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Cyrus Alai

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 permits the work of a single cartographer to be handled in an uninterrupted sequence, thus aiding quick reference to a particular style of map, and its later offshoots.
At the end of each major entry, further details concerning different editions and variations, other related maps, historical notes and unique or important features are provided, thus fitting the map into its chronological background. The large number of indexes at the end of the book should enable map collectors, dealers and librarians to identify any map of Persia with ease.
This book is a good balance between history and geography, and will appeal to a wide range of readers. Many Persian maps have surely been rescued from obscurity, and it is now possible to study sequence of developing geographical knowledge over a historically and economically important part of Asia. It is unlikely to be superseded for a very long time.
This second, revised edition includes two new maps and a list of addenda.
Restricted Access

Cyrus Alai

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.
Restricted Access

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.