88 results in English
Map of Lesser Antilles
Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Theatrical Design
Francisco Rizi was a painter of Italian descent who trained in the workshop of Vicente Carducho. In 1637 he began to work for King Philip IV of Spain, who appointed him the royal painter in 1656. His most productive period coincided with the reign of Philip, for whom he worked both on decorations of a mythological character for the Alcázar de Toledo and on the design and construction of theater sets from 1657 on. This drawing probably was made for a theatrical presentation at the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid. It ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Compendium of Graces and Fountain of Charms
This 17th-century manuscript contains the text of Majmoo’a al-Latā’if wa-Yanbu‘ al-Zarā’if (The compendium of graces and fountain of charms), a collection of esoteric and mystic prayers. The work is divided into many chapters, unnumbered and typically only a few pages long, with rubrications indicating the beginning of each chapter. The work discusses the spiritual expediency of praying in a certain manner; on a certain Islamic month, day of the week, or religious occasion, citing sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic tradition as supporting arguments. The ...
Compendium of Latin Translations of Persian Astronomical Tables
This volume is a compendium of six works that includes Latin translations of portions of the Zīj-i Sulṭānī by Muḥammad Ṭaraghāy ibn Shāhrukh ibn Tīmūr (1394–1449), known as Ulugh Beg. The other works include an excerpt from the Taqwīm al-Buldān (entitled “A Description of Khwārazm and Transoxiana from the Tables of Abū al-Fidāʾ”) by Abū al-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl Ibn ʿAlī (1273-1331), and a star table by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tizīnī. Ulugh Beg (“Great Commander” in Turkish) was a grandson of Tīmūr (known in the West as Tamerlane) and the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Muḥammad al-Farghānī’s Elements of Chronology and Astronomy
Aḥmad ibn Moḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī (flourished 861) was an astronomer who worked at the court of the early Abbasid caliphs. He appears to have been active in the court of al-Ma’mun, and he may well be the same figure who is said to have been entrusted by al-Mutawakkil with the construction of the nilometer in Cairo.  In that case, he would have been active from the early decades of the ninth century to his death in 861 (spanning the rules of al-Ma’mun, al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāthiq, and ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Bay of All Saints
This map by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers, shows the Bay of All Saints off the coast of Brazil. The bay was named by Amerigo Vespucci, who is said to have entered it on All Saints’ Day, November 1, in the year 1501. Located on the bay is the city of Salvador.
New and Accurate Picture of All Brazil / Johann Blaev I.F.
This map of Brazil is the work of Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers. Originally trained as a lawyer, Blaeu joined the Amsterdam business of his father, the cartographer Willem Blaeu (1571-1638). With his father and brother Cornelis (died 1648), Joan Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps. Joan Blaeu later became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. During the 1600s, the Netherlands became a major naval and commercial power, and its maps reflected its seafaring ...
Path of Eloquence
This manuscript is a copy of Nahj al-balāghah (Path of eloquence), the classic compendium of the sermons, writings, and aphorisms of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (died 661), the fourth caliph. This work is especially revered by Shia Muslims who view ‘Ali and his descendants as the legitimate successors of the Prophet Muhammad. ‘Ali’s authorial voice is filtered here through his interpreter, Muhammad ibn al-Husayn, known as al-Sharif al-Radi (969 or 970–1016), who compiled the text from many early Islamic sources. The resulting anthology has led to debate over ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Rosary and Service Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Other Devotions Combined in Honor of the Most Holy Trinity and in Worship of the Most Venerable Queen of the Heavens
Rosarium et Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis (Rosary and service dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary), a Latin devotional book published in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1678–79, is regarded as one of the rarest and most important Belarusian publications of the 17th century. The book was created by Oleksandr Tarasevych (circa 1640–1727), an outstanding master of book design, engraving, portraiture, and heraldic and panegyric printing, whose best works compare favorably with those of the great West European artists. Tarasevych created his most innovative works, including the prints for Rosarium, in ...
