Al Sharif Al-Idrisi
east and west two different worlds? When a
cartoon sparks riots in the Muslim world and
Americans preach puritanism while promoting
pornography, the differences seem irreconcilable, like
contradictory views of reality.
asks Guy Sinclair in A Foreign Policy when he studies a strange Arab map.
Kamila turns the map
upside down to show the familiar outlines of Europe and
Mediterranean in upper section of the globe.
“Same world, different perspectives,”
While medieval European mapmakers saw much of
the world as terra incognita, and filled
in empty spaces with mermaids and monsters,
their more scientific Arab colleagues were
mapping the known world with unrivaled detail,
drawing on works of Ptolemy, forgotten by the
Europe of the time.
The 12th century map shown above depicts the
familiar outlines of Europe and Middle East. The
best known Moroccan cartographer, Al Sharif Al-Idrisi
(1100 - 1166), drew this map like others with the
South Pole at the top. It is still the same
Run your mouse across to view the different