Map of the Countries Mentioned in the Bible, c. 1860, Chambers
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Map of the Countries Mentioned in the Bible, c. 1860, Chambers

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Map of the Countries Mentioned in the Bible, c. 1860, Chambers

In this unique map, the regions depicted are the historical cities and nations mentioned in the Holy Bible as 19th-century scholars understood them. It is divided into various sections. Particularly noteworthy is the inset that shows a region along the Euphrates (known today as the Cradle of Civilization) that is described as "supposed situation of Paradise" or the possible location of the garden of Eden. Not far is the historic site of Mt. Ararat, where Noah's Ark is said to have rested at the end of the Flood. In Catholic Ireland, where these maps were printed, religious life still dominated everyday culture, particularly after the religious revivals of the 1850s, including mass conversions and apocalyptic predictions.

Despite the importance of Christianity in the West and the reverence held for the Holy Land, the British Empire was embroiled in the Mount Lebanon civil war of 1860. It took place in what is now modern-day Lebanon and Syria. At this time, the State of Lebanon was divided between the Christian Maronite North and the Druze South. The Druze is a unique ethnic and religious group from the Middle East. Their religion is Abrahamic (as are Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), and centers on the importance of their prophet Jethro, whom the Druze is their ancestor. Maronites across the Lebanese region craved independence from the Druze and attempted to revolt. Horrified by this rebellion, the Druze armed themselves. On May 29, they massacred thousands of Christians, including civilians and clergy, burning villages and churches in Damascus and other cities throughout the country. The British supported the interests of the Druze, but the victory ultimately went to the Maronites and their French allies.

Inspired by the Brockhaus Enzyklopadie, the Chambers Encyclopaedia was first published in 1859. It has been regarded as one of the most well-written and researched collections of the century. It was praised for its accurate maps, and engaging articles on a variety of subjects from religion, literature, science and more. Its popularity was so great that later editions were published throughout the 20th century. This map was engraved by A.K. Johnston and published by W. & R. Chambers.


- Onastasia Youssef

Sheet size: 10" x 12.5"

Condition: Piece of corner (outside of image) missing, still suitable for framing


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