This is a scarce 1782 map issued by Jean- Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales depicting Gaul or France at the time of the invasion by Julius Caesar. The map covers from the English Channel south as far as the Mediterranean and Florence in modern day Italy. The map identifies several important cities and towns and uses ancient names throughout. Rivers, islands, and other topography is noted with forests and mountains rendered in profile.
Gaul was the ancient name of a region of Western Europe which comprises of modern day France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany west of the Rhine. It also included most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy and parts of Netherland. The map depicts the region during the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC. Originally meant to be a defensive action to protect the borders, the Gallic Wars are believed to have been fought primarily to provide Caesar with wealth and popularity and to boost his political career rather than being a defensive action as described by Caesar. Following the war, all of Gaul came under the control of the Roman Empire and remained under Roman control for almost 500 years before it fell to the Franks in AD 486. The campaigns are described by Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico.
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.
Delisle de Sales, Histoire des Hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Moderne, (Paris) 1782.
Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.