The Carta marina (Latin "map of the sea" or "sea map"), drawn by Olaus Magnus in 1527-39, is the earliest map of the Nordic countries that gives details and placenames. Only two earlier maps of Scandinavia are known, those of Jacob Ziegler (Strasbourg, 1532) and Claudius Clavus (15th century).
The map was created in Rome by the Swedish ecclesiastic Olaus Magnus (1490–1557), who arrived on a diplomatic visit for the Swedish government and stayed on, likely because his brother Johannes Magnus became involved in a religious feud with King Gustav I of Sweden.
It is generally considered that Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus ("A description of the Northern peoples") printed in Rome, 1555, is an extensive commentary based in part on features of the map. The Latin notes were translated by Olaus into Italian (1565) and German (1567).
In production for 12 years, the first copies were printed in 1539 in Venice.
The map was printed from nine 55x40 cm woodcut blocks to produce a document that is 1.70 m wide by 1.25 m tall.
A faithful reproduction of the map was printed in Rome by Antoine Lafréry in 1572. All of the original map's copies passed out of public knowledge after 1574, and the map was largely forgotten – perhaps because few copies were printed and Pope Paul III asserted a 10-year "copyright." It was later widely questioned whether the map had ever existed.
In 1886, Oscar Brenner found a copy at the Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in Munich, where it currently resides. In 1961, another copy was found in Switzerland, brought to Sweden the following year by the Uppsala University Library; as of 2007 is stored at Carolina Rediviva.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carta marina.|
- (Swedish)"Geografiens och de geografiska upptäckternas historia / Geography and The Geographical Voyager's history" (1899)
- "Carta marina et descriptio : the commentary by Olaus Magnus to Map of the Scandinavian countries 1539", Provisional ed. (1988)
- "Carta Marina, Lafreris edition 1572"- Antoine Lafréry's (1512 - 1577) edition from 1572, digitalized by the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm
- CIPHER Project - Exploring the Carta Marina
- Carta Marina (Uppsala University Library)
- "University of Minnesota Carta Marina" - the original or Pope Paul III (1468–1549) map from 1539, in jpeg images. The site contains more information on early printing process.
- Carta Marina, Lafreris edition 1572 at the World Digital Library (Antoine Lafréry's (1512 - 1577) edition from 1572 digitized by the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm
- Carta Marina of 1516, Speaker: Chet Van Duzer Video from the Library of Congress