48 results in English
“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
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.
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
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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.
New and Accurate Map of the World
Nicolaus Visscher (also spelled Nicolas, Nicolaes) was the third generation of a prominent mapmaking family active at the height of the golden age of Dutch cartography. The Visschers were known throughout Europe for the accuracy of their maps and the innovative ornamentation of their works. The founder of the business, C.J. Visscher, was a contemporary of other well-known Dutch mapmakers, such as Pieter van den Keere and Jodocus Hondius. After he died, his son, Nicolaus Visscher I, carried on the business. He was known for his use of patriotic ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
An Account of a Voyage up the River de la Plata, and Thence over Land to Peru: With Observations on the Inhabitants, as Well as Indians and Spaniards, the Cities, Commerce, Fertility, and Riches of That Part of America
Acarete du Biscay was a Frenchman, possibly of Basque origin, about whom very little is known. In December 1657 he embarked from Cádiz, Spain for the Plate River region of South America, posing as the nephew of a Spanish gentleman to circumvent a ban by Spain on visits by foreigners to its New World possessions. In 1658 he traveled overland across the Argentine pampas to the silver mines of Potosí, located in present-day Bolivia. In 1672, Acarete published an account of this trip in his native French. A later version ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Maps of Bermuda, Iceland, Jan Mayen Island, and Newfoundland
Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) was one of the most important figures in the history of Western cartography. Although best known for his globes, he also produced numerous maps and atlases. These maps of four North Atlantic islands appear on a single plate in his Corso geografico universale (Course of universal geography), a two-volume work published in 1692. The map of “Iceland” is erroneous, and is based on a claim by the Venetian Nicolò Zeno, later discredited, that around 1380 he undertook a voyage to the northern seas where he found a ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Judaea, or the Holy Land, Which is Divided into the Twelve Tribes of the Hebrews or Israelites
This map of the Holy Land by Guillaume Sanson (1633-1703) and Alexis Hubert Jaillot (1632?-1712) is an enlargement of a previous map by Sanson’s father, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). The map shows the division of Biblical Israel among the Twelve Tribes and is based on information found in the Bible. The younger Sanson took over the family publishing business after his father’s death and had a long-standing relationship with Jaillot, who re-engraved many of Nicolas Sanson’s maps.
This [is being produced] so that all can know the route of the travels [of the Israelites] 40 years in the desert [through] the width and length of the Holy Land from the Nile to the city of Damascus, from the Arnon Valley to the Mediterranean Sea, and in it each individual tribe was given its own portion of the land
This 1695 copperplate engraving of the Holy Land is one of the earliest printed maps in Hebrew. The map was drawn by Abraham Ben-Jacob, a convert to Judaism, based on an earlier map by Christiaan van Adrichem (1533-85), and reproduced in the Amsterdam Haggadah. The map features Biblical illustrations, among them depictions of the story of Jonah and the whale, King Solomon’s fleet carrying the cedar trees for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem, and beehives and cows symbolizing the milk and honey of the Promised Land. The ...
Illustrated Guide of Tilling and Weaving: Rural Life in China
This book is comprised of 23 illustrations of tilling and 23 illustrations of weaving, each of which is accompanied by a poem. According to the "Preface to the imperially commissioned illustrations of tilling and weaving" and the formal memorandum of presentation by Yan Yudun, the poems were inscribed by the Kangxi Emperor. The painter, Jiao Bingzhen, for the most part draws on the “Tilling and Weaving Illustrations" by the early Southern Song painter Lou Shou, making adjustments to produce these pictures, which are masterpieces of art, notable for their vivacity ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Land Planisphere Showing Longitude
This 1696 polar projection world map by Jacques Cassini (1677–1756) is the replica and only surviving representation of the large, 7.80-meter diameter planisphere by his father, Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625–1712). The first director of the Paris Observatory, the elder Cassini had designed the planisphere on the floor of one of the observatory's towers, using astronomical observations performed by correspondents of the Academy of Sciences. The map shows 43 places, from Quebec to Santiago, from Goa to Beijing, each marked with a star, with latitudes accurately measured using ...
