Version classiqueVersion mobile

Combler les blancs de la carte

 | 
Isabelle Laboulais

Première partie. Variations sur le blanc

Smoothed lines and empty spaces: the changing face of the exegetical map before 1600

Catherine Delano-Smith

Texte intégral

  • 1 Earlier versions of this paper were presented at various symposia: the “Paper Landscapes” conferenc (...)

1Even in the exercise of historical study, it is sometimes important to pay attention to the nuances of grammar and syntax. Underlying the theme of this paper is the distinction between an adjective (general) and an adverb (generalised). The addition of those final two letters – ed – makes all the difference in defining two quite different types of maps, each serving different purposes, functioning in different ways, and presenting very different appearances. One type of map, the general map, has virtually no empty spaces, while the other type, the generalised map, is almost wholly empty except for a few well-chosen lines1.

  • 2 On prehistoric maps, see Catherine Delano-Smith, “Cartography in the prehistoric period in the Old (...)

2This distinction between general and generalised maps and plans is arguably one of the most basic distinctions in the history of maps. From prehistoric times onwards generalised maps-sketch or diagrammatic maps-have been used to communicate the essentials of a point in a visually economical way. General (i.e., topographical or regional) maps have also had a long history but their widespread familiarity today dates from the Renaissance, when topographical maps were printed to meet the rapidly rising demand from the relatively new category of essentially «middle class» book readers and map users2. Adapting the manner in which an idea is presented to different types of viewers or readers is a commonplace of both types. A comparison of the maps and plans included in some sixteenth-century editions of the Bible with their equivalents in medieval scholarly bible commentaries reveals the re-styling that took place in protestant Geneva under John Calvin in order to make the desired point clear to the average reader. These two groups of generalised biblical maps illustrate the power of simplicity in conveying a particular message.

Definitions

3Before turning to the maps in medieval and renaissance exegesis, however, it is useful to spell out the differences between “general” and “generalised” maps. Two non-biblical examples will serve to make the point: Philipp Apian’s magnificent 24-sheet woodcut map of Bavaria printed in 1568, and the little sketch map penned by William Bowles and included in a manuscript report sent to Queen Elizabeth Is Privy Council in 1578.

  • 3 Each sheet is reproduced, much reduced but clearly, in Hans Wolff (ed.), Philipp Apian und die Kart (...)

4Apian’s map was the outcome of one of the most remarkable national surveys conducted in Europe during the Renaissance. Each sheet is packed with information depicted pictorially3. On sheet 9, for example, at least sixteen different geographical features are represented graphically and two historical events: lowland is distinguished from upland, tributary streams are differentiated from the main river, lakes, forests and marshes are shown, as are imperial cities, seats of bishoprics, ordinary towns, places with monasteries or castles, villages, bridges, vineyards, historical sites; political units are indicated by the armorial bearings of the overlord, boundaries are represented by a broken line, and territorial units are individualised by colour. On other sheets, there are mountains as opposed to hills, market towns, spas, mines, mirror works, glass works, salt pans, causeways, gallows, taverns, important shrines; the boundary between Upper and Lower Bavaria is shown and the state capital identified. Altogether, some 30 to 40 different categories of information are represented on Apian’s map, without counting information given in the decorative border (such as distances to places outside the state). The impression is given that everything Apian noticed as he sketched the countryside, or knew or was told about, was given a place on his map, so that whoever studied it in the mid-sixteenth century would surely have found much of interest and relevance. In short, Apian’s map is an example of a general map, created for “open” or general use.

  • 4 Public Record Office, London: SP 12/125, fol. 98 (formerly 46). The map is reproduced in Zillah Dov (...)

5In contrast, William Bowles’s sketch map of 1578 could hardly be more minimalist4. It shows no more than three features: a route (indicated by a series of straight lines), places (marked by their name only), and distances between places (given in figures). There is no attempt at geographical realism and nothing is shown pictorially. Were it not for a title written below the map, “A breef Shew of the Scituation of the severall howses named in her Majestys jestes w[i]th the nombre of myles betwene every of them”, it is likely that neither we today nor even anybody outside Queen Elizabeth’s Council would have any idea what it could possibly represent or what purpose it was intended to serve. As it happens, we learnt from its title and from its immediate context (the report it accompanies) that the map represents the route the Queen might take, on her return to London from her “Progress” around the county of Norfolk, between Thetford, Norfolk, and Richmond, near London. The great houses that are named on the map, each roughly 10 miles apart, are those that were being considered as potential overnight stopping places. Albeit simply presented, the map was an important document for the occasion, a discussion by members of a specific group of people who knew, or were to be told, what the general issue was and what each line on the piece of paper represented. Although not coded in any secretive way, the map was not intended to be understood by anybody outside the designated circle. Bowles’s map is an example of a generalised map for “closed” or specialist use.

