A Current and Correct Depiction of Arabia Felix, Arabia Petraea, and Arabia Deserta


This map from 1658 was published by Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664), or Jan Jansson. Jansson was born in Arnhem, the son of Jan Jansson the Elder, a publisher and bookseller. Jansson’s maps are similar to those of Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of the Blaeu cartographic firm, and Jansson is sometimes accused of copying from his rival, but many of his maps predate those of Blaeu or cover different regions. This map is very similar to an earlier Blaeu map. The map shows more rivers on the Arabian Peninsula, six in total, than on many other maps. Some town names are badly copied, such as “Bocealima,” which is Blaeu’s “Roccalima.” “Mascalat” is shown as a large and important town. There are dotted lines along the coast from “Calva” in the present-day United Arab Emirates (UAE) to beyond Bahrain Island. The Arabian Gulf is called “Mare elcatif olim Sinus Persicus” (Al Qatif Sea formerly known as the Persian Gulf) and the Strait of Hormuz called “Basora fretum” or Strait of Basra. The Red Sea is called “Mare Rubrum turcis Mare Mecca olim Sinus Arabicus” (Red Sea, named Sea of Mecca by Turks and formerly known as the Arabian Gulf).

Last updated: April 25, 2017