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History of the World in Maps The Rise and Fall of Empires, Countries and Cities
Maps are amongst the oldest forms of communication, and of art. This elegant volume charts their development from the Babylonian clay tablets marking property boundaries all the way through to Google maps. Some 250 maps are presented in colour, alongside texts describing their provenance, highlighting quirks and inaccuracies in the content or design, or outlining the historical significance of the map.
There are sketchy maps, detailed topographical studies, and outlines of unknown continents. There are maps of geographic features and coastlines, battle plans, maps illustrating poverty or disease, or political events. All are bound together to illustrate the achievements of cartographers, and showcase some of the problems they have faced. The examples have been judiciously selected from the parchment route-map drawn by a Roman, and the Florentine map of medieval Constantinople, right through to a map setting out the Oslo Accords. Times Books 256pp Hb.