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title SUMMARY /title

The National Archive of Lucca holds an extensive collection of drawings that document a wide-ranging campaign of topographical surveys carried out between 1580 and 1583 for the purpose of tracing a detailed map of fortifications under the domain of the Republic of Lucca. The surveys lie chronologically between the map drawn by the military engineer Alessandro Resta in 1567 and the accurate chorography of the State of Lucca produced at the end of the same century by the Paduan cosmographer Giovanni Antonio Magini. Historical circumstances suggest that the surveys may be attributed to the military engineer Vincenzo Civitali, who had been hired during that period to superintend the State's fortifications along the border between the Duchy of Modena and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Apart from providing information on the Republic's cartographic and defense projects, these drawings provide firsthand documentation of the work of a 16th C. topographer, as well as revealing the strategy applied when locating measuring stations which often coincided with a signaling tower, the choice of measuring instruments most readily associated with the simple theodolite, and the adoption of a surveying methodology that consisted in measuring azimuths and distances according to the codified precepts of 16th C. treatise writers.

Affiliations: 1: Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia


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