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Remondini's edition of the Santini map of the Persian Empire

Remondini's map of the Persian Empire  serves as a captivating document that details the vast territories of Persia during the 18th century. It showcases a land stretching from the Caspian Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south, and from Armenia in the west to the Indus River and Karachi in the east. Such a representation beautifully captures the grandeur and geographical breadth of one of history's great empires.

Among the highlighted regions are Irak Ajami, which historically referred to Western Iran, distinct from 'Irak Arabi' or modern-day Iraq. Then there's Kerman in southeastern Iran, an essential center for culture and trade, especially renowned for its grand bazaar and Persian carpets. Fars, often regarded as the heartland of Persia, houses the ancient city of Persepolis and stood as a critical center of Achaemenid power. The map also delineates Mekran, situated in the southwestern part of Pakistan and southeastern Iran, representing its strategic importance along the Arabian Sea. Sindi on the map points to the Sindh region in modern-day Pakistan, a place with deep historical roots stretching back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The likely representation of Sigistan might encompass parts of the present-day Sistan and Baluchistan provinces in Iran. Lastly, the vast region of Khorosan, historically covered parts of modern-day northeastern Iran, northern Afghanistan, and southern areas of Central Asia, serving as a beacon of Persianate culture and learning.

The 18th century was a period of tumult for the Persian Empire, marked by significant political shifts and power struggles. The early part of this century witnessed the decline of the Safavid Dynasty, leading to the Afghan Hotaki dynasty's brief rule. However, by the late 1720s, Nader Shah managed to overthrow the Afghans, establishing the Afsharid dynasty in 1736. His reign expanded the Persian empire's territories, most notably defeating the Mughal Empire in the 1739 Battle of Karnal. After Nader Shah's assassination in 1747, the empire fragmented, with various rulers and dynasties, including the Zands and Qajars, jostling for control. By the late 18th century, the Qajar dynasty, under Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, began its ascent, setting the stage for their control in the centuries to come.

Prominent geographical features on this map include the Zagros Mountains, a significant mountain range running northwest to southeast, crucial for defining the western edge of the empire and acting as a natural barrier. The Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water, is a notable feature in the northern reaches of the empire, serving as both a geographical boundary and a critical route for trade and communication. The Indus River, one of the world's major rivers, definse the empire's easternmost extent, bearing testament to the empire's breadth and the cultural exchange it facilitated. Lastly, the Persian Gulf, a mediterranean sea in Western Asia, ise depicted as a significant body of water on the empire's southern front, emphasizing its maritime importance for trade and naval power.

Paolo Santini Biography

Paolo Santini (1729-1793) was an Venetian engraver known especially for his religious prints and fine cartographic engravings. He published in Venice and may have a been a member of the clergy. In his maps, he largely adopted and adapted the work of his French counterparts, especially the brothers de Vaugondy.