Spanning from the Perisa to the Nile River and extending to the Horn of Africa encompassing all of the Arabian Peninsula, this detailed map from Reichardi Orbis terrarum antiquus a D. Campio editus, published in Nuremberg in 1829 by Johann Christoph Reichard, masterfully integrates classical toponyms with contemporary geography.
This map serves as a bridge between the classical understanding of geography and contemporary cartographic advancements. Integrating placenames such as Arabia Felix, Arabia Petraea, and Mesopotamia with modern geography reflects this unique period of intellectual synthesis.
The map's detailed portrayal of regions and ancient cities such as Hierosolyma (Jerusalem), Ctesiphon, and Seleucia is significant. These locations, crucial in ancient history and trade, are overlayed onto the then-current understanding of the geography, offering a unique perspective that blends time and space.
In the Gulf, names such as Ichthyophagi, Asabi, Agraei, Cadara civitas (Qatar?), and the Sinus Persicus (Persian Gulf) showcase the naming conventions of classical antiquity.
Christian Gottlieb Reichard (1758-1837) was a German cartographer. Reichard studied law in Leipzig and found work as a town clerk in Bad Lobenstein. He had great personal interest in geography, history, and cartography, hobbies which gained him more renown than law. However, even after he began making maps, he continued working his clerk job, which gave him the financial stability to support his family.
Reichard is best known for his work on his Atlas des Ganzen Erdkreises in der Central Projection (Atlas of the Whole World in the Central Projection) in 1803 and the Orbis terrarum antiquus (Atlas of the Ancient World) of 1824. He is also likely the first published cartographer to adopt the Albers conic projection, in his map Die Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America, nach den sichersten Bestimmungen, neuesten Nachrichten und Charten, in der Alber’schen Projection entworfen, (The United States of North America, after the safest regulations, latest news and charts, designed in the Alberian projection), where he references the Albers projection by name.
Reichard’s work was known by his contemporaries as highly accurate, and in fact this descriptor still holds up today. This accuracy, along with his skill, made him very publishable, and he worked on a number of atlases with other cartographers, such as Steiler’s Handatlas. Reichard’s style is simple but includes great detail, making his maps both recognizable at a glance and engaging upon deeper study.