120 results in English
The Compendium of Graces and Fountain of Charms
This 17th-century manuscript contains the text of Majmoo’a al-Latā’if wa-Yanbu‘ al-Zarā’if (The compendium of graces and fountain of charms), a collection of esoteric and mystic prayers. The work is divided into many chapters, unnumbered and typically only a few pages long, with rubrications indicating the beginning of each chapter. The work discusses the spiritual expediency of praying in a certain manner; on a certain Islamic month, day of the week, or religious occasion, citing sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic tradition as supporting arguments. The ...
“The Scientific Essay on the Need for Compound Remedies” from the "Canon of Medicine"
Abū Alī al-Ḥusayn Ibn Sīnā (980–1037) was one of the intellectual luminaries of the medieval world. Known in the Latin West as Avicenna, this Persian polymath was often referred to by Muslim authors as al-Shaykh al-Ra'īs, in acknowledgement of his role as one of the foremost savants of the Islamic world. A prolific author, Ibn Sīnā wrote on topics as varied as metaphysics, theology, medicine, psychology, earth sciences, physics, astronomy, astrology, and chemistry. His fame in Europe rests principally on his Canon of Medicine, which was translated into ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Compendium of Latin Translations of Persian Astronomical Tables
This volume is a compendium of six works that includes Latin translations of portions of the Zīj-i Sulṭānī by Muḥammad Ṭaraghāy ibn Shāhrukh ibn Tīmūr (1394–1449), known as Ulugh Beg. The other works include an excerpt from the Taqwīm al-Buldān (entitled “A Description of Khwārazm and Transoxiana from the Tables of Abū al-Fidāʾ”) by Abū al-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl Ibn ʿAlī (1273-1331), and a star table by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tizīnī. Ulugh Beg (“Great Commander” in Turkish) was a grandson of Tīmūr (known in the West as Tamerlane) and the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Muḥammad al-Farghānī’s Elements of Chronology and Astronomy
Aḥmad ibn Moḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī (flourished 861) was an astronomer who worked at the court of the early Abbasid caliphs. He appears to have been active in the court of al-Ma’mun, and he may well be the same figure who is said to have been entrusted by al-Mutawakkil with the construction of the nilometer in Cairo.  In that case, he would have been active from the early decades of the ninth century to his death in 861 (spanning the rules of al-Ma’mun, al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāthiq, and ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Bay of All Saints
This map by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers, shows the Bay of All Saints off the coast of Brazil. The bay was named by Amerigo Vespucci, who is said to have entered it on All Saints’ Day, November 1, in the year 1501. Located on the bay is the city of Salvador.
The Holy Roman Empires Duchy of Antwerp and the Dominium of Malines: With the Eastern Flemish Areas and the Boundaries of Brabant Following from These
This late-17th century map shows the Duchy of Brabant, including the cities of Antwerp and Mechelen. The duchy consisted of the modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant, Antwerp, and Brussels, as well as the province of North Brabant in the present-day Netherlands. The map was published in Amsterdam by Karel Allard (1648-1706) who, with his brother Abraham, had taken over the business of their father, the Amsterdam map publisher Hugo Allard. The Allard family was known more for publishing atlases of maps by others than for original cartography.
New and Accurate Picture of All Brazil / Johann Blaev I.F.
This map of Brazil is the work of Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers. Originally trained as a lawyer, Blaeu joined the Amsterdam business of his father, the cartographer Willem Blaeu (1571-1638). With his father and brother Cornelis (died 1648), Joan Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps. Joan Blaeu later became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. During the 1600s, the Netherlands became a major naval and commercial power, and its maps reflected its seafaring ...
Belgian Ath, Called Aeth and Ath in French / F. de Witt
This map, showing the fortifications surrounding the city of Ath, is the work of Frederik de Wit (1630-1706), the founder of a dynasty of three generations of Dutch map publishers, all named Frederik. The de Wit firm produced many kinds of maps, but specialized in maps of cities and atlases of city maps. Located in present-day Hainaut province in French-speaking Belgium, Ath was conquered by the French under Louis XIV in 1667. The French later constructed massive fortifications around the city.