  • 5 Not only are geography (and many other) textbooks liberally illustrated with sketch or diagrammatic (...)

6The obvious differences between Apian’s and Bowles’s maps make it seem impossible that they could be confused. Yet the literature on maps early and modern reflects an almost universal misunderstanding about the visually “simple” kinds of maps, which are usually dismissed as “crude” or, pejoratively, “primitive”, or even as “not proper” maps. It is easy to see how the misunderstanding has come about. The tendency has been to assume that “simple” maps precede “complex” maps in a developmental sequence, that they come from earlier periods or are the products of indigenous cultures, and that modern sketch or diagrammatic maps “don’t count”5. Yet both types of maps have long co-existed in Europe at opposite ends of the visual spectrum. The two Renaissance maps just described, for instance, were made within ten years of each other. The confusion needs confronting for two main reasons. First, because until the underlying concepts are appreciated, the generalised, visually simple, kind of map will continue to be discarded, its significance overlooked, and the history of maps and map-related ideas will remain incomplete. And, second, because dismissing the visually simple map deflects attention from one of the main factors accounting for the changing face of maps throughout history, and from culture to culture, namely the map user as opposed to the map maker.

Maps in Geneva bibles

  • 6 See Bettye Thomas Chambers, Bibliography of French Bibles. Fifteenth-and Sixteenth-Century Editions (...)
  • 7 E.g. The New Chain-Reference Bible, compiled and edited by Frank Charles Thompson (Indianopolis, B. (...)

7Bibles and bible-related literature dominated the output of printed books in the sixteenth century. By far the commonest single Protestant edition of the Holy Scriptures was the edition developed in John Calvin’s Geneva, and which, although known as the “Geneva Bible”, was in due course also published throughout Protestant Europe. The Geneva editions were published, always in the vernacular, in a range of formats: large folio, folio, quarto, and octavo6. The smaller editions, most famously those in quarto format, offered the reader not only an illustrated text of the Holy Scriptures, but also a range of aids designed to ease the reader’s understanding of the meaning of the text. So successful has the Geneva Bible been that in one form or another it continues to this day, complete with those same reader aids7.

  • 8 Bodleian Library, B.N.C. 5.

8From Late Antiquity onwards, scholars had pored over the various books composing the Christian bible, attempting to understand the Holy Scriptures for themselves and then to communicate their interpretations to fellow scholars in treatises and commentaries. In the Middle Ages, the text itself was often accompanied by such interpretive glosses written on the same page as the biblical text, the import of which would be passed on to the population at large by the priests in their sermons and teachings. On a rare occasion, the medieval gloss might include an illustration, such as the maps in an early thirteenth-century university student’s bible now in Oxford8. Normally, however, explanatory maps and diagrams were provided only in commentaries and treatises, not between the covers of the Bible proper. The Reformation totally changed the situation, at least for Protestants. Theologians continued to write intellectually heavy-weight treatises, illustrating these as they would, and they continued too to parallel the now printed text with marginal annotations, which again occasionally included a diagram. And early sixteenth-century bibles, catholic and protestant, continued to include the traditional narrative illustrations in the text. But the Geneva Bible was something quite different: a bible designed for the widest possible readership, lay as well as ecclesiastical, and for those who could scarcely read as well as for the university educated. Accordingly, the Geneva bible editions were supplied with every aid conceivable to facilitate the reader’s understanding of the text.

  • 9 See Francis Higman, “Without great effort, and with pleasure”: Sixteenth-century Genevan Bibles and (...)

9Two characteristics in particular singled out the new Geneva editions. First, there was a new way of “glossing” the text itself. Besides the usual marginal notes and narrative illustration, the content of each chapter was summarised in a short headnote, and each verse was numbered. Second, a package of “reader’s aids” was inserted, a whole apparatus of chronological tables, genealogical diagrams, technical illustrations, architectural sections, and maps and plans, which presented the general reader with a distillation of exegetical material otherwise accessible only to the most learned and erudite individuals, the theologians and scholars9.

  • 10 The maps are illustrated in Catherine Delano-Smith, “Maps as art and science: maps in sixteenth cen (...)
  • 11 See Delano-Smith and Ingram, op. cit.

