Arabia, Aethiopia, Aegyptus.
1865 (undated) 13 x 16 in (33.02 x 40.64 cm)
A particularly interesting historic map, this is Karl von Spruner's 1865 rendering of Arabia, Aethiopia (Ethiopia) and Egypt (Aegyptus) in antiquity. Centered on the Red Sea or Mare Rubrum, this map covers the entirety of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and the Nile Valley as far south as Lake Tana (Pseuba), the source of the Blue Nile. Like most of Spruner's work this map overlays ancient political geographies on relatively contemporary physical geographies, thus identifying the sites of forgotten towns and villages, the movements of armies, and the disposition of lands in the region. This particular example includes both ancient Latin and more contemporary Arabic names (transliterated of course) for many important regions and sites. Additionally, two inset maps are offered. In the lower left hand quadrant a map labeled 'Heptanomis et Thebais' focuses on the course of the Nile from Heptatnomis (near Fayum) south to just past modern day Aswan, covering in the process many of the ancient Egyptian cities now submerged under the waters of Lake Nasser. Another inset, in the upper right quadrant, focuses on the fertile Nile Delta, forming an inverted triangle between Alexandria, Memphis, and Casluch. As a whole the map labels important cities, rivers, mountain ranges and other minor topographical detail. Territories and countries outlined in color. The whole is rendered in finely engraved detail exhibiting the fine craftsmanship for which the Perthes firm is known.
Karl von Spruner (November 15, 1803 - August 24, 1892) or Spruner Karl von Merz or Spruneri was a Stuttgart born cartographer, scientist, and map publisher active in Germany during the middle part of the 19th century. Joining the Bavarian army at the tender age of 11, Spruner dedicated most of his life to military service. Spruner's superiors, recognizing his keen intellect, eventually assigned him to the army's cartographic division. Military education earned him the title of Doctor of Cartography in 1852. In 1855 he attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and, in 1883, General. Cartographically, Spruner is best known for his historical atlases, most of which were published by the Justus Perthes firm. His much admired maps studiously applied historical political geographies to contemporary physical geographies. Spruner also worked with Heinrich Theodore Menke, a well-known German mapmaker, to produce and later revise his many historical maps. In 1886, after 72 years of professional military service, Spruner formally retired. He died seven years later in Munich in on August 24th of 1892.
Justus Perthes (1749 - 1812) was one of the most important German cartographic engravers of the 19th century. Perthes began his publishing empire with the 1784 issue of the famed survey of European nobility known as the Almanac de Gotha. In 1817 Perthes switched his focus to cartographic publishing. From 1817 to 1890 the Perthes firm would issue thousands of maps for more than 20 different atlases. Along with the visionary editors Stieler, Peterman, Meyer and Spruner, the Perthes firm pioneered the Hand Atlas. He also produced a number of important wall maps and case maps. Perthes maps are admired for their steel plate engraving, incredible detail, dedication to accuracy, and fine colorization. The Justus Perthes firm continues to produce maps and atlases to this day.
Spruner, Karl von, Spruner-Menke Atlas Antiquus,, (Gotha: Justus Perthes), 1865.
Very good. Original centerfold.
Rumsey 1626.030. Phillips (atlases) 3288. Espenhorst, J., Petermann's Planet, p. 397-404. Espenhorst, J., Andree, Stieler, Meyer & Co., p. 148.