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Vera Delineatio Civitatis Bassorae

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Vera Delineatio Civitatis Bassorae : M. Thevenot

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This fascinating and rare map shows the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, upstream from Basra City shown in a small bird-s-eye plan at the right. Fifty-six place names on the map are in Arabic and are identified in the numbered key along the map's lower border. It is one of very few printed maps to detail a specific Middle East region, and to derive from Arab sources. The map's purpose was to identify various families belonging to Iraq's Mandaean community - a gnostic sect identified by Portuguese monks in the 16th century and assumed it was a Christian sect, based on its baptismal rites and reverence of John the Baptist. This misinterpretation led the Mandaeans to be referred to as "Christians of St. John." Reinforcement to upper border and a small area of repair to old folds with minor loss in the listing but a good example of a most unusual map.
mapmaker: M. Thevenot
place and date of publication: Paris 1663
medium and colour: copperplate, uncoloured
size in mm: 350 by 400mm (13.75 by 15.75 inches).
ref: 43133

Price: £ 800

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