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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Table Mountain
This view of Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. This drawing, probably made from a ship moored off Robben Island, is one of the most accurate renderings of Table Bay from this period. The notes at the lower left, in Dutch, are keyed to the letters on the ...
Khoikhoi Fording a Stream
This view of a Khoi woman and child fording a stream with a Khoi man behind them is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The Khoikhoi were pastoralists who were derived from the aboriginal hunting population of southern Africa, the San. After establishment of the Dutch colony at Table Bay in 1652, the Khoikhoi were ...
Lion
This depiction of what is probably a lion and a small antelope is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East Indies or on his ...
Harvesting Scene
This view of a harvesting scene is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows a farming scene with the stacking of hayricks from ox wagons, with a Khoi matjieshuis (mat house) in the foreground and a farmhouse at the back. The Khoi are asking for tobacco from a colonist who is smoking as ...
Khoi Women
These sketches of Khoi women engaged in various activities are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The Khoikhoi were pastoralists who were derived from the aboriginal hunting population of southern Africa, the San. After establishment of the Dutch colony at Table Bay in 1652, the Khoikhoi were subjugated in wars with the Dutch in 1659 ...
White Horsemen; Lion Hunt
These sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The top sketch shows armed colonists on horseback; the correction to the drawing suggests that there was only one acceptable way to carry a musket. The bottom sketch shows a trap set to catch a lion, which is being fired at from the undergrowth on the ...
Khoi Family
This sketch of a Khoi couple and child seen from behind is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The woman wears a pointed skin cap, large earrings, double kaross (a blanket or cape made of skins), and skin leggings. The man has ornaments in his hair, a skin bag as well as the roll sack ...
Khoikhoi with Cattle
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing at the top shows a Khoi family traveling with their domestic animals. The annotations note the walking stick carried by the man and the rings made of elephant tusks around his arms, designed to parry blows by enemies. In a reference to a known ...
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a collection of 27 drawings on 15 sheets in the National Library of South Africa presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows a Dutch East Indies country scene with tropical flora, simple human dwellings, and a solitary figure in the foreground. The artist who made the drawings in this collection has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch ...
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The sketch depicts a Dutch settlement in the East Indies, showing a street with buildings and trees. A similar drawing depicting the same structures in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam has been ascribed to Cornelis de Bruyn (circa 1652–circa 1727). This drawing in pencil is the ...
Sumatran Muntjac
This depiction of what is probably Muntiacus muntjak muntjak or Muntiacus muntjak montanus (the Sumatran muntjac) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch ...
Malaysian Tapir
This depiction of Tapirus indicus (the Malaysian or Asian tapir) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East ...
Rosary and Service Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Other Devotions Combined in Honor of the Most Holy Trinity and in Worship of the Most Venerable Queen of the Heavens
Rosarium et Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis (Rosary and service dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary), a Latin devotional book published in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1678–79, is regarded as one of the rarest and most important Belarusian publications of the 17th century. The book was created by Oleksandr Tarasevych (circa 1640–1727), an outstanding master of book design, engraving, portraiture, and heraldic and panegyric printing, whose best works compare favorably with those of the great West European artists. Tarasevych created his most innovative works, including the prints for Rosarium, in ...
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 ...
General Map of the Swedish Kingdom
In 1683 Swedish cartographer Carl Gripenhielm (1655–94) was appointed the first director of the Swedish Land Survey. Much of Sweden was at that time sparsely populated and not well surveyed. Gripenhielm undertook an ambitious program of mapping and surveying, extending over several decades. The completion of detailed maps of Sweden’s agricultural land, forests, and surrounding seas coincided with the country’s economic development and its rise to great power status under the rule of strong monarchs and a centralized state bureaucracy. By the 18th century, Sweden’s cartographical ...
The Fire at the Royal Castle in Stockholm, 1697
This engraving shows the fire of 1697 that destroyed Tre Kronor, the 16th–17th century royal castle that once housed the ruling monarchs of Sweden. As Sweden rose to become a great power, the dichotomy between its wealth, power, and ties to Europe and the spartan northern wooden structure that housed its rulers became ever more apparent. This was never more so than under Queen Christina (reigned 1632–54), who followed developments on the continent and succeeded in intellectually annexing Sweden to an international learned community. Scholars who made their ...
