Uncommon original antique map showing the regions controlled by the eastern half of the Roman Empire as they stood in ancient times.
The map stretches from Italy eastwards to the Caspian and goes as far south as the Strait of Hormuz and Thebes. Tribes and the ancient names for all of the various regions are given. Cities are shown, as are mountain ranges and rivers. Parts where the Roman Empire had limited contact, mainly in the far northeast of this map, are little mapped.
To the right of the map is a flow chart of the various territorial divisions of the Roman Empire at this time.
This map was published by Nicholas Sanson in Paris in 1742.
Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps; they are known for their clean style and extensive research. Sanson was largely responsible for beginning the shift of cartographic production and excellence from Amsterdam to Paris in the later-seventeenth century.
Sanson was born in Abbeville in Picardy. He made his first map at age twenty, a wall map of ancient Gaul. Upon moving to Paris, he gained the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who made an introduction of Sanson to King Louis XIII. This led to Sanson's tutoring of the king and the granting of the title ingenieur-geographe du roi.
His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Early in his career, Sanson worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde (1658), Sanson' atlas and the first French world atlas.