FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--WE THINK NOTHING THESE DAYS OF PICKING UP A MAP AT THE LOCAL GAS STATION TO GUIDE US ON OUR JOURNEY. BUT FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO WHEN MANKIND WAS JUST DISCOVERING WHAT THE WORLD REALLY LOOKED LIKE, MAPS WEREN’T MERE CONVENIENCE…THEY WERE POWER.
Lori: A lot of seafaring captains the one resource on their ship they would destroy if the ship were to be taken or going down would be the maps if there was a chance of those falling into the hands of somebody who shouldn’t have the maps because they were such a precious resource.
FORT WAYNE’S KARPELES MANUSCRIPT MUSEUM HAS BROUGHT TO OUR TOWN SOME OF THE GREATEST MAPS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD, MOST OF THEM THE WORK OF TURKISH SCHOLARS OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE, WHICH SCRUPULOUSLY GATHERED INFORMATION ON NEW DISCOVERIES BY THE GREAT SEAGOING EXPLORERS. THIS MAP FROM 1512 SHOWS MAGELLAN’S CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF THE EARTH, BEGINNING IN PORTUGAL AND ENDING THERE SIX YEARS LATER. THIS IS THE LEGENDARY MUNSTER MAP OF 1540, THE FIRST KNOWN DEPICTION OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENTS. THIS MAP OF ASIA SHOWS THE LOCATION OF CHINA’S GREAT WALL…AND THIS, THE ROUTE OF THE HOLY CRUSADE OF 1191..THAT’S RICHARD THE LIONHEART. THE OTTOMANS WERE HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE, AND MANY OF THESE MAPS, ALL BEAUTIFULLY DECORATED, WERE USED IN UNIVERSITIES AND SEAFARING SCHOOLS.
Lori: Even if you were a seaman you had a lot of information about history, geography about mathematics. Through their experiences with these educational facilities they were able to expand their empire quickly and become a dominant force in the world.
THE TURKS COLLECTED ALL SORTS OF INFORMATION..THESE SPECIES MAPS SHOW VARIOUS ANIMALS AND THE CONTINENTS ON WHICH THEY’RE FOUND. THIS BEAUTIFUL CELESTIAL MAP DEPICTS THE CONSTELLATIONS. WE OWE A GREAT DEBT TO THE MUSLIM WORLD..THE OTTOMAN’S KEPT SCIENCE AND MEDICINE ALIVE IN THE MIDDLE AGES WHILE EUROPE WAS BURNING SCHOLARS AT THE STAKE. THIS GRAND EXHIBIT OF TURKISH MAPS, ONLY HINTS AT THEIR GREATNESS. ERIC OLSON REPORTING FOR ‘YOUR COUNTRY’.
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