Beastly belonging in the premodern North

Dolly Jørgensen, “Beastly belonging in the premodern north,” In Visions of North in Premodern Europe, ed. Dolly Jørgensen and Virginia Langum (Turnhout: Brepols, 2018), 183-205.

In this chapter, I examine animal images on maps of medieval and early modern Scandinavia to expose how the North and its fauna were understood in the premodern era as distinct from the fauna of Continental Europe. The chapter is well illustrated with early modern maps. I argue that mapmakers chose animals deliberately to represent the ‘essential’ character of the North. Claims of belonging are made in the mapping process. Putting an animal on a map was equivalent to the claim that this (an animal) is there (in Scandinavia), as well as claiming that there (Scandianvia) is made of these (specific animals).

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