Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) did not like the map of Scandinavia that was included in the 1482 edition of Claudius Ptolemy’s Geographia.

This book of maps and text published in Ulm, Germany by Lienhart Holle was supposed to have the most accurate and up-to-date maps available to that time. The text was the translation of Ptolemy’s second century text by Jacopo d’Angelo, edited by Nicolaus Germanus. This critical edition of the Geographia was a reference book of great importance, a careful, scholarly edition of a book that influenced European geographical thought for centuries.

Olaus knew the map in it of Scandinavia was hopelessly wrong, since he lived there. As a corrective for this map, Olaus made a remarkable map of Scandinavia. It was the first large-scale map of any European region.

1539 Map of Scandinavia

The Carta Marina is a wonderful map, just as fascinating for us today as it was at the time it was printed. [Click on map for a larger version. Visit the Virtual Tour for enlarged details.]

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