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New Light on Jodocus Hondius' Great World Mercator Map of 1598

Brian Hooker
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 159, No. 1 (Mar., 1993), pp. 45-50
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/3451488
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3451488
Page Count: 6
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New Light on Jodocus Hondius' Great World Mercator Map of 1598
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Abstract

Map historians have suggested that Jodocus Hondius published a great world map in Amsterdam in 1598 but no example has been found. A Mercator map of the world signed by Hondius, and dated 1608, was brought to light in 1919 by the Royal Geographical Society, but it has not been linked to the 1598 map by previous reviewers. The aim of this article is to discuss evidence in relation to a theory that both the 1608 map and the missing 1598 map were printed from the same set of copper plates. An examination of geographical evidence in the 1608 map shows that with one exception, place names relate to data known in Amsterdam in 1598. The exception is explained by a minor revision, in the Mauritius area, made after 1601. That Hondius' 1608 map belongs to an earlier period is apparent when various aspects of the map, including names and the placement of coastlines, are compared with Willem Jansz (Blaeu)'s large Mercator map of 1607. It is suggested that publication of Blaeu's 1607 map provided the incentive for Hondius to revise his 1598 copper plates, in 1608, and to re-issue his map, slightly altered, with additional decorative features and freshly engraved borders.

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