A Collection of Japanese Paintings
This picture book is by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694) a representative artist in the earliest days of ukiyo-e. It consists of 20 pictures depicting popular scenes from classical Japanese literature, including Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise), Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji), and yōkyoku (chants of Noh plays). Moronobu was the first artist who put his signature on printed books. On the colophon of this work, he identifies himself as Yamato-e-shi (artist of classical Japanese paintings), thereby showing his professional confidence in himself as an artist. The National Diet ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Map of the Whole World
The first world map published in Japan appeared in 1645. Shown here is a popular version of that first map, published in 1671. It is divided into two parts: the right side contains an oblong egg-shaped world map with the east at the top, while the left side depicts people from 40 countries in national costume. The latter are arrayed in five rows of eight, depicting people both of existing countries, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, and imaginary countries, such as “Dwarf Country” and “Giant Country.” These maps are ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Brazil, which Coast is a Portuguese Possession, Divided into Fourteen Captaincies, Showing the Middle of the Country Inhabited by Many Unknown Peoples
This coastal map of Portuguese Brazil is by one of the greatest of the French cartographers, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). Sanson gave geography lessons to both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV. He also was named official geographer to the king, and his two younger sons succeeded him in this position. Until Sanson, the field of cartography was dominated by the Dutch, whose maps favored aesthetics over exactness. Sanson’s maps, notable for accuracy as well as elegance, marked a shift in the dominance of the field of cartography from ...
Holographic Will and Codicil of Jeanne Mance, Co-Founder of Montreal
Jeanne Mance (1606−73) was the first lay nurse to practice in Montreal, founder and first bursar of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, and an iconic figure in the history of Montreal. She first arrived in Canada in 1641, inspired by her religious conviction to serve the settlers and the indigenous people by establishing a hospital. She oversaw construction of the Hôtel-Dieu, and made several journeys back to France to secure resources for the project. She deserves to be recognized as the founder of the city, along with the French military ...
The Course of the River of the Amazons, Based on the Account of Christopher d’Acugna
Nicolas Sanson (1600-67) is considered by many to be the founder of the French school of cartography. Originally from Abbeville, he was also known as Sanson d’Abbeville. He was trained as a military engineer but became a prolific cartographer who produced over 300 maps. Around 1643, he began publishing maps, working with publisher Pierre Mariette. This 1680 map of the Amazon most likely is a reprint by his son Guillaume (1633-1703), who carried on the family firm after Nicolas’s death. The account referred to in the title is ...
Africa, or Greater Libya
This map of Africa by Nicolas Sanson, royal geographer to Kings Louis XIII and XIV, and commonly known as the father of French cartography, was published by Sanson’s own house in 1679 in Paris. The map was based, according to Sanson, on a composite of information drawn from other maps as well as “upon the observations of Samuel Blomart.” It also may have drawn on the Dutch writer Olfert Dapper’s work of 1668, Naukeurige Beschrijvingen der Afrikaensche gewesten (Description of Africa). The continent is presented as “Greater Libya ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Sea and Land Routes from Edo to Nagasaki
Presented here is a pictorial route map, published in 1672 (early Edo period), that depicts the journey from Edo (present-day Tokyo) to Nagasaki. The first volume shows the land route from Edo to Kyōto. Starting from Edo Castle, it proceeds to Kyōto along the Tōkaidō, which was the main road in the Edo period. It depicts stations on the route, natural scenery, and famous places, such as Mount Fuji (in the 11th scene), accompanied by explanatory text. The second volume shows the route from Osaka to Nagasaki. It depicts mainly ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Marginal Notes on the Commentary on the Précis of Astronomy
This astronomical manuscript is comprised of notes by al-Birjandi on a treatise by Qadi’zadah, which is itself a commentary on a work by al-Jighmini entitled al-Mulkhkhas fi al-hay’ah (Précis of astronomy). The manuscript is thus the work of three scientists specializing in mathematics and astronomy. Included are extensive hashiyah (marginal notes) on Qadi’zadah’s sharh (commentary) on the principles of astronomy by al-Jighmini. The manuscript first covers the principles of geometry necessary for the study of the heavens. There follows extensive coverage of the position of celestial ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Lands of the Emperor of the Turks or the Ottoman Sultan in Asia, Africa, and Europe
This map shows the Ottoman Empire as it was conceived in Europe in the last quarter of the 17th century. It is a reprint, dated 1679, of an earlier edition possibly included in a series of world atlases published by Nicolas Sanson (1600−1667) in the middle of the century. The map shows geological features, such as rivers, deserts, and mountain ranges. Cities and towns are indicated, and colored lines are used to mark the borders of kingdoms. An inset map at the lower left shows the extension of the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Princess of Montpensier
This first edition of La Princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)by Madame de La Fayette was published anonymously in 1662. Taking place during the religious wars of the previous century, it is the story of the entangled loves of the princess, her husband the prince, the duke of Guise whom she had loved before her arranged marriage, and his friend, the count of Chabannes. The count, in love with the princess who does not care for him, sacrifices his honor to save that of his lady, before being ...
