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Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society Paperback – September 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0226799735 ISBN-10: 0226799735 Edition: Second Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Finding the "parallel" affinity between Arabic poetics and the atypical(non-Aristotelian Longinus' view, the author establishes a "shared canon" of certain concepts and aesthetic modes. The conclusion is that emphasis on a single line of poetry and the pleasure it gives the listener are unique attributes of Arabic poets. This underscores, of course, the extraction by early Arab neo-Hellenists of Sophocles and his sublime lines from his plots which hatched them. Further, modern Arabic poetry festivals have revealed vividly the audiences' exhilaration over poets' performance-readings of their sublime lines. Still further, one recalls the deep affinity the great modern Arab poet Badr Shakir as-Sayyab with the sublimity of T.S. Eliot's lines. Adnan K. Abdulla has stirred an important debate with his eloquent book which may produce for us a host of other "parallel studies," cross-fertilizations, and literary affinities." - Professor Herbert Mason "The confluence of the two works under consideration in Professor Abdulla's enjoyable and informative book is interesting in a number of ways. Although they were originally written at relatively disparate times, in conjunction with different bodies of artistic endeavors, and with different purposes, they reveal to us not only two critics, but also sophisticated and parallel thinking about the means, the reception, and the origins of great art that strikes us suddenly and totally..... The expertise of both al-Jurjani and Longinus is strikingly sophisticated, especially so the more we understand the milieu out of which they both emerge. The present work is a fine presentation of ideas that should increase an awareness and understanding of that sophistication, in works that could not possibly exist in an intellectual vacuum. They have to be a part of a culture which in itself is sophisticated. We "know" the Graeco-Roman milieu is sophisticated, but most are unaware of the extent of the sophistication of medieval Arabic thought. Al-Jurjani's treatise makes us more aware. An understanding of each culture is conducive to further understanding of what kind of thinking has occurred, and is still pertinent. Professor Abdulla is eminently suited as a bridge between the two critical treatises, and treatises which link different cultures, which in themselves share qualities that have influenced each other..... I hope that readers will enjoy this book, and learn as much from it as I have." - (From the Commendatory Preface) H. James Jensen, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Norman J. W. Thrower is professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. His other books include Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: A Longer View of Newton and Halley, Sir Francis Drake and the Famous Voyage, 1577–1580, and Original Survey and Land Subdivision.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Second Edition edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226799735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226799735
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is of the 2nd edition, there is now a third edition.

Thrower concisely outlines the history of cartographic advances from a 2300 B.C. Mesopotamian map to modern day animated and GIS maps. Thrower is careful to highlight cartographic advances distinct from geographic discoveries in Classical Antiquity, East and South Asia, European and Islam in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and then advances in the 19th century to modern times. Perhaps as a modern map maker, I forget that there was an early inventor of map projections (probably Hipparchus of Niceaes), contour lines (1791), and representative fractions (in France in 1806). The history of projections is presented throughout the book, and concisely in an appendix. The initial chapter on maps of pre-literate people was perhaps most fascinating to me with the Bedolina petroglyph (Northern Italy, 2000-1500 B.C ) and Marshall Island stick charts. There is now a 3rd edition, so perhaps the book was updated with recent advances such as Google earth and a dynamic GPS maps. The book is well illustrated, but sometimes the maps suffer from reduction and being in black and white. Readers of this may enjoy the color maps presented in Mapping the World: maps and their history by Nathaniel Harris.
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By Glenn Hage on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is more complete than I could have imagined.
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