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The Mapmaker's Quest: Depicting New Worlds in Renaissance Europeby David Buisseret
Synopses & Reviews
In 1400 Europe lagged far behind much of the world in its understanding of the use of maps. And yet, by 1600 the Europeans had come to use maps for a huge variety of tasks, and were far ahead of the rest of the world in their appreciation of the power and use of cartography. The Mapmakers' Quest illuminates the forces behind this development--not only to tease out the strands of thought and practice which led to the use of maps, but also to assess the ways in which such use affected European societies and economies.
David Buisseret is one of the most eminent historians of cartography, and in this striking volume he offers a fresh and compelling approach to the cultural history of early modern Europe, revealing how the development of maps shaped and was shaped by larger movements. Taking as a starting point the question of why there were so few maps in Europe in 1400 and so many by 1650, the book explores the reasons for this and its implications for European history. It examines how mapping and military technology advanced in tandem, how modern states' territories were mapped and borders drawn up, the role of maps in shaping the urban environment, and cartography's links to the new sciences.
An eminent historian of cartography offers this Iavishly illustrated account of the mapmaking revolution in Renaissance Europe. 78 halftones. 12 color plates.
About the Author
David Buisseret is Professor of the History of Cartography at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a former director of the Center for Cartography at the University of Chicago. His books include From Sea Charts to Satellite Images: Interpreting North American History Through Maps.
Table of Contents
1. Locational imagery during the Middle Ages
2. The mapping impulse during the later Middle Ages
3. The cartographic conversion of the European elites
4. The mapping of European overseas expansion 1400-1700
5. The cartography of the Military Revolution 1500-1750
6. Maps in the process of government 1450-1750
7. Varieties of religious cartography 1500-1750
8. Urban and rural images: mapping the new economy 1570-1800
9. The map in the European cultural matrix 1500-1800
Conclusion: Cartography and the rise of the West
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