The Passions of the Soul
Les Passions de l'âme (The passions of the soul) is a treatise on moral philosophy, published in Paris in 1649, in which the philosopher René Descartes (1596−1650) theorizes on “the passions,” or what contemporary readers would call emotions. Descartes argues that passions are a matter of nature and therefore of the body. They are not inherently bad for the spirit, as long as they are kept in check by morals and free will, which are capable of evaluating the passions. While Descartes continues in a long tradition of ...
The Commentary on the Epitome of Ibn al-Nafis
Sharḥ Mūjiz ibn al-Nafīs (The commentary on the epitome of Ibn al-Nafis), also known as al-Mughnī (The sufficient), written by Sadid al-Din ibn Mas'ud Kazaruni (died 1357), is a well-known medical text of the 14th century. It is, as well, a wonderful illustration of the commentary tradition in the Islamic world: Sharḥ Mūjiz ibn al-Nafīs consists of Sadid al-Din’s commentary on al-Mūjiz by Ibn al-Nafis (circa 1210–88). Al-Mūjiz, in turn, was the epitome or abstract written by Ibn al-Nafis on his own commentary of al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
An Epistle on Colitis
Abu ʻAli al-Husayn Ibn Sina was born in Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan) in 980 and died in Hamadan (present-day Iran) in 1037. One of the intellectual luminaries of the medieval world, known in the Latin West as Avicenna, this Persian polymath was often referred to by Muslim authors as al-Shaykh al-Raʼīs (the preeminent scholar), acknowledgment of his status as one of the foremost savants of the Islamic world. A prolific author, Ibn Sina wrote on topics as varied as metaphysics, theology, medicine, psychology, earth sciences, physics, astronomy, astrology, and chemistry ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
Tabulation of Drugs
The full name of the author of Taqwīm al-adwiyah (Tabulation of drugs) is given in a work by Ismaʻil Basha al-Babani (died 1920), Īḍāḥ al-maknūn (Clarification of the hidden), as Fakhr al-Din Muhammad ibn ʻAli ibn Abu al-Nasr al-Nisaburi, “andsubsequently” as al-Asfara’ini. Almost nothing is known of Fakhr al-Din’s life, although he is thought to have flourished in the 14th century. The attributions to Neyshabur and Esfarayen both indicate that he lived and worked in Khorasan in eastern Persia. Fakhr ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
Map of the New Discovery Made by the Jesuit Fathers in 1672 and Continued by Father Jacques Marquette, from the Same Group, Accompanied by a Few Frenchmen in the Year 1673, Named “Manitounie”
In May−July 1673 the French cartographer and explorer Louis Jolliet (1645−1700) and the Jesuit priest Father Jacques Marquette (1637−75) were the first Europeans to descend the Mississippi River from the region of the Great Lakes to its confluence with the Arkansas River. Their goal was to locate a passage to the Pacific Ocean. They soon noticed, however, that the Mississippi ran south in the direction of the Gulf of Mexico rather than west to the Pacific. They suspended their journey in present-day Arkansas, after the Quapaw Indians ...
Map of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1674
From the 1500s to the 1700s, explorers, geographers, and the royal government of France continued the search for a passage that would allow easy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and better access to the treasures of the East Indies. Spurred by Indian reports, the idea of a special sea north of California emerged in the mid-17th century. Geographers quickly seized upon this hypothetical Western Sea and gave it a cartographic life. The de L’Isle family was at the heart of this geographic illusion. Denis de Rotis, a ...
