THIS GEOGRAPHICAL TREATISE and collection of wondrous tales was exceedingly popular in medieval and early modern Islamic society. The map shown here is unusual in its portrayal of several creatures supporting the world in the firmament. While it uses a traditional Islamic projection of the world as a flat disk surrounded by the sundering seas, which are restrained by the encircling mountains of Qaf, the map also shows the Ottomans' early use of geographic information based upon European cartographic methodologies and explorations.

Zekeriya Kazvinî. Acaib-ül Mahlûkat (The Wonders of Creation). Translated into Turkish from Arabic. Istanbul, ca. 1553. Near East Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress

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Islamic World Map