LEAKE, William Martin. Journal of a tour in Asia Minor, with comparative remarks on the ancient and modern geography of that country, London, John Murray, 1824.
Vice-coronel William Martin Leake (1777-1860) was a topographer, antiquarian and member of the society of the Dilettanti. He is considered one of the most systematic researchers of Greek territories. Leake studied in the Royal Military Academy, lived in India for four years and during his life became a member of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Geographic Society, and the Berlin Academy of Science.
From 1794 to 1815 Leake was on a government mission to the Ottoman empire, to promote the prospective political and military interests of the British Empire. Thus he mapped Egypt and the Nile waterfalls in 1801. He returned to Britan on a ship carrying part of the sculptures pillaged by Lord Elgin, and lost nearly all of his drawings and maps.
Later on, Leake studied the strategic possibilities of the Peloponnese, its roads and fortified positions. As official representative of Britain in the court of Ali Pasha, he made pioneering explorations of Northern Greece. Finally, he walked Western Asia Minor with unparalleled patience and endurance, and systematically charted its territory.
During his missions, Leake recorded every important feature of each area in his systematic, meticulous and precise style. He produced a plethoric work, comprised of the account of his travels (albeit with scarce references to himself), and historical and political expositions centered on the Greek world, both ancient and modern. In addition, Leake collected several antiquities, today housed in the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou
- LEAKE, William Martin. Journal of a tour in Asia Minor, with comparative remarks on the ancient and modern geography of that country, London, John Murray, 1824.
Essay of a map of Asia Minor, ancient and modern.
Midas monument at the village of Yazılıkaya, near Eski Sehir.
Boustrophedon inscription, recorded by William Gell, from the throne of a statue at the Sacred Way of Didyma, the road leading from the Temple of Apollo to the sea. Inscription from a helmet at Olympia, votive offering of the city of Syracuse. William Leake cites the latter inscription to show how in Doric inscripions vowel crasis is employed so that inscriptions can end in dactylic hexameter.
Plan of stadium and ancient theatre as they are found in Magnesia, Tralles, Sardes and Pergamon, indicating how in those cities the theatre is adjacent to the stadium.
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