The Kingdom of Serbia, Otherwise Called Rascia
The note in Italian in the cartouche in the lower left-hand corner of this map states that it was “described on the basis of the most exact maps and with the direction of the most recent news by Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola, subject and geographer of the Most Serene Master the Duke of Modena and published by Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi in his printing house at the [Via della] Pace with the authorization of the Pope. Year 1689.” Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola (1643−95) was an Italian geographer and cartographer ...
Outline Map of Japan
This picture map of Japan was published at the end of the 17th century. The cartographer, Ishikawa Tomonobu (also known as Ryūsen and Ryūshū, date of birth and death unknown) was an ukiyo-e artist and mapmaker. He is said to have been a student of Hishikawa Moronobu (1618–94), often considered the first ukiyo-e artist. It is the first map of Japan by Ryūsen with an imprint of his name. Said to be based on an original commissioned by the shogunate government, it was distorted and enlarged on the woodblock-printed ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Picture Book of Chrysanthemums
The chrysanthemum, the flower loved by Tao Yuan-ming (365−427), a distinguished Chinese poet of the Eastern Jin dynasty, was brought to Japan around the beginning of the Heian period (794−1185). The plant took root on Japanese soil and by the Edo period (1600−1868) several hundred different types of chrysanthemum were being cultivated in the country. Gakiku is the first picture book of chrysanthemums published in Japan. Its beautiful illustrations and Chinese-style poems introduced readers to 100 different varieties of the flower. The text and lines are printed ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
A Collection of Japanese Paintings
This picture book is by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694) a representative artist in the earliest days of ukiyo-e. It consists of 20 pictures depicting popular scenes from classical Japanese literature, including Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise), Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji), and yōkyoku (chants of Noh plays). Moronobu was the first artist who put his signature on printed books. On the colophon of this work, he identifies himself as Yamato-e-shi (artist of classical Japanese paintings), thereby showing his professional confidence in himself as an artist. The National Diet ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Map of the Whole World
The first world map published in Japan appeared in 1645. Shown here is a popular version of that first map, published in 1671. It is divided into two parts: the right side contains an oblong egg-shaped world map with the east at the top, while the left side depicts people from 40 countries in national costume. The latter are arrayed in five rows of eight, depicting people both of existing countries, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, and imaginary countries, such as “Dwarf Country” and “Giant Country.” These maps are ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Brazil, which Coast is a Portuguese Possession, Divided into Fourteen Captaincies, Showing the Middle of the Country Inhabited by Many Unknown Peoples
This coastal map of Portuguese Brazil is by one of the greatest of the French cartographers, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). Sanson gave geography lessons to both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV. He also was named official geographer to the king, and his two younger sons succeeded him in this position. Until Sanson, the field of cartography was dominated by the Dutch, whose maps favored aesthetics over exactness. Sanson’s maps, notable for accuracy as well as elegance, marked a shift in the dominance of the field of cartography from ...
Course of the São Francisco River and the Navigation Along It from São Paulo to the Pitangui Mines
This early-18th century manuscript map shows the São Francisco River in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. In this period, the Portuguese sent numerous expeditions up the São Francisco and its tributaries in search of gold, silver, and diamonds.
Map of the Northern Realms Including the Kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, Norway
This map of the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden is by the French cartographer Guillaume de L'Isle (1675-1726). The son of a geographer, de L’Isle began working in the field of cartography at a young age. In addition to learning from his father, he studied mathematics and astronomy with the Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712). This training led de L’Isle to produce scientifically accurate maps. In 1718, he became the official geographer to the king. De L’Isle’s maps continued the trend in French ...
Brussels, Important City in the Netherlands, Capital of the Duchy of Brabant
This late-18th century French map shows Brussels, at that time an important city in the Spanish Netherlands and the capital of the Duchy of Brabant. The map shows the borders of the city and the Senne River. The location of the city on the river made it an important commercial center for trade between France and the Germanic states. In 1695, Brussels was attacked by the army of Louis XIV, and suffered heavy damage. It remained under siege off and on until it was captured by the French in 1746 ...
