Exploring Modern Historical Maps of the Horn of Africa
Justus Perthes’ Afrika (10 Bl.) Sektion Abessinien (Bl. 6)

This map is part of the 3rd edition of the Spezialkarte von Afrika drawn by Hermann Habenicht, published by Justus Perthes (Gotha) in 1891. Out of 10 sheets, this is number 6.

click on the map to explore

Document’s specifications

The scale of the original printed map is 1:4,000,000

The document’s size is 59.5 x 72 cm. The total size of the 10 assembled sheets of the general map of African is 210 x 200 cm

Reference: Wulf Bodenstein, “Hermann Habenicht’s Spezialkarte von Afrika — A Unique Cartographic Record of African Exploration 1885–1892”, Terrae Incognitae, Vol. 44, No. 2, September 2012, 139–162.


The digital indexation of this map has been processed and edited by Eloi Ficquet, Stéphane Ancel, and Simon Imbert-Vier.
No less than 4152 items have been listed on this map!

Note on categories

- There are 9 levels of description to categorize the items:
▪ countries
▪ regions
▪ districts
▪ peoples
▪ places: all kinds of places, from main cities to minor places. Specifications, when significant, are given in the item’s comments.
▪ water bodies: river, lake, sea.
▪ reliefs: mountain (often associated with altitude), island, cape.
▪ explorers (often associated with date and route)
▪ various: all kinds of indications, more often on landscapes.

These categories have been designed according to the internal graphic structure of the map, with reference to the general legend for the 10 sheets of the map, but without following strictly these indications. Indeed the legend differentiates between ascertained locations (in bold script) and hypothetical ones (in light script). However, when closely reading the map the graphic differentiation cannot be surely established. Therefore only general categories have been kept for the indexation.

“Erklärungen und Sprachliches” = “Explanations and Language”: Legend of the third edition of the Justus Perthes’ Spezialkarte von Afrika, printed on the top right corner of the sheet number 3 (Egypt). Photo provided by Iris Schroeder from the Forschungsbibliothek Gotha.

Note on the grid

To facilitate the indexation of the map’s items, a grid has been designed following lines of latitude and longitude. To each code a main placename (as written on the map) is associated, eg. “E07 Hauasch”.