Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps - Chet Van Duzer

British Library


Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, by Chet Van Duzer / ISBN 9780712357715 / large paperback with flaps, 8.75 x 9.5 inches, illustrated throughout / Published by the British Library


The sea monsters on medieval and Renaissance maps, whether swimming vigorously, gamboling amid the waves, attacking ships, or simply displaying themselves for our appreciation, are one of the most visually engaging elements on these maps, and yet they have never been carefully studied. The subject is important not only in the history of cartography, art, and zoological illustration, but also in the history of the geography of the "marvelous" and of western conceptions of the ocean. Moreover, the sea monsters depicted on maps can supply important insights into the sources, influences, and methods of the cartographers who drew or painted them. In this highly-illustrated book the author analyzes the most important examples of sea monsters on medieval and Renaissance maps produced in Europe, beginning with the earliest mappaemundi on which they appear in the 10th century and continuing to the end of the 16th century.

“[B]eautifully illustrated. . . . People interested in maps, cryptozoology, folklore, and arcane zoology and zoological history will want to check it out.” ― Scientific American

“Medieval and Renaissance map scholar, Chet Van Duzer, backed by the British Library as publisher, have teamed up to produce a spectacular new book, Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, a topic, oddly enough, for which there is little by way of real precedent. This book will become the sea monster authority by default. Although this beautiful book is a product of academic quality, it is very readable and accessible and requires no prior knowledge.” ― BibliOdyssey

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