Mythical Creatures on Maps

a part human, part horse, part fish on an early atlas
Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius, first published in 1570. Reprinted with permission by British Library and the University of Chicago Press.

An ichthyocentaur (parts human, horse and fish) plays a viol on a map of Scandinavia from the 1573 edition of Ortelius’s Theatrum orbis terrarum. The sea surrounding Scandinavia showed sailing ships and this traditionally peaceful ichthyocentaur, perhaps suggesting safe passage.

Tags: Maps