L. F. Marsigli – The First Antiquarian of Serbia

  • Vladimir V. Mihajlović Institute for Balkan Studies SASA Belgrade
L. F. Marsigli, history of the discipline, antiquarian, archaeology in Serbia


The all-encompassing changes that have shaped the west of Europe during the early modern period, introducing new ways of perceiving (and investigating) the whole universe, and each individual as well, have decisively influenced the foundations of our discipline. The special credit should be paid to the antiquarian movement and the generations of its followers. On the other hand, according to the general consensus, the region of modern Serbia, being a part of the Ottoman Empire, has not attracted the curiosity of the antiquarians until the second half of the 18th century. Numerous reviews of the history of archaeology in Serbia, both by local and foreign authors, consolidate this view. However, the life and work of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli (1658–1730) offers a significantly different view of the roots of archaeology in these parts. Born in an aristocratic family in Bologna, highly educated, serving in the Austrian Imperial army by the end of 17th century, Count Marsigli spent almost two decades in the lands of the middle Danube valley. During the Vienna war (1683–1699), and then fortifying the new frontier after the Peace of Karlovac (1699–1701), L. F. Marsigli got acquainted with the rich heritage (above all from the Roman times) of the region. He published the results of his research in the volume entitled Danubius Pannonico-Mysicus. The very title suggests the importance Marsigli assigned to the Classical past, whose vestiges he described in the second of six books of this work. Under the title De antiquitatibus Romanorum ad ripas Danubii, in accordance with the best antiquarian traditions, the learned Count offers a comprehensive and systematic review of the Roman material culture along the Danube banks – in his own words – of Pannonia and Moesia. Marsigli’s antiquarian endeavours in the field and the subsequent published accounts establish a massive contribution to the antiquarian tradition in the region of modern Serbia, and then – indirectly, through the works of the 19th century authors – to Serbian archaeology in general.


Ashworth, William B. Jr. 2003. “Natural History and the Emblematic World View”. In The scientific revolution: the essential readings, ed. by Marcus Hellyer, 132–156. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Babić, Staša. 2001. “Janus on the bridge: a Balkan attitude towards ancient Rome”. In Images of Rome. Perceptions of ancient Rome in Europe and the United States in the modern age, ed. by Richard Hingley, 167–182. Journal of Roman Archaeology Suplementary Series Number 44.
Banchig, Pierluigi. 2012. „Balcani contesi: i luogi di Roma anticha nel confronto fra Asburgo e Ottomani”. In La Scienza delle Armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili 1658–1730, a cura del Museo di Palazzo Poggi, 59–79. Bologna: Pendragon.
Bene, Sandor. 2006. ACTA PACIS – PEACE WITH THE MUSLIMS (Luigi Ferdinando Marsili’s Plan for the Publication of the Documents of Karlowitz Peace Treaty. Camonae Hungaricae 3: 113–146.
Bene, Sandor. 2010. “Illyria or What You Will: Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli’s and Pavao Ritter Vitezović’s ‘Mapping’ of the Borderlands Recaptured from the Ottomans”. In Whose Love of Which Country, ed. by Balázs Trencsényi and Márton Zászkaliczky, 351–403. Leiden: Brill.
Brizzi, Giovanni. 2012. „Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli e le strutture romane sul Danubio”. In La Scienza delle Armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili 1658–1730, a cura del Museo di Palazzo Poggi, 53–57. Bologna: Pendragon.
Cavazza, Marta. 2002. The Insitute of Science of Bologna and the Royal Society in the Eighteenth Century. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London Vol. 56, No. 1: 3–25.
Cavazza, Marta. 2008a. “Marsili (or Marsigli), Luigi Ferdinando”. In New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. by Noretta Koertge, 36–38. Vol. 5. Detroit: Thomson Gale.
Cavazza, Marta. 2008b. „Marsili, Antonio Felice”. In Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 70 (2008). Dostupno na: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/antoniofelice-marsili_%28Dizionario_Biografico%29/ (datum posete: 23. jun 2015.)
Cavazza, Marta. 2011. “Early Work on Electricity and Medicine in the Bologna Academy of Sciences: Laura Bassi and Giuseppe Veratti”. In Electricita and Life: Episodes in the History of Hybrid Objects, ed. by Giuliano Pancaldi,7–33. Bologna: Universita di Bologna, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Centro Internationale per la Storie delle Universita e della Scienza.