10The first complete Geneva edition was a quarto edition in French published in 1559 by Nicholas Barbier and Thomas Courteau. Amongst the reader’s aids are four maps: the Exodus from Egypt (for Numbers 33), the Division of the Land of Canaan among the Twelve Tribes (for Joshua 15), Palestine at the time of Christ (for the beginning of the New Testament), and the Eastern Mediterranean at the time of the Apostle Paul (usually placed at the end of the Acts of the Apostles)10. A fifth map, showing the location of Eden, the Earthly Paradise, copied from the one in Calvins commentary on the Book of Genesis (1554), was added to Rouland Hall’s English translation of the Geneva Bible published in 1560, for which new blocks were made of Barbier and Courteau’s four maps. For the next twenty years or more, maps were included in many editions of the Geneva Bible, often so closely copied from each other that only a misplaced or inverted letter or a crack betrays the maps’s printing history, wherever in Protestant Europe the edition was printed11. Towards the end of the century the five maps were redesigned by the Dutch pastor Petrus Plancius as copperplates for folio bibles. It was usually Plancius’s version that served as a basis for seventeenth-, and later, century versions. However much the image was changed over time to suit the style of the day, the original cartographical subjects are still to be found in modern editions of Calvin’s Bible.

11Barbier & Courteau advertised their maps on the title-page: “Il y a aussi quelques figures & cartes chorographiques de grande utilité, l’usage desquelles pourrez voir en l’épistre suivante”. In that address to the reader, the publishers went on to describe the maps as a “consolation” as well as useful. They also explained that the figures maps were intended “pour representer au vif devant les yeux ce qui seroit plus difficile a imaginer & considerer par la seule lecture”. Commenting on the style of the maps, they pointed out that on the map of Palestine the places shown are only those that are mentioned in the text of the Gospels, together with “quelques autres lieux maritimes afin que la carte ne fust pas trop chargee, & consequemment pleine d’obscurite”. It is clear that whoever compiled the maps – Barbier and Courteau themselves or somebody else of unknown identity – was thinking very carefully about what they were doing.

12Altogether, some 50 editions of the Geneva bible with maps were printed between 1559 and 1600, besides many, especially in the smaller octavo format, without maps. Most of these maps were identical to – ie. direct copies or copies of copies of – Barbier and Courteau’s orginals, but occasionally a different map was added or substituted. For example, in 1585, the Lyonnais publisher Jean Pillehotte included a map drawn in 1568 by Pierre Eskrich, apparently for a bible. Eskrich’s map illustrates chapter 48 of the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel and shows how, in Ezekiel’s vision, the land of Canaan was shared out equally amongst the Twelve Tribes of Israel on their return from captivity in Babylon. Each allotment is represented schematically as a strip between ruled horizontal lines running across the country between coast and interior (Figure 1). A small block in the centre represents land reserved for the temple and for the settlements of the Levites, the tribe providing the temple priests. Geographical features are presented pictorially as on any contemporary topographical map; the sea is stormy, mountains rise to high peaks and form long chains, rivers and lakes have wavy flow-lines, and the towns are marked by towered signs.

  • 12 These errors betray the map maker’s reliance on Jacob Ziegler, Quae intus continentur Syria ad Ptol (...)

13All these maps are in a style familiar to the modern reader, which we can call naturalistic. As on contemporary sheet maps, the signs for mountains, trees and towns are pictorial and easily recognised. Geographical outlines are also recognisable despite several inaccuracies – such as the two sources of River Jordan (a medieval holdover), the exaggerated irregularity of the Palestinian coastline, and the westward slant of the southern end of the Dead Sea – all of which would in time be corrected12. It would be wrong, however, to see this mathematical accuracy as a major aspect of maps and plans provided as aids to the easier reading and better understanding of the Holy Scriptures. Far more significant was the change to the map image as a whole that had taken place since the Middle Ages, from the purely schematic style of generalised maps to a naturalistic style more commonly associated with general maps than with exegetical maps.

Transforming the medieval image

  • 13 Nicholas of Lyra provided his commentary with 38 drawings (many comparing Jewish and Christian inte (...)

