Codazzi, Agustín (c. 1793–1859)

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Codazzi, Agustín (c. 1793–1859)

Agustín Codazzi (b. ca. 12 July 1793; d. 7 February 1859), military officer and cartographer. Born in Lugo, on the northeastern coast of Italy near Ravenna, Codazzi was a veteran of the Napoleonic armies and one of the European volunteers who joined Simón Bolívar's troops in the War of Independence. However, his main contribution to both Venezuela and New Granada was as a geographer, by charting the maps of both countries and by actually visiting many unknown territories of both nations. After the war he remained in the Venezuelan Army as a geographer and cartographer for almost three decades.

In 1848, Codazzi became involved in one of the many civil wars between Páez and Monagas. Ending up on the losing side, he was exiled to New Granada, where he was put in charge of the Comisión Corográfica, a group that studied in detail most of the Colombian provinces and territories known and unknown, producing maps and descriptions of the local economies and advising how to build needed roads. Codazzi died in Colombia in a town on the Caribbean coast. The town and the National Geographic Institute of Colombia now bear his name.

See alsoCartography: Overview .


José Manuel Restrepo, Historia de la Nueva Granada, Vols. 1, 2 (1952–1963).

Mario Longhena, Memorias de Agustín Codazzi (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Antei, Giorgio. Los héroes errantes: historia de Agustín Codazzi, 1793–1822. Santafé de Bogotá: Planeta Colombiana Editorial, 1993.

Lovera, José Rafael. "Geografía y política en la naciente Venezuela: Codazzi y la Comisión Corográfica, 1830–1841." Boletín de la Academia Nacional de la Historia (Venezuela) 82:326 (April-June 1999): 331-353.

Sánchez, Efraín. Gobierno y geografía: Agustín Codazzi y la Comisión Corográfica de la Nueva Granada. Santa fé de Bogotá: Banco de la República, 1999.

                                            JosÉ Escorcia