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1851 Black Map of the Ancient World

The World as known to the Ancients. - Main View

1851 Black Map of the Ancient World



The World as known to the Ancients.
  1851 (undated)     12.75 x 17 in (32.385 x 43.18 cm)


A fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1851 map of the world of the Roman empire. The map covers the span of world as known to the ancient Romans, from the Scandinavia south, as far as Sumatra. Includes all of europe, Arabia, part of Asia including the Indian subcontinent and part of Africa.

The 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.

Throughout, the map identifies various cities, towns, rivers and an assortment of additional topographical details. Map is hand colored in pink and green pastels to define boundaries. The map is engraved by W. Hughes and issued as plate no. LVIII in the 1851 edition of Black's General Atlas.


Charles and Adam Black (fl. 1807 - present) were map and book publishers based in Edinburgh. Charles and his uncle, Adam, both of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded their publishing firm in 1807. They published a series of maps and atlases throughout the 19th century. In addition to an array of atlases, the Black firm is known for their editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1817 - 1826) and the first publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novels in 1854. In 1889 the A. & C. Black publishing house moved to London where it remains in operation to this day. More by this mapmaker...


Black, A. and C., General Atlas Of The World, (Edinburgh) 1851.    


Very good. Blank on verso. Original platemark visible.


Rumsey 2305.070 (1854 edition). Philips (atlases) 4334.