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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Martin Waldseemüller’s 'Carta marina' of 1516

Study and Transcription of the Long Legends


  • Provides the first complete transcription, translation, and commentary on all of the map’s descriptive texts

  • Richly illustrated and accompanied by online access to high-resolution images of all of the sheets of the map

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (2 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-vii
  2. Introduction to the Carta Marina

    • Chet Van Duzer
    Pages 1-53Open Access
  3. The Long Legends: Transcription, Translation, and Commentary

    • Chet Van Duzer
    Pages 55-150Open Access

About this book

This open access book presents the first detailed study of one of the most important masterpieces of Renaissance cartography, Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina of 1516. By transcribing, translating into English, and detailing the sources of all of the descriptive texts on the map, as well as the sources of many of the images, the book makes the map available to scholars in a wholly unprecedented way.  

In addition, the book provides revealing insights into how Waldseemüller went about making the map -- information that can’t be found in any other source. The Carta marina is the result of Waldseemüller’s radical re-evaluation of what a world map should be; he essentially started from scratch when he created it, rejecting the Ptolemaic model and other sources he had used in creating his 1507 map, and added more descriptive texts and a wealth of illustrations.  
Given its content, the book offers an essential reference work not only on this map, but also for anyone working in sixteenth-century European cartography. 


  • History of Cartography
  • Renaissance Studies
  • Martin Waldseemüller
  • Open Access
  • Circulation of Knowledge
  • Iconography
  • Old Maps
  • Carta marina
  • Sixteenth century cartography
  • Waldseemuller Map
  • Renaissance cartography
  • historical geography

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lazarus Project, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA

    Chet Van Duzer

About the author

Chet Van Duzer is a Researcher in Residence at the John Carter Brown Library and a board member of the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester, which brings multispectral imaging to cultural institutions around the world. He has published extensively on medieval and Renaissance maps; in 2018 his book Henricus Martellus’s World Map at Yale (c. 1491): Multispectral Imaging, Sources, and Influence was published by Springer. His recent NEH-Mellon project at the Library of Congress was a study of the annotations in a heavily annotated copy of the 1525 edition of Ptolemy’s Geography; and last year he completed a David Rumsey Research Fellowship at Stanford and the John Carter Brown Library studying Urbano Monte’s manuscript world map of 1587. His current project is a book about cartographic cartouches.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)