29 June 2012

Creatures of the Cretan Seas

Eastern Western Crete (upside down), Francesco Basilicata, 1636-1638.

Francesco Basilicata worked for the Venetian regno of Crete between 1626 and 1645.  During that time he produced forty-some detailed and elegant maps of fortifications and cities.   Early on in his service in Crete, he helped design and construct the memorable Morosini fountain in Candia/Heraklion.  The three pictures below gives hints of the work to come on the map, particularly in the third.

His triumph was this exuberant map of the whole island, a (upside-down, western) section of which you see above.  The map (I cannot find the dimensions) is used for the end-papers of the book cited at the end of this blog -- a beautifully-produced book of the history and historic images of Chandax, the Byzantine version of the Andalusian-Arab name for Heraklion.

As you can observe above, Crete is a luxuriant and cheerful island in itself, but the rest of this blog will rejoice in the creatures of the Cretan waters. 

(The pictures should enlarge when clicked on: a couple should expand to show more.)

The pictures are from:

Χρυσουλα Τζομπανακη, ΘΑΛΑΣΣΙΝΗ ΤΡΙΛΟΓΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΧΑΝΔΑΚΑ (Heraklion 2000).
Chrysoula Tzompanaki, Thalassini Trilogia tou Chandaka (Heraklion 2000).


  1. Lovely! I am so impressed with your scanning ability. My scans of Basilicata's 'bird's eye views' look like hell. But it does not matter because I must get permission and then I suppose the Gennadeion will provide one.
    I have never understood why Basilicata's drawings have Boschini's name on them.The ones published by Spanakis with B's 1630 Relatione actually have his name and the date (1614 or 1615). Yet they are cited as Boschini, Regno 1651.

  2. Scans depend on the quality of the image you are scanning. The ones in this book are super & can be enlarged remarkably. The other thing to notice is the dpi setting on your scanner. I first scanned some of them at 600 dpi -- took forever to do, and longer to load into Dropbox, so I rescanned at 300.

  3. Really luxuriant and cheerful!
    Concerning geography: the map shows western Crete, like looking 'down' south coming from Venice in the north, as many of Venetian maps of Candia.


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