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 (present-day Iran) and Afghanistan, extending to the border with India. An inset contains a globe-shaped map of Africa, Europe, Asia, and part of Australia, with each continent shown in a different color. A note indicates that the map was sold by John Senex at his Fleet Street, London, establishment. Senex (circa 1678–1740) was an English surveyor, engraver, bookseller, and publisher of maps and atlases. He served as geographer to Queen Anne (1665–1714) and was elected to the Royal Society in 1728. Throughout his career he borrowed liberally from de L’Isle’s work.

Last updated: July 18, 2013