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History of Map Monsters

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Rowan
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History of Map Monsters

Post by Rowan » Tue September 27th, 2011, 4:11 pm

I know that there are a few members here who love old maps, so I figured this story might appeal to you.
In the early days of mapmaking, the seas were full of monsters. Close to port or in well-explored shipping lanes, stout frigates and galleons were depicted in full sail, but farther out, a remarkable diversity of sea serpents and other bizarre creatures ploughed the waves. On land as well, uncharted territories were generously populated with legendary figures both pagan and religious, both human and … clearly otherwise.

The weird bestiary at the edges of maps was in large part an artistic decision, a chance for cartographers to fill in ugly white spaces of the still-unexplored Earth and to stretch their creative wings. (Engraving awesome, foam-spouting behemoths must have been a nice break from tracing the coast of Mexico for the umpteenth time.) But they also served as a reminder of the very real dangers faced by the explorers of the day. No one knew what was out there, and many who left didn't come back.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Tue September 27th, 2011, 6:03 pm

Some of those monsters are downright funny.

I love the colors they used in their maps.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue September 27th, 2011, 8:02 pm

Love old maps! Thanks for posting.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Wed September 28th, 2011, 1:12 pm

I love the first one - the guy who's just basically a big head on legs reminds me of Elvis!
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Nefret
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Post by Nefret » Sat October 1st, 2011, 2:13 am

That was pretty cool. I like old maps.
Into battle we ride with Gods by our side
We are strong and not afraid to die
We have an urge to kill and our lust for blood has to be fulfilled
WE´LL FIGHT TILL THE END! And send our enemies straight to Hell!
- "Into Battle"
{Ensiferum}

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Sun October 2nd, 2011, 5:31 am

The one with the Africans trading gold nuggets for worthless flowers was pretty funny in view of the tulipmania the Dutch fell prey to a century or two later. :D
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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