Maps of Persia (2 vols)

Author: Cyrus Alai
General Maps of Persia (second, revised edition, 2010)
Iran, or Persia as it was known in the West for most of its long history, has been mapped extensively for centuries but the absence of a good cartobibliography has often deterred scholars of its history and geography from making use of the many detailed maps that were produced. This is now available, prepared by Cyrus Alai who embarked on a lengthy investigation into the old maps of Persia, and visited major map collections and libraries in many countries.
With over four hundred separate map entries and over two hundred illustrations this work covers all the important printed general maps of Persia from the early editions of Ptolemy at the end of the 15th century until 1925 when the Qajar dynasty was overthrown. Useful historical accounts provide the background to this wealth of cartographic achievement. After a description of the many editions of Ptolemy, later maps are divided into groups according to the country where they were produced: Italy, the Low Countries, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, America, Persia, Turkey, and Spain with Portugal.
This second, revised edition includes two new maps and a list of addenda.

Special Maps of Persia (first edition, 2010)
This volume complements the best-seller and award-winning General Maps of Persia, praised by Dr. John Hébert, Chief of the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress: “This carefully researched work is a must have item in any collection of research materials on the history of cartography... I cannot wait for the arrival of subsequent volumes of further great scholarship and readable map reproductions on other detailed aspects of the history of mapping of Persia.”

Encouraged by numerous commending reviews in five languages – English, French, German, Persian and Armenian – and gratifying testimonials from many renowned authorities in the fields of ‘History of Cartography’ and ‘Iranian Studies’, Cyrus Alai continued his research and collected further material to produce the present volume: Special Maps of Persia, 1477-1925, covering every map of that region, other than general maps. Thus, it not only complements the General Maps of Persia, it is also a completely new volume in its own right and, providing an even closer insight into the region.

The book is divided into nine chapters: Historical Maps, District Maps, Frontier Maps, Town Maps, Political Maps etc. Like the preceding volume, it has a dual character, being both a carto-bibliography and a mapping history of Persia. It contains 761 map-entries, of which 409 are illustrated, mostly in colour. Concise related historical accounts precede every chapter and section, and essential historical notes are also supplied within many of the map entries.

Undoubtedly, this book is a treasure house not just for cartographers, but also historians, social historians, linguists and archaeologists.

List price

EUR  €549.00USD  $681.00
Cyrus Alai was born in Iran and received his Ph.D. degree (Dr.-Ing.) from ‘Die Technische Universität, Berlin-Charlottenburg’. He founded a group of engineering companies in Iran which he directed for twenty years, and he also lectured at the University of Teheran for eight years. Dr. Alai settled later in England, working as a consulting engineer and at the same time studying the history of cartography and collecting old maps of Persia. He has written numerous articles on ‘the cartography of Persia’ and ‘the traditional cartography of classical Islamic societies’, including the entry ‘Geography: Cartography of Persia’ for the Encyclopaedia Iranica. His book General Maps of Persia was published by Brill in 2005.
"It is most informative and clearly set out and looks lovely too - it seems destined for the scholar's library, the collector's bookshelf and the amateur's coffee table: a very rare achievement." – Mr. Peter Barber, Head of the Map Library, British Library
"Whether you are an interested amateur, a cartographic historian or a librarian, you can be assured that will have seen nothing like this book before" – Tony Campbell, on: MapHist discussion group
"This outstanding book is a welcome addition to the histories of cartography. Its scholarship is frist rate, its graphic reproduction is excellent, and its physical properties will sustain it under heavy use as a library reference. Peter Barber head of the Map Library, the British Library, stated: "It is most informative and clearly set out and looks lovely too - it seems destined for the scholar's library, the collector's bookshelf, and the amateur's coffee table: a very rare achievement."...In both content and construction, this is a work that will last for decades" – Hubert O. Johnson, in: The Portolan, 2006
"All in all no question remains unanswered in this volume. Thanks to the publisher, the maps have been printed in such quality and size that the texts are legible..." – Uta Lindgren, in: Cartographica Helvetica, January 2007
"Cyrus Alai has produced an outstanding book of the Maps of Persia . In these days it is easy to forget the once mighty Empire that contested the Greeks and preceded the Romans. It holds great historical interest but of more contemporary importance is the fact that it does help us appreciate the central Geo-Political situation of Iran today and our need to both understand what it is about and relate to it." – Lord Peter Temple-Morris
"This publication's major contribution is bringing into one volume a rich and wide range of bibliographic material, thereby providing an invaluable resource for further investigation for those interested in the region." – L. Yacher, in CHOICE, 2006
Contents to General Maps of Persia (second, revised edition)

