A Map of the Earth from 1154

Posted on 10/26/2011 8:23:06 PM

On display on the first floor of the IUP Libraries is a facsimile of the Tabula Rogeriana, a map of the known world created by Moroccan cartographer Al-Idrisi (circa 1100–1166) for King Roger II of Sicily in 1154. This is part of the Dr. Maher Y. Shawer Collection in the IUP Special Collections and University Archives.

Tabula Rogeriana

Al-Idrisi was born in Sebta in northern Morocco on the Mediterranean shore. Before he was sixteen years old, he had traveled North Africa, Europe, and Asia Minor. Al-Idrisi was educated in Cordova, and he later lived in Andalusia (Spain) and Sicily. He wrote books on geography, literature, and poetry. In 1145, Al-Idrisi was invited to the court of Roger II of Sicily, where he later created this map and engraved it on a silver globe.

The German geographer Konrad Miller collected the panels of Al-Idrisi's map and translated the map text into Latin, and the map was published in 1930. In 1951, the Latin version was translated into the original Arabic by the archeologist Professor Mohammed Bahga and Dr. Ali, members of the Scientific Society of Iraq. It was edited and corrected using the original text written by Al-Idrisi.

The map on display is a facsimile of the 1951 version that was donated by Dr. Maher Y. Shawer, Professor Emeritus.