In the latest issue of FMR magazine, there is an article by Giorgio Mangani on ‘Cartographic Oddities’. The aberrant maps discussed in the piece are of the same kinds as in this list of curiosities held by the Yale University Library. Rather unreasonably, I found myself faintly disappointed; wishing that the oddities had been odder still, and the curiosities even curiouser. One of the illustrations in the magazine caught my eye, however, a map of Schlaraffenland.
Schlaraffenland was a utopian country, a Land of Cockaigne, originally described in a satire by one Johann Andreas Schnebelin (d. 1706). It is a place where ‘chickens, geese, and pigeons fly around already cooked and waiting to be eaten, and every house is surrounded by a hedge of sausage’. A number of maps of this country were apparently produced between 1700 and 1750. The one pictured here was published by Johann Baptist Homann in Nuremburg in 1716.
Besides Schlaraffenland proper, shown in the first of the two images above, the map depicts other countries on the same imaginary continent, including Mammonia; a Republic of Veneria; Bibonia, land of Booze; and a Great Empire of the Stomach, Magni Stomachi Imperium. All the common vices have their place: there is even an Island of Tobacco. To the east and west of these lands are, respectively, the Kingdoms of Youth and of Old Age. To the North there is Terra Sancta Incognita, the ‘unknown country of the pious’, while a hotter region lies to the south .
Click on the images above to see them enlarged.Posted by misteraitch at November 28, 2004 09:38 AM | TrackBack