ABSTRACT

Until the publication of the Geographia or the Isolario, no two maps had been alike. In the manuscript culture that preceded the new technology, every map, each a product of an individual or a team of craftsmen, had been been endowed with a signature and style. A mystical or auratic effect of the world seen from outside of human boundaries, what we can imagine to be the impact of manuscript versions of Ptolemy, was on the route leading toward mass production of worldviews. The images appealed to perspectives on the known continents and seas from points that humans could not occupy. The views that the maps were offering

would no doubt soon become norms for deviation and correctionindeed, for scientific study. They were politically invested, but they were also of interest for historiographers and poets exploring the spatial character of writing.