149 results in English
Fortress of Dio: Plans of Plazas and Forts of Portuguese Possessions in Asia and Africa
This drawing shows the fortress of Diu, located on an island off the northwest coast of India. In 1509, the Portuguese defeated the forces of the Sultan of Gujarat in the Battle of Diu, thereby securing dominance over trade routes in the Indian Ocean. Construction of this fortress-garrison complex began in 1535, under an agreement with the sultan, but the agreement fell apart and the sultan’s troops attacked the fort in 1537. The fortress was reconstructed in 1545 by João de Castro (1500-48), a Portuguese naval commander and the ...
Fortress of Chaul: Plans of Plazas and Forts of Portuguese Possessions in Asia and Africa
This drawing shows the fortress of Chaul, one of Portugal’s defense complexes along the western coast of India. The Portuguese first settled at Chaul in 1521 and constructed a fort, which was rebuilt several times. The structure shown in this drawing most likely is the one built in 1613, which featured expanded defense works.
Collection of Poetry by Kalīm
Abū Ṭālib Kalīm Hamadānī (or Kāshānī, died 1651; 1061 A.H.) was one of the foremost Persian poets of the 17th century. He was born in Hamadan (present-day Iran) but appears to have lived in Kashan (also in Iran) for a sizeable portion of his life—hence the appellation Kāshānī. He received his education in Kashan and in Shiraz before moving to India to serve the Mughal ruler Jahangir (reigned 1605–27). Abū Ṭālib was thus among a large number of Persian poets and literati who left Persia in search ...
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Memoirs of Babur
This book is a lithograph edition of the Persian translation of Bāburnāmah (Memoirs of Babur), the autobiography of Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad Bāburshāh (1483–1530), the first Mughal emperor of India. Bāburnāmah originally was written in Chagatai Turkish and was translated into Persian during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The translation was undertaken by Bairam Khan (died 1561), an Afghan bureaucrat and military commander who served under Emperor Humayun and who was briefly appointed regent over his successor, Emperor Akbar, when Akbar was a child. This book was printed ...
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Sir Alfred Lyall
This photograph of Sir Alfred Lyall (1835–1911) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Lyall was an administrator in the Indian Civil Service, a poet and Tennyson scholar, and the author of several works on the expansion of British power in India. He served as the foreign secretary to the government of India during the war and helped broker the 1880 peace treaty with the Afghan ruler, Amir Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (circa 1844–1901). The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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Sir Ashley Eden, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal
This portrait of Sir Ashley Eden (1831–87), lieutenant governor of Bengal, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Eden became the first civilian governor of Burma after his success as a special envoy to the Himalayan hill state of Sikkim in 1861. He was appointed lieutenant governor of Bengal in 1877 and promoted major public works in the state, such as hospitals, schools, canals, and railroads. Eden’s efforts were praised by both Europeans and Bengalis. The Second ...
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Sir William Muir
This photograph of Sir William Muir (1819–1905) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Muir entered the Bengal Civil Service in 1837 but served in the North-Western Provinces for most of his career. After the 1857 Indian Rebellion, the North-Western Provinces were ruled by a lieutenant governor who reported directly to the British government; Muir served in that position from 1868–74. He became famous because of his extensive and controversial scholarship on Islam and the early Muslim ...
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Sir Richard Meade
This photograph of Sir Richard Meade (1821–94) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Meade, who is smartly dressed with his military honors across his chest, served as the British resident at the Indian princely (nominally sovereign) state of Hyderabad in 1875–81. He tutored and protected Maḥbūb ʻAlī Khān (1866–1911), the underage nizam (ruler). Meade’s biographer, Thomas Henry Thornton (1832–1913), author of General Sir Richard Meade and the Feudatory States of Central and Southern ...
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Sir George Colley
This photograph of Sir George Colley (1835–81), likely taken within three years of his death, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Colley served nearly all of his military and administrative career in British South Africa, but he played a significant part in the Afghan War as military secretary and then private secretary to the governor-general of India, Lord Lytton (1831–91). After the war Colley returned to South Africa, became high commissioner for South Eastern Africa in ...
