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 a large region of Central Asia that is labeled Independent Tartary. The provinces of the Persian Empire, including Farsistan, Kerman, and Khorasan, also are marked. Bradford’s knowledge of the geography of the Arabian Peninsula was quite limited, as can be seen by the lack of information on certain parts of the map. Although inaccurate and incomplete by later cartographic standards, the map highlights the proximity of the Middle East to Central Asia, India, and China.

Last updated: June 17, 2013