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Number: 1036
Continent: Africa
Region: West
Place Names: Bahhar Sudan, Nigritia Sea, Inland Sea, Great Lake, Wangara, Darfur, Lake Debo
Year of Origin: 1816
Title: Map of NORTHERN AFRICA Constructed by Major Rennell in 1798 & corrected in 1802, Augmented by the Inland Sea called EL BAHHAR SOUDAN. According to the theory of Ali Bey confirmed by the information which he obtained in 1805 concerning the existence of that Sea.
Sub-Title: As the object of this Map is to show that the existence of the inland Sea of Africa does not in any manner derange the known geography of that part of the World, whilst it solves the problem respecting the outlet of the rivers which flow on all sides toward the centre of that continent we have in preference copied that of Major Rennell as one of the best extant without attempting the rectification on some points better known since the date of the Author in order that the Map being retained entire may afford better means of appreciationg the calculations of Ali Bey respecting the existence and extent of that Sea. This Map also indicates the positions and extent of the ancient Island of Atlantis according to the system of Ali Bey which has already merited the suffrages of the Royal Institute of France.
Language: English
Publish Origin: London
Size Class.: Medium
Color Type: No Color
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Cartographer: James Rennell
Engraver: Warnicke
Other Contributors: Domingo Badia Y Leblich ( Ali Bey )
Northernmost Latitude:
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Notes: see book #2622; This map is from the 1st London edition of the book "Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, Between the Years 1803 and 1807. Written by himself, and illustrated by maps and numerous plates"; This map marks the epitome of the theory discribing an African Inland Sea, here called Bahhar Soudan, and the confusion with the traditional Island of Wangara and Lake Dibbie ( Lake Debo in the Inland Niger Delta between Djenne and Timbuctu ). It also demontrates James Rennell's construction of the mythical Mountains of Kong; from "Travels of Ali Bey In Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria & Turkey, Between The Years 1803-1807, Written By Himself ". The first edition was published in French at Paris in 1814. A German translation was printed in 1816, and a Spanish version appeared in 1836. Badia Y Leblich (pseudonym, Ali Bey ) was a Spanish traveller who disguised himself as an Arab. while possibly an agent for the Spanish government. In 1803 he departed for Tangier and travelled through North Africa to Egypt. He continued on to Cyprus, and had reached Mecca by the beginning of 1807, returning via Jerusalem, Damascus and Constantinople and returning to Spain the same year. He was the first Christian to describe in some detail, Mecca and the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem, as well as some little known aspects of Islam. After the publication of this work he planned a second journey under the name of Ali Othman to Syria, where he died suddenly at Aleppo. Badia was born into a military family in Barcelona in 1766. In 1800, while working in library of the Prince of Castelfranco in Madrid, he presented Godoy with a proposal "to undertake a political and scientific journey to Africa, for which he would masquerade as an Arab" under the name of Ali Bey el Abbassi, in which character he is shown in the frontispiece (Howgego). His scheme accepted, he spent a year studying Islamic culture under Sim? Rojas Clemente and visited London to gather surveying equipment and other scientific instruments. Arriving in Tangier in 1802, he passed himself off as a Syrian educated in Europe, during his two years in Morocco he visited Fez, Marrakech, and Mogador, before he travelled on to Tripoli. Early in 1805 he spent two months in Cyprus before proceeding to Egypt, where "he disguised himself as a pilgrim and journeyed to Mecca by astronomical observation, and using British instruments, he fixed the position of Mecca with perfect accuracy". It seems that while he was in Jerusalem his disguise was broken, and he was forced to flee Syria and Turkey to Bucharest and on to Paris. During the French occupation of Spain, having declared himself a Bonapartist, he occupied several administrative posts in C?doba and Segovia and in Madrid in 1810 " attempted to induce the government to colonize North Africa." But when Wellington drove the French from the Peninsula he was forced into exile in France, where he published the present account. In 1817, under the assumed name of Ali Othman, he returned to the East as a French agent, dying of disease in the Golan in September, 1818 before he could complete his second hajj. "Badia was apparently the first Christian to describe in detail Mecca and the mosque of Omar in Jerusalem" (Atabey); the plates are mostly after his designs and include architectural plans, natural history subjects and views. Blackmer 62; Gay 35; Howgego II B6; Macro 451; Atabey 46
Last updated: Jan 6, 2016