Map of Sarmatia

    Map of Sarmatia

    Great Britain, London

    the 18th century

    Mapmaker and engraver: Richard William Seale

    Paper; etching, cutting, watercolors

    39 х 48 cm (in the frame)


    The horizontal sheet features a topographic map of the region lying between the Caspian (Mare Caspium) and Black (Pontus Euxinus) Seas, including European and Asian Sarmatia (Sarmatia Asiatica, Sarmatia Europaea), Iberia, Colchis, Caucasian Albania (Albania). The territories of adjacent Thrace (Thracia), Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Pontus, Armenia, Scythia (Scythiae) are indicated. State borders are shown, as well as locations of tribes settlements (Roxolani, Sudens, Hippophagies, Amaxobians, Alans, Phtirophagi and etc.), as well as large cities of the Late Antiquity where the biggest and most significant ones are highlighted; among them there are "Panticapaeum" (modern Kerch), "Theodosia" (Feodosiya), "Pityus Magnus" (Pitsunda), "Phasis" (Phasis, which is now Poti), "Trapezus" (Trebizond/Trabzon).

    On the right at the bottom in the cartouche there is an inscription in Latin: "SARMATHIA".

    Under the grade frame and above it: on the right at the bottom - "W.R.Seale feulp", on the top right - "Tab.8".

    The subscriptions and inscriptions are in Latin.


    The map by German mapmaker Christoph Cellarius (1638-1707) made at the end of the 17th century and published in the book named "Notitia orbis antique, sive geography plenior, 2 vol. Leipzig, 1701 (the second edition was published in 1773) was the basis for the map by English artist and engraver Richard William Seale (1732 - 1785).

    The map revealing the antique idea of the world features the Transcaucasia territory including the present-day south of Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan bordering with Turkey and Iran.

    The area lying along the banks of the Kiros River (Kura at the present time) in the territory of present-day Azerbaijan was called Albania in the classical times.

    Armenia is a highland located at the upper current of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers and then further to the East to the banks of the Araks river.

    Bithynia is a historic region, an ancient state and a Roman province that existed in the northwest of Asia Minot (Anatolia).

    Galatia is an area in the central high plateau of Asia Minor (present-day Turkey)

    Iberia is a highland in the Central Caucasus covering the eastern part of present-day Georgia.

    Colchis is a historic name of present-day western Georgia.

    Paphlagonia is an Asia Minor maritime region at the south coast of the Black Sea (present-day Turkey)

    Pontus is a Classical Greek name of the Asia Minor northeast area

    Sarmatia is the name of the Eastern Europe territories adjacent to Germany or Dacia to the east of the Vistula River and to the north of the Carpathian Mountains in the times of the Roman Empire. At the same time, apart from the European Sarmatia, there was also Asian Sarmatia lying behind the Don River (Sarmatian Gates to the Caucasus), and the region of Sarmatian Iazyges tribes to the south of the Carpathian Mountains, between the Danube River and Tisza River. The Sarmatians are Iranian people nomadising to the East of the Don River and famous for their bowmen; they are mentioned by Herodotus. From that region they expanded further to the West to the lower reaches of the Danube River forcing their kindred tribes of Scythians out from the Crimea and the adjacent south of present-day Russia.

    The Scythians is a collective name for the tribes living in ancient times near the Black Sea, the Don River, the Dnepr and Danube Rivers. They are described by Herodotus. Some of them settled in the southern Russia, others kept on nomadising and invading the West Asia.

    Thrace is a historic and geographical part of the southeast of the Balkan Peninsula. At the present time it is divided among Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.