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Map of North Europe from Olai Magni Historia de gentium septentrionalium variis conditionibus. Basel, 1567

Major collection: Hart Nautical
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: engraving
Maker: Nordenskiold, A. E.
Place made: Switzerland, Basel-Stadt, Basel
Date made: 1881
Materials: ink; paper; color
Measurements: 16 in x 22 in
Nomenclature: maps
Classification: cartography

Hand-colored map of north Europe reprinted on modern paper from the book, The voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe: with a historical review of previous journeys along the north coast of the Old World v. 1. The map is framed within a hexagon. Fantastical creatures such as a unicorn and other sea monsters are depicted in the water. The image was originally from the book Historia Olai Magni Gothi archiepi scopi upsalensis de Gentium septentrionaluim variis conditionibus published in 1576 by Olaus Magnus (b. 1490). Magnus was a central figure in the events of the Swedish Reformation between 1527 and 1537. Olaus (1490-1557) and his elder brother, Johannes, were Catholic priests who were exiled following their native Sweden's conversion to Lutheranism during the Reformation. The brothers eventually settled in Rome and began to write down numerous stories of the history and folklore of Sweeden and Scandinavia. Their woodcut engravings and fantastical accounts became widely popular.