Imaginary geographies on Europe’s periphery: Travellers, collectors and patrons in 1630s Malta

Reuben Grima (University of Malta)

Reuben Grima is a senior lecturer in the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage at the University of Malta. He read for his PhD in archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. In 2022, he was Shortland-Jones Fellow at the British School at Rome, researching antiquarian networks between Rome and Malta. His research interests include cultural landscapes, the history of archaeology, and public engagement with the past.

For a brief period in 1637, three leading lights of the Republic of Letters, Lucas Holste, Athanasius Kircher and Fabio Chigi found themselves together on the remote island of Malta, on the southernmost fringes of Christian Europe. Each one was there on a different mission, but they shared the same patrons and masters, the Barberini papacy.
This paper explores the interplay between travel and the worldviews and imaginary geographies constructed by these travellers, focusing on the lesser known antiquarian activities of Holste and Chigi (the future Alexander VII) while on Malta. Their correspondence sheds new light on their worldviews, and on their encounters with the Maltese antiquarian Giovanni Francesco Abela, and on the networks of knowledge, patronage, power and collecting around the court of Cardinal Francesco Barberini.

View of Għar il-Kbir (detail). Published by Pieter Van der Aa in La Galérie Agréable du Monde, Leiden, 1729, Vol 62 (photo: Daniel Cilia).

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Haude Morvan (7 mai 2024). Imaginary geographies on Europe’s periphery: Travellers, collectors and patrons in 1630s Malta. Dans l'œil des antiquaires. Consulté le 22 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

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