1662 Hornius & Jansson Antique Holy Land Map Tribes Ruben, Gad, Benjamin, Ephraim & Manasseh

Cartographer : Jan Jansson

  • Title : Tribus Ruben, et Gad parties orientales tribumum Beniamin, Ephraim, et Dimidiae, Manasse, intra Jordanem
  • Ref #:  61037
  • Size: 24in x 20in (610mm x 510mm)
  • Date : 1662
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition


This large, important & scarce hand coloured original copper-plate engraved antique map, one of six, of the Tribes of Ruben, Gad, Benjamin, Ephraim & Manasseh located to the north and east of the Dead Sea was published by Jan Jansson & Georguis Hornius (1620-1670) in the 1662 French Edition of Atlas Major, based on the 1590 map of Christian van Adricham, Situs Terrae Promissionis.
This map is #1 of 6 published by Jansson that combined measures 66in long by 37in wide (1.68m x 940mm) Please see the B&W image to see combined maps.

Tribus Ruben, et Gad et partes orientales tribuum Beniamin, Ephraim, et dimidiae Manasse intra Iordenem. This is usually thought to the be the first panel in the series. It includes several vignettes, such as Jesus and Satan arguing on a mountaintop, Moses looking across the Jordan, the entry point of the Hebrews into the land of Milk and Honey, and a stairway ascending to heaven. This panel shows the lands controlled by Ruben and Gad, as well as the eastern lands of Benjamin, Ephraim, and part of Manasseh beyond the Jordan River. It also shows the western part of the Dead Sea.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 24in x 20in (610mm x 510mm)
Plate size: - 22in x 17 1/2in (560mm x 445mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Jan Jansson based his map on Christian van Adrichams Situs Terrae Promissionis of ca. 1590. This version is both expanded and carries additional vignettes and details. Georgius Hornius wrote the text that accompanied the map in volume six of Janssons Novus Atlas, Accuratissimia Orbis Antiqui Delineatio.
The map shows the region divided into domains of the Twelve Tribes of Israel on both sides of the Jordan River, with the shoreline running from Sidon to Alexandria. The Cison Torrens (Kishon River) is shown as connecting the Sea of Galilee with the Mediterranean Sea, and there are many rivers, some of which do not exist; for example, there is a river connecting Jerusalem with the Dead Sea. In the Dead Sea, four burning cities are shown: Sodom, Gomorra, Seboim, and Adama.
The map is intricately engraved to show topographical features, major roads, towns and villages. It is also richly embellished with dozens of biblical illustrations. Inset maps in the top corners depict Abrahams journey (left) and the wandering of the Israelites through the desert (right).

Maps of the Holy Land, a popular genre in the early modern period, allowed users to better understand events from religious traditions. For the mapmaker, the relationship between religion and geography acted as a powerful storytelling tool, allowing viewers to spatialize religious stories. The maps show the centrality of religion to early modern European culture, as well as an enduring interest in historical geography.
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, shown here, descended from the twelve sons of Jacob. According to Deuteronomy, the twelve sons were Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim, and Manasseh..
In the tenth century BCE, the Israelites made up of about 300 highland villages with a population of approximately 40,000 people. These villages would begin to conglomerate in the ninth century BCE. The kingdom formed by their joining was referred to by its neighbors as the House of David. After the kingdoms of Samaria and Judah were destroyed, the resulting Babylonian captivity caused a merging of the south Levantine groups into a unified cultural identity.
This unified kingdom would ultimately not last, however. Tensions between the tribes of Israel mounted over a disagreement as to the location of the mountain on which Moses attempted to sacrifice Isaac. Eventually, the tensions exploded when the Hasmonean King destroyed the temple of another tribe, which caused the lower Levant to devolve into chaos. This civil conflict would last until the Roman Empire invaded, with future emperor Vespasian leading an army into Israel under the pretense of restoring order. This resulted in Roman dominance over the lower Levant until the Muslim conquests of the seventh century CE.

Although published by Jan Jansson, the map was made in collaboration with Georgius Hornius (1620-1670). Indeed, it is often called the Hornius Map. Hornius was a renowned cartographer and historian who published maps as well. His family was forced to flee to Nuremberg during the religious violence of the Thirty Years War. He would eventually attend the University of Altdorf, studying religion and medicine there.
Horniuss first notable work was a history of the English Civil War, which he witnessed firsthand as a traveler. In 1648 he completed his doctorate in Leiden; by this time, his historical works had drawn the attention of many universities which sought him as a professor. He eventually decided to accept a professorship at the University of Harderwijk where he quickly became rector in 1652, a position he would hold until his death in 1670.
Horniuss historical works were influential, propagating the idea of universal history, which was an understanding of history as a whole, concurrent unit. He also prepared the text for portions of Janssons Novus Atlas, Accuratissimia Orbis Antiqui Delineatio, including the text that accompanied this map. Horniuss works would continue to be relevant after his death, with many posthumous editions of his writings published.