Western Asia


This map of western Asia dating from 1809 is by Pierre M. Lapie (1779−1850). It covers the region between Novgorod and Arkhangelsk, Russia in the northwest and the mouth of the Indus River in the southeast. The southern coast of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf appears as an almost smooth gentle curve, broken only by the mouth of large river called Aftan (present-day Wadi al-Sahba, Saudi Arabia), level with the island of Bahrain. The peninsula and the name Qatar are not shown. The map has an elegant title cartouche in the form of a camel richly draped. Lapie was a colonel in the French army who became head of the topographical section in the Ministry of War. He was assisted by his son Alexandre Emile Lapie (flourished circa 1829–50), also a French military cartographer, who worked with his father over a period of many years. The map provides scales of distance in five different units: myriameters (10,000 meters), leagues, nautical leagues, Russian versts, and Turkish agachs or Persian parasangs. Paris is given as the prime meridian. The engraver was Jean Baptiste Marie Chamouin (born 1768) and the map was drawn by Giraldon Bovinet.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

François Buisson, Paris


Title in Original Language

Asie occidentale

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : hand colored ; 25.5 x 34.5 centimeters


  • Published in Précis de la géographie universelle (Summary of universal geography) in 1810 by Conrad Malte-Brun.

Last updated: November 3, 2015