Al-Idrisi World Map Puzzle; Medieval Old World Map; educational toy; medieval Arabic geography; Sicily; Palermo; history teacher; professor

Al-Idrisi World Map Puzzle; Medieval Old World Map; educational toy; medieval Arabic geography; Sicily; Palermo; history teacher; professor


It is important to know how people saw the world a long time ago. During the Middle Ages, Arab and Persian geographers wrote several works on geography and produced many interesting maps. A famous geographer from the 12th century was named al-Idrisi (1099 - 1165). Al-Idrisi was an Arab and Muslim geographer who worked under the patronage of Roger II in his court in Palermo Sicily. He was originally from Cueta North Africa, however, in 1145 he traveled to Sicily and joined the court of the Norman King of Sicily, Roger II. al-Idrisi was able to serve Roger as a royal court geographer. Through his own research and by recording the narratives of contemporary travelers coming from and witnessing different parts of the known world at his time, he composed his most famous work, Kitāb nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq (“The Pleasure Excursion of One Who Is Eager to Traverse the Regions of the World”) in 1154. His work is also famous for the several geographical maps it contains.

We thought that a great educational gift or collector's item would be a 110 piece puzzle depicting a copy of al-Idrisi's old map of the world. The puzzle comes with an explanation booklet which points out interesting facts about the map. For instance, this map was drawn with south at the top of the map because it was a made in an era before people thought North should be pointing up in a map. Furthermore, although al-Idrisi's map is one of the earliest and best world maps of the premodern world it depicts several mythical lands which can be seen on this map such as the Mountain of the Moon feeding the Nile, the legendary land of Waq Waq, and the imaginary wall built by Alexander the Great to keep Gog and Magog out of his lands. However, many places in Europe, Asia, and Africa appear as they would on a modern map. The map is labeled in Arabic like the original manuscript which it comes from.

This is a perfect and unique gift for any historian, geography or map lover, or for someone looking to add a bit of old world history to their life and leisure time. Perfect for kids and adults!

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Reviews (3)


Perfect, thank you! Arrived quickly and matches the description.

Having done it now, it’s harder than I expected for such a small puzzle but that only improved it. Good box and LOVE that they included a brochure with additional information about the history of the map. Definitely a great puzzle

Came really quickly, such a unique gift ! Thank you

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