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1783 Bocage Map of Sparta, Ancient Greece, and its Environs


1783 Bocage Map of Sparta, Ancient Greece, and its Environs




Essai sur la Topographie de Sparte et de ses Environs Pour le Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis.
  1783 (dated)     14 x 9 in (35.56 x 22.86 cm)


This lovely little map of Sparta, in the west of Ancient Greece, was prepared by M. Barbie de Bocage, after D'Anville, for the 1785 Travels of Anacharsis. Unlike its rival city Athens, Sparta left very little in terms of archeological ruins so we can only assume that much of this map is conjecture. Nonetheless, it is surprisingly detailed and does indicate important landmarks, including Sparta's theater, hippodrome, and citadel. Also indicates the relative position of the five Tribes' camps.

Anacharsis was a Scythian philosopher who travelled from his homeland on the northern shores of the Black Sea to Athens in the early 6th century BCe. Apparently he made a great impression on the Greeks, who considered him a forthright, outspoken 'barbarian. He is considered a forerunner of the Cynics.


Jean Denis Barbie du Bocage (1760 - 1825) and his son Jean-Guillaume Barbie du Bocage (1795 - 1848) were French cartographers and cosmographers active in Paris during late 18th and early 19th centuries. The elder Barbie du Bocage, Jean Denis, was trained as a cartographer and engraver in the workshops of mapmaking legend J. B. B. d'Anville. At some point Jean Denis held the post of Royal Librarian of France and it was through is associations with d'Anville that the d'Anville collection of nearly 9000 maps was acquired by French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The younger Barbie du Bocage, Jean-Guillaume, acquired a position shortly afterwards at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in time, became its head, with the title of Geographe du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres.


Barbie du Bocage, J. D., Recueil de Cartes Geographiques Plans, Vues, et Medailles de l'Ancienne Grece, Reelatifs au Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis., (Paris, Chez Sanson et Compagnie), 1791.    


Very good. Original platemark visible. Original centerfold. Blank on verso. Dark clean impression.