Narrating about people and lands: maps, images, and text in early modern European book culture

  • 27. října 2023
  • Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Arna Nováka 1, room D.31

Invitation to a lecture by Dr Silvia Tammaro (University of Vienna) and Dr Eva Chodějovská (Moravian Library/Masaryk University in Brno) on early modern era "books of cities".

See below for the lecture annotation.

Narrating about people and lands: maps, images, and text in early modern European book culture

Books containing besides large portions of text also maps and images can be found even among the incunabula. As early as in the 16th century, with increasing numbers in the following decades, we spot a large number of often magnificent (and expensive) books introducing readers to countries, cities, and events making use of graphic, symbolic, and written language. After 1570, a separate line of geographical atlases containing only maps detached, and for these books, which we will focus on, the terms pictorial topographies and “books of cities” came to be used in Central European historiography, while Anglo-Saxon historiography speaks more of chorographies. We claim that the traditional approach when images and maps are seen as a simple addition to the text, as an illustration, is to be overcome and these books have to be analysed as a whole. Thus we will be able to reveal the authors' or sponsors' strategies.

We invite you to discover more about these books during the joint lecture of Silvia Tammaro (University of Vienna) and Eva Chodějovská (Moravian Library/Masaryk University in Brno). Dr Tammaro has recently concluded her studies on Theatrum Sabaudiae, a representative book by which the Dukes of Savoy promoted their family, its exploits and their duchy. Nevertheless, it was situated on the present-day Italian-French borders with its new capital, the modern Turin, at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, history of Savoy and its rulers is closely connected with Central Europe, Vienna, and the Czech lands.

Eva Chodějovská has since many years been dealing with “image” of Prague. Her book on antique maps and plans of the capital city of Bohemia is about to be published. During her presentation she will concentrate on chorographies of Prague dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

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