La giornalista Claudia Vago ha ripreso sul suo Twitter e Tumblr queste immagini pubblicate da guardian.co.uk che ritraggono diverse mappe dell’Africa disegnate da cartografi europei nel corso dei secoli.
1554: Sebastian Münster. “The earliest obtainable map of the whole continent of Africa … Münster was a professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg and then at Basel, where he settled in 1529 and later died of the plague. By soliciting descriptions and maps from German scholars and foreigners, Münster was the first mapmaker to print separate maps of the four then known continents (Europe, Africa, Asia, America).
1584: Abraham Ortelius. “The standard map of Africa for the last quarter of the sixteenth century … In 1570, Ortelious published the Theatrum, an atlas of fifty-three maps, the first collection of uniform-sized maps depicting all the countries of the known world—the first real atlas. Each map had text on the back describing the country depicted and listing Ortelius’s sources of information. The atlas was phenomenally successful and revered, printed in many editions in seven languages for more than forty years (1570-1612), with an ever increasing number of maps.”
1644: Willem Janszoon Blaeu. “One of the most decorative and popular of all early maps of Africa, from the ‘golden age’ of Dutch mapmaking. First issued in 1630, the map was reprinted many times between 1631 and 1667, appearing in Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish editions of Blaeu’s atlases.”
1710: Herman Moll. “One of the characteristics of a Moll map is the textual chattiness. Here, for example, above Guinea, he writes: ‘I am credibly informed, that ye Country about hundred Leagues North of the Coast of Guinea, is inhabited by white Men, or at least a different kind of People from the Blacks, who wear Cloaths, and have ye use of Letters, make Silk, & that some of them keep the Christian Sabbath.'”
1737: Johann Matthias Hase. “In his map of Africa, ‘according to the most recent reports and observations,’ Hase identifies several territories or kingdoms but not all have been accentuated by the colorist [see the dotted lines]. The central part of Africa is marked incognita; Blaeu’s two lakes have been replaced by a long, narrow one (Marawi) in the general area where future explorers will find Lake Nyasa, which is also called Lake Malawi.”
1787: JBL Clouet. “A bare-bones school map of the geographic features of Africa as known toward the end of the eighteenth century. Abbé Clouet was a member of the Académie des Sciences of Rouen, and his map suggests what French schoolchildren might have been taught about Africa just before the French Revolution.”
Africa mapped: how Europe drew a continent