Perilous Oceans: The Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Free Public Lecture with Chet Van Duzer

Friday, June 6th at  7:00 p.m.
Reception at 6:00 p.m.

Chet Van Duzer 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. One of the most visually engaging elements on these maps, sea monsters are important not only in the history of cartography, art, and zoological illustration, but also in the history of the geography of the marvelous and 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!

Book cover of Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps

Book cover of Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps by Chet Van Duzer

Chet Van Duzer works on special projects in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, and is an Invited Research Scholar at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island. His book Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps was recently published by the British Library.