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Sir Peter Lumsden
This military portrait of Sir Peter Lumsden (1829–1918) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Lumsden’s first posting in the region was in the North-West Frontier of British India in the 1850s, where as an ensign in the 60th Bengal Native Infantry he participated in the suppression of rebellions by several Pashtun tribes. He also served in the Second Opium War and the Bhutan War. He was adjutant general of the Indian army 1874–79 and then ...
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Sir James Fergusson, Governor of Bombay
This portrait of Sir James Fergusson (1832–1907), governor of Bombay, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Fergusson briefly served as undersecretary of state for India in 1866–67, but otherwise his career in British India began late in life. His direct involvement in the war was brief. He was appointed as the governor of the Bombay Presidency in 1880. In this position, Fergusson was able to exercise as much power within Bombay as the viceroy wielded in ...
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Sir Frederick Haines
This photograph of Sir Frederick Haines (1819–1909) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Haines served as commander in chief in India (the highest-ranking military officer in the British Raj) throughout the war. His authority was subject only to the viceroy, Lord Lytton (1831–91). Haines and Lytton repeatedly clashed over British war strategy. At the start of the war, for example, Haines favored a significantly larger troop commitment than Lytton, but he was partially overruled by the ...
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Lord William Beresford
This photograph of Lord William Beresford (1846–1900) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Beresford served as an aide-de-camp to several British viceroys, including under Lord Lytton during the war. He was also a captain in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers and, while on leave from Delhi, volunteered to fight under General Sir Samuel Browne (1824–1901) at the November 1878 Battle of Ali Masjid. Beresford was commended for his valor in dispatches after the battle. He ...
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Sir Chas Aitchison
This photograph of Sir Charles “Chas” Aitchison (1832–96) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Aitchison held many positions in the government of India during his long career. He was the British foreign secretary in India from 1868 until 1878. During this time Aitchison published several scholarly works on Indian politics and the relationship between Britain and the nominally sovereign Indian princely states. He was a critic of the confrontational foreign policy towards Afghanistan pursued by the viceroy ...
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Colonel Mowbray Thomson
This photograph of Colonel Mowbray Thomson (1832–1917) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Thomson was one of only four survivors of the massacre of a British garrison in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) during the 1857 Indian Rebellion. After recovering from his injuries, he wrote a 260-page account of the massacre entitled The Story of Cawnpore. Thomson, then a captain, dedicated it to “the brave men, the patient women, and the helpless innocents of England,” who perished in the ...
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Sir Andrew Clarke
This photograph of Sir Andrew Clarke (1824–1902) is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Clarke was a military engineer and colonial governor for several British settlements in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. He served as minister of public works in India in 1875–80 and was a member of the viceroy's council. Clarke's ambitious plans to upgrade the infrastructure of the subcontinent were undermined by the Indian famine of 1876–78 and by the British ...
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The Empire and Expeditions of Alexander the Great
This 1833 map in Latin shows the conquests of Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), whose empire stretched from present-day Greece through Turkey and the Middle East to Afghanistan. In 326 BC Alexander set out to conquer India, but he was stymied when his exhausted armies mutinied on the banks of the Hyphasis River (now known as the Beas River) in northern India. The map shows the cities that Alexander founded and named after himself, including Alexandria Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan), Alexandria Ariana (Herat, Afghanistan), Alexandria, Egypt, and many others. Place-names ...
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Southwest Asia
This map of Southwest Asia dating from about 1866 shows the possessions of the European powers in this region. The map extends from Libya, Egypt, and Sudan in the west to Mongolia, China (Tibet), and Burma in the east. Colored lines are used to indicate territories controlled by Britain, France, Portugal, and the Ottoman Empire and to delineate what the map calls the kingdom of the imam of Oman. The names of provincial capitals are underlined. British territories in India are divided into six parts: Bengal, the Northwest Provinces, Panjab ...
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Map of Asian-Eastern Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, and Arabia
This map, published in Paris in 1842, shows the Asian provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and the Arabian Peninsula. The map appeared in Atlas universel de géographie ancienne et moderne (Universal atlas of ancient and modern geography) by the cartographer and engraver Pierre M. Lapie (1779–1850). Lapie was a member of the corps of topographical engineers in the French army, where he rose to the rank of colonel. He eventually became head of the topographical section in the Ministry of War. He was assisted by ...