Map of Northern America and Part of Southern America from the Mouth of the Saint Lawrence River to Cayenne Island with the New Discoveries of the Mississippi River or Colbert River
Attributed to the Abbé Claude Bernou and dated 1681, this very beautiful mural map of North America and the Gulf of Mexico is from the Navy Hydrographic Office Collection in the National Library of France. The collection goes back to Jean-Baptise Colbert (1619−83), minister of finance under King Louis XIV, whose objective was to gather knowledge about all the seacoasts of the world. The map shows many of the discoveries made by the French expeditions in the Mississippi Valley from 1672 to 1681 and indicates the position of three ...
An Accurate Depiction of New France, 1657
This 1657 map, entitled Novae Franciae Accurata Delineatio (An accurate depiction of New France), is attributed to the Jesuit Francesco Bressani (1612−72), who was sent as a missionary to the Huron Indians in 1642. In 1653 he published in his native Italy an account of his stay in New France in which he announced the impending publication of a map, also based on his time in North America. The map shown here, from the National Library of France, is one of only two known copies of Bressani’s map ...
Map for the Clarification of Land Titles in New France, 1678
This large and beautiful map by Jean-Baptiste Franquelin (1651–after 1712), later the royal hydrographer in Quebec, shows the French presence in the Saint Lawrence valley and Atlantic Canada in 1678. For 20 years from the early 1670s, maps by Franquelin accompanied reports to France sent by the highest officials in its American territories. This map was dedicated to Jean-Baptise Colbert (1619−83), minister of finance under King Louis XIV, who was interested in the colonization of New France. The map includes illustrations of the animals, plants, and people of ...
Algonquin Grammar or on the Natives of North America, with the Description of the Country, Journals of Voyages, Memoirs, Remarks on Natural History, Et Cetera, Et Cetera
Louis Nicolas (active 1667‒75) was a French Jesuit who in 1664 was sent to Canada as a missionary, where he remained until 1675. He traveled widely and developed a keen interest in the people, languages, flora, and fauna of New France. He wrote three major works, none of which was published in his lifetime but which survived in manuscript form: Histoire naturelle des Indes occidentales (Natural history of the West Indies); the pictorial manuscript known as the Codex Canadensis; and the work presented here, Grammaire algonquine ou des sauvages ...
Natural History of the West Indies
Louis Nicolas (active 1667‒75) was a French Jesuit who in 1664 was sent to Canada as a missionary, where he remained until 1675. He traveled widely and developed a keen interest in the people, languages, flora, and fauna of New France. He wrote three major works, none of which was published in his lifetime but which survived in manuscript form: Histoire naturelle ou la fidelle recherche de tout ce qu'il y a de rare dans les Indes Occidantalles (Natural history, or the faithful research on all that is ...
Relation of what Occurred that was Most Remarkable in the Missions of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus in New France in the Years 1671 and 1672
The Jesuit priest Claude Dablon (circa 1619‒97) came to Canada in the late summer of 1655, where he remained until his death. In addition to his work as a missionary, Dablon developed a keen interest in the geography of the interior of North America, still largely unknown to Europeans at that time. In 1669 he and Father Claude Allouez (1622‒89) undertook a journey around Lake Superior, which contributed to the earliest European mapping of the lake. Dablon was appointed superior of the Jesuit missions in New France 1671 ...
Poem on the Causes and Symptoms of Fevers
Although the colophon of this manuscript copy of al-Urjūzah fī asbāb al-ḥumīyāt wa ’alāmātihā (Poem on the causes and symptoms of fevers) attributes the work to Abu ʻAli Husayn Ibn Sina (born in Bukhara in 980, died in Hamadan in 1037; known in the Latin West as Avicenna), the actual authorship of this work remains uncertain. Attribution of Ibn Sina’s medical works is often problematic as many of the works commonly linked to this Persian polymath remain to be studied and authenticated as having been written by him. Ibn ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
North America Divided into its III Principal Parts
This map, North America Divided into its III Principal Parts, was created in the late 17th century and reflects the contemporary knowledge of North America and neighboring regions in the early colonial era. It was drafted in 1685 by the English cartographer Philip Lea, who made several maps of North America in the course of a career in which he produced a wide range of maps and atlases. Some parts of the map bear their modern names. Others have names that are colorfully descriptive, such as “Tract of Land full ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Modern and Completely Correct Map of the Entire World
This mid-17th century “modern and completely correct map” of the entire world was printed in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), a member of the Blaeu family that helped to define mapmaking during the Dutch golden age. Beginning in the 16th century, the Blaeu firm produced some of Europe’s most renowned maps, globes, and atlases. After studying under Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Joan’s father, Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), founded the company in 1596. In 1633 he was appointed official chartmaker to the Dutch East India Company, an office that passed ...