Cherry. John F. 2001. “Travel, Nostalgia, and Pausanias’s Giant”. In Pausanias: Travel and Memory in Roman Greece, ed. by Susan E. Alcock, John F. Cherry and Jas Elsner, 93–126. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Deák, Antal András, Miljenko Lapaine and Ivka Kljajić. 2004. Johann Christoph Müller. Kartografija i geoinformacije 3: 68–80.
Del Negro, Pietro. 2010. „Luigi Ferdinando Marsili e le armes savantes nell’Europa tra Sei e Settecento”. In La politica, la scienza, le armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili e la construzione della frontiera dell’Impero e dell’Europa, a cura di Raffaella Gherardi, 101–145. Bologna: CLUEB.
Del Negro, Piero. 2012. „Luigi Ferdinando Marsili tecnico della guerra”. In La Scienza delle Armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili 1658–1730, a cura del Museo di Palazzo Poggi, 9–17. Bologna: Pendragon.
Fantuzzi, Giovanni. 1770. Memorie della vita del generale co: Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli dedicate All’ Emo e Revmo Sig. Cardinale Lazzaro Opizio Pallavicini. Bologna: Instituto delle Scienze.
Fuko, Mišel. 1971. Riječi i stvari. Nolit: Beograd.
Gherardi, Raffaella. 1980. Potere e constituzione a Vienna fra Sei e Settecento: Il „buon ordine” di Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Gherardi, Raffaella (a cura di) 1986. Introduzione a L. F. Marsili, Relazioni dei confine della Croazia e della Transilvania a Sua Maestà Cesarea (1699–1701). Modena: Mucchi.
Gherardi, Raffaella. 2010. „Introduzione. Sul confine dell’Impero e dell’Europa: la ‘prudenza politica’ e la scienza di Luigi Ferdinando Marsili”. In La politica, la scienza, le armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili e la construzione della frontiera dell’Impero e dell’Europa, a cura di Raffaella Gherardi, 7–19. Bologna: CLUEB.
Gherardi, Raffaella. 2012. „Dal mestiere delle armi alle scienze della guerra e della pace: le Relazioni di Marsili all’Imperatore (1699–1701)”. In L’itinerario scientifico di un grande europeo, a cura di Walter Tega, 263–294. Bologna: Bononia University Press.
Grgurević, Dražen. 2007. Botanički vrt u Padovi. Šumarski list Vol. 131, No. 3–4: 155–158.
Gullino Giuseppe e Cesare Pretti. 2008. „Marsili, Luigi Ferdinando”. In Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 70. Dostupno na: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/luigi-ferdinando-marsili_%28Dizionario-Biografico%29/ (datum posete: 23. jun 2015.)
Henry, John. 2002. The Scientific Revolution and Origins of Modern Science. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Kostić, Đorđe S. 2011. Dunavski limes Feliksa Kanica. Beograd: Arheološki institut.
Lodovisi, Achille. 2012. „Come nasce una frontiera: le ricognizioni di Luigi Ferdinando Marsili sul nuovo limes Balcanico”. In La Scienza delle Armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili 1658–1730, a cura del Museo di Palazzo Poggi, 167–173. Bologna: Pendragon.
Longhena, Mario. 1930. Il Conte L. F. Marsili. Un uomo d’arme e di scienza. Milano: Edizioni Alpes.
Marsigly, Ludwig Ferdinand. 1705. Relation dessen, das Ludwig Ferdinand Marsigly bey Anlaß der Ubergab Breysachs begegnet.
Marsigli, Luigi Ferdinando. 1711. Instrumentum Donationis Domini Comitis A. F. de Marsiliis, favore illustrissimi et excelsi Senatus et Civitatis Bononiæ, in gratiam novæ in eadem Scientiarum Institutionis.
Marsigli, Luigi Ferdinando. 1726. Danubius pannonico-mysicus: observationibus geographicis, astronomicis, hydrographicis, historicis, physicis perlustrarus et in sex tomos digestus. Hagae: P. Gosse – R.C. Alberts – P. de Hondt.
Marsili, Luigi Ferdinando. 1930. Autobiografia di Luigi Ferdinando Marsili messa in luce nel II centenario dalla morte di lui dal Comitato Marsiliano, a cura di Emilio Lovarini. Bologna: Nicolo Zanichelli.
McConnell, Anita. 1986. L. F. Marsigli’s Voyage to London and Holland, 1721–1722. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. Vol. 41, No. 1: 39–76.
McConnell, Anita. 1993. L. F. Marsigli’s Visit to London in 1721, and His Report on the Royal Society. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London Vol. 47, No. 2: 179–204.
Mihajlović, Vladimir V. 2013. “Biographies of Landscape through Marsigli’s Biography”. In Abstracts. 19th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, ed. Jan Turek, 306. Pilsen: University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.
