1787 Bonne Map of the Ancient Egypt

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1787 Bonne Map of the Ancient Egypt


A comprehensive reference work for Ancient Egypt.


  1787 (undated)     14 x 9.5 in (35.56 x 24.13 cm)     1 : 2850000


A wonderful 1787 Rigobert Bonne map of Egypt with ancient toponymy, produced for Bonne and Nicolas Desmarest's Atlas Encyclopedique. It contains a wealth of information about ancient Egypt, particularly the location of cities and towns along the Nile.
A Closer Look
This map was the fourth to appear in the Atlas Encyclopedique, and like other early maps in the atlas (ancient Rome, ancient Judea, 'Orbis Antiquus,' 'Mappa Dispersus Filiorum Noemi,' and so on) combines modern cartography with knowledge of ancient civilizations Typical of the series, here Bonne operates primarily in Latin, employing placenames known to the Greeks and Romans, and offering several scales based on ancient units of measurement.

Coverage includes the Nile Delta, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Sinai Peninsula, and part of Idumaea, an ancient kingdom in southern Judea. The Nile and its fertile banks are highlighted at left, while other rivers, lakes, mountains, roads, settlements, and pyramids are also indicated. Longitude is measured from both the Ferro and Paris Meridians.
Publication History and Census
This map was drawn by Rigobert Bonne and engraved by André as Plate No. 4 for Bonne and Nicolas Desmarest's Atlas Encyclopedique, published between 1787 and 1788. It is independently cataloged by the Library of Congress, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Universitätsbibliothek Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, and the Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Kielcach, while the entire Atlas Encyclopedique is more widely distributed.


Rigobert Bonne (October 6, 1727 - September 2, 1794) was one of the most important French cartographers of the late 18th century. Bonne was born in Ardennes à Raucourt, France. He taught himself mathematics and by eighteen was a working engineer. During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740 - 1748) he served as a military engineer at Berg-op-Zoom. It the subsequent years Bonne became one of the most respected masters of mathematics, physics, and geography in Paris. In 1773, Bonne succeeded Jacques-Nicolas Bellin as Royal Cartographer to France in the office of the Hydrographer at the Depôt de la Marine. Working in his official capacity, Bonne compiled some of the most detailed and accurate maps of the period - most on an equal-area projection known erroneously as the 'Bonne Projection.' Bonne's work represents an important step in the evolution of the cartographic ideology away from the decorative work of the 17th and early 18th century towards a more scientific and practical aesthetic. While mostly focusing on coastal regions, the work of Bonne is highly regarded for its detail, historical importance, and overall aesthetic appeal. Bonne died of edema in 1794, but his son Charles-Marie Rigobert Bonne continued to publish his work well after his death. More by this mapmaker...


Bonne, Rigobert and Desmarest, N., Atlas encyclopédique contenant la géographie ancienne, et quelques cartes sur la géographie du moyen age, la geographie moderne, et les cartes relatives a la géographie physique, (Paris) 1787-1788.    


Very good. Original margins. Minor toning throughout. Chip along fold line at right.


OCLC 828074128, 633572191.