Key to Special Abbreviations
Foreword by Tony Campbell

Chapter One: The Ptolemaic Maps of Persia
Historical Background
Ptolemy’s Life and His Mapping of Persia
The Fifth Map of Asia Depicting Persia
Group PTOL-1, Bologna
Group PTOL-2, Rome
Group PTOL-3, Florence
Group PTOL-4, Ulm
Group PTOL-5, Early Venice
Group PTOL-6, Schott, Strasbourg
Group PTOL-7, Grueninger, Strasbourg
Group PTOL-8, Basel
Group PTOL-9, Gastaldi, Venice
Group PTOL-10, Ruscelli, Venice
Group PTOL-11, Mercator Plates, Cologne
Group PTOL-12, The Netherlands
Group PTOL-13, Magini, Venice; Cologne; Arnhem; Padua
Group PTOL-14, Sessa, Venice

Chapter Two: General and Regional Maps of Persia
Historical Background
Section One: Italian Maps
Section Two: Maps from the Low Countries
Section Three: French Maps
Section Four: Germanic Maps
Section Five: British Maps
Section Six: Russian Maps
Section Seven: American Maps
Section Eight: Persian Maps
Section Nine: Turkish Maps
Section Ten: Spanish and Portuguese Maps
A Curiosity Map, Persia as a Persian Cat

List of Consulted Map Collections
List of Figures
List of Plates
Bibliography, Excluding Maps, Atlases and Old Books (pre-1925)
Chronological Index of Map Entries
Index of Personal and Institutional Names
Index of Geographical Names
Addenda (including the maps: The Persian Empire, by Thomas Herbert, 1638 and Persiae ut et Maris Caspii Terrarumq vicinarum Delineatio noua A 1725 by Andreae Grönwall)

Contents to Special Maps of Persia

Special Abbreviations

Chapter One: Historical Maps
Section One: The Ancient (Pre-Islamic) Periods in General
Section Two: Median Period
Section Three: Achaemenid Period
Section Four: Alexander Campaign and Seleucid Period
Section Five: Parthian (Arsacids) and Sasanian Periods
Section Six: Pre-Safavid Islamic Period

Chapter Two: District Maps
Section One: Azerbaijan, Northwest Persia
Section Two: Baluchistan and Sistan, Southeast Persia
Section Three: Fars, South Persia
Section Four: Gilan, North Persia
Section Five: Khorasan, East Persia
Section Six: Southwest Persia: Kurdistan, Bakhtiari Mountains, Luristan, Khuzistan and Southwest Persia
Section Seven: West Persia

Chapter Three: Caspian Sea and its Persian Shores

Chapter Four: Persian Gulf, Persian Shores and Islands
Section One: The Persian Gulf
Section Two: Persian Shores, Parts of the Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman
Section Three: The Persian Islands

Chapter Five: Frontier Maps
Section One: Western Frontiers
Section Two: Northern Frontiers
Section Three: Eastern Frontiers

Chapter Six: Route Maps

Chapter Seven: Town Maps, Historical Sites
Collection of Towns: Ardebil, Bampur, Bandar Abbas, Bisotun, Bushehr, Hamadan, Hormoz, Isfahan: City of Isfahan, Meydan-i-Shah, Other Important Monuments; Izad-Khvast, Jolfa, Kashan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Mashhad, Persepolis, Qazvin, Qom, Qomsheh, Rey, Sarakhs, Sarpol-i-Zahab, Saveh, Shiraz, Soltanieh, Tabriz, Teheran, Yazd, Historical Sites

Chapter Eight: Political, Transport/Communication, and Tribal Maps
Section One: Political and Military Maps
Section Two: Transport, Communication and Economic Maps
Section Three: Tribal Maps

Chapter Nine: Natural-Topographical and Geological Maps
Section One: Rivers
Section Two: Lakes and Salt Plains
Section Three: Mountains and Cross-Sections
Section Four: Geological Maps

List of Consulted Map Collections
List of Plates
Chronological Index of Map Entries
Index of Personal and Institutional Names
Index of Geographical Names