Sunday, April 5, 2009

Catholic Missions Map

19c map of catholic missions in ottoman empire
Whenever I look at this late nineteenth century (1893) map of Catholic missions (carte ecclesiastique) in Ottoman Empire, I can not help but remember Mary Doria Russell's science fiction book "The Sparrow" with a naughty smile on my face, grinning a grin as they say.

In her award winning book (Best Book by British SF Writers, James Tiptree Jr., Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell awards), Russell tells us about a discovery of an earth-like planet and the race to launch an expedition between various organizations and countries. To our surprise, the first to successfully organize a mission is neither United Nations nor a space faring country but the Catholic Church, the Jesuits to be exact.

As long as they do not pose an imminent threat to the dynasty, the Empire was generally tolerant to religious institutions and many missions flourished throughout the country. I really wish I had a higher resolution image of it.

Dimensions: 100x80 cm.
Estimated value: $1,000

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