Title: Aethiopia Superior vel Interior vulgo Abissinorum sive Presbiteri Joannis Imperium
Map Maker: Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Place / Date: Amsterdam / 1635
An attractive map of Eastern Africa and the fictitious kingdom of Prester John The map shows a major section of central and eastern Africa including Mozambique north to present day Sudan. The map contains numerous rivers, villages and settlements throughout, and is highly embellished with elephants, ostriches and other animals within the map, as well as the decorative cartouche. The two Ptolemaic lakes of Zaire and Zaflan are in the lower portion of the map. Lake Niger, and the supposed course of the Niger River, is shown flowing westward. This map is based on Ortelius' map of Prester John of 1573. The myth of Prester John, the good Christian King of Africa waging his own crusade and defeating the enemies of Christianity, was based upon earlier legends of the Crusaders and is a fascinating piece of early mythological cartographic history. A fine example in attractive full color from a Dutch edition of Blaeu's Atlas.