Abstract

abstract:

Maps have often served as tools of political propaganda, particularly in the reign of Francis I (1515–1547). Cartography, as a highly flexible mode of representation, could encode any number of spiritual or political messages. Abraham Ortelius exploited this possibility by giving his world map of 1564 the distinct shape of a lung, which evoked both a 1541 map by Gemma Frisius and, indirectly, the philosophy of the heretical anatomist and cartographer Michael Servetus. This article describes the context in which Ortelius lived and worked: in Antwerp during the turbulent reign of Philip II of Spain, where he witnessed the Catholic king's repressive policies in the Low Countries. This article draws on the scholarship that connects the cartographer to the Family of Love in order to argue that Ortelius's spiritual beliefs were expressed through his world maps. Rather than attempting a definitive investigation of Ortelius's theology, this essay shows how Ortelius's work as a cartographer participated in the religious and political discourses of post-Reformation Europe.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3786
Print ISSN
1531-0485
Pages
pp. 143-161
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-14
Open Access
No
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