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Rigas' Chart

<I>Rigas' Chart</I>

Rigas' Chart, which consists of 12 ff. maps (64 x 82 cm each of them), was printed gradually in 1200 black and white as well as color copies, in the printing house of the brothers Publios and George Markides Pouliou in Vienna from the end of 1796 till April 1797. Rigas Velestinlis (1757-1798) was the apostle of the National Revolution, the proto-martyr of the enslaved Greeks, the architect of the neo-Hellenic Enlightnment and the dreamer of the Greek Democracy.

The Chart, which is a physical, historical and political one, presents elaborately the geographical characteristics of the Balkans' Peninsula as well as those of Asia Minor. It is an art gallery with ancient Greek place-names beside the neo-Hellenic names, 162 drawn Greek coins with graphics and two-dimensional representations of ten important cities. In addition, it presents historical, archeological and political events and at the same time looms up the radiance of the ancient and modern Hellenism. There is an alphabetic catalogue of the names of the famous creators of the ancient Greek civilization in the margin of the top and the bottom of the Chart.

The drawing up of the Chart as 'a historical and geographical of our own country encyclopedia' had the intention to teach the enslaved Greeks of 'what they had, what they have, what they should have', to represent to his contemporaries their ancestral history and glory in general, to awake the love and interest concerning the heritage of their ancestors, to strengthen their national self-knowledge and to stimulate their self-esteem regarding their liberation and the rebirth of the Greek civilization.