Castles of the Morea
First published in 1953, this book presents a description of sixteen of the larger medieval fortresses in the Peloponnese, occupied by the Venetians during the period 1685-1715. It is also a beautifully-written celebration of some of Greece's most striking, but also least studied, architectural monuments, inspired by a unique collection of seventeenth century fortification plans (the so-called "Grimani codex") preserved in the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The author first saw the plans in 1948 and devoted the next four years of his life to a historical and archaeological investigation of the castles they depicted. At a time when most of the students at the American School were studying the classics, his interest in later Greek history was pioneering. He not only searched out hundreds of obscure documentary sources but also made a point of visiting, and personally describing and photographing, every castle - not an easy thing to do at the tail end of the Greek Civil War. The final publication was an instant classic, marked out by its evocative prose and Andrews' obvious fascination with the subject. As he wrote, "instead of the shining temple stones chiseled with the resources of perfection, these fortresses of medieval Greece crouch to the contours of the land with crumbling, roofless walls of rubble, built with the mark of haste, as if there were not time between one invasion and the next to build them." The book has been long out of print. This new edition presents Andrews' original text with a new introduction which sets the work in context and discusses some of the developments in Greek castle studies since the 1950s. The Grimani maps, originally printed only in black and white, are now presented in their original colors.
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