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A journey into Greece

Wheler, George, Sir, 1650-1723
London: Printed for William Cademan, Robert Kettlewell, and Awnsham Churchill, at the Popes Head in the New-Exchange, the Hand and Scepter in Fleetstreet, and the Black Swan near Amen-Corner, 1682


Digital Facsimile

[14], 80, 177-483, [1] p., [8] leaves of plates : ill., fold. map ; 31 cm.

"The text is continuous despite irregular pagination and register. Wheler, a clergyman and scholar, undertook a continental tour in 1673. In 1675 he met Jacques Spon, a doctor from Lyon, in Venice, and the two men travelled together in Greece in 1675-6. Both published an account of their adventures, Spon in 1678 and Wheler in 1682. Wheler's Journey into Greece contains numerous illustrations of inscriptions, coins, plants, and buildings (including the Parthenon before the fateful explosion of 1687), but is "much disfigured by misprints (which the author took the trouble to correct in a copy he presented to his college)" (ODNB). In the preface of the French translation, 1689 (reprinted 1723, q.v.), Wheler is complimented for the improved accuracy of his map of Greece. The depictions of the coin shown in Fig. 128-9 on the last pl. are the first illustrations of a bronze coin of the Achaian Federation, although Wheler would not have known, the word ΑΚΑΙΩΝ being off the flan. Wheler's collection was housed in a cabinet in the library of Durham Cathedral, and the coin is now in the B[ritish] M[useum]." (viewed June 17, 2016).

"Wheler made the acquaintance of Jacques Spon, a doctor from Lyons, while at Venice in 1675; and the two travelled in Turkey and Greece in 1675-76. Both travellers published an account of their adventures, the six books of Wheler's large volume being filled with illustrations of inscriptions, coins, plants, and buildings (one of the engravings shows the Parthenon before the fateful explosion of 1687). The preface to the French translation which appeared in 1689, with a reprint in 1723, complimented Wheler for providing a much more accurate map of Greece than available hitherto."--Christie', sale 2362.

"During his journey, Wheler collected more than a thousand plants, which he donated to Oxford University, together with the antiquities he had acquired (sculptures, inscriptions and coins). The Greek and Latin manuscripts were given to Lincoln College. After his voyage, Wheler was ordained and followed an clerical career. In 1689, he published a treatise on early Christian churches. His chronicle was published in 1682 and never republished again. It describes Zakynthos, Delos, Istanbul, Bursa, Thyateira, Ephesus, Delphi, Corinth and Athens. The chapters on Athens and Attica contain references to Herodotus and Pausanias and drawings of ancient monuments and inscriptions. They speak of the modern city, the climate, administration, local customs and the situation of the Church as well as local products and commerce. Wheler, like Spon, also makes commentaries on language In spite of its inexactitudes, Wheler's book came to be the major text of reference on Athenian monuments up until the publication of James Stuart's and Nicholas Revett's work. His description of Athens (plagiarism notwithstanding), his map of Attica (that he calls “Achaia”), drawn in his particular technique, and his observations on botany constitute his work into a model text of British travel literature."--Aikaterini Laskaridis : Travelogues (viewed June 17, 2016).

Numbers 81-176 omitted in paging; text continuous and complete despite break in pagination.

"Errata" on p. [14] (first group).

Title within double line border; initials; ornaments.





Inscriptions, Greek -- Early works to 1800.; Inscriptions, Latin -- Early works to 1800.; Greece -- Description and travel -- Early works to 1800.; Turkey -- Description and travel -- Early works to 1800.; Greece -- Antiquities.