Monday, July 09, 2018

The First Map of Australia

This week's Mappa Mundi is the Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula by Hendrik Hondius. The map is a double hemisphere map of the world. It was created in 1630 and published one year later.

Among the map's main claims to fame is that it is one of the very first widely available world maps to show any part of Australia. The Australian coastline shown on the map is part of the west coast of Cape York Peninsula, discovered by Jan Carstensz in 1623. The map also shows the Great Wall of China.

You can view the map on Wikipedia. I've also added the map to my Mappae Mundi collection. To view the map on Mappae Mundi just click on the '1642' button. The map that I've added to Mappae Mundi is actually a copy of the original by Pierre-Jean Mariette (hence the later date). For some reason Mariette left off the west coast of Australia on his copy of Hondius' original.

The Hondius original also has four portraits, positioned in each corner of the map. The portraits are of Julius Caesar, Claudius Ptolemy, and the atlas's first two publishers, Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius (the cartographer's father). The Mariette copy replaces the portraits with a compass rose, a wind rose, a perpetual calendar and a celestial map of the planets and their movements.

If you want to view the first map to mention America. Then click on the '1507' button on Mappae Mundi to view Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map.

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