Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Armchair Discovery of the Unknown Southern Continent: Gerardus Mercator, Philosophical Pretensions and a Competitive Trade

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Early Science and Medicine

The unknown southern continent is perhaps one of the most puzzling aspects of Gerardus Mercator's otherwise strikingly modern cartography. This paper is an attempt to reconsider it in view of Renaissance cosmology and to outline two factors that led Mercator to engage with the mythical terra australis over decades: his socio-professional status as an artisan and the desire to be a philosopher, on the one hand, and the harsh business of mapmaking in the Low Countries on the other. The resulting unknown southern continent was intimately connected to the classical tradition and geocentric cosmology but also to the specific social niche Mercator was trying to establish for himself.

Affiliations: 1: ETH Zürich, D-GESS, Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft, HG E 67.6, Rämistrasse 101, CH-8092 Zürich


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Early Science and Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation