Item description for General Maps of Persia 1477 - 1925 (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 1, the Near and Middle East) by Cyrus Alai...
Iran, or Persia as it was known in the West for most of its long history, has been mapped extensively for centuries but the absence of a good cartobibliography has often deterred scholars of its history and geography from making use of the many detailed maps that were produced. This is now available, prepared by Cyrus Alai, who embarked on a lengthy investigation into the old maps of Persia, and visited major map collections and libraries in many countries.
With over four hundred separate map entries and over two hundred illustrations, this work covers all the important printed general maps of Persia from the early editions of Ptolemy at the end of the 15th century until 1925 when the Qajar dynasty was overthrown. Useful historical accounts provide the background to this wealth of cartographic achievement. After a description of the many editions of Ptolemy, later maps are divided into groups according to the country where they were produced: Italy, the Low Countries, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, America, Persia, Turkey, and Spain with Portugal. This permits the work of a single cartographer to be handled in an uninterrupted sequence, thus aiding quick reference to a particular style of map, and its later offshoots.
At the end of each major entry, further details concerning different editions and variations, other related maps, historical notes and unique or important features are provided, thus fitting the map into its chronological background. The large number of indexes at the end of the book should enable map collectors, dealers and librarians to identify any map of Persia with ease.
This book is a good balance between history and geography, and will appeal to a wide range of readers. Many Persian maps have surely been rescued from obscurity, and it is now possible to study sequence of developing geographical knowledge over a historically and economically important part of Asia. It is unlikely to be superseded for a very long time.
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Studio: Brill Academic Pub
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 11.5" Height: 15" Weight: 6.95 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2005
Publisher Brill Academic Pub
ISBN 9004147594 ISBN13 9789004147591
Reviews - What do customers think about General Maps of Persia 1477 - 1925 (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 1, the Near and Middle East)?
A Definitive Work Feb 19, 2006
This outstanding book is a welcome addition to the histories of cartography. Its scholarship is first rate, its graphic reproduction is excellent, and its physical properties will sustain it under heavy use as a library reference. The cost may deter the merely curious, but it is worth the price to any academic library, serious scholar, or collector of Persian maps. It begins with Ptolemaic maps (late 1400s) and closes with the end of the Qajar Dynasty (1925). The maps included show the entire area of Persia alone or a bit of adjoining areas. A planned second volume will show specialty maps, such as cities, provinces, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, etc.
The introduction summarizes mapping in the classical world and during the classical Islamic period. Although intended to provide a context rather than a comprehensive history, it is a most useful section. The book then addresses 400+ maps out of 1200+ studied. Each entry contains the mapmaker, place of printing, date, title, language, size, latitude and longitude covered, sale, source, and useful details. The book has two parts. The first is on Ptolemaic maps, especially the Fifth Map of Asia, and many derivative maps. The second is on subsequent maps of Persia, and is divided into ten sections by place of origin.
Brill is a prestigious European academic publishing house. Its publication of this work is further evidence of its value to the scholarly community. It is obviously made for use as a library reference. Its non-acidic paper is heavy and strong, and the binding is reinforced. It measures 17x12 inches and weighs nearly seven pounds. In both content and construction, this is a work that will last for decades.