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Al-Zaura, No. 422, February 28, 1874
Al-Zaura was the brainchild of the pro-Western, progressive Ottoman wali (governor) of Iraq, Midhat Pasha (reigned 1869–72). He established the newspaper when he brought with him from Paris a printing press, the first in Iraq, upon his assignment to Baghdad in 1869. Al-Zaura’s name was taken from a nickname for Baghdad, literally meaning a bend or curve, as the city sits within a wide bend of the Tigris River. The paper is arguably the most important source on Iraq’s history during the last 50 years of the ...
Al-Iraq, Number 1, June 1, 1920
Al-Iraq was a daily newspaper focusing on politics, literature, and the economy, first published in Baghdad on June 1, 1920. Owned by Razzuq Dawood Ghannam, the paper showed an independent editorial streak from its first few issues. Throughout its existence, it recorded the political, social, and economic history of Iraq and was considered the first and last source for news on national issues and causes. The paper did not represent the rising nationalistic, anticolonial elite, but it was pan-Iraqist in orientation and counted among its staff a number of young ...
Commentary on the Chapter Nine of the Book of Medicine Dedicated to Mansur
This work is a commentary in Latin by Italian professor and physician Giovanni Arcolani (died 1484, also known as Ioannis Arculani) on the ninth book of Kitāb al-ṭibb al-Manṣūrī (The book of medicine dedicated to Mansur) by the renowned Persian polymath Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā Rāzī (circa 865–circa 925). Known in the Latin West as Rhazes or Rasis, Rāzī was born in Rayy, just south of Tehran. He is generally considered one of the towering figures in medicine in the medieval period. His influence on ...
Compendium of Medical Texts by Mesue, with Additional Writings by Various Authors
The renowned Nestorian Persian physician Yūḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (circa 777–857), known in the Latin West as Mesue, was born in Samarra, present-day Iraq. According to al-Qiftī, Yūḥannā’s father, Abu Yūḥannā Māsawayh, a physician at the famed medical center at Jundīshāpūr (in southwest Persia, near present-day Dezful), was asked to establish a hospital in Baghdad during the reign of Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (ruled 786–809). Ibn Māsawayh continued the work of his father in Baghdad, teaching medicine, composing medical works, and treating patients. Ibn Māsawayh began his career at ...
The Three Books on Alchemy by Geber, the Great Philosopher and Alchemist
Jābir ibn Hayyan (also known by his Latinized name Geber, circa 721–815) was a contemporary of the first Abbasids, who ruled circa 750–800, and one of the principal proponents of alchemy in the early Islamic period. The earliest biography of Jābir, in al-Fihrist, was written in the tenth century by Ibn al-Nadīm, a scholar and bibliographer living in Baghdad. It contains a fair number of legendary elements, although the list of works attributed to Jābir in this work has been shown by external evidence to be generally correct ...
Abū Ma‘shar’s Eight Treatises Regarding the Great Conjunctions, the Annual Revolutions, and Their Origins
Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar (and as Albumasar in the Latin West), was one of the most-renowned astronomers of the Middle Ages. His fame in Europe rested upon numerous Latin translations of his astronomical works from the original Arabic. He was born in the Persian city of Balkh (present-day Afghanistan), on 20th of Ṣafar, 171 AH (August 10, 787). He most likely received his early education in Balkh prior to moving to Baghdad, as his works are often colored by a distinct Persian ...
Compendium of Medical Texts by Mesue, with Additional Writings by Various Authors
This compendium of medical texts was printed in Lyon, in the shop of Benoît Bonyn (active 1523–44) in 1523. The major part and most significant text is by the renowned Nestorian Persian physician Yūḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (circa 790–857), known in the Latin West as Mesue, who was born in Samarra, present-day Iraq. According to al-Qiftī, Yūḥannā’s father, Abu Yūḥannā Māsawayh, a physician at the famed medical center at Jundīshāpūr (in southwest Persia, near modern Dezful) was asked to establish a hospital in Baghdad during the reign of ...
The Near East
This 1952 map by the Army Map Service of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides a broad overview of the Near East, the geographic region traditionally thought of as encompassing the countries of southwest Asia, including Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Israel, and Jordan, and the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to political borders, the map shows lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, marshlands, cities by population, pipelines, railroads, and pumping stations. Above the key is a glossary of topographic terms with transliterations and translations into ...
Map of Persia, Turkey in Asia: Afghanistan, Beloochistan
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792–1868) was a renowned American geographer and cartographer. The majority of his work focused on the United States, but he also made maps of other parts of the world, including this 1868 map of the Ottoman Empire, Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan. The main territorial units that Mitchell shows are Turkey, meaning the core of the Ottoman Empire comprised of present-day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; Persia; Afghanistan; and Baluchistan (mainly present-day Pakistan). Egypt and much of the Arabian Peninsula were at that time technically ...
