The Middle Ages in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Maps

in Historical Atlases

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226300719
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226300726 | DOI:
The Middle Ages in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Maps

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The exploration and recovery of Anglo-Saxon England were salient achievements of English scholarship in the sixteenth century. The map of the Heptarchy gave unanticipated currency to obsolete kingdoms. The closest France comes in the seventeenth century to equaling Speed's synoptic battles map is a grandly expansive survey, “Europe francoise,” on a single sheet, of the lands governed at least once in their past by a member of the “royal and very illustrious family of France.” An eighteenth-century commentator pointed out that medieval history was more directly relevant to the current condition of Europe than was ancient. Speed's “Invasions of England and Ireland” and Boisseau's “Europe francoise,” both free of any explicit reference to the Middle Ages, bore out in their maps the moral that had yet to be drawn. Ancient geography could dispense with chronology.

Keywords: sixteenth century; medival history; chronology; Europe francoise; ancient geography

Chapter.  33219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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