"Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps"

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum "Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps" from Santa Barbara Maritime Museum on Vimeo.

Chet Van Duzer, author of the recent book Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps, will trace the history of sea monsters on European maps, beginning with the earliest mappaemundi on which they appear in the tenth century and continuing to the end of the sixteenth century. These sea monsters, whether they are depicted swimming vigorously, gamboling amid the waves, attacking ships, or simply displaying themselves for our appreciation, are one of the most visually engaging elements on these maps, yet they have never been carefully studied. Sea monsters are important not only in the history of cartography, art, and zoological illustration, but also in the history of the geography of western conceptions of the ocean. Moreover, the sea monsters depicted on maps can supply important information about the sources, influences, and methods of the cartographers who drew or painted them. In addition-- sea monsters are a lot of fun!

In Charted Waters Is an interactive web page which helps you experience how cartography has grown and developed over time. Journey from 500 BC to 1911 as the world map is filled in.
Screen shot of http://www.msccruises.co.uk/uk_en/in-charted-waters/

The History of Cartography

University of Chicago Press
Free PDF version on line
Volume One
cartography in prehistoric, ancient, and medieval europe and the mediterranean
Edited by J. B. Harley and David Woodward

Click on the links beside each chapter title to open/download each chapter.
The rest of the book is indexed at
and the whole project is reviewed at