14Many of the maps, and illustrations, in Barbier and Courteau’s edition of 1559 had a medieval counterpart, for Reformation scholars studied medieval bible commentaries and theological treatises very closely. One of the most popular texts was Nicholas de Lyra’s Postillae, compiled between 1321 and 1332. The Postillae was early printed, and many of Nicholas’s illustrations were adopted or adapted by the Protestant reformers and, later in the sixteenth century, by Catholic apologists such as Arias Montanus13. One of Nicholas’s illustrations is a map showing the Desert Tabernacle surrounded by the encampments of the Twelve Tribes (Numbers 2). Another is his version of Ezekiel’s vision of Canaan Restored to the Twelve Tribes (Figure 2), based on a map drawn over a century earlier by Richard of St Victor in Paris. The contrast between Nicholas’s map of Canaan Restored and Eskrich’s version of 1568 is striking. Where the only ruled lines on Eskrich’s map are those of the imaginary tribal boundaries, every line in Nicholas’s diagrammatic version is a ruled line. Where Eskrich sets the subject of the map into a naturalistic geographical setting, Nicholas shows only the tribal boundaries and the four cardinal directions.

  • 14 Illustrations in the Postillae may differ in their details from manuscript to manuscript, but the s (...)
  • 15 For a reproduction of Estienne’s illustration, see Elizabeth M. Ingram, “Maps as readers’ aids: map (...)

15An even greater transformation was wrought by Robert Estienne for his Latin Bible of 1640. Again, Nicholas’s depiction of the Desert Tabernacle and surrounding tribal encampments, is typically spartan. Ruled lines form a rectangle around a central rectangle (the Tabernacle) and create twelve subdivisions, each labelled with the name of the appropriate tribe14. There is no geographical setting, only the names of the cardinal directions. Estienne’s illustration, which was used for Rowland Hall’s English edition of the Geneva Bible (1560), is in contrast immediately engaging. It is a wholly pictorial perspective or bird’s eye view of the temple precinct, the tabernacle within, and the Israelites’s encampment without. Lively vignettes portray the layout, furnishings and ritual utensils described in the book of Exodus (15-30). Where the tribes were only named on Nicholas’s diagram, they are here represented by ornate circular tents, some with billowing standards, between which wander groups of horsemen and pedestrians. The bible reader cannot but enjoy looking for each feature he or she has read about, probably in some bewilderment over the technical terms and obscure measurements, in the scriptural text15.

202 Chap. XLVIII. EZECHIEL. Termes d’lsrael.

202 Chap. XLVIII. EZECHIEL. Termes d’lsrael.

Figure 1:Map of Canaan Restored (Ezekiel 45), in Jean Pillehotte’s Geneva edition of the Holy Bible, printed in Basle in 1585. Signed by Eskrich and dated 1568. BNF: SB 216. Reproduced with permission from the Bibliothèque du protestantisme français, Paris.

Figure 2: Map of Canaan Restored (Ezekiel 45) from a fifteenth-century manuscript of Nicholas Lyra’s Postillae (1321-32). Bodleian, MS Canon Bible. Lat. 70, fol 163. Reproduced with permission from the Bodeliaen Library, Oxford.

  • 16 Chambers, op. cit., pp.220-22.

16From the point of view of readers of the Geneva editions of the Bible, the re-formulated maps and plans had one outstanding advantage over Nicholas’s versions. Their naturalistic style was both more appealing and, more importantly, immediately identifiable. The new style did not, however, entirely eclipse the schematic form of the medieval exegetical visual aid. Sébastien Châtillon used the traditional simple line version of Canaan Restored in the annotations to his French-language edition of the Bible (Basle, 1555), for instance. But, despite his anxiety to render the Scriptures in a “langage commun et simple”, Châtillon was a Catholic, and in all other respects a traditionalist. His bible, dedicated to King Henri II of France, followed the medieval “histoires saintes”, especially of Comestor, and was packed with material taken from Flavius Josephus’s Antiquities16. It was a scholar’s bible, not a popular bible, and Châtillon could use the traditional didactic map style on the assumption that well-educated priests and learned ecclesiastics in the Church of Rome would understand it. The Geneva editions, in contrast, were intended for a far less exclusive readership. The new style of their maps and plans was intended to accommodate a new and less scholarly class of bible reader.

Changing readership, changing image

  • 17 Martin, op cit., p. 342,
  • 18 Preface to the first printed Greek edition of the New Testament.
  • 19 The quoted phrase is Martin’s; op. cit., p 356.
  • 20 In England from the late 1530s, Henry VIII’s Acts of Dissolution destroyed the monasteries and thei (...)

