Classic Mercator

Gerardus Mercator’s classic map of the northern Black Sea, Taurica Chersonesus nostra aetate Przecopsca et Gazara dicitur, first published in 1585 (the image at left was published in Amsterdam in 1610), shows a landscape filled with dense forest and thick streams. Here the Crimean peninsula, hemmed in by settlements and fortifications, juts out into the churning waters of the Black Sea while faint traces of the routes followed by Tatar and Nogai raiding parties reach out from Perekop toward Riazan and Smolensk. The peninsula occupies prime real estate on the map: it is, the map would have us believe, the hinge on which the northern littoral turns as well as the anchor to a north-south environmental and political corridor.

To drill down into the Mercator map, access it here.