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Johnson’s Turkey in Asia, Persia, Arabia, etc.
This map of the Middle East and Central and South Asia extending from the Nile Valley to the boundary of Afghanistan with British India is from Johnson’s New Illustrated Family Atlas, published in New York in 1864. The map shows national capitals, provincial capitals, principal towns, and railroads. The Suez Canal, under construction at this time, is shown as proposed. The map provides a detailed overview of the towns and cities along the Nile in Egypt, Nubia (present-day southern Egypt and northern Sudan), and Sennar (present-day Sudan), and of ...
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Persia, Arabia, etc.
This 1852 map from the New Universal Atlas by the Philadelphia publisher Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. shows the Arabian Peninsula, the kingdom of Persia, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan. The provinces of Persia, including Irakadjemi, Fars, Khorasan, and Kerman, are shown by different colors. The Arabian Peninsula is divided into the traditional divisions used by European geographers, Arabia Petrea, Arabia Felix, and Arabia Deserta. Yemen and Oman are shown, along with the locations of important towns, mountains, ruins, and wells and sources of fresh water in the Arabian Desert. Afghanistan includes the northern ...
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Central Asia: Afghanistan and Her Relation to British and Russian Territories
This 1885 map shows Asia from the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean to western China and the Indian subcontinent. An inset in the upper right depicts the region in the broader context of Asia, Europe, and Africa. A focal point of the map is Afghanistan, where, in what was called “the Great Game,” the Russian and British empires competed for influence throughout most of the 19th century. The British feared that the Russians, who annexed large parts of Central Asia in the 1860s and 1870s, would use Afghanistan as a ...
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A Map of the Countries between Constantinople and Calcutta: Including Turkey in Asia, Persia, Afghanistan and Turkestan
This 1885 map shows the region between Constantinople, capital of the Ottoman Empire, and British India, an area of intense imperial rivalry between the British and Russian Empires in the late-19th century. British possessions are colored in red and include British India, Cyprus, the Aden Protectorate (present-day Yemen), Socotra Island (Yemen), and the northern littoral of the Horn of Africa, which became the protectorate of British Somaliland (present-day Somalia) in 1888. The map shows railroad lines and submarine telegraph cables. The railroad network is at this time more developed in ...
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General Map of Central Asia: VII
General-Karte von Central-Asien (General map of Central Asia) is a large, detailed map produced in 1874 by the Military Geographic Institute of Vienna. The map is on 12 separate plates, numbered I–XII; a 13th plate gives an overview and a numbered guide to how the parts fit together. The map covers a huge expanse, bounded to the northwest by the region of Russia north of the Caspian Sea; to the southwest by present-day Saudi Arabia and Oman; to the northeast by western Mongolia; and to the southeast by Gujarat ...
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General Map of Central Asia: VIII
General-Karte von Central-Asien (General map of Central Asia) is a large, detailed map produced in 1874 by the Military Geographic Institute of Vienna. The map is on 12 separate plates, numbered I–XII; a 13th plate gives an overview and a numbered guide to how the parts fit together. The map covers a huge expanse, bounded to the northwest by the region of Russia north of the Caspian Sea; to the southwest by present-day Saudi Arabia and Oman; to the northeast by western Mongolia; and to the southeast by Gujarat ...
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General Map of Central Asia: XII
General-Karte von Central-Asien (General map of Central Asia) is a large, detailed map produced in 1874 by the Military Geographic Institute of Vienna. The map is on 12 separate plates, numbered I–XII; a 13th plate gives an overview and a numbered guide to how the parts fit together. The map covers a huge expanse, bounded to the northwest by the region of Russia north of the Caspian Sea; to the southwest by present-day Saudi Arabia and Oman; to the northeast by western Mongolia; and to the southeast by Gujarat ...
