Maps and Cities

The Nuremberg Chronicle famously depicts European cities of the late 15th century, but it also includes maps of both world and Europe. Beginning with the mappa mundi or world map in the second age, this map is held by Japheth, Shem and Ham, the three sons of Noah, who divided the Europe, Asia, and Africa between them. The map is surrounded by 12 heads or 12 winds. At the center is Jerusalem. On the left hand side of the page is a column of monsters believed to inhabit India, Ethiopia and the Far North. While some travelers claimed to meet these fantastical people, they would be familiar images from other books. The map includes the Gulf of Guinea discovered in 1470, but otherwise represents a view of the world immediately after the flood in Genesis.

The fourth age which begins with David concludes with the destruction of Jerusalem. Although situated in the fourth age it is unclear which destruction of Jerusalem is depicted. There are two figures in the top left corner of the woodcut who may be Jesus and the Devil.

The other cities are from the sixth age or the present time. Nuremberg stretches across two pages in great detail and is followed by a history of the city. The artist has included several details of the city and figures traversing the road to the city gate. In the lower right hand corner is Ulman Stromer's paper mill where the paper for this chronicle was made. Other cities depicted include Rome, Verona, and Constantinople. While some cities may be recognizable others are depicted using the same woodcuts. However, each includes a city history. At the end of the text is another map of central Europe which includes the cities mentioned throughout the text.

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Schedel, Hartmann 1440-1514, Schmauch, Walter W., Hadavas, Kosta. First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel… Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center,
2010.

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Liber chronicarum

Mappa mundi or world map

Liber chronicarum

Destruction of Jerusalem

Liber chronicarum

Nuremberg

Liber chronicarum

Rome

Liber chronicarum

Verona

Liber chronicarum

Constantinople

Liber chronicarum

Map of Europe