The True Description of Cairo: A Sixteenth-Century Venetian View

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In 1549 a Venetian print maker, Matteo Pagano, published a large engraving of an aerial view of the city of Cairo; it was accompanied by a Latin text ("Descriptio Alchiriae") written by the orientalist scholar, Guillaume Postel. The depiction of the city is sufficiently accurate to permit a detailed interpretation of the city to be made, and it remained the standard western representation of this fabled eastern city for the next 250 years.

Nicholas Warner provides a context for Pagano's view of Cairo, a translation of Postel's text, and a commentary on the contents of the engraving itself in addition to the accompanying narrative. An index of subsequent revisions, and a superbly produced enhanced facsimile of the engraving itself is included.

Volume 1 (208 pages) includes 36 large color plates, 5 black-and-white plates, and a modern facsimile of the original Latin text "Descriptio Alchiriae"; Volume 2 (208 pages) includes 68 black-and-white images, all details of the map. Volume 3—the map—is a "modern facsimile" of the original Map, i.e. with blemishes, etc. removed, packed in a slip case. It is the same size as the original, and folds out in a similar manner to an ordnance survey map. It is printed in two colors to match the original.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780197144060
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/20/2006
  • Series: Studies in the Arcadian Library Series, #2
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 13.10 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 3.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicholas Warner is an architect trained at Cambridge University and the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. He came to Egypt in 1992 to conduct research on the Islamic Architecture of Cairo. Since then he has participated in, or directed, a number of projects related to the documentation, preservation, and presentation of historic structures and archaeological material.

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