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Exhibition

Cyprus in the Marciana Library
of Venice

Manuscripts, Texts, and Maps

More Details

Crowned Lion of St Mark (Kingdom of Cyprus) with the tower of Famagusta Castle (Famagusta)  | Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, It. IV, 62, ff. 18v-19r

Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana,
Piazzetta San Marco, 7, 30124 Venice

DATE

August 22th-27th, 2022

CATALOGUE

Soon available

Exhibition

The history of Cyprus, particularly since the 12th century, has made this island a remarkable crossroads of different cultures. First during the Crusades, then under the House of Lusignan – the French dynasty that governed the island between 1192 and 1489 – and finally during the Venetian period (1489-1571), the local Greek tradition and Orthodox Church coexisted with Latin rulers, alternating moments of dialogue or even osmosis with episodes of openconflict. In virtue of these centuries-old bonds and of its close relationship with the Near East (Syria, Palestine), Cyprus boasts a unique history in the eastern Mediterranean, concretely witnessed by artistic and architectural masterpieces, as well as by the many manuscripts that were either produced on the island or passed through it.
Venice played a leading role in this unique history, first through the protectorate it established over the island and then through the integration of the province of Cyprus into the Stato da Mar.
Evidence of this is provided by the wealth of documents preserved in the city’s archives and by the history of numerous Venetian families, which is inextricably linked with that of Cyprus.
The exhibition Cyprus in the Marciana Library of Venice.: Manuscripts, Texts, and Maps is designed to showcase the Marciana Library’s collection of manuscripts and books, which is variously connected to the island of Cyprus. With the support of Italian and

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international experts and scholars, who have contributed to its catalogue, the exhibition offers the scholarly community and the public at large an itinerary that brings together forty-odd manuscripts and maps from the Library, some of which have only recently been identified as being of Cypriot origin or provenance. The itinerary illustrates different aspects of Cyprus’ cultural history and of its contacts with Venice. It begins with manuscripts of historical works recounting the island’s history in the Byzantine age and with collections of juridical texts providing valuable information about the Latin governance of Cyprus. It continues with philosophical, medical, and religious manuscripts that help reconstruct the cultural climate of the island and its unique trajectory within the Byzantine world. After presenting a selection of displays that bear witness to the existence of a book market along the Venice-Cyprus axis, the exhibit itinerary focuses on a set of codices – either produced in Venice or owned by Venetian scholars – that preserve oracular texts illustrating the liveliness of the debate on the fate of the eastern lands in the years of the Ottoman conquest (1571). The following section is devoted to codices with works by Cypriot authors who were active within the broader framework of the Byzantine Empire. The exhibition is rounded off by maps illustrating the representation and perception of the island by 16th- and 17th-century geographers

Exhibition

The history of Cyprus, particularly since the 12th century, has made this island a remarkable crossroads of different cultures. First during the Crusades, then under the House of Lusignan – the French dynasty that governed the island between 1192 and 1489 – and finally during the Venetian period (1489-1571), the local Greek tradition and Orthodox Church coexisted with Latin rulers, alternating moments of dialogue or even osmosis with episodes of open conflict. In virtue of these centuries-old bonds and of its close relationship with the Near East (Syria, Palestine), Cyprus boasts a unique history in the eastern Mediterranean, concretely witnessed by artistic and architectural masterpieces, as well as by the many manuscripts that were either produced on the island or passed through it.
Venice played a leading role in this unique history, first through the protectorate it established over the island and then through the integration of the province of Cyprus into the Stato da Mar. Evidence of this is provided by the wealth of documents preserved in the city’s archives and by the history of numerous Venetian families, which is inextricably linked with that of Cyprus.
The exhibition Cyprus in the Marciana Library of Venice: Manuscripts, Texts, and Maps is designed to showcase the Marciana Library’s collection of manuscripts and books, which is variously connected to the island of Cyprus. With the support of Italian and international experts and scholars, who have contributed to its catalogue, the exhibition offers the scholarly community and the public at large an itinerary that brings together forty-odd manuscripts and maps from the Library, some of which have only recently been identified as being of Cypriot origin or provenance.
The itinerary illustrates different aspects of Cyprus’ cultural history and of its contacts with Venice. It begins with manuscripts of historical works recounting the island’s history in the Byzantine age and with collections of juridical texts providing valuable information about the Latin governance of Cyprus. It continues with philosophical, medical, and religious manuscripts that help reconstruct the cultural climate of the island and its unique trajectory within the Byzantine world. After presenting a selection of displays that bear witness to the existence of a book market along the Venice-Cyprus axis, the exhibit itinerary focuses on a set of codices – either produced in Venice or owned by Venetian scholars – that preserve oracular texts illustrating the liveliness of the debate on the fate of the eastern lands in the years of the Ottoman conquest (1571). The following section is devoted to codices with works by Cypriot authors who were active within the broader framework of the Byzantine Empire. The exhibition is rounded off by maps illustrating the representation and perception of the island by 16th- and 17th-century geographers

Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Str. app. 20, f. 1r

Curator
Marco Fanelli (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice)

Scientific committee

Stefano Campagnolo (Director of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana), Marie Cronier (IRHT, Paris), Paolo Eleuteri (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Marco Fanelli (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Ciro Giacomelli (University of Padua), Margherita Losacco (University of Padua), Ottavia Mazzon (University of Padua), Antonio Rigo (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Niccolò Zorzi (University of Padua)

Consultant Museologist
Hesperia Iliadou

Exhibition Supervisor
Claudia Benvestito (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana)

Contributors

Giovanna Carbonaro (University of Cyprus), Marie Cronier (IRHT, Paris), Peter W. Edbury (University of Cardiff), Piero Falchetta (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice), Marco Fanelli (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Margherita Farina (CNRS, Paris), Emiliano Fiori (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Ciro Giacomelli (University of Padua), Ioannis Harkas (independent scholar), Ottavia Mazzon (University of Padua), Angel Nikolaou-Konnari (University of  Cyprus), Daria Perocco (University Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Marco Riccardo (University of Padua), Francesca Samorì (University of Padua), Christopher Schabel (University of Cyprus), Benedetta Trono (University of Padua), Niccolò Zorzi (University of Padua).

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Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Str. app. 20, f. 1r