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1837 Malte-Brun Map of the Roman Empire under Constantine


Empire Romain sous Constantin et sous Trajan.
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Title:    Empire Romain sous Constantin et sous Trajan.

Description:    This is a fine example of the 1837 Malte-Brun map of the Roman empire under Constantine and Trajan. It depicts the extent of the Roman empire under the rule of Constantine the Great, and covers most of europe, the and parts of North Africa, and Asia.

The empire was established in 27 BC after Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, the grandnephew and heir of Julius Caesar was awarded the honorific title of Augustus. During the time of the empire, Roman cities flourished. Trade spread as far as India, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. However, the sheer size of the empire and its success also contributed to its downfall. The Western Roman empire collapsed in AD 476, when Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the German Odovacer. The eastern Roman empire, evolving into the Byzantine empire, survived until the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453. Constantine ruled the empire from 306 to 337 AD. The first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, and the foremost general in his time, Constantine was responsible for building New Rome, the new seat of the empire, replacing Byzantium. Constantinople, as New Rome was popularly called in honor of Constantine would become the capital of the eastern Roman empire for over one thousand years, leading to the belief that Constantine founded the eastern Roman empire. He was also responsible for introducing the gold solidus, a new stable currency that developed the economy.

Boundaries are color coded according to regions and territories. Various cities, towns, rivers, lakes and other topographical details are marked, with relief shown by hachures. This map was issued as plate no. 18 in Malte-Brun's Atlas de Geographie Universelle


Date:    1837 (undated)

Source:    Malte-Brun, Atlas Complet du Precis de la Geographie Universelle, (Paris) 1837.    

References:    Rumsey 0458.017. Phillips (Atlases) P6079.

Cartographer:    Conrad Malte-Brun (August 12, 1755-December 14, 1826) was an important late 18th and early 19th century Danish / French cartographer and revolutionary. Conrad was born in Thisted, Denmark. His parents encouraged him to a career in the Church, but he instead enrolled in the University of Copenhagen. In the liberal hall of academia Conrad became an ardent supporter of of the French Revolution and the ideals of a free press. Despite the harsh censorship laws of crown prince Frederick VI, Malte-Brun published numerous pamphlets criticizing the Danish government. He was finally charged with defying censorship laws in 1799 and forced to flee to Sweden and ultimately France. Along with colleague Edme Mentelle, Malte-Brun published his first cartographic work, the Géographie mathématique, physique et politique de toutes les parties du monde (6 vols., published between 1803 and 1807). Conrad went on to found Les Annales des Voyages (in 1807) and Les Annales des Voyages, de la Géographie et de l'Histoire (in 1819). He also founded the Paris Société de Géographie . In time, Conrad Malte-Brun became known as one of the finest French cartographers of his time. His son Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun (1816 - July 13, 1889) followed in his footsteps, republishing many of Conrad's original 18th century maps as well as producing numerous maps of his own. The Malte-Brun firm operated well into the 1880s. Click here for a list of rare maps by Conrade Malte Brun and Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun.

Size:   Printed area measures 13 x 10 inches (33.02 x 25.4 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good. Blank on verso. Original platemark visible.

Code:   RomanEmpire-maltebrun-1837 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)


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