AT THE CENTER of this map are the two holiest cities of Islam: Mecca and Medina. The map shows China and India in the north and the “Christian sects and the states of Byzantium” in the south. The outer circles represent the seas. The manuscript is a cosmology, not meant to be accurate geographically, but only to present the reader with a systematic overview of the existing knowledge about the world at the time.

'Umar bin Muzaffar Ibn al-Wardi. Kharidat al-'Aja'ib wa Faridat al-Ghara'ib (The Pearl of Wonders and the Uniqueness of Things Strange). Late eventeenth century. Near East Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress

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Medieval Islamic Map of the World