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The World Map, 1300–1492

The Persistence of Tradition and Transformation

Evelyn Edson

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In the two centuries before Columbus, mapmaking was transformed. The World Map, 1300–1492 investigates this important, transitional period of mapmaking. Beginning with a 1436 atlas of ten maps produced by Venetian Andrea Bianco, Evelyn Edson uses maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to examine how the discoveries of missionaries and merchants affected the content and configuration of world maps.

She finds that both the makers and users of maps struggled with changes brought about by technological innovation—the compass, quadrant, and astrolabe—rediscovery of classical mapmaking...

In the two centuries before Columbus, mapmaking was transformed. The World Map, 1300–1492 investigates this important, transitional period of mapmaking. Beginning with a 1436 atlas of ten maps produced by Venetian Andrea Bianco, Evelyn Edson uses maps of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to examine how the discoveries of missionaries and merchants affected the content and configuration of world maps.

She finds that both the makers and users of maps struggled with changes brought about by technological innovation—the compass, quadrant, and astrolabe—rediscovery of classical mapmaking approaches, and increased travel. To reconcile the tensions between the conservative and progressive worldviews, mapmakers used a careful blend of the old and the new to depict a world that was changing—and growing—before their eyes.

This engaging and informative study reveals how the ingenuity, creativity, and adaptability of these craftsmen helped pave the way for an age of discovery.

Reviews

Reviews

A fine, unusual perspective of world history and cartographic influences.

Attorneys who study maps either for work or pleasure — and many do — will enjoy Professor Evelyn Edson's The World Map, 1300–1492.

A work of thoughtful design and fascinating narrative.

Marvelous book.

Edson has re-balanced our view of the later medieval period and in doing so has provided us with the latest scholarship in the field... The book is written in an easily accessible style and is very down to earth.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
312
ISBN
9780801885891
Illustration Description
35 halftones, 3 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Andrea Bianco's Three Maps
1. The World View of the Mappamundi in the Thirteenth Century
2. Marine Charts and Sailing Directions
3. Sea Chart and Mappamundi in the Fourteenth Century

Preface
Introduction: Andrea Bianco's Three Maps
1. The World View of the Mappamundi in the Thirteenth Century
2. Marine Charts and Sailing Directions
3. Sea Chart and Mappamundi in the Fourteenth Century
4. Merchants, Missionaries, and Travel Writers
5. The Recovery of Ptolemy's Geography
6. Fra Mauro: The Debate on the Map
7. The Persistence of Tradition in Fifteenth-Century World Maps
8. The Transformation of the World Map
Conclusion: The World Map Transformed
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Evelyn Edson

Evelyn Edson recently retired as professor of history at Piedmont Virginia Community College. She is the author of Mapping Time and Space: How Medieval Mapmakers Viewed Their World.