17Much had changed between Nicolas of Lyra’s day and the mid-sixteenth century. “Culture went where the wealth was”17. In much of a western Europe greatly enriched by the resources imported from the New World and supporting an ever-growing consumer class, the provision of more schools than ever before was widening the literate classes. Erasmus’s hope, expressed in 1516, that “every women might read the Gospels and the Epistles of St Paul... [and] the farmer might sing snatches of Scripture at his plough and that the weaver might hum phrases of the Scripture to the tune of his shuttle”, would have been unthinkable in the fourteenth century but was becoming a not entirely unrealistic aspiration by the early sixteenth century18. At the same time, Reformation leaders such as Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon and, later, John Calvin saw it as their mission to encourage and enable each Christian to read the Holy Scriptures for him or herself, and thus to experience personally the “truth” of the biblical word. Those who lacked the necessary verbal literacy to read were to be read to, not only from the Bible itself but also from the many religious pamphlets which circulated among Protestants and which they were actively encouraged to discuss among themselves. The spread of literacy in the sixteenth century, and the growth of a “specifically middle class literature” by the late seventeenth century tended to be at the expense, however, of the traditional elite of university – and theology – dominated learning19. Monastic learning had been challenged by the urban universities since the thirteenth century, and by the sixteenth century humanism had replaced medieval scholasticism20. Increasing numbers of people from many walks of life were being educated, but the proportion of those who made up the learned elite was in decline.

  • 21 Rudolph Wittkower, Allegory and the Migration of Symbols (London, Thames and Hudson, 1977), p. 86. (...)

18The social changes in the reading classes of the sixteenth-century meant a change was needed in the presentation of image as well as text. Medieval scholars did not expect their illustrations to represent the text literally. Rather, they expected “visual clarification” in terms of a visual language familiar to them from “exemplars fixed by long tradition”21. For theologians engaged in exegesis, the maps in the diagrammatic style of Nicholas of Lyra’s Postillae and in earlier treatises, conveyed all that they were intended to convey. The new reading public of protestant Europe was unlikely to be so well-informed. People may have been familiar with the Holy Scriptures, but most of those for whom the Geneva editions were designed – the middle class readers of Protestant Europe and their clandestine counterparts in Catholic France and elsewhere – would have been baffled by straight-line diagrams taken from medieval commentaries. Just as the language of the printed bible editions had to be changed to make the Scriptures more widely accessible, and the package of reader’s aids to help understand the text, so also had the maps and plans to be made more accessible.

  • 22 Unfortunately, the play on the English words “travel” and “travail” (“voyager” and “souffrir”) does (...)

19The adjustment to the style of exegetical maps and plans in the Geneva bibles was in fact much less radical than might at first sight be thought. Their transformation from schematic diagram to a map on which geographical features are portrayed rather than represented was an updating device. The maps in the Geneva editions resembled the new printed maps of regions, provinces, and countries (including the Holy Land) that sixteenth-century readers were becoming accustomed to seeing all about them. However, the geographical realism of the bible maps was only skin deep. Modern “scientific” attributes – such as latitude and, sometimes, longitude, or the depiction of a compass rose and a scale bar – were added not because they were cartographically necessary, but because they were part of the religious message. The London publisher Reyner Wolfe makes this clear with the maps in his edition of the New Testament (1549). In the caption to the map of the eastern Mediterranean (for the Acts of the Apostles), Wolfe tells the reader not to use the scale bar simply to measure “by the distance of miles” the enormous distances travelled by St Paul, but to use those measurements to understand what “travails” the apostle suffered (Figure 3)22. It was not the accuracy of the geographical outlines on the maps that mattered to the publishers of the Geneva bibles, but the underscoring of the Bible’s historical reality by a geographical reality that needed to be no more than suggested by the map’s naturalistic style, as Wolfe stressed elsewhere in his New Testament, remarking that his map showed the very cities and towns where St Paul wrote his epistles (Preface).

Figure 3: Reyner Wolfe’s map of the Eastern Mediterranean in New Testament printed in London in 1549. As revealed in Wolfe’s caption, the scale bar was included not for the mathematical measurement of the distances travelled by St Paul the Apostle but for the bible reader to understand what St Paul suffered through his travel. B.L.: C. 36.a.3. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.

Figure 4: On the right are the marginal notes and diagrammatic map for the chapter 27 of the Acts of the Apostles in Sebastien Honorati’s large folio Bible printed in Lyon in 1566. The map summaries the description of the way St Paul’s ship was blown widely off course around Cyprus. On the left is a detail from Gerhard Mercator’s multi-sheet map of Europe of 1554, with lines added to show St Paul’s intended route and the route actually taken. B.L.: C.23.e.10. and Maps 17.d.20. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.