Holographic Will and Codicil of Jeanne Mance, Co-Founder of Montreal
Jeanne Mance (1606−73) was the first lay nurse to practice in Montreal, founder and first bursar of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, and an iconic figure in the history of Montreal. She first arrived in Canada in 1641, inspired by her religious conviction to serve the settlers and the indigenous people by establishing a hospital. She oversaw construction of the Hôtel-Dieu, and made several journeys back to France to secure resources for the project. She deserves to be recognized as the founder of the city, along with the French military ...
The Course of the River of the Amazons, Based on the Account of Christopher d’Acugna
Nicolas Sanson (1600-67) is considered by many to be the founder of the French school of cartography. Originally from Abbeville, he was also known as Sanson d’Abbeville. He was trained as a military engineer but became a prolific cartographer who produced over 300 maps. Around 1643, he began publishing maps, working with publisher Pierre Mariette. This 1680 map of the Amazon most likely is a reprint by his son Guillaume (1633-1703), who carried on the family firm after Nicolas’s death. The account referred to in the title is ...
Milestones of the Divine Revelation
Al-Ḥusayn ibn Masʻūd al-Baghawī (circa 1044−circa 1117), nicknamed muḥyī al-sunnah (Reviver of the Prophet’s traditions), was a Shāfiʻi scholar and Qur’an exegete. He was born, and possibly died, in Bagh or Baghshor, an old town that was located in Khorasan between the ancient cities of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) and Merv (near present-day Mary, Turkmenistan). Preserved in this manuscript copy is the second and last part of al-Baghawī’s maʻālim al-tanzīl (Milestones of the divine revelation), an exegesis of the Holy Qur’an ...
Africa, or Greater Libya
This map of Africa by Nicolas Sanson, royal geographer to Kings Louis XIII and XIV, and commonly known as the father of French cartography, was published by Sanson’s own house in 1679 in Paris. The map was based, according to Sanson, on a composite of information drawn from other maps as well as “upon the observations of Samuel Blomart.” It also may have drawn on the Dutch writer Olfert Dapper’s work of 1668, Naukeurige Beschrijvingen der Afrikaensche gewesten (Description of Africa). The continent is presented as “Greater Libya ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Sea and Land Routes from Edo to Nagasaki
Presented here is a pictorial route map, published in 1672 (early Edo period), that depicts the journey from Edo (present-day Tokyo) to Nagasaki. The first volume shows the land route from Edo to Kyōto. Starting from Edo Castle, it proceeds to Kyōto along the Tōkaidō, which was the main road in the Edo period. It depicts stations on the route, natural scenery, and famous places, such as Mount Fuji (in the 11th scene), accompanied by explanatory text. The second volume shows the route from Osaka to Nagasaki. It depicts mainly ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Kyōto Pictorial
The document presented here is a pictorial map of Kyōto published in 1686, early in the Edo period (1603–1867). The publication of maps in Japan started in Kyōto at the beginning of the Edo period, and the first city map to be published was a map of Kyōto. The first Kyōto maps depicted just the urban area, but the scope of the maps gradually expanded to include suburban areas as well. This map depicts the peripheral suburban areas as well as the central urban area. The main feature of ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
New Map Showing the Spanish and Portuguese Explorations with Observations of the Most Ingenious Geographers of Spain and Portugal
This map, showing the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, was published in Amsterdam by François Halma (1653-1722), a Dutch bookseller and publisher who started a business in Utrecht, later moved to Amsterdam, and finally settled in Leeuwarden. In addition to publishing maps, Halma produced one of the earliest Dutch-French dictionaries.
Modern and Completely Correct Map of the Entire World
This mid-17th century “modern and completely correct map” of the entire world was printed in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), a member of the Blaeu family that helped to define mapmaking during the Dutch golden age. Beginning in the 16th century, the Blaeu firm produced some of Europe’s most renowned maps, globes, and atlases. After studying under Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Joan’s father, Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), founded the company in 1596. In 1633 he was appointed official chartmaker to the Dutch East India Company, an office that passed ...