Geographica restituta per globi trientes

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Author: Verhaer, Franciscus.

Publisher: [s.n.]

Date: 1618.

Scale: Scale not given.

Call Number: G3200 1618.V4

 

Displaying the known world of the early 17th century as a triptych, with the map divided into three segments or gores, was very uncommon during the Golden Age of Dutch cartography. However, such a format was commonly used in altarpieces and would have been familiar to a Christian audience. Dividing the world into three parts was also reminiscent of the world diagrams drawn in the Medieval Christian tradition, especially Heinrich Bèunting's cloverleaf map. In the latter diagram, each of the three leaves (or gores) represented one of the known continents -- Europe, Africa, and Asia. In Verhaer's map, only the central section focused on this Old World view of the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea -- Europe, Africa, and western Asia. Interestingly, the central focal point of this segment was still the eastern Mediterranean and by implication, Jerusalem reflecting the influence of the Medieval Christian world diagrams. The left section displayed the European discoveries to the west (Novus Occidens)-- the Atlantic Ocean and the Americas. Meanwhile, the right sphere depicts the European discoveries to the east (Novus Oriens) -- the Far East, the East Indies, and the Pacific Ocean. While this three-part projection reduced the amount of distortion for the respective geographic areas, it was also a logical presentation of classical and medieval geographical tradition in the context of the new geographical knowledge gleaned from Europeans' 15th- and 16th-century explorations.

 

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