Sinus Arabici pars borealis secundum Agatharchidem, Arthemidorum, Plinium, Ptolomaeum.
Engraved map, outline coloured. 705 x 260 mm.
Antique map of the upper portion of the Red Sea, referred to on the map as the Sea of Arabia, stretching from the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba to approximately the latitude of Medina. This region, one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, extends to the northeast to parts of Israel, and in the northwest to the soon-to-be-built Suez Canal. The work was originally included in Karl Müller's "Geographi Graeci minores", along with many other maps of the region.
The map is highly detailed, showing many settlements, mountains, wadis, and more. Most interestingly, Müller provides Ptolomaic coordinates for some of these, and the map credits Agatharchides, Arthemidorus, Pliny, and Ptolemy as its sources. Place names given range from Arabic to Greek. Five insets are provided, including one of the Straits of Tiran. Two panorama views, one showing the Sinai, are provided. In all, this is a nice decorative chart of the region.
Karl Müller's "Geographi Graeci minores" appears to be a partial attempt to collect the vast geographical knowledge of the Greeks. He provides some new translations, describes the knowledge of the ancients, and compares his findings with modern geography. The work was published at a time when the studies of the ancient world were just starting to be done in a modern fashion.
Works such as Müller's are an often-underutilized source of knowledge regarding the antiquities. Fenet states that "the majority of the nautical voyages collated by Müller need modern and detailed commentary. Recent publications have started to use these types of sources more frequently". In all, this work and map constitute an important early modern study on the subject.