Alain Manesson Mallet; 1630-1706.
Precious little is known about this author, safe for having
been a military engineer serving King Louis XIV. His claim
to fame comes from his very successful "Description de l'Univers",
a pocket size thick geography book in five volumes, replete
with encyclopedic details, historical data, scores of illustrations
(landscapes, decisive battle scenes, towns, forts, harbors,
.), and quite a few simple maps.
The book was published between 1683 and 1688. However, reprints
were made later with German text (1686 and 1719).
Of note also his "Les Travaux de Mars" in 1672 on the art
of fortification, and "La Géométrie Pratique" in 1702, a massive
study in geometry, trigonometry, planimetry and land survey.
"Ville de San-Domingo"
This small bird's eye view (4 5/16" X 5 13/16") was designed
for the 1683 "Description de l'univers".
It shows the town of Santo Domingo, which is the oldest continuously
inhabited colonial settlement in the Americas. Founded in
1496 by Bartolomeo Colombus, Nueva Isabela, quickly renamed
Santo Domimgo de Guzman, expanded and moved from the east
bank of the Ozama River to its left bank in 1502.
The upper cartouche explains that this city is the seat of
an Archbishop and the capital of Hispaniola.
The overall layout is a bit tentative, but the cathedral (Santa
Maria la Menor de la Encarnacion, named first cathedral of
America by Pope Paul III in 1542, as such its Archbishop was
Primate of the Indies) is correctly positioned in the center
next to the huge "Plaza de Armas".
Note the ships transiting back and forth to the narrow harbor
French text on verso.