Mapping the Silk Road and Beyond

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9780714844091: Mapping the Silk Road and Beyond
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Mapping Asia presents an authoritative selection of the most important antique maps of Asia representing time periods from the age of Alexander the Great to the early nineteenth century, and spanning the area from the Middle East to Japan. A visual chronicle of the maps and their makers, this book presents historic documents by cartographers from England, France, Portugal, Holland, Turkey, Italy, and China. It explores the history of Europe's discovery of lands to the east, from Constantinople to present-day Alaska. In doing so the book tells the story of the thriving trade that linked east and west beginning with the ancient Silk Road, examines the role of the explorers - such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Sir Francis Drake - as they overcame enormous difficulties to discover new lands and routes to the East, and contrasts this history with the struggles of indigenous peoples to retain their autonomy in the face of European trade, missionary activity, and influence.
This volume reproduces in full color 80 beautifully rendered and rare maps, more than 40 of which have never been published for the general public. Each map is accompanied by an essay that provides extensive background on the mapmaker and his work, with descriptions of the geography and sites. The decoration of the maps reflects artistic styles of their day, including calligraphy, cartouches, and details such as camel caravans making their way across the Silk Road, galleons navigating sea routes to Asia, illustrations of native plants and animals, battle scenes, and town views.

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About the Author:

Kenneth Nebenzahl is an internationally recognized authority on antiquarian cartography and one of the most prominent dealers and appraisers in the US in rare books, manuscripts, and maps. He served as Consultant on the History of Cartography to Rand McNally from 1966-98, is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and serves on the boards of the Newberry Library and the University of Chicago. Nebenzahl is the author of several books, including Maps of the Holy Lands and The Atlas of Columbus and the Great Discoveries.

Review:

"Maps of mesmerising beauty... A fine new book."-Stephen Bayley, Independent on Sunday "Beautifully printed... The high-quality reproductions of a superb selection from worldwide collections speak for themselves... An informative, intriguing and beautiful book."-Dr Susan Whitfield, Royal Academy Journal "It's been a big year for the Silk Road, with the British Library's majestic exhibition ably and plentifully supported by book publishers right across the board... But no matter how good these books have been, it's fair to say that none of them have pulled out the stops quite so effectively as... Mapping the Silk Road and Beyond - a truly fascinating account... A balanced and authoritative - as well as visually stunning - cartographical anthology. The pleasure of seeing such a distinguished collection of maps brought together in in one volume is greatly enhanced by the production values of the book itself. Apart from the fact it's beautifully printed on stout matt paper with absolutely no show-through, the printer seems to have got the colours spot-on, which is a laudable achievement[...]."-Geographical "Nebenzahl's achievement... is to make accessible and arresting an esoteric field."-World of Interiors "Even specialists of maps of Asia and the way there will find something new... A welcome addition to the cartography of Asia, particularly for the choice of illustrations and their superb reproduction."-IMCoS (Journal of the International Map Collector's Society) "Beautiful... Nebenzahl's commentary on the maps, which presuppose no expert knowledge of cartography, [...] is clear and helpful."-The Art Newspaper "A collection of maps, spanning 2,000 years offer a unique insight into the discovery of Asia and its trade routes."-British Airways Magazine

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