Mercator's Résumé

in Rhumb Lines and Map Wars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226534312
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226534329 | DOI:
Mercator's Résumé

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Gerard Mercator was an introspective and energetic chap who was competent in science, honest and well liked, technically savvy and clever with his hands, curious about the world around him, successful as an entrepreneur, and well positioned to make a pair of substantial contributions to mapmaking. He progressed quickly from globes to flat maps and from engraving to full authorship, and, aware of the uncertainty of some delineation, scrupulously differentiated known, previously mapped coastlines from their more speculative counterparts in areas largely unexplored. More impressively accurate is Mercator's 1564 map of England, Scotland, and Ireland, printed on eight sheets, which compose a 35 by 50-inch wall map. Translation of Mercator's Latin narrative into Dutch, French, German, and English created a still-wider market for the thirty editions of the full-size Mercator–Hondius Atlas published between 1606 and 1641.

Keywords: Gerard Mercator; entrepreneur; mapped coastlines; Mercator–Hondius Atlas; Latin narrative

Chapter.  4101 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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