This is a fascinating example of the 1770 Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales' historical map of Egypt. The map depicts Egypt under the rule of the Pharaohs and, centered on the Nile Valley, covers from the Mediterranean Sea to the Elephantine Island. The Canal of the Pharaohs, an ancient tunnel linking the Nile to the Red Sea, is here named Canal de Ptolemae. The important ancient caravan route from the Red Sea port of Berenice to Coptos (Qift) is noted. The pyramids and catacombs near Memphis are also identified. Several other important towns, mountains, rivers 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.
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.