“Here Begins the Dark Sea: Venice, a Medieval Monk, and the Creation of the Most Accurate Map of the World” by Meredith F. Small.
In 1459 a Venetian monk named Fra Mauro completed an astonishing map of the world.
Seven feet in diameter, Fra Mauro’s mappamundi is the oldest and most complete Medieval map to survive into modernity.
And in its time, this groundbreaking mappamundi provided the most detailed description of the known world, incorporating accurate observation, and geographic reality, urging viewers to see water and land as they really existed.
Fra Mauro’s map was the first in history to show that a ship could circumnavigate Africa, and that the Indian “Sea” was in fact an ocean, enabling international trade to expand across the globe.
Acclaimed anthropologist Meredith F. Small reveals how Fra Mauro’s mappamundi made cartography into a science rather than a practice based on religion and ancient myths.
Here Begins the Dark Sea brings Fra Mauro’s masterpiece to life as a work of art and a window into Venetian society and culture.
In telling the story of this cornerstone of modern cartography, Small takes the reader on a fascinating journey as she explores the human urge to find our way.
Here Begins the Dark Sea is a riveting testament to the undeniable impact Fra Mauro and his mappamundi have had over the past five centuries and still holds relevance today.