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From the Indus to the Tigris
Henry Walter Bellew was a surgeon and medical officer in the Indian Army who in 1871–72 accompanied Major General F.R. Pollock on a political mission to Sistān in southwestern Afghanistan. Undertaken on behalf of the government of British India, the mission set out from Multan (present-day Pakistan) on December 26, 1871, and arrived in Sistān in early March. From there Pollock and Bellew traveled to Mashhad and Tehran. Bellew went on to Baghdad and returned to India by steamer to Bombay (now Mumbai). From the Indus to the ...
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Frontier Folk of the Afghan Border—and Beyond
Frontier Folk of the Afghan Border—and Beyond is a book of photographs, with explanatory text, of people from more than 20 tribes and ethnic groups mainly living in the Northwest Frontier region of British India (present-day Pakistan) or across the border in Afghanistan. A few of the pictures show people or scenes from Kashmir, Tibet, and Russian Turkestan. The photographs depict local costumes, festivals and celebrations, and economic life. Most were taken by Captain L.B. Cane of the Royal Army Medical Corps. The text is by Lilian Agnes ...
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Lord Lytton and the Afghan War
Lord Lytton and the Afghan War is a scathing critique of the Afghan policies of Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, the viceroy of India who is credited with provoking the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A poet, novelist, and diplomat, Lytton was appointed viceroy in 1876 by Conservative prime minister Benjamin Disraeli. Lytton purportedly feared the spread of Russian influence in Central Asia. In November 1878 he launched the invasion of Afghanistan from British India by an Anglo-Indian force with the aim of replacing the Afghan amir, Sher Ali, who was reputed to harbor ...
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Ought We to Hold Candahar?
Ought We to Hold Candahar? is a pamphlet that was published in London in May 1879 with the intent of influencing the negotiations then underway between Great Britain and the government of Moḥammad Yakub Khān, amir of Afghanistan, aimed at ending the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The war began in November 1878 when an Anglo-Indian force invaded Afghanistan from British India, ostensibly for the purpose of forestalling Russian moves into the country. The British force met with initial successes and was at this time occupying Kandahar. The author argues that in ...
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An Enclosed Garden of the Climes
Hadíkatu-l Akálím (An enclosed garden of the climes) is a compilation of geographic and historical information by Murtaz̤á Ḥusayn Bilgrāmī (circa 1729−95), also known as Sheikh Allahyar Usmani. Bilgrāmī was employed as munshi (secretary) to Captain Jonathan Scott, Persian secretary to Warren Hastings (1732−1818), the first British governor-general of India. Scott commissioned Bilgrāmī to write the book, which is mainly a work of geography but which also includes information on history, biography, and literature. It emphasizes Afghanistan, India, and Iran, but Europe and other parts of the ...
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Story of the Moon and the Sun
Tsukimitsu no sōshi (Story of the moon and the sun) is one of the otogizōshi, Japanese fairy tales of the Muromachi period (1336−1573). In the story, Hō’ō and Sansō, sons of a very wealthy man in Magada-koku, Tenjiku (an old name for India), were exiled by their stepmother to Shiomizu Island. Their dead birth mother changes herself into a large bird of paradise in order to protect and raise them. The boys eventually are rescued by their father, and grow up to be tsuki (the moon) and hi ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
History of Nadir Shah Afshar
Waqiat-i Nadiri (literally “Events of Nadir”) is a historical manuscript that chronicles the political and military career of Nādir Shāh, who was born in 1688 and rose to power in Iran during the 1720s; he became shah in 1736. He is known as a military warrior famous for his campaigns in Iran, Afghanistan, northern India, and Central Asia. He was assassinated by his officers in June 1747. The name of the author of this work, Mohammad Mahdi Munshi ibn Mohammad Nasir (also seen as Mahdī Khān Astarābādī), appears on page ...
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Shahnameh
Shahnameh (Book of kings) was composed by the revered Iranian poet Abū al-Qāsim Firdawsī (940–1020). The book recounts in verse the mythological history of ancient Persia and tales of the famous heroes and personalities of Iranian history, from legendary times to the 7th-century reign of Yazdegerd III, the last king of the Sassanid dynasty. Considered the national epic of Iran, the book was widely read throughout the Persian-speaking world. This manuscript copy was made in India in the 17th or 18th century. The text is written in nastaʻliq script ...
