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J. & R. Ottens: Nova ac verissima Maris Caspii

Map: RUS2568
Cartographer: J. & R. Ottens
Title: Nova ac verissima Maris Caspii
Date: 1723
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 23 inches / 59 cm
Height: 19 inches / 49 cm
Map ref: RUS2568
Beautiful rendition of the Caspian Sea as known to ancient geographers, orientated east to west.

This map portrays the Caspian Sea according to classical knowledge. The orientation is from east to west, with the north pointing to the left off the map, the Iranian shore being to the right and Asian Russia on the upper part. Text in the middle off the sea states all of the nations which knew of the Sea and their names for it, including the Greeks, the Persians, the Turks and the Arabs. Below that is a description of the sea given by Pomponius Mela from his important work, “De Situs Orbis”. Mela was a Roman geographer who flourished around 40-45AD. The shape of the sea is obviously based on description rather than a scientific survey and the names are derived from antiquity as opposed to being current to the early 18th century.

It is interesting that the map is dedicated to Czar Peter the Great; Peter had just delivered a manuscript of the first scientific survey of the Caspian, commissioned by him and performed by Carl Vanverden, to the French Academy of Sciences. This manuscript acted as source for all new maps of the Sea and it could be speculated that Ottens also published this map to show the contrast between ancient and new knowledge of the region. Rich original hand colour. [RUS2568]