The making of the cartographic archive in the Venetian Peloponnese

Anastasia Stouraiti, «Colonial encounters, local knowledge and the making of the cartographic archive in the Venetian Peloponnese», European Review of History / Revue européenne d’histoire 19.4 (2012), 491-514.

Η περίληψη από τη σ. 491.
Current research on the cartography of the Venetian Empire rests on a state-centred perspective which reduces maps to mere technical tools in the service of maritime expansion and colonial government. In contrast, this paper argues that such an approach cannot sufficiently account for the multiple ethnocartographic transactions between Venetian authorities and local communities which defined Venetian map-making projects. Taking the seventeenth-century conquest of the Peloponnese as its focus, the paper proposes to rethink the Venetian cartographic archive as constituted through a set of socio-cultural and political practices involving both colonial surveyors and native inhabitants. By analysing the assemblage of cartographic knowledge in the context of the encounter between colonisers and colonised, the paper examines topographical surveys as the product of cross-cultural communication shaped through negotiation, competition and unequal dialogue. Ultimately, the paper aims to show the heuristic value of a dialogic approach to cartography for a better understanding of both the colonial society of the Venetian Peloponnese and the making of knowledge in Venice’s overseas empire.

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