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Geography

Fuller, Thomas. A Pisgah-sight of Palestine and the confines thereof with the history of the Old and New Testament acted thereon. London: Printed by J. F. for John Williams, 1650.

Thomas Fuller, 1608-1661.

This original edition of Pisgah  (‘Summit’ in Hebrew) was the first significant English-language historical atlas of the Holy Land.  It was composed during a time of resurgent interest in Biblical Judaism by non- church authorities and scholars. They hoped to find guidance in the tradition during the English civil wars that pitted them against the monarchy and Parliament.

Fuller, a well-known London clergyman, believed “the eye (would) learn more in an hour from a map than the ear can learn in a day from discourse”. That accounts for his personal supervision of at least 3 different engravers’ work here, as well as the substantial number of illustrations like the map of ancient Gilead shown here. Unfortunately, they weren’t that accurate: Fuller himself never set foot in Palestine, and the illustrations are based only on the Biblical texts, Josephus, and some reports from contemporary travelers.