Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Die Stadt Tunis und Gouletta

  • Translation

Article ID AF0260
Artist Mallet (1630-1706)
Alain Manesson Mallet (1630- 1706 ) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV, became a Sergeant-Major in the artillery and an Inspector of Fortifications. He also served under the King of Portugal, before returning to France, and his appointment to the court of Louis XIV. His military engineering and mathematical background led to his position teaching mathematics at court. His major publications were Description de L'Univers (1683) in 5 volumes, and Les Travaux de Mars ou l'Art de la Guerre (1684) in 3 volumes. His Description de L'Universe contains a wide variety of information, including star maps, maps of the ancient and modern world, and a synopsis of the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in his text. It has been suggested that his background as a teacher led to his being concerned with entertaining his readers. This concern manifested itself in the charming harbor scenes and rural landscapes that he included beneath his description of astronomical concepts and diagrams. Mallet himself drew most of the figures that were engraved for this book.
Title Die Stadt Tunis und Gouletta
Year ca. 1684
Description Map shows the city of Tunis and the harbour Gouletta.
Today's Tunisia experienced the establishment of commercial branches by settlers from the eastern Mediterranean at the beginning of the historical records. According to legend, it was Queen Élyssa, sister of the king of Tyr, Pygmalion, who founded the city. Carthage became the greatest power of the western Mediterranean in 150 years. The influence came partly through colonization, but mostly through commercial branches and contracts. This power and the high agricultural potential of the Carthaginian motherland led to the awakening of the interest of the young, strengthening Roman Empire and a confrontation that culminated in the three Punic Wars. Carthage, with its troops led by Hannibal, was able to bring the Roman Empire to the brink of defeat several times during the Second Punic War (218–201 BC). At the end of the Third Punic War (149-146 BC) the city of Carthage was besieged for three years and ultimately destroyed. The area of today's Tunisia became part of the Roman province of Africa with capital Utica. Africa, along with Egypt, became one of the most important suppliers of agricultural products in Rome. Above all, Africa supplied grain and olive oil. Christianity spread quickly, especially through the arrival of settlers, traders and soldiers. Carthage became known in this regard that the influential Christian apologist Tertullian lived and worked here, so that North Africa soon developed into one of several centers of Christianity. The first Arab advances into what is now Tunisia began in 647. Unlike previous conquerors, the Arabs were not satisfied with just occupying the coastal areas, but also set out to conquer the interior. From the first third of the 12th century, Tunisia was subjected to frequent attacks by the Normans from Sicily and southern Italy. The economic boom caused the Almohadic century to go down in history as the golden age of the Maghreb, when large cities developed with magnificent mosques and scientists like Ibn Chaldūn worked. From the second half of the 14th century, the Hafsids slowly lost control of their territory and came under the influence of the Merinids of Abu Inan Faris, especially after the lost Battle of Kairouan (1348). In 1705 Husain I. ibn Ali made himself a Bey of Tunis and founded the Husainid dynasty. Tunisia achieved a high degree of independence among the Husainids, although it was still officially an Ottoman province. Ahmad I. al-Husain, who ruled from 1837 to 1855, initiated a modernization push with important reforms such as the abolition of slavery or the adoption of a constitution.
Place of Publication Frankfurt on Main
Dimensions (cm)14,5 x 10,5
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


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