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1867 Hughes Map of the World According to the Ancients

The World as known to the Ancients. - Main View

1867 Hughes Map of the World According to the Ancients




The World as known to the Ancients.
  1867 (undated)     10 x 13 in (25.4 x 33.02 cm)     1 : 53000000


This is an interesting 1867 map of the ancient World by William Hughes. The map covers Europe, Asia and Africa during the time of the Ancient Roman Empire. It depicts the world of antiquity from the Atlantic Ocean to China and from the Indian Ocean north as far as Norway. It includes all of Europe with most of Asia and Africa. The map also notes the boundary of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. Founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BCE, the First Persian Empire or the Achaemenid Empire was, at its height, the biggest Empire the world has ever seen.

In Africa, the author notes various cities from Ptolemy's Geographica, including Rapta (Rhaptus), Axum(Auxume), Garama, and others. The Libyan Desert is noted, and the continent itself is identified as 'Libya or Africa.' In the Far East a number of classical locales are noted, including the island of Taprobana (Celon). The map indicates the region of Sarmatia Europea separated from Sarmatia Asiatica by the River Tanais (River Don) in Russia. The map also shows Scythia Intra Imaum and Scythia Extra Imaum, the region of Scythia as it was known during the time of the Roman Empire, divided by Mount Imaum, denoting the whole of Northern Asia.

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. 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.

This map was created by William Hughes, printed by J. Bien and engraved by G.E. Sherman, for issued as plate 2 in Sheldon and Company's An Atlas of Classical Geography.


William Hughes (c. 1818 - May 21, 1876) was a cartographer, engraver, lithographer, printer, and publisher active in London during the middle part of the 19th century. Hughes enjoyed and long and varied cartographic career. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1838 and, from about 1840, taught geography and mapmaking at St. Johns College for Civil Engineers. He later taught the same at both Queens College and Kings College, London. For a time he was employed as a map librarian for the British Museum. Hughes began engraving maps around 1839 and worked with most of the prominent British map and atlas publishers of his era, including but not limited to Charles Knight, A. and C. Black, George Philip, William Cassell, and others. Learn More...

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Sherman and Smith (fl. c. 1829 - 1855), sometimes working as Stiles, Sherman & Smith, were American engravers active in New York City during the middle part of the 19th century. The firm including John Calvin Smith (surveyor and engraver), George E. Sherman, and sometimes, Samuel Stiles. Their work primarily focused on government publications, including the maps and engravings prepared to illustrate the official records of the 1838-42 United States Exploring Expedition (U.S. Ex. Ex.), maps issued for the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, and various U.S. Coast Survey Charts. They also engraved privately for Thomas Bradford and John Disturnell, among others. Sherman and Smith maintained offices at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street in New York City and were highly regarded as the finest cartographic engravers in the city. Their non-cartographic legacies include George Inness, who apprenticed with them for two years before going on to become a well regarding American landscape painter of the Hudson River School. Learn More...


Sheldon and Company, An Atlas of Classical Geography constructed by William Hughes and edited by George Long, (New York) 1867.    


Very good. Minor wear and toning along original centerfold.