Marco Martin

English abstract

Commento al Giornale di un viaggio da Costantinopoli in Polonia di Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich

This original travel report describes the stops of an adventurous back journey, from the Turkish capital to Polish borders, carried out by Boscovich from May to July 1762 with English ambassador in Constantinople William Porter. We can read this book as an historical document with many interesting information about countries in Eastern Europe not so much known for western travellers, as Boscovich was in the middle of XVIII century. So through Thracia, Rumelia, Bulgaria and Moldavia, Boscovich analyses an hidden part of great Turkish Empire and becomes eye-witness of Turkish vilajet, slavic villages, Greek orthodox churches, the country of Moldavia until the coasts of the Black Sea with its interesting international trade; during his travel he tries to understand words and realities very different from Western Europe's customs. In fact this report shows in particular a deep interest on linguistic matters and, above all, accurate descriptions about survey of latitude and longitude and the telescope of Dollond. Actually, the reason of this journey was the observation of the passage in the sky of Venus.

So Boscovich, thanks to this report, can be fit into the rich Italian tradition of travel writers in the Eighteenth century, because his bright observations must be underlined for precision and sharpness. In short, the scientist from Ragusa of Dalmatia wrote a little description about the archeological ruins of the town of Alexandria in Troade even 110 years before Schliemann.