780-1841), son of a priest, studied Theology and Classics in Copenhagen. Fluent in eight languages, cosmopolitan in mentality and with manifold interests, he was also an accomplished pianist. In 1806, while in Paris, he started studying Greece and its culture.
In 1809 he left Paris for Rome where he met Baron O.M. Stackelberg. In 1810 he travelled to Corfu. Later on, in Athens, Brönsted met Lord Byron, R. Cockerell, H. von Hallerstein and other antiquarians. He participated in their excavations in Aegina and at Bassae (Phigaleia), and studied archaeologically the islands of Cea (Ceos) and Salamis. Bröndsted travelled to Constantinople and Asia Minor. After touring southern Greece for two and a half years, he met Ali Pasha in Epirus in 1812. Bröndsted visited the Ionian Islands and Sicily again in 1820-1821.
In 1826, he travelled to London, in order to study the Elgin Marbles, while from 1828 to 1832 he lived in Paris. Bröndsted prepared numerous works for publication, although in the end the present edition was the only one to be published. In the course of his varied career he served as Ambassador of Denmark, Professor of Greek at the University of Copenhagen and Director of the Royal Numismatic Collection of Denmark. He died in 1841, after falling off his horse.
This edition includes the narrative of Bröndsted’s journey from Athens to Kea, as well as in Attica (Hymettus, Porto Rafti), an overview of the Aegean islands, information on Kea (its products, history and archaeological sites), the description of the excavation at Carthaea, an excursion to Koundouros and Agia Marina, as well as descriptions of other antiquities of the island (the temple of Apollo, the colossal Lion and other ruins). There follows an overview of the history ancient Ceos down to the end of the Persian Wars, enriched with excerpts from Greek and Roman authors. In the second volume there are extensive chapters on the Parthenon and its sculptures.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou