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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 Northern Arabia: in Illustration of Lady Anne Blunt’s Journeys
This map shows the routes of two Arabian journeys taken in the late 1870s by Lady Anne Blunt (1837–1917) and her husband, the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840–1922). Lady Anne was a skilled equestrienne and horse breeder, who purchased Arabian horses from Bedouin tribesmen, which she then had transported back to England. Her work did much to establish the Arabian breed in Britain. In 1878, Lady Anne journeyed from Beirut, across northern Syria, and south through Mesopotamia to Baghdad. From there she traveled north along the Tigris River ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
The Historical Theater in the Year 400 AD, in Which Both Romans and Barbarians Resided Side by Side in the Eastern Part of the Roman Empire
This map in Latin by the great French mapmaker Guillaume de L’Isle (1675–1726) shows the eastern parts of the Roman Empire circa 400 AD and the territory of adjacent tribes and kingdoms not under Rome’s control. The latter include the Sarmatians and the Scythians, peoples that the Romans regarded as barbarians. Arabia is shown divided into its three traditional divisions, Arabia Petrea, Arabia Felix, and Arabia Deserta. Qatar is indicated as “Catarei.” The eastern part of the map shows the empire of Alexander the Great, including Persia ...
Map of Asian Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan, Balochistan, and the Khanate of Bukhara, with Some of the Neighboring Countries
This 1848 map of the Middle East and parts of Central and South Asia is by the French cartographer and engraver Pierre M. Lapie (1779-1850), a colonel in the French army and head of the topographical section in the Ministry of War. Accurate and beautifully detailed, the map reflects the high quality of French cartography, and military cartography in particular. The territory covered includes the Nile Valley and the Nile delta, Cyprus and present-day Turkey, the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, Persia, Afghanistan, and Bukhara and other khanates in Central ...
Colton's Persia, Arabia, Et cetera
This map of Persia (present-day Iran), the Arabian Peninsula, and neighboring countries originally appeared in the 1865 edition of Colton’s General Atlas. It extends from a part of Egypt (the Nile Delta) in the west to Afghanistan in the east and reflects the general level of geographic knowledge of the Middle East in mid-19th century America. Coloring is used to indicate borders and certain provinces or settled areas. The map shows cities, mountains, and roads, and includes some notes on topographical features. J.H. Colton & Company was founded in ...
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 ...
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 ...
France and the Levant
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section with responsibility for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. France and the Levant is Number 66 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The book is mainly an historical survey of French military, political, and cultural influence in the ...
Syria and Palestine
In preparation for the peace conference that was expected to follow World War I, in the spring of 1917 the British Foreign Office established a special section responsible for preparing background information for use by British delegates to the conference. Syria and Palestine is Number 60 in a series of more than 160 studies produced by the section, most of which were published in 1920, after the conclusion of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. At this time part of the Ottoman Empire, Syria was a vaguely defined entity that included ...
This mid-19th-century British map shows the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring parts of Africa, including Egypt, the Sudan, and Abyssinia. The traditional Greek and Roman division of Arabia into the three parts of Arabia Petraea, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix is used. Qatar is shown as Catura. Also indicated are Oman, Bahrain, and the territories of Mecca and Medina. The map emphasizes the vast, empty interior of the peninsula with such annotations as “great space covered with sand” and “deserts very barren and continued between Mekka and Oman.” Four different caravan ...
Colton's Persia, Arabia, Et cetera
This map showing the Arabian Peninsula, Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (present-day Iran and Pakistan) was published in 1855 by J.H. Colton & Company of New York. Coloring is used to indicate borders and certain provinces or settled areas. The map shows cities, mountains, and roads, and includes some notes on topographical features. The old Qatari city of Al Zabara is shown. The map is accompanied by a one-page summary of the geography, people, principal places, and recent history of Afghanistan and Baluchistan. The map later appeared in the 1865 edition of Colton’s General Atlas and reflects the general level of geographic knowledge of the Middle East in mid-19th-century America. J.H. Colton & Company was founded in New York City, most likely in 1831, by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800–93), a Massachusetts native who had only a basic education and little or no formal training in geography or cartography. Colton built the firm into a major publisher of maps and atlases by purchasing the copyrights to and republishing other maps before it began creating its own maps and atlases ...
Northeast Africa and Arabia Drawn to the Scale of 1:12,500,000
This map of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is from the sixth edition (1875) of Stieler's Hand-Atlas über alle Theile der Erde (Stieler’s portable atlas of all parts of the Earth), edited by August Heinrich Petermann (1822−78) and published by the firm of Justus Perthes. The map reflects the high quality of German cartography in the latter part of the 19th century and the advances made by German mapmakers in incorporating into their work findings from geology, hydrography, ethnography, and other scientific fields. The map uses ...
Arabia: According To Its Modern Divisions
“Arabia According to Its Modern Divisions” shows the Arabian Peninsula with the three-part division traditionally used in European sources into Arabia Petraea, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Felix. Deserts, seaports, and the pearl beds along the coast are indicated. Qatar is shown as Catura. Four different distance scales—Arabian miles, Turkish miles, Persian parasangs, and British miles—are provided. Published in 1794, the map was compiled and drawn by Samuel Dunn (circa 1723−94), a teacher of mathematics and navigation who made original contributions to solving the problem of determining longitude ...
Maps of the Middle East and the Near East
Shown here is a large folding map produced by the General Staff of the German Army during World War II. Notes on the map indicate that it was solely for use within the army and that reproduction was prohibited. One side is a large map of the region stretching from the Balkan Peninsula to the eastern part of Iran. Shown are towns and cities by population size, international borders, the borders of republics and provinces within the Soviet Union, major and secondary roads, roads under construction, oil pipelines, mountain passes ...