Saturday, September 12, 2020

Carta marina : Here be sea monsters

Story map : Here Be Serpents & Sea Cows which matches up the fantastical sea monsters depicted on the Carta Marina with their full descriptions as given by Olaus Magnus in his 'A Description of the Northern Peoples'.
As you scroll through Here Be Serpents & Sea Cows the map will automatically zoom in on the different sea monsters and provide you with Magnus's full description.

Olaus Magnus's Carta Marina is the the first detailed map of the Nordic countries which includes place-names.
It is perhaps best known, however, for its wonderful depictions of fantastic and fearsome sea monsters.
These wondrous sea creatures are identified in brief on the Carta Marina in the map key.
However I recently discovered that Olaus Magnus provided much more detailed descriptions of these sea monsters in his encyclopedic volume 'A Description of the Northern Peoples'.
A whole section of this voluminous book is given to the 'Monstrous Fishes of the Norway Ocean'.
In this section 50 chapters are spent describing the marine life of the Scandinavian seas.
Some of the most incredible sea monsters in these chapters are the very same creatures depicted on the Carta Marina.

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