Persian Empire – Gerard Mercator, 1633

THE PERSIAN EMPIRE – SAFAVID IRAN “Persici Vel Sophorvm Regni Typvs”. [Map of the Persian or Sophi (Safavid) Kingdom]. Copper…

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Persici Vel Sophorvm Regni Typvs”. [Map of the Persian or Sophi (Safavid) Kingdom]. Copper engraving by published by Gerard Mercator in 1633. With original hand colouring. Verso: English text. Size: 35.2 x 50.3 cm.

When this map was created, Persia was ruled by the Safavid Dynasty, (1501-1722). Shah Abbas the Great, who reigned from 1588 to 1629, was particularly notable for his efforts to strengthen and modernize the empire.

The Safavid period is often considered a cultural renaissance for Persia. There were advancements in the arts, literature, and architecture. Isfahan, the capital, became a center for artistic and intellectual pursuits, known for its beautiful mosques, palaces, and public buildings.

The Shiite Muslim Safavids promoted Twelver Shiism as the state religion. This had a lasting impact (until today) on the religious landscape of Persia.

Persia was a vital player in the Silk Road trade routes, facilitating commerce between East and West. Isfahan, in particular, thrived as a major economic and trade center during this period.

European powers, such as the Dutch and the English, established trade contacts with Persia during this time.

As the description on the verso side reads: “This Country is not in all parts of a like nature: for that tract, which lies next the Persian and Caspian Sea, is most blessed and happy by reason of the sweetness of the Rivers, which waters it, the mildness of the air, and the cool gales of wind, which refreshes the Earth, makes her to be as a nursing mother in yielding abundance of all manner of Fruits, and all kinds of cattle, as Wheat, Barly, Pulse and other grain, also it is not wanting in metals and precious stones, having plenty also of wine and diverse other fruits: but the rest of this Country in regard of the heat and drought thereof lies vast and barren.

Price: Euro 625,-