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Description

Striking map of the the Persian Empire, published by Reiner & Joshua Ottens.

The map shows the Kingdom of Persia, Ottoman Anatolia, Russia, the Caspian Sea and the Near Eastern environs, as it was divided in the early 1700s. There are two main colors that highlight territories, yellow being the Safavid Dynasty and the pink being the Ottoman Empire. The lands in the left hand corner of the map outlined in green are the lower south central lands of Russia. In the yellow colored part of the map those outlined in a different color are regions of the Safanid Dynasty. On the bottom left hand corner is land of the Kingdom of the Mongols.

Large population areas are marked by red stars such as Cairo, Constantinople, and Isfahan, only Medina is not marked in red. From these centers the marked roads show the primary trade routes; these are drawn as two parallel lines going in the same direction. Landmarks such as oasis's and forts and geographical formations are also drawn. Mountain ranges, rives lakes and the seas are all named and drawn.

Since the Mongol conquest of the Muslim World, the Near East has been under constant change and conflict. From the Crusades to the Ottoman Empire, this region has seen continuously changing borders. From the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate to present day, the region has been a source of ongoing conflict.
When the Abbasid Caliphate fell in 1517 and the Mongols took power, the Persians split off and tried to revive the Persian Empires of the pre-Islamic World. This map was made during the rule of the last Safavid King Sultan Husayn. At the time, the trend for the region was short ruling periods by various tribes or families, before they themselves were overthrown.

The Safavid Dynasty had ruled Persia since the beginning of the 16th century, and were one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Persia after the fall of the Sasanian Empire following the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century A.D. They are often considered the beginning of "modern" Persian history.

The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I, who arrived in Anatolia from Merv (Turkmenistan) with 400 horsemen to aid the Seljuks of Rum against the Byzantines. After the destruction of the Turkish Seljuk Sultanate of Rum in the 14th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent, mostly Turkish states. One of them was led by Osman I, from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman I extended the frontiers of Turkish settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire. This conquest continued through the generations. Sultan Selim I dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern and southern frontiers by defeating Shah Ismail of Safavid Persia, in the Battle of Chaldiran.

Selim I established Ottoman rule in Egypt, and created a naval presence on the Red Sea. From that time forward, the conflict between these two empires would be nearly continuous. In 1535, the Ottoman Turks took Baghdad from the Persians, gaining control of Mesopotamia and naval access to the Persian Gulf. The Ottoman state remained strong through the 16thcentury. The only significant set backs were the Ottoman campaigns against the Safavid Dynasty of Persia where many of the Ottoman eastern provinces were lost, and in the 1603-1618 war that eventually resulted with the Treaty of Nasuh Pasha, which granted for the cession of the entire Caucasus, except for westernmost Georgia, back into Iranian Safavid possession.

This period of dual attempts at conquest and the resulting inconclusive wars would continue and grow between the Ottoman and Persian Empires. In the 1700s,the Turks would also be forced to deal with the territorial ambitions of the Russian Empire.

At the time this map was published, The Russian expansion presented a large and growing threat. Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III declared war on Russia, which resulted in the Ottoman victory at the Pruth River Campaign of 1710-1711. After the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-1718, the Treaty of Passarowitz confirmed the loss of the Banat, Serbia and "Little Walachia" to Austria. The Treaty also revealed that the Ottoman Empire was on the defensive and unlikely to present any further aggression in Europe.

The Austro-Russian-Turkish War, which was ended by the Treaty of Belgrade in 1739, resulted in the Ottoman recovery of Serbia and Oltenia, but the loss of the port of Azov to the Russians. After this treaty, the Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of Prussia.

The Persians were also forced to deal with the growing Russian threat. Sultan Husayn was confronted in June 1722, by Peter the Great, the Czar of the neighboring Russian Empire, when it declared war on Safavid empire in an attempt to expand Russian influence in the Caspian and Caucasus regions and to prevent its rival, the Ottoman Empire from territorial gains in the region, all at the expense of declining Safavid Iran. The Russian victory resulted in Safavid Irans' cession of their territories in the Northern, Southern Caucasus (drawn on the map) and contemporary mainland Northern Iran, comprising the cities of Derbent (southern Dagestan) and Baku and their nearby surrounding lands, as well as the provinces of Gilan, Shirvan, Mazandaran, and Astrabad to Russia, as part of the Treaty of Saint Petersburg (1723).