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Annotated ʻĀlamgīrī Jottings
This lithographic book, published in 1875 in Lahore, present-day Pakistan, is a volume of letters written by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707, reigned 1658–1707) to his sons, daughter, friends, and ministers. It also includes jottings, as in an occasional journal, on events and other things that caught his attention. The marginal printed notes were added by an unknown person and probably postdate the work itself. After imprisoning his father, Emperor Shah Jahan, and killing his brothers, Aurangzeb crowned himself emperor of India and assumed the title ʻĀlamgīr (meaning ...
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Demonstration of the Truth
Izhar al-Haqq (Demonstration of the truth) is a work of Islamic apologetics that broke new ground in the Muslim approach to the Bible and to Christian doctrine. Written by Indian Shia scholar Rahmatullah al-Dihlawi (circa 1817−91), it received the approbation of the Ottoman sultan, Abdülaziz (reigned 1861−76). It was printed in 1867 at the imperial press in Istanbul for distribution among Arabic-speaking Muslims. Rahmatullah based his innovative approach on analysis of European Protestant historical or higher criticism, i.e., on reinterpretations and reformulations of biblical historiography made by ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Iran and Afghanistan
Published in 1941 during the early part of World War II, this Japanese map of Iran and Afghanistan is based on a map issued the previous year by the Main Administration of Geodesy and Cartography of the Soviet Union. Unlike the British and the Russians, the Japanese did not have extensive knowledge of, or experience in, this part of Asia, which nonetheless became an important strategic interest for them during the war. The Axis powers—Germany, Japan, and Italy—believed that ultimate victory would require that they gain control of ...
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Letts's Bird's Eye View of the Approaches to India
This panoramic map dramatizes the approaches to British India through Afghanistan by offering a bird’s-eye view of the mountainous territory between the then-Soviet Union and the Indus River valley (present-day Pakistan). The map was produced, probably in the 1920s, by Letts, a famous London stationer and publisher of diaries that was established in 1796 by John Letts. The map was clearly intended for hobbyists and armchair strategists who, as advertised, could buy for six pence a packet of flags for sticking into the map to plan or follow military ...
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The Expeditions of Alexander: Made for “Histoire Ancienne” by Mr. Rollin
This map shows the expeditions of Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) from the Hellespont, the strait (later called the Dardanelles) that separates Europe from Asia in present-day Turkey, through Turkey, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), Persia (Iran), and Afghanistan. Alexander reached as far as the banks of the Hyphasis River (now known as the Beas River) in northern India, where the conqueror’s exhausted armies finally mutinied. Shown are cities that Alexander founded and named “Alexandria” in honor of himself. Two distance scales are given, the ancient measure ...
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Recommended Facilities for Search and Rescue, Middle East Region
This map was prepared for the Middle East Region Air Navigation Meeting of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO), which took place in Cairo, Egypt, in October 1946. It shows political borders and recommended facilities for search and rescue, including rescue-coordinating and rescue-alerting centers, bases for different types of search-and-rescue aircraft, and facilities for surface vessels. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established under a convention signed by 52 countries at the November 1944 International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago. From August 1945 to August 1947, as the ...
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Middle East Air Traffic Control Scheme
This map, produced in 1946 by the Survey of Egypt, shows a scheme for air traffic control in the Middle East. The International Convention on Civil Aviation, adopted by 52 countries in 1944, provided for the establishment of an international air-traffic control system aimed at preventing aircraft collisions. The world’s airspace was to be divided into contiguous regions, within each of which all traffic would be controlled by a designated air-traffic control authority. On longer flights, aircraft are passed by radio from the control of one region to another ...
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Ethnic and Language Map of the Near East
This map, produced in 1943 by the Geographic Service of the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Office) of Germany, shows the ethnic, linguistic, and religious makeup of the Middle East. Included are the Caucasus and other parts of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and parts of present-day Pakistan and India. The map and the explanatory text reflect the Nazi-era obsession with race and ethnicity. The long note at the top of the key states that the map "endeavors to show the Lebensraum [living space] of those oriental peoples located in Europe’s area ...
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