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A map of the celestial globe with comet. 1618 Engraving illuminated in watercolour and gold Producer namePublished by: Caspar Hersbach School/styleGerman Date1618

Brain Pickingsfrom Brain Pickings

Magnificent Maps: Cartography as Power, Propaganda, and Art

Magnificent Maps: Cartography as Power, Propaganda, and Art | Brain Pickings Psalter World Map (mappa mundi), 1265 Despite its small size, this is one of the ‘great’ medieval world maps. It is probably a copy of the lost map which adorned King Henry III's bedchamber in Westminster Palace from the mid-1230s. The original colors are intact. Showing east at the top, it is a visual encyclopedia, embracing ancient history, politics, scripture and ethnography as well as geography.

Sea chart of Europe, 1592. "Universe Europe Maritime Eiusque Navigationis Descritio. Generale Paschaerte van Europa'. Map Maker: Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer. Place: Antwerp. Etching by Johannes Baptista Van Doetechum The Younger ("Baptista a Doetecum fecit")

This is a ‘carte a figures’, meaning that the map was embellished with drawings of people, and was a typically Dutch decoration of the time (Speed’s maps were produced by Dutch cartographers). Three kinds of early seventeenth-century Irish people are dressed here – Gentle, Civill (non-military middle class), and Wilde.