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1770 Delisle de Sales Map of the Western Roman Empire (Includes Italy)

Partie Occidentale de l'Empire Romain. - Main View

1770 Delisle de Sales Map of the Western Roman Empire (Includes Italy)



Partie Occidentale de l'Empire Romain.
  1770 (undated)     13.5 x 8.5 in (34.29 x 21.59 cm)     1 : 12000000


An appealing 1770 map of the Western Roman Empire by Jean- Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales. The map covers the western portion of the Roman Empire from Portugal to the Adriatic Sea and from Britain to northern Africa. It includes the modern day nations of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, and the northern parts of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The map identifies several important cities and towns and uses archaic names throughout. Rivers, islands, and other topography is noted with mountains rendered in profile.

The Roman 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. After the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was divided between his sons Honorius and Arcadius, who inherited the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire respectively. The Empire declined rapidly and finally collapsed in 476 AD, when Romulus Augustulus was deposed by the German Odovacer.

This map was issued as part of Delisle de Sales' Histoire des Hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Moderne. This volume is exceedingly rare as most of Sales' work was burnt under the censorship of heresy.


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 Moderne, (Paris) 1770.    


Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.