Mali Empire, 14th-century Catalan Atlas

Mali Empire, 14th-century Catalan Atlas

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mali Empire, 14th-century Catalan Atlas. This image of the ruler of the African kingdom of Mali has been cropped from a page of the Catalan Atlas (1375). The Mali Empire reached the height of its power in the 14th century. This 6-page atlas was produced on vellum by the Jewish cartographer Abraham Cresques. It was commissioned by the rulers of the Kingdom of Aragon (north-eastern Spain). Two pages are on cosmography, and four on geography. The pictures show biblical stories, rulers, cities, and mountains. The text is in Catalan. This gold leaf and hand-illuminated facsimile was produced in 1959 by Spanish scholars Joan Vernet and David Romano.

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