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Imago Mundi


Imago Mundi volume 52 (2000)
English-language Abstracts of Main Articles


'An Astrologer's Map: A Relic of Late Antiquity' by Evelyn Edson and Emilie Savage-Smith

A Greek map of the world, which includes a windrose, zones, places in and around Egypt, and hell, is studied in reference to its context: an anonymous astrological miscellany. Other examples of this map have been found in a second context, among anonymous scholia to Theon of Alexandria's commentary on Ptolemy's Handy Tables (Procheiroi kanones), which were also of use to astrologers. The selection of Egyptian place-names found on the map provides some clue to its possible origin, while the omission of the Mediterranean as well as the port of Alexandria is significant. Evidence suggests that the original map (known today only through later copies) is of an earlier date than the texts surrounding it, and that it may be one of the earliest world maps preserved from Late Antiquity.


'Jesuit Cartographers in China: Francesco Brancati, S.J., and the Map (1661?) of Sungchiang Prefecture (Shanghai)' by NoŰl Golvers

The little-known manuscript map discussed in this paper, now in the L÷wendahl Collection (Stockholm), can be analysed as two separate maps, one Chinese and one Western. The original Chinese map dates from, or just after, 1656 at the earliest. It was over-written in Latin in 1661, or immediately thereafter, by Francesco Brancati, S.J. Brancati's aim was to present a visual statement of his missionary achievements in Shanghai and the Sungchiang Prefecture since his arrival there in 1639, prompted either by the recent arrival of a new colleague (Franšois de Rougemont) or by the thought of his successors. The map belongs to both Chinese and Jesuit mapping genres in sixteenth and seventeenth century China.


'John Adair's Contribution to the Charting of the Scottish Coasts: A Re-assessment' by John N. Moore

A collection of fourteen manuscript charts held at the Admiralty Library (Taunton) which shows stretches of the Scottish coast is considered. These previously unrecorded charts are by the late seventeenth-century cartographer John Adair and provide valuable material for a re-consideration of his achievement as a hydrographer. Despite his undoubted ability and considerable financial support from the Scottish Privy Council, Adair's work appears to have been hampered by an inability to see his surveys through to eventual publication. Scrutiny of the charts and the relevant documentary evidence suggests that they comprise all but two of his previously untraced coastal surveys. Two charts from this collection may be earlier versions of copies discussed by A. H. W. Robinson, suggesting a revision of his findings.


'River Landscapes: The Origin and Development of the Printed River Map in the Netherlands, 1725-1795' by Paul van den Brink

River management in the province of Holland in the eighteenth century was co-ordinated by a Hydraulic Department which worked closely with local, regional and other provincial authorities to maintain river beds and channels. To perform its function efficiently, all the Hydraulic Department's main river maps followed the general precepts laid down as early as 1725 by the surveyor Nicolaas Cruquius (1678-1754). The basic principle was to create clear maps with uniform scale and design which contained only the topographical information relevant to the work of the department. Experiments with depth contours were made, and profiles and diagrams were included in order to portray as accurately as possible the invisible natural processes which influenced the river landscape. The cartographical model thus established was followed consistently throughout the eighteenth century.


'The Russian Navy as Chartmaker in the Eighteenth Century' by Aleksey V. Postnikov

The modern period of chart making in Russia began in the reign of Peter the Great. Peter created the country's navy, which became the main focus for cartography in the eighteenth century. In this paper the multi-faceted duties of naval officers in the charting and mapping of seas, rivers, forest resources and other features important for ship building and the development of navigation, and essential to Russia's geo-political interests, are considered. The history of the early stages of specialized naval education and the training of surveyors at the Moscow Mathematical-Navigational School (from 1701) and the St Petersburg Naval Academy (from 1715) are outlined, and the first surveys in the Baltic and Caspian seas are described. Finally, special attention is paid to the hydrographical surveys and charting of the Aegean Sea during the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, the sources and methods involved, and the little-known Atlas of the Archipelago (1788) which was created from the surveys.


'Eighteenth-century Russian Charts of the Straits (Bosporus and Dardanelles)' by Vladimir E. Bulatov

Russian depositories contain a corpus of large-scale Russian manuscript coastal and navigational charts of the Straits (the Bosporus and the Dardanelles) compiled in the late 1770s either by naval officers in the field or by the Drawing Office of the Admiralty Board, St Petersburg. This mapping was undertaken after the Russo-Turkish war of 1768-?1774 in anticipation of further naval warfare in the Black and Aegean seas. The author of the earliest charts was Sergey Pleshcheyev, who conducted his surveys while a member of the Russian embassy in Constantinople. Additional hydrographical information was obtained during the voyages of Aleksey I. Timashev and Gavriil Glotov from the newly founded naval bases in the Black Sea. Between 1776 and 1779, a Russian squadron disguised as merchant ships attempted to chart the Straits. The Admiralty's Drawing Office, supervised by Ivan L. Golenishchev-Kutuzov, then assembled the original drafts and summarized the collected data. The results are found in the Atlas of the Archipelago, engraved in 1781 and published in 1788


'The Three Earliest Charts of Akhtiar (Sevastopol') Harbour' by Aleksey K. Zaytsev

During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-?1774, and again in 1783 in connection with the annexation of Crimea, intensive cartographical work was carried out in the Black Sea by the Russian Navy. European maps owe much to these efforts, as becomes clear from a comparison of, for example, Andrew Dury's map of The present Seat of War between the Russians, Poles, and Turks . . . (London, 1769), with the Map of the Sea of Azov and part of the Black Sea (1774) and the Map of Crimea (1776) both by Jan-Hendrik van Kinsbergen, the Dutch hero of the Russians' first naval battles in the Black Sea. Naval exploration along the Crimean coast led the Russians to the important discovery of the bay of Akhtiar, future site of Sevastopol' (founded 1783) and key post of the Russian Empire. In this paper, the three earliest manuscript charts of the bay of Akhtiar are described for the first time, and the circumstances of their production and relationship to other known manuscript charts of the harbour discussed. Copies of all three charts are now in the State Historical Museum, Moscow. They are the now-lost chart compiled by Ivan Baturin (1773), in the version by Karp Vilfing (c.1782); Nikolai Sorokin's unique chart (1777); and half of a copy of the original of Ivan Bersenev's chart (1783).


'Benjamin Franklin, Georges-Louis Le Rouge and the Franklin/Folger Chart of the Gulf Stream' by Ellen R. Cohn

While in Paris as minister to the French court, Benjamin Franklin arranged for the production of a French version of his famous chart of the Gulf Stream, which had been based on a sketch by Timothy Folger and first printed in London circa February, 1769. This paper recounts Franklin's collaboration with the Parisian cartographer Georges-Louis Le Rouge from their first meeting in 1780, and pieces together the history of the Le Rouge chart. Two open questions have been when the chart was engraved, and whether its purpose was primarily military, commercial or scientific. Evidence suggests that it was produced for French merchant and packet captains in the months following the end of the American War of Independence.


` "To Promote Useful Knowledge": An Accurate Map of the Four New England States by John Norman and John Coles' by David Bosse

In the early Federal period (1783-1799), American commercial cartography had yet to become an organized enterprise. Map publishers faced numerous challenges, including finding competent engravers. Publishers who lacked the financial resources to underwrite map production offered their product by subscription. This paper examines the efforts of John Coles, a painter/publisher and John Norman, an engraver/printer, to publish and market a wall map of New England in 1785


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