1719 Carte Historique, Et Geographique de L’Ancienne Grece...
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Carte Historique, Et Geographique de L’Ancienne Grece, Avec Des Remarques Curieuses Pour L’Intelligence de L’Histoire.
By: Henri Abraham Chatelain
Date: 1719 (Published) Amsterdam
Dimensions: 13 x 17.4 inches (33 x 44.2 cm)
This fascinating decorative map of ancient Greece and western Anatolia is from Henri Abraham Chatelain's monumental work Atlas Historique. Devoted to myriad topics, including geography, history, cosmography, heraldry, and ethnology, etc., the atlas was published in seven volumes and was amongst the most famous, prolific and popular of such publications in the early 18th century. Chatelain’s knowledge of antiquity is revealed in many of his maps, and this map presents a wealth of information. It deserves close reading, which will quickly reward any lover of antiquity.
The map is highly detailed, with topographic information including mountain ranges, rivers, place names and the names of kingdoms and principalities. Greece and Thrace are divided into historical regions and identified by place names known in antiquity. In western Anatolia various ancient cities and civilizations are denoted and labeled. The map and the text surrounding it present an enormous amount of information concerning the area depicted, with numerous annotations regarding important historical events. The island of Crete is also included, replete with a miniature Labyrinth.
Off the west coast of Greece Chatelain annotated two important sites. One, the site in the Ionian Sea where the battle of Actium took place, where Marc Antony and Cleopatra’s combined forces were defeated - a historical event cited by ancient authors. Another annotation is at the island of Ithaca with reference to Homer’s epic The Odyssey. Interestingly, recent excavations of a royal palace on Ithaca revealed a structure which resembles Homer’s description of it. For some scholars this discovery lends credence to the idea that Odysseus existed, and furthermore, suggests that perhaps there was a Trojan War from which he returned.
Significant attention is focused on the Trojan War itself, with the ships' route across the Aegean Sea to the site of Troy in western Anatolia clearly depicted. Two ships are shown sailing, and at the site of Troy Chatelain shows an armada of ships along the shoreline, as described by Homer in The Iliad.
Descriptive texts and tables surround the map itself. Remarks at the upper left describe the Greeks and some of their important contributions, while remarks at the upper right describe Troy, the Trojan people, and include a description of the Trojan War itself. Another table presents the names of the kings and princes of Greece who took part in the war, and enumerates the ships and troops sent by each. Text opposite describes kings of Troy and names all the peoples of Anatolia who went to the aid of the Trojans.
A small table in the corner of the map describes famous battles of the Greeks. The bottom border of the maps consists of a table and legend for finding the provinces, cities and important sites in ancient Greece. Next to this in the lower right is a list of famous poets of ancient Greece. Chatelain was, as were many if not most of the intellectual elite of his day, enamored of the rich history and contributions of Greek culture. A treasure trove of information regarding Greece in antiquity on one folio sheet.
Condition: This map is in A condition with lovely hand coloring over a strong impression on clean paper with full margins on all sides.
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