Striking example of the rare first map of Europe and Central Asia printed in Armenian.
The translation of the title into English is "Europe, engraved according to recent geographical observations." The date is given pursuant to the Old Armenian Calendar, used in Old Armenia during the time before the arrival of Christianity. It is a solar calendar based on the same system as the ancient Egyptian model, having an invariant 365-day year with no leap year rule.
One of four continental maps compiled by Elia Endasian, printed in Armenian script at I Van Srboyn Ghazaru [San Lazzaro Press] in Venice.
In 1717, a young Armenian Catholic priest, Mekhitar Sebastatsi (also known as Mekhitar of Sebastia) (1676-1749), founded a Benedictine Armenian Catholic monastery on the island of San Lazzaro in Venice. Mekhitar wrote and published several works that became sources of inspiration and intellectual renewal throughout the centuries that followed. San Lazzaro Monastery became a center for Armenian learning and publishing.
Among the many works published by the Mekhitarist fathers of San Lazzaro were maps and geographical studies. This map of the Americas is part of a set of four continental maps by Elia Endasian produced at the San Lazzaro press in 1786-87. The cartography is largely based on earlier works by Italian mapmakers, but the place-names and the map legends are in Armenian.
The records of the Order were destroyed by fire in the recent past, making it difficult to know the full story.
A large folio atlas by Johannes Dadian was also published, copying French models, in 1849.