Apocalyptic Cartography

Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript

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In Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript, Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines analyse Huntington Library HM 83, an unstudied manuscript produced in Lübeck, Germany. The manuscript contains a rich collection of world maps produced by an anonymous but strikingly original cartographer. These include one of the earliest programs of thematic maps, and a remarkable series of maps that illustrate the transformations that the world was supposed to undergo during the Apocalypse. The authors supply detailed discussion of the maps and transcriptions and translations of the Latin texts that explain the maps. Copies of the maps in a fifteenth-century manuscript in Wolfenbüttel prove that this unusual work did circulate.

A brief article about this book on the website of National Geographic can be found here.

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Chet Van Duzer has held research fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library and Library of Congress, and has published widely on medieval and Renaissance cartography. His book The World for a King: Pierre Desceliers’ Map of 1550 is forthcoming from the British Library.

Ilya Dines, Ph.D. (2008), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. He is an expert on manuscript studies, medieval encyclopedism and bestiaries, particularly Third Family bestiaries, and has published extensively in these areas.
“meticulous and well informed … Van Duzer and Dines have brought to light a cartographical corpus worthy indeed of further scholarly investigation.”
Alessandro Scafi, The Warburg Institute, University of London. In: Imago Mundi Vol. 69, No. 1 (2017), pp. 119-120.

“The book is sturdily and beautifully produced. The authors present their findings with admirable thoroughness and clarity, and with an expansive bibliography. … An exemplary work of scholarship that brings to light engaging new knowledge.”
Robert E. Lerner, Northwestern University. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Summer 2017), pp. 682-683.

List of Illustrations
Chapter 1. Description of Huntington HM 83
Chapter 2. The Historical Context: Lübeck in the Fifteenth Century
Chapter 3. The Author
Chapter 4. The Geographical Sections
Excerpts from the Geographical Section
Excerpts from the Section on Astronomy and Geography
Links with the Rudimentum novitiorum
Early Thematic Mapping
The Maps in the Geographical Sections
Chapter 5. The Treatise on the Apocalypse
Late Fifteenth-Century German Apocalypticism
The Apocalyptic Maps and Texts
Proof of Circulation: Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Cod. Guelf. 442 Helmst
Other Attempts to Map the Apocalypse
The book will be of interest to those working in the history of cartography, the history of art, Apocalypticism, religious studies, and manuscript studies.
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