[FIRST ATLAS OF THE OTTOMAN HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY] Tarih-i umûmî ve Osmanî atlasi. 32 paftada 138 haritayi hâvi. [i.e. General historical Ottoman atlas including 138 maps in 32 sheets].

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MEHMED ESREF (Binbasi [i.e. Major]), (1846-1912). 

Mekteb-i Harbiye Matbaasi [i.e. Military School Printing House]., Constantinople, [AH 1330 = AR 1329] = 1913.

Original red cloth bdg. Restored dark red boards, marbled endpapers. Ownership inscription on colophon. A good copy. Small 4to. (27 x 18 cm). In Ottoman script (Turkish with Arabic letters). 12 p. text, descriptive list, 4 blank pages, 138 numerous folded chromolithographic maps on thick paper. All maps completed. A rare atlas on Ottoman historical geography. The maps on the work are divided into three divisions: Ancient, Medieval, and New Age: Ancient times: Map of the Egyptian government, Greeks, the Carthaginians; maps drawn by Herodotus, showing the regions where cities were located. Medieval times: Arab tribes before Islam, the birth of Islam, the geography of Abbasi and Umayyad caliphs. The regions of the Crusades, The Varna Expedition at the period of Murat II, the Byzantine conquest that closed this period. New Age: The borders of the Ottoman State after Fatih's death; Europe in the era of Suleiman the Magnificent; Crime; Maps of Dobrudja (Romania); Caucasus invasions of Russians; Ottoman State's Adrianople, Paris, Ayastefanos (San Stefano) treaties and Crimean maps. Even though Turkish/Ottoman cartography studies go back early in history, the oldest samples that have reached today belong to the early 15th century. When the Turkish/Ottoman geography and cartography tradition is examined, it is observed that one-page maps had been the most common way before the atlas tradition, just like the rest of the world. Those maps prepared for one single occasion were brought together in the course of time and in this way the form of 'atlas' had come in sight. Even though one might not call it an atlas by today's standards, because of several maps it includes, 'Kitab-i Bahriyye' of Piri Reis is regarded as the first atlas in the history of Turkish cartography. His work is a 'geographical atlas'; not only his atlas but the ones prepared after it up until the first historical atlas prepared in the early 20th century were all geographical atlases. Among those who prepared such atlases similar to that of Piri Reis are Matrakçi Nasuh, Ali Macar Reis, Katip Çelebi, Ebubekir Behram, and Ibrahim Müteferrika. As it is well-known, the Tanzimat era, started in 1839, is a modernization/westernization process that encompassed almost every aspect of life in Ottoman history. This modernization process has also included Ottoman science/educational system. Thus, in this era, new educational institutes, new systems, course books and auxiliary tools came into existence and started to being used commonly. In this context, connected to the changes in geography and cartography, one of the first changes that took place in history courses in the historical atlas prepared by Mehmed Esref, in 1910. The tradition of forming history atlases started with Mehmed Esref was followed by a number of different endeavors such as the efforts of Abdülkerim Nadir in 1915, the formation of 'Türk Tarihinin Anahatlari' by a commission in 1931, and F. R. Unat 1951. Especially after the 1980s, with the tradition of atlas translations, atlas preparations gained new momentum and have reached their present-day position. (Gümüsçü: Turkey Historical Atlas Studies). This attractive first atlas of the Ottoman Empire historical geography was printed just after two years from the Second Constitutional Regime (1908) in the Ottoman Empire. Mehmed Esref (1846-1912) was a Turkish / Ottoman military cartographer and educator in the Ottoman military school [Mekteb-i Harbiye] active in the first part of the 20th century, and he prepared and published many separate maps and atlases more besides this one. First and Only Edition. Roumi: 1329 = Hegira-Hijri: 1330 = Gregorian: 1910. 138 folded color maps in 32 feuilles in atlas. 138 farbige Karten auf 32 gefalteten Tafeln. Only two institutional copies in OCLC in Germany: 165135107.; Özege 19953.; Baydar 146.