Dreams of a Great Southern Land

Dreams of a Great Southern Land
The Southern Ring Continent Talks / Lecture

Urbano monte world map, (1587), David Rumsey Collection, Stanford
5 March 2020, 6pm-7pm
Theatre, Lower Ground 1


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Join Chet Van Duzer, Cartographic Historian and Board member of the Lazarus Project at the University of Rochester, as he explores the early modern belief that there had to be a substantial landmass in the south to counterbalance the continents in the north.  

This hypothetical landmass was depicted on many maps beginning from c.1508, when such a continent appeared on a world map by Francesco Rosselli. Rosselli’s map showed a very large island at the South Pole, yet many maps from the sixteenth century illustrate a remarkable variant of this geographical myth: a continent-sized landmass that forms a ring of land around the South Pole, with open water at the pole itself.  

Chet will discuss the sources of this unusual view of the Southern Polar Regions found in classical, medieval, and Renaissance hydrographical theories and geographical texts.


Image: Urbano monte world map (detail), 1587, David Rumsey Collection, Stanford