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The Book Of Curiosities And A Unique Map Of The World

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Chapter Summary

A rectangular map of the world unlike any other recorded ancient or medieval world map has been preserved in a recently discovered Arabic treatise dating from around 1200 and containing a total of seventeen maps and cartographic designs. The anonymous Arabic treatise containing these maps is a cosmography, in 48 folios. The treatise consists of two books: Book I, on the heavens in ten chapters, and Book II, on the earth, in twenty-five chapters. Among the seventeen maps in this impressive Book of Curiosities is the rectangular world map. It constitutes the entire second chapter of Book II, with no additional text. As early Islamic scholars knew that the world is a sphere, and as they assumed that only one hemisphere was inhabited, they usually chose to present the Earth as a circle or disc.

Keywords: Book of Curiosities; Islamic scholars; medieval world map

10.1163/ej.9789004166639.i-300.17
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004166639.i-300.17
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