Late Appearance of Early Arab Cartography. A 19th C. Manuscript Map by Az-Zayyānī: Its Toponymy and Its Vision of the World
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The question of survival of the Ptolemaic cartographical tradition in the Arab World, all through the Idrisian transmission chain and down to the modern times, is the subject of this article. A handwritten map found in Arabia, which – in this author’s opinion – was authored by a Moroccan intellectual Az-Zayyānī at the break of the 18th–19th cc., is apparently the last pre-modern Arabic cartographical creation. It’s history is obscure, but the physical shape bears strong resemblance to the other two published maps by the same author (whereabouts of those two manuscript specimens, unfortunately, are unkown at present). The map is analysed in respect of its geographical contents as depicting the world, as well as of the intellectual horizons the map presented to its users at its time, and questions about its relevance are asked.
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