‘World Map of Tunuslu Hajji Ahmed’ Lecture

This afternoon I attended a lecture by Dr. Giancarlo Casale on “World Map of Tunuslu Hajji Ahmed Lecture” aka “Visions of Europe and Empire in a 16th Century Ottoman World Map” (as the lecture was publicized) and it was much more interesting than the various names let on.

Apparently back in 1569 Hajji Ahmed created (or did he) a world map in Venice with Arabic Turkish writings. The map is unique in that it is the first of its kind to mix Western printing technology with Turkish Arabic script and its the oldest map in Ottoman Turkish. Besides showing a map of the world, it tells about various kingdoms of the world including France, German, Italy and even mentions Peru and Mexico as belonging to Spain. It also lists rulers, continents, etc. It does not apparently mention religion or anything having to do with the humanities. The big controversy over the map is did Hajji Ahmed create it or not?

Maps are incredible interesting items, however they are created by people that have agendas and sadly they do not always tell us what we want to know. But still, maps are wickedly cool!

Cece (my friend and fellow survivor of the St. Tom Art History program and who is getting her PhD in something to do with pharmacology), humorously pointed out that you could tell the audience at the lecture was filled with more humanities people rather than the scientists she usually sees on the East side of campus. People from different academic fields tend to dress differently. I know, strange, but true!

Casale