The edition is composed of texts on the customs, traditions, costumes and monuments of Greece. The content, texts and images have been sourced mainly from travel editions. From the 16th century several travel accounts have dealt with customs, traditions and beliefs of religious and ethnic groups in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the faraway regions of Asia, Africa and America.
This editorial trend was enforced in the 18th century with the Enlightenment and the Encyclopedists, when scholars and general public began to be concerned with questions which lie at the foundations of modern ethnology and anthropology. Thus, compilations of travel accounts covering the subjects of religion, costumes, culture etc., circulated in all European languages at the time. Additionally, the 18th century is the era when classical antiquity gains prominence, as a large part of the reading public shows a stable and undiminished interest in monuments and the history of Grecoroman civilization.
The illustrations are copied from popular travel works released during the previous decades. Thus, the coloured lithographs of “The monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin on Hydra island” and “The port of Pythagoreion on Samos island” are copies of works of A. Castellan and L. Mayer respectively, newly engraved. Likewise, the plates of "Katabothra on Lake Copais”, the “Agora of Athens”, “Parthenon as seen from the Propylaea”, the “Monastery of Mega Spilaion” and “ Castalian spring at Delphi” come from the works of Ed. Dodwell, and the “Cape of Lefkatas” is an imitation of a plate by William Gell. Finally, the “View of the Monastery of the Transformation on Strophades island” is based on a plate found in the work of A. Grasset de Saint Sauveur and the “View of the Venetian castle at the Chora of Cythera” comes from the work by J.B.G.M. Bory de Saint-Vincent.
Wtitten by Ioli Vingopoulou