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Author Topic: AL IDRISI MAP  (Read 3524 times)
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« on: December 05, 2007, 07:03:05 pm »

Idrisi's best known work is his map of the world "lawh al-tarsim" (plank of draught), of 1154.

He worked on the commentaries and illustrations for eighteen years at the court of King Roger II of Sicily. His map is now known as the 'Tabula Rogeriana', his book as the 'Geografia'. Taken together, they were named Nuzhat al-Mushtak fi Ikhtiraq al-Afaq by Roger, but al-Kitab al-Rujari ("Roger's Book") by al-Idrisi.

His maps were used extensively during the explorations of the era of the renaissance like the journeys of Christopher Columbus.

Roger II of Sicily had his world map drawn on a circle of silver weighing about 400 pounds. The works of Al-Idrisi include Nozhat al-mushtaq fi ikhtiraq al-afaq a compendium of the geographic and sociologic knowledge of his time as well as descriptions of his own travels illustrated with over seventy maps; Kharitat al-`alam al-ma`mour min al-ard (Map of the inhabited regions of the earth) wherein he divided the world into 7 regions, the first extending from the equator to 23 degrees latitude, and the seventh being from 54 to 63 degrees followed by a region uninhabitable due to cold and snow.

He firmly believed that the earth was spherical. He proved this by stating that "an equilibrium which experiences no variation" keeps these bodies of water in place.

Al-Idrisi constructed a world globe map of 400 kg pure silver and precisely recorded on it trade routes, lakes and rivers, major cities, and plains and mountains.[citation needed] In his Geography, he even described the large seafaring Chinese junks of the Song Dynasty, the ports of call they came to in the Indian Ocean, and the usual goods aboard their ships.

His world map was used in Europe for centuries to come. It is worth mentioning that Christopher Columbus used the world maps, which was originally taken from Al-Idrisi's work.

A second, expanded edition was produced in 1161 with the remarkable title The Gardens of Humanity and the Amusement of the Soul, but all copies of it have been lost. An abridged version of this edition, named Garden of Joys -- but usually referred to as the Little Idrisi -- was published in 1192.

The book is not a perfect historical source, as al-Idrisi (as was common then and for many more centuries) relied on other sources for it. For example, when writing about Poland he has conflated it with the land that is the modern-day Czech Republic, because he wrote about "a country surrounded by mountains".
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 07:05:19 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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