Israel in 37 historical maps
The (Latin) name Israel refers to the Jewish people and their nation. It originates from the Hebrew Bible as an appellation given to the biblical patriarch Jacob. The exact meaning of the name is uncertain. Most likely its original Hebrew name Yisra'el is derived from the words sara(r) and El, meaning "he who fought or contended with God". The name was given to Jacob and extended to his descendants. They came to be known as the Israelites, eventually forming the tribes of Israel and ultimately the kingdom of Israel. Since the formation of the independent Jewish state, in 1948, it’s the official name of the country. Being the heart of the Holy Land numerous maps of the country have been made in the course of the history of cartography. On early (medieval) maps, based on the T-O concept, Israel and the capital city Jerusalem were regarded as the centre of the world. Even until the end of the 18th century cartographers incorporated biblical events and figures in their maps, referring to the time of the Old and New Testament.