Geographie Sacræ ex Veteri et Novo Testamento desumptæ Tabula Prima, quæ Totius Orbis Partes continet, published by the Seminary press in Padua in 1694, is a rare map based on the work of Nicholas Sanson, the esteemed French geographer to King Louis XIV. This distinct cartographic work offers a portrayal of the Mediterranean and its surrounding regions, drawing upon the geographical narratives found in the Old and New Testaments.
The map presents a panorama of the Mediterranean world as described in biblical accounts. It encompasses regions from Spain and North Africa to the east of the Caspian Sea, providing detailed geographical insight into an area deeply embedded in biblical history. Regions, cities, and geographical features are labeled with their historical names, providing a link between the landscape and its biblical references.
An important highlight of the map is the inset located in the lower left corner titled "Israelitarum Mansiones in Deserto". This inset illustrates the journey of the Israelites through the desert, offering a geographical perspective on this significant event from the Old Testament.
As an essential element of the broader geographical understanding of the period, the map showcases Sanson's skill in merging geographical precision with historical and biblical contexts. His ability to integrate these different elements into a cohesive and detailed visual representation testifies to the innovative spirit of cartography during the period.
As such, Geographie Sacra ex Veteri et Novo Testamento desumpta Tabula Prima, quæ Totius Orbis Partes continet offers an intriguing blend of geographical understanding, biblical narrative, and historical context, reflecting the distinct cartographic style of Nicholas Sanson and the broader epistemic currents of the late 17th century.