The Most Recent and Most Accurate Description of All of America
Little is known about Dutch cartographer Jacob Meurs, born about 1619. He was a map publisher, engraver, and bookseller in Arnhem, and later in Amsterdam. After his death, his wife, known simply as the Widow Meurs, continued his business. This map, claiming to be the “most recent and most accurate description” of the Americas, closely follows Nicolas Sanson’s contemporary map of the New World, also published in 1650, including Sanson’s “mistakes”: California is drawn as an island, and the Great Lakes are distorted in comparison to later, more ...
The Holy Land or Promised Land (Formerly Palestine), Recently Depicted and Published
Nicolaus (also spelled Nicolas, Nicolaes) Visscher was the son of a Dutch master painter and mapmaker, Claes Janszoon Visscher, and was known for the exquisite artistry of the maps he produced. In the 16th and 17th centuries the Dutch were involved in a race against Portugal for control of the spice trade. The antipathy between the two states ran especially deep because of the alliance of Portugal with the Kingdom of Spain, with whom the Dutch had been embroiled in the Eighty Years' War (1566-1648). Only one year before the ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The City of Salvador
This 1671 map of Salvador on the northeastern coast of Brazil is from the monumental work by the Dutch writer Arnoldus Montanus (1625-83), De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld: Of Beschryving van America en ’t Zuid-land (The new and unknown world: Or description of America and the southland). Montanus was a Protestant minister and headmaster of the Latin School in the town of Schoonhoven. He wrote books on church history and theology, the history of the Low Countries, and the peoples and cultures of the Americas and Australia. (The “Southland” in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The History of the Caribby-Islands
This early study of the Caribbean is an English translation of a French work published anonymously in Rotterdam in 1658 under the title Histoire naturelle et morale des iles Antilles de l'Amerique (Natural and moral history of the Antilles). The original author was Charles de Rochefort (1605-83), who identified himself in subsequent editions of the book. Not much is known about de Rochefort. The available evidence suggests he was a Protestant pastor sent to be a minister or chaplain to French-speaking Protestants in the Caribbean. He based his work ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Lesser Compilation of Hadiths of the Consecrated Messenger
This manuscript dating from the late 17th century is a collection of hadiths, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, by the Egyptian polymath Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (1445−1505). The work is carefully written innaskh script. The title is enclosed in a decorative headpiece, not exquisitely drawn but nonetheless colorful yet restrained. In contrast to his comprehensive Jamiʻ al-jawamiʻ  (Compilation of compilations), in this work al-Suyuti promises “the short, abbreviated essence of hadiths and early records, ignoring the shell and taking only the nut.” He accomplished this objective by providing ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Trakai Castle Court Year Book for 1660–61
At the height of its power in the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. In the Union of Lublin of 1569, the Grand Duchy and the Kingdom of Poland merged to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The commonwealth had a highly developed legal and administrative system, based on local land courts that decided civil cases involving the gentry and castle courts that dealt with other local matters, including criminal cases. Courts ...
Map of California Shown as an Island
Joan Vinckeboons (1617-70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was in the employ of the Dutch West India Company and produced maps for over 30 years for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Major. This map from around 1650 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Tale of Genji: Commentary on Key Words and Phrases, Volumes 55-57
Genji monogatari (Tale of Genji) is often considered the first great novel in world literature. The author of the work, Murasaki Shibuku, was born around 978 and spent most of her life at or near the imperial court in Kyoto. After a brief marriage to an older man, she entered the service of Empress Akiko (or Shōshi) around 1005 as a lady-in-waiting. The novel consists of 54 books or chapters that recount the life and romances of Prince Genji, the young, handsome, and talented son of an emperor. The novel ...
Contributed by Library of Congress