Maps – d’Anville

Western Empire

Eastern Empire


Rome 1738 

Rome 1756



Asia Minor




W Europe, Middle Ages

Jean Baptist Bourguignon d’Anville (1697 – 1782), one of the greatest cartographers of the 18th century, was Gibbon’s chief geographic reference. Gibbon met d’Anville in Paris and apparently wanted him to customize maps for the Decline and Fall, a hope intercepted by war. d’Anville’s Atlas General was published in 1771. It included a matched pair of Empire maps comparable to Gibbon’s but with greater detail. They were titled “Orbis Romani Pars Orientalis” and “Orbis Romani Pars Occidentalis.” These and other maps by d’Anville identify many places referred to by Gibbon in the text but not noted on the Decline and Fall maps. Gibbon’s injunction in Chapter 50, note 2, applies to the entire work: “d’Anville’s Maps … should lie before the reader.” Area maps (linked above) appear in Géographie Ancienne Abrégée (1768) translated as Compendium of Ancient Geography Volume 1, Volume 2 (1814). There is a very extensive collection of d’Anville maps on the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France,

Tabula Italiae Medii Aevi  (Italy, Middle Ages; 1680-89), by Giacomo Giovanni Spinelli, is useful for the Lombard ages.

D’Anville’s Rome

“M d’Anville has given, in the Memoires of the Academy for the year 1756 (tom xxx p 198-236), a plan of Rome on a smaller scale, but far more accurate than that which he delineated in 1738 for Rollin’s history. Experience had improved his knowledge, and, instead of Rossi’s topography, he used the new and excellent map of Nolli.” (41.660.77)

1738 – Plan de Rome Ancienne

Charles Rollin (1661-1741) The Roman History from the Foundation of Rome to the Battle of Actium, that is, to the End of the Commonwealth (London 1768) Vol 1 p 12 (fold-out, scroll down one page)

1756Viarum Romanarum in Circuitu Tabula (Map of Roman Roads around Rome)

d’Anville, “Mémoire sur l’Éntendue de l’Ancienne Rome, et sur les Grandes VOIES qui Sortoient de cette Ville”,  Mémoires de Littérature tirez des Registres de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, depuis l’Année M.DCCLVII, jusques & Compris l’Année M.DCCLX. Tome Trentieme (Paris M.DCCLXIV) p 198.

Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, depuis son Établissement jusqu’a présent: avec les Memoires de literature Tirez des Registres de cette Académie depuis son Renouvellement jusqu’en 1710 (Volume 30) identifier: histoiredelaca30acad

Google Books: Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Volume 30 (map omitted)

1762 Rome Ancienne – topography of the seven hills

The Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres is a French learned society devoted to the humanities, founded in February 1663 as one of the five academies of the Institut de France. It published the Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres depuis son établissement… avec les Mémoires de Littérature tiréz des registres de cette Académie  [Full-text of most of the first six volumes, namely 1718 (T. 1 -Histoire), 1719 (T. 2-Mémoires), 1719 (T. 1-Mémoires), 1724 (T. 5-Mémoires), 1724 (T. 6 Mémoires), 1724 (T. 2-Histoire), 1724 (T. 4-Mémoires), 1731 (T. 3-Histoire), 1736 (T. 4-Histoire), 1741 (T. 5-Histoire) is available at Gallica: la bibliothèque numerique.]
This journal also appeared under the title: Mémoires de Littérature tirez des registres de l’Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Volumes that appeared under the title Histoire de l’Académie… contain a second part entitled Mémoires de Littérature…, which had separate pagination. There was also an edition of t.I-XLI (1663-1776) published in The Hague and Amsterdam, and then in Paris, from 1718 – 1781 in 102 volumes.


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