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Portraying the Land

Hebrew Maps of the Land of Israel from Rashi to the Early 20th Century

Now in Paperback

The book presents and discusses a large corpus of Jewish maps of the Holy Land that were drawn by Jewish scholars from the 11th to the 20th century, and thus fills a significant lacuna both in the history of cartography and in Jewish studies.

The maps depict the biblical borders of the Holy Land, the allotments of the tribes, and the forty years of wanderings in the desert. Most of these maps are in Hebrew although there are several in Yiddish, Ladino and in European languages.

The book focuses on four aspects: it presents an up-to-date corpus of known maps of various types and genres; it suggests a classification of these maps according to their source, shape and content; it presents and analyses the main topics that were depicted in the maps; and it puts the maps in their historical and cultural contexts, both within the Jewish world and the sphere of European cartography of their time.

The book is an innovative contribution to the fields of history of cartography and Jewish studies. It is written for both professional readers and the general public. The Hebrew edition (2014), won the Izhak Ben-Zvi Prize.

Author Information

Rehav Rubin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

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Audience: All those interested in history of cartography, Jewish studies, historical geography, history of the Holy Land