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The Medici-Lazara Map of Alanya

  • Roger Mason

The discovery of a hitherto unknown map of Alanya dating from the early seventeenth century enables a comparison to be made between the very detailed fortifications that it depicts and those that are standing today. Such a comparative analysis should permit some inferences about the form of the Seljuk and early Ottoman fortifications that are now ruinous. The Italian military provenance of the map gives an opportunity to illuminate briefly the depredations of the Medici navy in southern and western Anatolia.

Most historians have been reluctant to use maps as evidence, the few who have done so have often fallen into the pit of misinterpretation that the former, and perhaps wiser, have avoided: but the study of the history of cartography is gradually emerging from the exclusively archaeological stage, in which it has been delving for over a century, and the corpus of information about maps has now grown to the point where no historian can afford to ignore their value as evidence, provided that he is able to evaluate them accurately. It is in evaluation that the historian of cartography owes a duty to his fellow historians.

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Anatolian Studies
  • ISSN: 0066-1546
  • EISSN: 2048-0849
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