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Jan Jansson: Walachia, Servia, Bvlgaria, Romania

Map: CEU1891
Cartographer: Jan Jansson
Title: Walachia, Servia, Bvlgaria, Romania
Date: 1666
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 22 inches / 56 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: CEU1891
Attractive copper-engraved map of the Eastern Balkans, encompassing modern day Romania (formerly Walachia), Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and part of Turkey. The River Danube enters the map from the west, near Belgrade, flowing eastwards into the Black Sea.

Major towns are marked on the map with a red fortification, including the Bulgarian capital Sofia (Sopfia), Serbian capital Belgrade (Belgradum), Sibiu in Transylvania, Romania (formerly Hermenstat), Thessalonki (Theßaloniea) in Greece and of course, Istanbul (Constantinpolis).

The map’s decorative title cartouche is adorned with the insignia of the Ottoman Empire, the crescent, as well as swords, spears, and other instruments of war. During this time, the Ottoman Empire was starting to decline, losing dominance, wealth and resources to Europe who during the Renaissance had gained knowledge, power and momentum and greatly strengthened military.

The Ottoman Empire was at this time under the influence of the Köprülü family (1656–1703), who saw many military successes and land gains in places such as Romania, Greece, Podolia and Polish Ukraine. However, the Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by the amalgamated forces of the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a sure sign that the Ottoman Empire had now reached its peak and the slow period of decline which lasted until the end of the First World War had begun.

The verso description of the map, in Latin, illustrates the history of the area and describes the major towns, particularly the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople (now Istanbul). There are also mentions of the resources of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania. The description goes into some details of the workings of the Turkish Government, and the effect the governments rulings have on the Christian population of the region.

Latin text on verso (image available on request). . Coloured. [CEU1891]