Molnar, Monika F. 2010. „Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli e gli Ottomani. La frontiera asburgico-ottomana dopo la pace di Carlowitz”. In La politica, la scienza, le armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili e la construzione della frontiera dell‘Impero e dell‘Europa, a cura di Raffaella Gherardi, 147–172. Bologna: CLUEB.
Momigliano, Arnold. 1950. Ancient History and the Antiquarian. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. Vol. 13, No 3/4: 285–315.
Moser, Stephanie. 2014. Making Expert Knowledge through the Image: Connections between the Antiquarian and Early Modern Scientific Illustration. Isis. Vol. 105, No. 1: 58–99.
Mrgić, Jelena. 2011. Criss-crossing the Danube with Marsigli. Belgrade Historical Review II: 165–190.
Nagy, Levente. 2010. „La frontiera, il buon governo e l’armonia mondiale. L. F. Marsili sulla frontiera della Transilvania”. In La politica, la scienza, le armi: Luigi Ferdinando Marsili e la construzione della frontiera dell’Impero e dell’Europa, a cura di Raffaella Gherardi, 173–197. Bologna: CLUEB.
Novaković, Predrag. 2003. Osvajanje prostora. Razvoj prostorske in krajinske arheologije. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta.
Novaković, Predrag. 2014. Historija arheologije u novim zemljama Jugoistočne Evrope. Sarajevo: Univerzitet u Sarajevu.
Peri, Marvin. 2000. Intelektualna istorija Evrope. Beograd: Clio.
Piggot, Stuart. 1978. Antiquity Depicted: Aspects of Archaeological Illustration. London: Thames and Hudson.
Sartori, Renzo. 2003. “Luigi Ferdinando Marsili, Founding Father of Oceanography”. In Scienza e letteratura nella cultura italiana del Settecento, ed. by Gian Battista Vai and William Cavazza, 169–177. Bologna: Minerva Edizioni.
Schnapp, Alain. 1996. The Discovery of the Past. London: British Museum Press.
Stoye, John. 1994. Marsigli’s Europe, 1680–1730: The Life and Times of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli, Soldier and Virtuoso. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Thomas, Julian. 2004. Archaeology and Modernity. London: Routledge.
Trigger, Bruce G. 2008 [1996] A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Vaccari, Enzio. 2003. “Luigi Ferdinando Marsili, Geologist: From the Hungarian Mines to the Swiss Alps”. In Four Centuries of the World Geology. Ulisse Aldrovandi 1603 in Bologna, edited by Gian Battista Vai and William Cavazza, 179–186. Bologna: Minerva Edizioni.
* * *
Брајзах, Ернст. 2009. Историографија: стари век, средњи век, ново доба. Београд: Clio.
Васић, Вojислав Ф. и Георг В. Џукић. 1977. Орнитолошки рад грофа Алојзија Фердинанда Марсилија. Зборник Матице српске за природне науке, књ. 53, 233–253.
Грин, Кевин. 2003. Увод у археологију. Београд: Clio.
Димић, Жарко. 1999. Велики бечки рат и Карловачки мир (хронологија). Београд: Верзал прес.
Каниц, Феликс. 1985. Србија. Земља и становништво од римског доба до краја XIX века. Прва књига. Београд: Српска књижевна задруга – ИРО Рад.
Медаковић, Дејан. 1985. „Прва испитивања старина у Србији”. У Истраживачи српских старина, 154–157. Београд: Просвета.
Милинковић, Михаило. 1998. „Одељење за археологију”. У Филозофски факултет 1838–1998, 425–440. Београд: Филозофски факултет.
Палавестра, Александар. 2011. Културни контексти археологије. Београд: Филозофски факултет.
Самарџић, Никола. 2007. Прво уређење Југоисточне Европе – Карловачки мир 1699. Новопазарски зборник 30: 91–105.
Tасић, Никола. 1983. „Археологија у Србији до оснивања Српског археолошког друштва 1883”. У Споменица Српског археолошког друштва: 1883–1983, ур. Никола Тасић, 1–7. Београд: Српско археолошко друштво.
Шкаламера, Жељко. 1991. „Картографија Србије и југословенских земаља од почетка 16. до краја 19. века”. У Србија и суседне земље на старим географским картама, ур. Драгослав Срејовић, 55–166. Београд: Српска академија наука и уметности.
How to Cite
Mihajlović, V. (2016). L. F. Marsigli – The First Antiquarian of Serbia. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 10(3), 595-617. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v10i3.3