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Geography
Claudius Ptolemaeus (circa 100–circa 170), known as Ptolemy, was an astronomer, mathematician, and geographer of Greek descent who lived and worked in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. In his Geography, Ptolemy gathered all the geographic knowledge possessed by the Greco-Roman world. He used a system of grid lines to plot the latitude and longitude of some 8,000 places on a map that encompassed the known world at the height of the Roman Empire. Ptolemy’s work was lost to Europe in the Middle Ages, but around 1300 Byzantine ...
The Marañon or Amazon River with the Mission of the Society of Jesus
This map of the Amazon River is by Samuel Fritz (1654-1728), a Jesuit missionary who mapped the basin of the Amazon River. Born in the province of Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), Fritz became a priest in 1673. He was sent to Quito in present-day Ecuador as a missionary in 1684 and spent the next 40 years ministering to the native people of the Upper Marañon region. He began mapping the region as part of a project to clarify the borders of missionary lands, Spanish lands, and Portuguese ...
Extent and Location of the Governments of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Matogroso, Cuyaba, and Towns of Native Americans Called Chiquitos
This map shows the present-day Bolivian provinces of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos, and the Brazilian state of Mata Grosso. The map indicates the settlements of native people, known at that time as Chiquitos. This area was a center of Jesuit activity and many of the settlements may have been the remnants of Jesuit centers, called reducciones (reductions or townships). The Jesuits began their missionary work in South America in 1609. At the height of their activity, they sponsored 40 communities that were home to more than 150 ...
Map of the Brazilian Coast, Which Goes from Santa Ana Island to the Joatinga, Copied from a Portuguese Map and Printed on January, 1785
This Spanish map showing part of the Brazilian coast is a copy of an earlier Portuguese map. The inset map in the upper left shows the harbor of Rio de Janeiro.
Map of the Battle of Catalan: Dated the 4th of January in 1817
This hand-colored manuscript map depicts the Battle of Catalan, January 4, 1817, in which the Portuguese Army, operating from southern Brazil, defeated forces led by José Gervasio Artigas, the leader in the struggle for Uruguayan independence. Portugal was tacitly allied with the government in Buenos Aires, which was seeking to retain its grip on the eastern province of Argentina that would become the independent country of Uruguay.
Map of the Lands Where the Sage-Emperor Yu Left His Traces
This rubbing is of a Chinese map engraved in stone in the seventh year of the Fouchang era of the Qi state (1136). The stele survives in the Forest of Steles in Xi’an. The map is oriented with north at the top and south at the bottom. Over 500 place names are plotted on the map, which represents a panorama of China in Song times. The engraving of the hydraulic systems is especially detailed, with nearly 80 rivers named. The courses of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers are very ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Map of Jiangxi Province with Explanations
This lively and colorful volume contains a collection of 37 maps of Jiangxi province from the Ming dynasty: a general map (26 by 56 centimeters) and 36 maps of individual prefectures and counties (each 28 by 26 centimeters). The work is the earliest extant map of Jiangxi province and constitutes a valuable resource for researching pre-modern Chinese maps and the geography of Jiangxi. It also shows the quality of traditional cartography in Ming China. The maps employ traditional Chinese drawing methods to depict in precise detail mountain passes, rivers, lakes ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Survey of India: Specimens of Map Drawing
The Survey of India was established in 1767 to assist the British East India Company in carrying out survey work and to map territory for the purposes of administration, taxation, and defense. By the end of the 19th century, the survey had succeeded in mapping most of British India. This volume, published in 1904 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel F.B. Longe, Surveyor-General of India, was intended as a guide to the styles of drawing employed in the Survey of India. The “Note for Guidance” on the opening page ...