The “first” Atlas

I’m holding a semi-popular public lecture on Gemma Frisius and Gerhard Mercator in Nürnberg next Wednesday (tomorrow) as part of a series on the history of cartography to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Mercator’s birth and the 250th anniversary of Tobias Mayer’s death. My emphasis on Frisius will of course be the invention of triangulation plus his role as Mercator’s teacher. People who consider themselves to be educated have a collection of trivial facts that they associate with certain names or terms. Mention of the name Mercator provokes two reflect reactions from such people, “projection” and “the first atlas”.  I’ve already blogged about the Mercator-Wright projection on Mercator’s birthday so today I’m going to waste a few words over “the first atlas”.

About thonyc

Aging freak who fell in love with the history of science and now resides mostly in the 16th century.
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