  • 23 Honorati’s sketch was based on a diagram in the introduction to Theodore Beza’s New Testament (1556 (...)
  • 24 There were not many contemporary sheet maps which showed Cyprus together with the southern coast of (...)

20The reality of St Paul’s “travails” (souffrances) as recorded in the map for the Acts of the Apostles was also underlined by the Lyonnais publisher Sébastien Honorati in 1565, but in a different and more traditional manner. Honorati included a small diagram in the margin amongst notes relating to the passage describing St Paul’s problems around Cyprus (Figure 4)23. On its own, or even with the explanatory text above it in the margin, the diagram probably would have meant little to the average reader, but it is in a large folio edition of the sort that one might have expected to find in a library, not a popular quarto edition. Library users were precisely those most likely to be able to seek out a large sheet map of the region and to study this together with the diagram24. Once understood, the marginal diagram served – like the medieval exegetical maps – as an aide-mémoire, prompting meditation on what it would have meant to be with St Paul, frightened and possibly sea-sick, on a ship being blown widely off-course by a raging storm.

Smoothed lines and empty spaces

  • 25 Johannes Oecolampoades, In Iesiam Prophetam... Commentariorum (Basle, 1525).

21The conclusion reached by considering maps in biblical exegesis is twofold: maps do not have to have ruled lines to be “simple” maps, nor are visually simplified maps necessarily intellectually inconsequential. The two points can be reiterated with one further example. Another scholarly sixteenth-century reformer, Johannes Oecolampades, included a single map in his commentary on Isaiah (1525) (Figure 5)25. The map shows features mentioned in the second chapter of Isaiah-the ships of Tarshish, the cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, the “high towers” of the cities all along the coast-but little else. Like all the maps in the Geneva bibles, Oecolampades’s map could be dismissed pejoratively as “simple” in the sense of being unsophisticated and crude. On the other hand, considering its function and its context, it could be recognised as fulfilling perfectly its function precisely because of its generalised geographical outlines and greatly simplified content.

Figure 5: Johannes Oecolampades’s generalised map of the Holy Land locates features referred to in the second chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: the ships of Tarshish, the cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, and the high towers of the rich coastal cities. The submerged city of Sodom, in the Dead Sea, no doubt is included as reminder of God’s punishment of the wicked. From In Iesiam Prophetam... Commentariorum, Ioannis Oecolampadii libri VI (Basle, 1525). B.L. : 1197.f. 14. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.

22It may be worth acknowledging, finally, the three principles which underlie the style of diagrammatic maps like Oecolampades’s map, those in medieval exegetical works, and those in the sixteenth-century editions of the Geneva bible. The first principle, that of specificity, implies that the image is designed in such a way as to convey a particular point to a particular person or group of people. What the point is may be explained by word of mouth, or be indicated in the map’s title. Or it may have to be deduced from the map’s context (eg. on a classroom blackboard). The second principle, selectivity, means that the map gives all the information needed for it to function successfully, but no more. Extra content clutters up the image. In similar vein, the final principle, that of simplicity, means that the map contains no unnecessary lines, or visual “noise”, that interfere with the immediacy of the map’s visual impact. The lines of a sketch map or a map in diagrammatic style are thus typically smoothed curves or ruled lines.

23These principles return us to the notion introduced at the beginning of this essay, that of a cartographical spectrum with, at one end, the indiscriminately informative topographical map intended for general use, and, at the other end, the visually simple map designed to communicate a specific point. The exegetical maps discussed here were not wielded as tools of overtly political propaganda, but the principles are the same for propaganda maps. They apply to all kinds of “simple” maps in daily use, such as the map we sketch to guide visitors to our homes or the topological maps of the London Underground and Paris Metro systems. Selective emphasis is a fundamental cartographical principle in all map making, and a map with intentionally smoothed lines and empty spaces is no less a map because of that kind of selectivity. On the contrary, some, like the map of the London Underground, may be counted amongst the “best” maps – conceptually-speaking – ever produced.

Notes

1 Earlier versions of this paper were presented at various symposia: the “Paper Landscapes” conference, held at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, July 1997; “Mapping the Early Modern World” conference, held at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, U.S.A., February 1998, and the “Text and Image: England 1500-1750” conference at the University of Reading, July 2002.