Persia, Arabia, et cetera
This map appeared in A New Universal Atlas, published in 1846 by Henry Schenck Tanner, an early American geographer and cartographer. This map shows the political and geographic features of the Arabian Peninsula, using the traditional divisions of Arabia Petraea, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix. Also shown are the region of the Hedjaz with the cities of Mecca and Medina, and Al-Dahna (present-day Kuwait and southern Iraq). The key in the bottom right differentiates between capitals, important towns, and smaller towns by means of starred and shaded circles. The boundaries ...
The Eastern Question in Europe and Asia
In the late-19th century, European politics were troubled by what had come to be called the “Eastern Question,” the fate of the 600-year Ottoman Empire. Once encompassing the Ottoman heartland of Anatolia (present-day Turkey), most of the Arab Middle East, and the Balkan Peninsula, by 1886 the empire had shrunk dramatically as a result of wars with European powers, Russia in particular, and revolts by subject peoples. This 1886 map, published in London, shows the Turkish Empire as comprised mainly of Albania, Thrace, Crete, Anatolia, and parts of the Arab ...
War Map of Egypt, Palestine, and Arabia
This German-language military map, published some time in the late-19th century, depicts Egypt, Palestine, and the Arabian Peninsula. It also includes parts of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (present-day Sudan), Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Railroads, caravan routes, telegraph lines, pyramids, fortifications, and ruins are indicated by symbols shown in the key at the lower left. The German equivalents of some Arabic topographic terms are given. An inset map in the upper right shows the Nile Delta and the Sinai Peninsula. Relief is shown by shading, and the heights of important mountains and passes are ...
Persia, Arabia, Tartary, Afghanistan
This map by Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802–87), depicting parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, appeared in Bradford’s A Comprehensive Atlas: Geographical, Historical & Commercial, which was published in Boston in 1835. Bradford was born in Boston of a distinguished New England family. He made maps of both U.S. states and foreign countries and became the assistant editor of the Encyclopedia Americana, the first significant encyclopedia produced in the United States. The map uses colored lines to delineate the boundaries of the Persian Empire, Afghanistan, Arabia, and ...
The Euphrates Valley: Syria, Kurdistan, et cetera
This early 20th-century British map depicts the Euphrates Valley, a region that includes parts of present-day Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Also shown is the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The map indicates railroads, both existing and projected, and the route of submarine telegraph cables. The vilayets (administrative provinces) of the Ottoman Empire in Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine and southern Anatolia are marked by red lines. A dotted line running across Persia (present-day Iran) from west to east is labeled “Southern limit of Russian sphere.” Under the Anglo-Russian Convention of ...
Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean Sea
This map of southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean was made early in World War II by Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East), a unit of the German army general staff responsible for intelligence about the armies of the Soviet Union, Scandinavia, certain Balkan countries, Africa, and the Far East. The map shows country boundaries in bold, dark purple. Also shown are oil pipelines, wells and other sources of water, and important roads, railroads, and canals. Many of the countries of this region were involved in the war. Italian and ...
The Near and Middle East: Balkan Peninsula
This map of the Near and Middle East was compiled in 1940 by the Geographical Section of the General Staff of the British Army and published by the War Office of the British government in 1941. The map shows topographic relief by gradient tints and indicates railroads, principal roads, secondary roads, caravan routes and tracks, the names and boundaries of provinces and districts, and deserts, rivers, swamps, and other topographic features. Towns and cities are classified and shown by categories, from first (capitals) to fifth in importance. Also shown are ...
General Map of the Turkish War Theater
This map, published in Berlin in July 1916, shows the Turkish theater of World War I. It is based on an 1884 map in French of the Asian provinces of the Ottoman Empire by German geographer and cartographer Heinrich Kiepert (1818–99). The map contains additional notes in German and its coverage of existing and projected railroads is updated to 1916. The Ottoman territories, shown in pink, include present-day Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, as well as Saudi Arabia. The Ottoman Empire, or Turkey as it was ...
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 ...
Kingdoms of the Successors of Alexander: After the Battle of Ipsus, B.C. 301
Alexander the Great (356–323 BC) died suddenly at the age of 32, leaving no apparent heir or appointed successor. Some 40 years of internecine conflict followed his death, as leading generals and members of Alexander’s family vied to control different parts of the vast empire he had built. The Battle of Ipsus, fought in Phrygia, Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in 301 BC between rival successors, resulted in the empire’s irrevocable dissolution. This late-19th century map in Latin shows the four main kingdoms that emerged after the battle ...
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 ...
Middle East Countries: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Saudi-Arabia
This map of the Middle East, originally published in August 1950 and revised in February 1955, was issued by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Center, Air Photographic and Charting Service, Military Air Transportation Service (MATS), of the United States Air Force. In addition to Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, it shows the eastern parts of Egypt and the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium of Sudan as well as parts of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Many borders on the map, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula, are shown as still undetermined. Territories shown ...