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Lost at Sea

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Lost at Sea

Tools for Navigation: Maps, cont'd

Willem Janszoon Blaeu. Americae nova tabula. Amsterdam, 1642

Early modern maritime atlases were not used only by navigators and pilots.  They were also aesthetic objects, designed to display early modern Europe’s changing vision of the world.  This engraving of the New World was first published in 1617, and it was revised over the years.  The example shown here comes from a Dutch atlas published in 1642, and hand colored at a later date.  Close-up maps along the top feature major cities such as Havana, Cartagena, Cusco, and Rio de Janeiro.  The vertical columns framing the map provide a mini-ethnography of native peoples, including Brazilians, Mexicans, Floridians, Virginians, and Greenlanders.


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Edward Barlow. Meteorological essays. London, 1715

William Cuningham. The cosmographical glasse. London, 1559

Martín Cortés. The arte of navigation. London, 1596

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