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World Map / Cartography / Ancient / Al-Idrisi


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An expert map maker and a famous botanist, Al-Idrisi was born in 1099 at Ceuta of Spain. This Arabian cartographer finished his studies in Cordoba. After completing his academics, he set out to explore different parts of the European continent.

He was also a fine poet and writer. Al-Idrisi's scholastic and geographical works made him popular across the borders. The Sicilian King Roger II was very impressed with Al-Idrisi's works. Encouraged by the king, Al-Idrisi created the World Map in 1154.

Considered among the greatest map makers of the Middle Ages, Al-Idrisi is also remembered for his globe made of 400 Kilograms of pure silver. The extremely informative map had details of major cities, trade routes, lakes, rivers, mountains and information on altitudes, distances and others.

His regular interaction with navigators and voyagers while working in the Norman court helped him to popularize his works in different parts of Europe. The Nuzhat al-Mushtaq li Ikhtiraq al-Afaq, wrote by Al-Isdrisi is one of his best known geographical works.

His contributions to botany can not be overlooked and his book on medicinal plants - Kitab al-Jami-li-Sifat Ashtat al-Nabatat is still treasured by botanists over the world. There is some confusion about the date of his death, considered as either 1166A.D. or 1180A.D. Based on different sources.

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