Southwestern Arabia


Das südwestliche Arabien (Southwest Arabia) by Walther Schmidt is a book on applied geography, primarily covering the areas of present-day Yemen. It is the eighth in Series IV of the Angewandte Geographie (Applied geography) publications, a series of books edited by Dr. Hugo Grothe and published by the firm of Heinrich Keller of Frankfurt am Main with the aim of “broadening geographic understanding in its relationship to cultural and scientific life.” The book, published in 1913, is a compilation of geographic information, including a long bibliography and a chronological list of travelers to the region with the routes they took. In addition to the introduction and the appendix, it is comprised of four sections: “Zur Natur des Landes” (On the physical geography of the land), “Die Bevölkerung des Landes” (The population of the land), “Zur Wirtschaft des Landes” (On the economy of the land), and “Literatur” (Bibliography). The appendix contains 13 tables and two maps. The tables contain information about Yemen’s surface area and population, travelers and explorers in the region, and shipping traffic to and from the port cities of Aden and Hodeida (also called Al Hudaydah). Only one of the maps, a topographic representation of Yemen’s mountain structure and drainage system, survives in this copy. The book was originally the inaugural dissertation of Schmidt, about whom little is known. He states in the introduction that he embarked on his research in 1910 and was supervised by Professor Alfred Philippson (1864‒1953). The latter was a noted German geographer who taught at the University of Bonn and who, in the Nazi era, survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Last updated: March 17, 2016