Map of Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea; Including Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia


This map of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding areas was most likely created by the French cartographer and hydrologist Rigobert Bonne (1727−94). It is probably a proof copy of the map of the same title published in his Atlas des toutes les parties connues du globe terrestre (Atlas of all known land surfaces of the globe). The Arabian Peninsula is the main focus of the map, but it also covers much of the Nile Valley on the western shore of the Red Sea. The atlas was created to serve the global commercial and political interests of European traders and officials. Rigobert Bonne was one of many outstanding French cartographers of the 18th century. Self-taught in mathematics, he rose in the French administration to become chief hydrologist of the state Maritime Department. As a theoretician, he published a revision of global cartographic projection entitled Principes sur les mesures en longueur et en capacité (Principles of measurement of length and volume), a copy of which he sent to Thomas Jefferson in 1790 for discussion at the American Philosophical Society.

Last updated: February 18, 2015