A New Map of Arabia, Including Egypt, Abyssinia, the Red Sea, from the Latest Authorities


John Cary (circa 1754−1835) was a leading London engraver, map-, chart- and print-seller, and globe maker, active between 1787 and 1834. This map of 1804 shows the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring parts of Africa and the Middle East. Important caravan routes are marked, including the “route of the grand caravan of Sudan from the Niger to Cairo,” “route of the caravan from Batsora [Basra] to Aleppo,” “caravan of Darfowar [Darfur] to Mecca by Dongola,” “caravan of Sudan directly to Mecca by Suakem,” and several other caravan routes to Mecca. Many African kingdoms are shown, their borders marked with colored lines, as is a speculative source of the Nile. The northern coast of Somalia is called “Myrrh and Incense Country.” The zigzag line in the Red Sea indicates the course of La Venus, a French frigate that sailed on a voyage of discovery in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Indian Ocean in 1785−88. The map includes many other notes that reflect the state of European geographic understanding of this region at the beginning of the 19th century. Four distance scales are given: great Arabian miles, Persian parasangs, British statute miles, and common French leagues.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

John Cary, London


Title in Original Language

A New Map of Arabia, Including Egypt, Abyssinia, the Red Sea &c., &c., from the Latest Authorities

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : hand colored ; 44 x 50 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:6,500,000


  1. Sir Herbert George Fordham, John Cary, Engraver & Map-Seller (fl. 1769-1836): A Paper Read at a Meeting of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, December 6th, 1909 (Cambridge: J. Webb, 1910).

Last updated: June 17, 2014