Map of the Arabian Coast, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf

Description

This map of the coastlines of the Arabian Peninsula and adjacent regions is by the French hydrographer and cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703−72). Bellin was attached to the French Marine Office for more than 50 years and specialized in producing maritime maps. He also made most of the maps for Histoire générale des voyages: ou, Nouvelle collection de toutes les relations de voyages par mer et par terre, qui ont été publiées jusqu'à présent dans les différentes langues de toutes les nations connues (General history of the voyages, or, a new collection of all the accounts of voyages on sea and on land, which have been published up to the present in the different languages of all known countries), a 15-volume compendium edited by Abbé Antoine-François Prévost (1697–1763) and published between 1746 and 1759. This map appeared in the first volume of this work. The map shows coastlines, ports, and coastal shoals. At a time when the determination of location was still an inexact science, a note at upper right explains the use of three different symbols on the map: a star to indicate places where location had been determined by astronomical observations of latitude and longitude; a cross to indicate places where location had been determined by astronomical observations of (only) latitude; and a modified cross to indicate places where location had been determined by latitudinal observations made by skilled navigators.

Last updated: June 17, 2014