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1840 Toulon.

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Date: 1840 (published) London

Dimensions: 12 x 14.6 inches (30.5 x 37.1 cm)

This lovely map of the ancient port city of Toulon, on the coast of Provence in France, was published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge also referred to as SDUK. The map depicts the city as it was in 1840, at which time it was still fortified by remnants of ancient walls and moats which took advantage of the lay of the land. Below the map is a lovely view of the city from the perspective of looking out to sea.

This region of this port city on the Mediterranean Sea has been inhabited since at least the Paleolithic Era. More recently, Greek and Ligurian colonists between the 7th and 4th centuries BCE began developing the site into an important port city. In the 2nd century BCE Romans took over the area, naming it Telo Martius, and began turning it into an important industrial hub where the royal color of purple was manufactured for royal families throughout Europe.  Its harbor became a center for trading ships and its name eventually evolved from its first name to Toulon.

The city was Christianized in the 5th century CE, and large municipal and religious architectural edifices began to be built. The port city became increasingly important but as Rome fell into decline, it was often ravaged by barbarians, Saracens, and pirates. The Middle Ages saw its gradual recovery and in 1524 King Francois of France had expanded and fortified the port. Since that time, despite being under control of various governments, the city has continued to thrive, and its port is one of the most vital on the coast of France.

The SDUK was founded in 1828 by Henry Peter Brougham, an idealistic British nobleman. The aim of the society was to promote self-education and egalitarian sharing of knowledge by providing instruments of learning such as maps and various other publications. Despite being affiliated with London University and various major publishing houses, the Society ultimately failed to achieve its goal as the publications were too costly for the targeted middle to lower class echelons of British society. At the same time, its publications were not grand enough or fine enough to appeal to the aristocracy. 

Condition: This map is in A condition presenting a sharp print on bright paper with some faint toning along the top margin.

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