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Frederick De Wit:  Turcicum Imperium

Maps of the Mediterranean

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Title: Turcicum Imperium

Map Maker: Frederick De Wit

Place / Date: Amsterdam / 1680

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 22 x 18 inches

Condition: VG+

Price: $1,200.00

Inventory ID: 43077


Striking map of the Turkish Empire bounded by the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece and Italy in the West and Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea in the east and centered on Turkey and Cyprus.

This fine map depicts the Ottoman Empire on the eve of the Great Turkish War (1683-1699), which marked a turning point in the fortunes of the empire and that of Europe. Up to the 1680s, the European Christian powers of Habsburg, Austria, Russia, Poland-Lithuania and the Republic of Venice, had separately fought the Ottoman Empire in numerous wars over the last century only to arrive at a stalemate. The Turks had largely kept the great gains they had made during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 1520-66), in spite of innumerable attempts by the Christian powers to dislodge them. The line of control generally ran through Croatia, the middle of Hungary and northern Romania, to what is now Moldova, with the Ottoman lands being to the south of the line.

In 1683, an Ottoman army broke out of Hungary to besiege Vienna, the Habsburg capital. This sent a shockwave throughout Europe, and only the intervention of Poland’s King Jan Sobieski saved the city. In 1684, the region’s main Christian powers formed the Holy League, marking the first time that they all joined forces to fight the Ottomans. This quickly turned the tables, as the Allies inflicted a series of severe defeats on the Turks. The Second Battle of Mohács (1687) restored all of Hungary to the Habsburgs. The decisive showdown of the war was the Battle of Zenta (1697) in Serbia, whereby an Allied force under Prince Eugene of Savoy crushed the main army of the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa II.

The Turks sued for peace and the war was concluded at the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699). By the treaty, Austria won all of Hungary, areas in the Balkans and Transylvania; Poland-Lithuania regained Podolia; Russia acquired the key Black Sea port of Azov and Venice acquired Morea and inner Dalmatia. The war was highly consequential in the long run in that it signaled the beginning of a progressive decline in the size and influence of the Ottoman Empire.

The map is embellished with a decorative cartouche, featuring figures in elaborate Turkish costumes.

Frederik De Wit (1630-1706) was an Amsterdam publsher who became the leading Dutch map producer following the decline of the Blaeu firm in 1672. He was noted for his visually attractive style and grand projects, such as monumental wall maps.

The present example represents the second state (of 2 states) of the map, with De Wit's name below the title, but with no engraver's name at the bottom left.  Cartogaphically, this state features more detail with respect to Italy and in central Arabia than appears in the first state, also 'Tripoli Regnum' appears for the first time, with a different boundary than that which was shown on the first state of the map.

References: Tibbetts, 117.

Related Categories:
Maps of Asia Minor
Maps of the Caspian Sea
Maps of the Middle East
Maps of Greece
Maps of the Mediterranean
Maps of Turkey