2 On prehistoric maps, see Catherine Delano-Smith, “Cartography in the prehistoric period in the Old World: Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa”, in J. B. Harley and David Woodward (eds), The History of Cartography, Volume 1, Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean (Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1987), pp. 54-99. On the change of map users in the Renaissance, see ibid., “Maps and map literacy I:different users, different maps” and “Maps and map users II: learning, education and training”, in David Woodward, Catherine Delano-Smith and Cordell Yee, Plantajaments i objectius d’una història universal de la cartografia. Approaches and Challenges in a Worldwide History of Cartography (Barcelona, Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, 2001), pp. 223-39 and 241-262. See also ibid., “The map as commodity”, op. cit., pp. 91-109. For the general context, see Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, L’Apparition du livre (Paris, Editions Albin Michel, 1958; published in English as The Coming of the Book (London, N.L.B., 1976)), Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as Agent of Change (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1979, 2 vols), and HenriJean Martin, Histoire et pouvoirs de l’écrit (Paris, Librairie Académique Perrin, 1988; published in English as The History and Power of Writing (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1994).

3 Each sheet is reproduced, much reduced but clearly, in Hans Wolff (ed.), Philipp Apian und die Kartographie der Renaissance (Munich, Anton K. Konrad Verlag, 1989, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek exhibition catalogue no. 50).

4 Public Record Office, London: SP 12/125, fol. 98 (formerly 46). The map is reproduced in Zillah Dovey, An Elizabethan Progress. The Queens Journey into East Anglia, 1578 (Stroud, Alan Sutton, 1996), p. 19, and in Catherine Delanosmith and Roger J. P. Καιν, English Maps. A History (London, The British Library, 1999), p. 144, Fig. 5.1.

5 Not only are geography (and many other) textbooks liberally illustrated with sketch or diagrammatic maps, but students of geography are unfailingly urged to include such maps in their tutorial essays, examination papers and theses. Yet not once in my career as a university lecturer in geography did I encounter a student who had been taught how to produce the required type of map. Even the standard work, widely used in British universities, is silent on the subject: F. J. Monkhouse, and H. R. Wilkinson, Maps and Diagrams. Their Compilation and Construction (London, Metheun, 1956 and subsequently).

6 See Bettye Thomas Chambers, Bibliography of French Bibles. Fifteenth-and Sixteenth-Century Editions of the Scriptures (Geneva, Droz, 1983). On the Bible in the Reformation more generally see: Guy Bedouelle and Bernard Roussel (eds.), Le temps des Réformes et la Bible (Paris, Beauchesne, 1989, Collection Bible de tous les temps).

7 E.g. The New Chain-Reference Bible, compiled and edited by Frank Charles Thompson (Indianopolis, B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., 1934, etc., 1988 ed. reprinted 1992).

8 Bodleian Library, B.N.C. 5.

9 See Francis Higman, “Without great effort, and with pleasure”: Sixteenth-century Genevan Bibles and reading practice”, in Orlaith O’Sullivan (ed.) The Bible as Book: The Reformation (London, The British Library and Oak Knoll Press in Association with The Scriptorium: Center for Christian Antiquities, 2000), p. 115-22. In some editions the full-page maps were printed with the text, which continues on the verso, but the maps were nonetheless regarded as didactic aids, thus escaping the censorship sometimes applied to the “distracting” narrative illustration.

10 The maps are illustrated in Catherine Delano-Smith, “Maps as art and science: maps in sixteenth century bibles”, Imago Mundi. The International Journal for the History of Cartography, 42 (1987), pp. 65-83, and Catherine Delano-Smith and Elizabeth Morley Ingram, Maps in Bibles 1500-1600. An Illustrated Catalogue (Geneva, Droz, 1999).

11 See Delano-Smith and Ingram, op. cit.

12 These errors betray the map maker’s reliance on Jacob Ziegler, Quae intus continentur Syria ad Ptolemaici operis (Strasbourg, 1532). Ziegler’s gazeteer and atlas of the holy places had been circulating for two years, in two manuscripts, prior to printing. On the tardiness of the geodetical surveying of Palestine, see Haim Goren, “Sacred but not surveyed: Nineteenth-century Surveys of Palestine, Imago Mundi, 54 (2002), pp. 87-110.