Peloponnesus, Presently the Kingdom of Morea, Clearly Divided into All Its Provinces, Both Contemporary and Ancient, and to which is Added the Islands of Cefalonia, Zante, Cerigo, and St. Maura
This late-17th century map by the Dutch engraver, publisher, and map seller Frederick de Wit (1629 or 1630-1706) shows the Peloponnesian Peninsula of Greece. The outer margins contain views of 14 fortified towns, the names of which are given in Italian. The illustration at the lower left shows a lion with enslaved human figures in an embellished cartouche with title. At the time the map was made, Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans allowed religious freedom to the Christians of Greece, but not full equality ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Four Gospels
This volume contains a lectionary—a collection of biblical texts to be read according to the church calendar—for readings from the Gospels. The language is Arabic, but it is written in West Syriac script (Serto) rather than in Arabic letters, a phenomenon known as Garshuni. The table of readings given at the beginning of the manuscript, however, is in Syriac, not Arabic. Each reading is numbered in the margin, and the proper time in the year for it is indicated in red ink at the head of each reading ...
The Divine Office for Lent
This late 17th century manuscript, copied by a deacon named Jacob, contains the Maronite Divine Office for Lent in Syriac. The numeration, using Syriac letters, is in pages rather than folios. The colophon is in Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac letters). The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See in Rome. Centered in Lebanon, the church takes its name from Saint Maron (died 410), a Syrian monk whose followers built a monastery in his honor that became the nucleus of the Maronite Church.
Judaea or the Holy Land, Here Divided into the Twelve Tribes of the Hebrews or Israelites
This 1696 map of the Holy Land is by Alexis Hubert Jaillot (1632-1712), a French cartographer best known for his Noveau atlas (New atlas) of 1689. Jaillot based much of his work on earlier maps by Nicolas Sanson and his sons, and he credits this map to William Sanson. The engraver was Louis Cordier. The map notes the locations of cities, towns, mountains, deserts, and other places mentioned in the Bible. Relief is shown pictorially in exceptionally sharp detail. Hand coloring is used to show the boundaries of the territories ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Master of Arms, or the Exercise of the Sword, Alone in Its Perfection
The first attempts to codify the art of fencing were writings by Renaissance Italians, which then influenced later French works. These included the 1573 Traicté contenant les secrets du premier livre sur l’espée seule (Treatise containing the secrets of the first book on the sword alone) by the Provençal Henri de Saint-Didier and the 1628 L'Académie de l’épée (The school of the sword) by Girard Thibault of Antwerp. Le Maistre d'armes, ou l'Exercice de l'épée seule, dans sa perfection (The master of arms, or ...
Kume the Immortal Spies on a Beauty
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. This sumizuri-e (monochrome print) is unsigned, but recent scholars have attributed ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Characters of Theophrastus
Jean de La Bruyère (1645–96) was a French essayist and moralist whose Les caractères de Théophraste, traduits du grec, avec les caractères ou les moeurs de ce siècle (The characters of Theophrastus, translated from the Greek, with the characters or the morals of this century) is a masterpiece of French literature. Employed as a tutor in the royal household of Louis XIV, La Bruyère observed first hand the vanity and pretensions of the aristocratic society around him. His work consists of a translation of the treatise by the Greek ...
Method of Securing the Ports and Populations of All the Coasts of the Indies
In the second half of the 17th century, rampant piracy threatened the economic and commercial interests of Spain in the West Indies. Piracy also introduced a complicating factor in the ongoing struggle among Spain, France, and England for preeminence in the Caribbean. This book, published around 1694, offers recommendations, apparently addressed by Governor Sebastien de Roteta of Trinidad to King Charles II, on fortifying Spanish ports in the West Indies against pirate attack. The book is in two parts, with a printed iron cross appearing at the head of the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Gulf of Catarro
This 18th-century Spanish maritime map shows the Gulf of Kotor, a fjord-like body of water located on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea. The map is part of the Library of Congress’s collection of Spanish navigation maps, acquired from Maggs Brothers, London. The map shows depths in soundings and is oriented with north at the lower right. The phrase “Del Ferro” in the upper left refers to Ferro Island, the southwestern-most of the Canary Islands, that was used in 18th-century maps as the prime meridian. Also shown is ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Lives of the Saints
This Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac letters) manuscript of Qisas al-qiddīsīn (Lives of the saints) dates from 1692–93 and was written by a scribe named Murad bin 'Abd Al-Masih. It is a collection of biographical accounts of the saints’ lives and homilies. The authors of these various biographies are, for the most part, anonymous. The text is mostly in two columns, but there are some pages with only one. A number of marginal notes in Garshuni and Arabic script accompany the text. Garshuni came into use when Arabic became ...