Map of Ancient Gaul, showing France, the Low Countries, western Switzerland, and the Cologne region of Germany, divided into seventeen provinces.
The map shows rivers, major cities, and other features of interest. The extent of each of the seventeen provinces is given.
The map includes two insets. The inset map in the upper right shows Batavia in the Rhine-Meuse river delta. The inset in the lower left shows Provence, one of the first Roman colonies in France.
The seventeen provinces listed are: Narbonensis Prima, Viennensis, Narbonensis Secunda, Alpes Maritimae, Alpes Graiae et Penninae, Aquitania Prima, Aquitania Secunda, Novempopulania, Lugdunensis Prima, Lugdunensis Secunda, Lugdunensis Tertia, Lugdunensis Quarta or Senonia, Belgica Prima, Belgica Secunda, Germania Prima or Superior, Germania Secunda or Inferior, and Maxima Sequanorum
Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) was one of the foremost French geographers of the eighteenth century. He carried out rigorous research in order to create his maps, which greatly developed the technical proficiency of mapmaking during his lifetime. His style was also simpler and less ornate than that of many of his predecessors. It was widely adopted by his contemporaries and successors.
The son of a tailor, d’Anville showed cartographic prowess from a young age; his first map, of Ancient Greece, was published when he was only fifteen years old. By twenty-two, he was appointed as one of the King’s géographes ordinaire de roi. He tutored the young Louis XV while in the service to the Crown. However, royal appointment did not pay all the bills, so d’Anville also did some work for the Portuguese Crown from 1724. For example, he helped to fill out Dom João V’s library with geographical works and made maps showing Portugal’s African colonies.
D’Anville disapproved of merely copying features from other maps, preferring instead to return to the texts upon which those maps were based to make his own depictions. This led him to embrace blank spaces for unknown areas and to reject names which were not supported by other sources. He also amassed a large personal map library and created a network of sources that included Jesuits in China and savants in Brazil. D’Anville’s historical approach to cartography resulted in magnificently detailed, yet modern and academic, maps. For example, his 1743 map of Italy improved upon all previous maps and included a memoir laying out his research and innovations. The geographer also specialized in ancient historical geography.
In 1773, d’Anville was named premier géographe de roi. In 1780, he ceded his considerable library to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be used for as a reference library for diplomats. D’Anville is best known for several maps, including his map of China, first published in 1735, and then included with Du Halde’s history of that country (the Hague, 1737). His map of Africa (1749) was used well into the nineteenth century.