In 1717 a young Armenian Catholic priest, Mekhitar Sebastatsi (Mekhitar of Sebastia [present-day Sivas, in Turkey], 1676-1749) founded a Benedictine Armenian Catholic monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice. Mekhitar wrote and published several works that became sources of inspiration and intellectual renewal throughout the centuries that followed. The monastery became a center for Armenian learning and publishing. Among the many works published by the Mekhitarist fathers of San Lazzaro were maps and geographical studies.
This map of the Americas is part of a set of four continental maps by Elia Endasian produced at the San Lazzaro press in 1786–87. The cartography is largely based on earlier works by Italian mapmakers, but the place-names and the map legends are in Armenian.
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