Kostas Papavassilis


Maps, Views of Landscapes and Cities, Portraits of Historic Persons

2007,  Schriften des Instituts für Interdisziplinäre Zypern-Studien,  Band 6,  224  Seiten,  paperback,  zahlr., meist farb. Abb.,  54,00 €,  ISBN 978-3-8309-1934-6

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The deep love for the people, the landscape, the history and the traditions of my country was the main reason to begin my collection of maps, engravings and books of Cyprus and of portraits of people important to the history of this island.

Very soon my wife shared this interest. It became our common passion, a passion that stems from the love for this wonderful island, the "golden-green leaf" (folk song by Leonidas Malenis) that God threw into the warm deep-blue Eastern Mediterranean.

Some moments during the building up of this collection will remain unforgettable to my wife and myself. The first map we bought was discovered in an antique-bookshop in Amsterdam. It was the wonderful map by Joannes Janssonius (see no. 45). Another exhilarating moment was the discovery of the map by Vincenzo Coronelli in the rare Merian edition (see no. 49), in a shop in Athens in 1975. Some other special attractions of the collection are the map of Cyprus (see no. 50) and the plan of Famagusta (see no. 134), both by Coronelli and in the rare version with a garland frame.

This catalogue is a documentation of our collection, complemented by some geographical and historical information. Great effort has been made to the correct identification of all maps and illustrations, but this catalogue remains the work of an enthusiastic private collector. Historians or experts in engraving and printing history and techniques could not be employed. No travels to libraries and museums all over the world could be undertaken to compare different editions of atlases and maps. Of greatest help were Andreas and Judith Stylianou's History of the Cartography of Cyprus and the catalogues by the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus regarding its collection of historical maps and atlases (cf. bibliography page 220). Additionally, much time was spent on internet research to verify and complete the information. Thus, I hope that despite its limitations this volume will be a respectable contribution to the publications on cartography and engravings of Cyprus throughout the centuries.

Kostas Papavassilis