• Italy, a relative latecomer to the scramble by the European powers for African colonies, took control of coastal areas of present-day Eritrea in 1885. The Treaty of Wichale (Uccialli) of 1889, concluded with Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia, gave Italy sovereignty over the territory that the Italians called Eritrea, a name derived from Mare Erythraeum, the Roman designation for the Red Sea. The Italian government tasked the Florence-based Institute for Military Geography to produce detailed and precise topographical maps of the new colony. The institute published this map in 1896. The map consists of 16 sheets and covers all of present-day Eritrea, as well as part of eastern Sudan and part of northern Ethiopia. The Italian cartographic exploration of Eritrea reached its peak in 1909, by which time most of the on-the-ground topographic and geodetic activities were concluded. Various Italian government entities, including the Ministry of the Colonies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, continued to publish more detailed maps of Eritrea and adjacent countries throughout the early decades of the century.

Date Created

Publication Information

  • Institute for Military Geography, Florence, Italy


Title in Original Language

  • Carta dimostrativa della Colonia Eritrea e delle regioni adiacenti alla scala di 1:250,000


Time Period


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

  • 2 color maps; 45 x 43 centimeters