Map of the Persian Gulf


This map of the Persian Gulf is by the French cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703−72). Qatar is shown as Catura. Cities on both the Arabian and Persian sides of the gulf are indicated, and the map shows a river emptying into the gulf at the port of Julfar (present-day Ra's al-Khaymah, United Arab Emirates). The scale is in common leagues, and there are no latitudinal or longitudinal lines. Trained as a hydrographer, Bellin was attached to the French Marine Office and specialized in producing maritime maps showing coastlines. His maps were in the tradition of Nicolas Sanson (1600–1667), the royal geographer to Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV commonly known as the father of French cartography, and of Guillaume de l'Isle (1675−1726), one of a group of French cartographers that wrested mapmaking preeminence from the Dutch in the late 17th century. Like Sanson and de l’Isle, Bellin placed great emphasis on scientific accuracy rather than on artistic beauty for its own sake. In 1764, he published Le Petit Atlas Maritime: Recueil de Cartes et de Plans des Quatre Parties du Monde (Small maritime atlas: collection of maps and charts of the four parts of the world), a work in five volumes containing 581 maps. This map appeared as plate 8 in volume 3 of this work, containing maps of Asia (part I) and Africa (part II).

Last updated: June 17, 2014