This is a fascinating example of the 1770 Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales' map of India. It depicts India during ancient times, as described by the Greek explorer and ethnographer Megasthenes in his work Indica. The map covers from modern day Pakistan as far east as Vietnam, inclusive of the Indian subcontinent, Ceylon (Taprobana), Southeast Asia, and Malay, and parts of Sumatra, Tartary, and China. Many ancient cities such as Minnagara (an ancient port), Taxila (now an important archeological site in Pakistan), and Barygaze (Bharuch, an important sea port and trading partner to the Greeks and the Romans) are identified. The ancient state of Gangarides (Nation of River Ganges), near modern day Bengal and Palibothra (Paliputram the capital of the Prasii or Magadha Kingdom) is also noted. Although part of this city has been excavated, a large portion still lies buried under modern day Patna. Several rivers, mountains and other topographical details are noted. This map was issued as part of Delisle de Sales' Histoire des hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Ancienne. Becasue most of Sales' work was burnt under the censorship of heresy, this volume is exceedingly rare.
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales or Jean-Baptiste Isoard de Lisle (1741–1816) was a French philosopher, historian, and accused heretic active in the late 18th century. Sales is best known for his publication of the multi-volume opus The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature. The work, among other ideas, challenged the Biblical theory that the earth was created in 4004 BC. Instead, Sales put forth the theory based upon astronomical observations, that the earth was 140,000 years old. Sales' revolutionary ideas caused him to be declared a heretic by the Catholic Church. His publications were subsequently censored and, for the most part, destroyed. As a consequence all of his works are today extremely rare. Sales was also, notably, a close friend of Voltaire who in 1777 visited him in prison, gifting him 500 pounds towards his release. Delisle de Sales is unrelated to the more famous De L'Isle family of cartographers. More by this mapmaker...
Delisle de Sales, Histoire des Hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Ancienne (Paris) 1770.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor wear along original folds. Blank on verso.