13 Nicholas of Lyra provided his commentary with 38 drawings (many comparing Jewish and Christian interpretations), seventeen of which are plans, to which Paul of Burgos later added three illustrations including one in plan. In the first printed edition of the Postillae (printed by Conrad Sweynhem and Arnold Pannartz in Rome, 1471-2) the spaces left for illustrations remain empty and it was 1481 before woodcuts for Nicholas’s drawings were available to fill the blanks in Anton Koberger’s Nuremberg edition. Arias Benito Montanus was the Catholic editor of a major, eight-volumed, polyglott edition of the Bible prepared and published in Antwerp by Christopher Plantin between 1569 and 1572.

14 Illustrations in the Postillae may differ in their details from manuscript to manuscript, but the stylistic structure is normally preserved. Nicholas of Lyra’s plan of the Desert Encampment is reproduced in Delano-Smith and Καιν, op. cit., p. 2, Fig. 1.1.

15 For a reproduction of Estienne’s illustration, see Elizabeth M. Ingram, “Maps as readers’ aids: maps and plans in Geneva Bibles”, Imago Mundi, 45 (1993), pp. 29-44.

16 Chambers, op. cit., pp.220-22.

17 Martin, op cit., p. 342,

18 Preface to the first printed Greek edition of the New Testament.

19 The quoted phrase is Martin’s; op. cit., p 356.

20 In England from the late 1530s, Henry VIII’s Acts of Dissolution destroyed the monasteries and their often priceless libraries.

21 Rudolph Wittkower, Allegory and the Migration of Symbols (London, Thames and Hudson, 1977), p. 86. Wittkower also suggested, referring to medieval illustration in general, that it was “the strength of the medieval position that these pictorial exemplars were subject to only very slow changes”.

22 Unfortunately, the play on the English words “travel” and “travail” (“voyager” and “souffrir”) does not work in French!

23 Honorati’s sketch was based on a diagram in the introduction to Theodore Beza’s New Testament (1556, etc.).

24 There were not many contemporary sheet maps which showed Cyprus together with the southern coast of Anatolia and the Holy Land apart from Gerard Mercator’s map of Europe (1554) and various maps in editions of Ptolemy’s Geography, the most recent being Sebastian Minister’s edition (1540 onwards).

25 Johannes Oecolampoades, In Iesiam Prophetam... Commentariorum (Basle, 1525).

Table des illustrations

Titre 202 Chap. XLVIII. EZECHIEL. Termes d’lsrael.
Légende Figure 1:Map of Canaan Restored (Ezekiel 45), in Jean Pillehotte’s Geneva edition of the Holy Bible, printed in Basle in 1585. Signed by Eskrich and dated 1568. BNF: SB 216. Reproduced with permission from the Bibliothèque du protestantisme français, Paris.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pus/docannexe/image/12528/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 400k
Légende Figure 2: Map of Canaan Restored (Ezekiel 45) from a fifteenth-century manuscript of Nicholas Lyra’s Postillae (1321-32). Bodleian, MS Canon Bible. Lat. 70, fol 163. Reproduced with permission from the Bodeliaen Library, Oxford.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pus/docannexe/image/12528/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 220k
Légende Figure 3: Reyner Wolfe’s map of the Eastern Mediterranean in New Testament printed in London in 1549. As revealed in Wolfe’s caption, the scale bar was included not for the mathematical measurement of the distances travelled by St Paul the Apostle but for the bible reader to understand what St Paul suffered through his travel. B.L.: C. 36.a.3. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pus/docannexe/image/12528/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 564k
Légende Figure 4: On the right are the marginal notes and diagrammatic map for the chapter 27 of the Acts of the Apostles in Sebastien Honorati’s large folio Bible printed in Lyon in 1566. The map summaries the description of the way St Paul’s ship was blown widely off course around Cyprus. On the left is a detail from Gerhard Mercator’s multi-sheet map of Europe of 1554, with lines added to show St Paul’s intended route and the route actually taken. B.L.: C.23.e.10. and Maps 17.d.20. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pus/docannexe/image/12528/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 420k
Légende Figure 5: Johannes Oecolampades’s generalised map of the Holy Land locates features referred to in the second chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: the ships of Tarshish, the cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, and the high towers of the rich coastal cities. The submerged city of Sodom, in the Dead Sea, no doubt is included as reminder of God’s punishment of the wicked. From In Iesiam Prophetam... Commentariorum, Ioannis Oecolampadii libri VI (Basle, 1525). B.L. : 1197.f. 14. Reproduced with permission from the British Library.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pus/docannexe/image/12528/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 327k

Auteur

Institute of Historical Research, University of London

© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2004

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Cette publication numérique est issue d’un traitement automatique par reconnaissance optique de caractères.
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search