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Type of Item
Wallachia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania
Gerard Mercator (1512–94) was born in Rupelmonde in Flanders (Belgium). His given name was Gerard de Kremer or Cremer. “Mercator,” meaning “merchant,” is a Latinized version of his Flemish last name. He studied philosophy and theology at the University of Leuven, and developed an interest in astronomy and mathematics. He produced his first map, of Palestine, in 1537. He went on to create numerous maps and globes in the course of his long career and is best known for his invention of the Mercator map projection. In 1554 he ...
Coruña Bay, Ferrol Bay, Spain
This English manuscript double chart, in pen and water colors, on vellum, shows the harbors of La Coruña and El Ferrol in Spain. The date, localities depicted, and provenance of the charts indicate that they were prepared for use in the Drake-Norris expedition of 1589. After the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588 by the English fleet and failed in its attempt to invade England and overthrow Queen Elizabeth I, the English organized a counter-expedition aimed at destroying the remaining ships of the Armada. These ships had taken refuge in ...
St. Augustine: Part (Below Thirty Degrees Latitude) is on the Mainland of Florida, but the Sea Coast is More Low-Lying and thus Torn Away and Rendered Island-Like
This map is the earliest engraving of any city or territory now part of the United States. It also includes the dorado fish, one of the natural history subjects drawn by John White, governor of the first Anglo-American settlement in America, in the Hatteras region, then part of Virginia (now North Carolina). Sir Francis Drake’s 1585-86 raid on the West Indies picked up the Virginia settlers and returned them to Europe. In the course of the return voyage, the author of this view-plan was able to copy the figure ...
The Light of the Glitter in Mathematics
This work is a versified treatise on arithmetic (‘ilam al- ḥisāb), and specifically the art of dividing inheritance (farā’iḍ), which has application in Islamic law. After a standard expression of praise for the Prophet, his companions, and later followers, the text introduces the system of place values and explains multiplication of multi-digit whole numbers and simple and compound fractions. The text presents multiple examples that are described in verbal terms. As noted at the end of the manuscript, which was completed on Monday, 20 Rabī‘ I of the year ...
Saint Augustine Map, 1589
This engraved hand-colored map or view-plan by Baptista Boazio depicts Sir Francis Drake's attack on Saint Augustine on May 28-29, 1586. Boazio, an Italian who worked in London from about 1585 to 1603, made maps to illustrate accounts of English expeditions and campaigns. He prepared a series of maps marking Drake's route for Walter Bigges' work on Drake's expedition to the West Indies, first published in 1588 and followed by later editions. This map highlights an episode from Drake's Caribbean expedition, pictorially portraying how the English ...
Zemaitija Land Court Year Book for 1589-90
At the height of its power in the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. In the Union of Lublin of 1569, the Grand Duchy and the Kingdom of Poland merged to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The commonwealth had a highly developed legal and administrative system, based on local land courts that decided civil cases involving the gentry and castle courts that dealt with other local matters, including criminal cases. Courts ...
The Book of Proof of the Secrets of the Science of Weights and Measures (Part 3)
This manuscript consists of a section of Kitāb al-burhān fī asrār ‘ilm al-mīzān (Book of proof of the secrets of the science of the weights and measures) by the Persian alchemist Aydamur ibn ´Alī ibn Aydamur al-Gildakī (also seen as al-Jaldakī, died circa 1342). His name indicates that he was born in Jaldak, in present-day Afghanistan. Over the course of 17 years, al-Gildakī traveled to Iraq, Asia Minor, West Africa, Egypt, Yemen, Hejaz, and Syria. These journeys are recounted in another of his works, Kitāb nihāyat al-ṭalab fī sharḥ kitāb ...
The Illumination of Inheritance Calculation
Islamic law goes into great detail on the subject of the division of inheritances (farā'id) among heirs. For this reason, inheritances have received extensive treatment in books of fiqh (Islamic law) and been a subject of study for mathematicians as well. Qabas al-Daw' fī al-Hisāb (The illumination of inheritance calculation) was copied by its author, ‘Abd al-Raḥman ibn Aḥmad ibn 'Ali al-Ḥamidi, in this 1589 manuscript. The work, which he dedicated to the son of the Šāf‘ī jurist Šams al-Dīn Muhammad al-Bahwašī, is an example of a genre ...
Collection of Short Love Poems by Jāmī
This is an illuminated and illustrated manuscript of a small collection of short love poems of the type called tarjī`band by Nūr al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (d. 898 AH / 1492 CE). It was copied in black nasta‘līq script by the calligrapher Muḥammad Zamān al-Tabrīzī in 998 AH / 1589-90 CE in Safavid Iran. The text is written on orange-tinted paper, and the bluish-green borders are illuminated throughout. The manuscript opens with an incipit page with illuminated headpiece (fol. 1b), and there are two illustrations (fols. 3a and 6a). The ...