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Emanuel van Meteren's History as source for the cartography of the Netherlands

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The author discusses the publishing history of ten rare maps of the Low Countries - the XVII Provinces -, which occur in the numerous Dutch, German, Latin and French editions of Emanuel van Meteren's 'Dutch History'. [The title of the first Dutch edition is Memorien der Belgische ofte Nederlantsche historie, van onse tijden [...] (Delft, J. C. Vennecool, 1599).] The first of these maps, almost certainly the work of Frans Hogenberg, may have been published as early as 1582; the tenth map, occurring in Jan Jacobsz Schipper's Dutch Van Meteren edition of 1647, is a second state of Willem Jansz Blaeu's map of 1604. This map appears to be a copy of the one J. B. Vrients used in 1608 for an Ortelius edition, the engraving of which - before 1588 - has been attributed to Philips Galle. Although much has been written about Van Meteren's work and the historical plates included in it, the maps have met with little interest. This in itself is proof that historical cartography is to some degree the stepchild of historiography - after all the maps in Van Meteren's 'History' discussed in this article are among the oldest of the Netherlands.


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