Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. 6-7

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Preface

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pp. 8-13

The European discovery of the Americas has been considered a great watershed in the history of maps. Until then, there were only the three known continents of the Old World to include, and suddenly it was necessary to map both sides of a round world with vast additional territories. The emphasis in this book is not to report on the change that discovery made but to argue that before it took ...

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Introduction: Andrea Bianco’s Three Maps

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pp. 14-23

...“Andrea Biancho de Veneciis me fecit, M CCCC XXXVI” (Andrea Biancho of Venice made me, ) is written on the title page of an atlas.1 Turning the page, the reader admires the beautifully drawn charts of the nautical atlas, made to show navigation routes in the Mediterranean and Black Seas and along the At-lantic and North Sea coasts. Such atlases had been made in Venice for more than ...

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1 The World View of the Mappamundi in the Thirteenth Century

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pp. 24-45

In the late thirteenth century a precious gift was presented to Hereford Ca-thedral by Richard of Haldingham, a newly appointed cleric. It was an enor-mous map of the world, covered with colored pictures, place-names, and de-scriptive legends. Set in a frame surmounted by a dramatic scene of the Last Judgment, the map put the physical world in a spiritual context as the theater ...

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2 Marine Charts and Sailing Directions

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pp. 46-72

At the same time that monumental mappaemundi were being painted or posted on palace and cathedral walls, a very different kind of map was being made in medieval Europe, a sea chart that showed the coasts of the Mediter-ranean and Black Seas and the nearby Atlantic Ocean in startlingly accurate outline. These maps were not oriented to the east, as was common in map-...

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3 Sea Chart and Mappamundi in the Fourteenth Century

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pp. 73-102

The measured geography of the sea chart, with its practical uses, began to have an impact on world maps in the early fourteenth century. The great map-paemundi of the previous century had been sweeping statements of cosmology, theology, and history, as well as geography. How could they be combined with the mundane sea chart without losing some of their larger purposes? The first ...

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4 Merchants, Missionaries, and Travel Writers

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pp. 103-126

Long-distance travel was arduous and hazardous during the Middle Ages but never entirely ceased. Driven by spiritual or economic motives or by much-ma-ligned curiositas, or inspired by a mixture of all three, medieval people took to the road or the seaways with surprising frequency. The Crusades impelled large numbers to leave home, while political circumstances caused Western monarchs ...

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5 The Recovery of Ptolemy’s Geography

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pp. 127-153

The excitement in intellectual circles in Florence was palpable in  when Manuel Chrysoloras arrived from Constantinople bringing a copy of Ptolemy’s Geographia. The wealthy book collector Palla Strozzi immediately took Chrys-oloras under his wing, and in his will, made in , he bequeathed the precious volume to his sons and nephews.1 The Geography Chrysoloras brought was, ...

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6 Fra Mauro: The Debate on the Map

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pp. 154-177

One of the great monuments of the late Middle Ages reposes in splendor at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. Nearly six feet in diameter, painted on parchment glued to wood panels, it is the world map of Fra Mauro. The circular map is mounted in a heavy, square frame hanging in its own room and is usu-ally covered by a curtain to protect it from the light. When the curtain is drawn ...

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7 The Persistence of Tradition in Fifteenth-Century World Maps

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pp. 178-217

Most fifteenth-century world maps were touched by contemporary upheav-als in geographical thought and mapmaking technique. The traditional model of the mappamundi was, however, compelling and continued to be a force in shaping the vision of the mapmaker and, we assume, the map consumer. Con-ventional images still hold power over us. To take one example, showing stu-...

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8 The Transformation of the World Map

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pp. 218-239

In the s the Columbus brothers, Bartholomew and Christopher, were making the rounds of the courts of Europe, looking for a royal sponsor for their expedition to the Orient. They proposed a route heading west across the Atlantic Ocean, setting out from the Canary Islands for Japan. Based on his calculation of the length of a degree of longitude, Christopher Columbus estimated the dis-...

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Conclusion: The World Map Transformed

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pp. 240-249

Before America was discovered, there was a place to put it on the map. In the two centuries before , from the era of the great mappaemundi of the thir-teenth century to the world maps at the end of the fifteenth century, mapmak-ing was transformed. The closed circular shape of the medieval mappamundi, where the three known continents filled most of the space, leaving only a nar-...

Notes

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pp. 250-289

Bibliography

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pp. 290-305

Index

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pp. 306-313