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Description found in Archives

Apographon descriptionis orbis terrae, figuris et narratiunculis distinctae manu Germanica opere nigelliari discolorio circa medium saec XVTabulae aeneae musei Borgiani Velitris consignatae, Quod Camillus Joh. Paulli F. Borgia, Cruce Hieros orontus, ab intimo cubiculo Electoris Bavarici, Patvui Cardinalis exampla imitatus, summa fide, maximoque artificio expressum recognitumque Eruditis spectandum proponit A.C. [1797] [cartographic material] 


ca. 1450](1797)

Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined



1 map : Circular projection, b.&w. ; 63 cm in diam. on sheet 79 x 67 cm.

Scope and content

The famous Borgian world map, extant in the Biblioteca Vaticana, is engraved on two copper plates riveted together to form a circle 63 cm in diameter.Nothing is known about its origin except that it was purchased in Portugal by Cardinal Stefano Borgia in 1794. Like other medieval cartographic specimens, the Borgia map has a limited geographical interest; and like other maps from this era, it is a treasure trove of information regarding the historical significance of all areas of the known world. One of the attractions of the map are the myriad of miniature drawings. An elk or moose appears in Europe from behind some trees, with the tines on the opposing and upper edges of its antlers. Also there is a polar bear emerging from an igloo in Norway, domesticated reindeer, foxes and wolves to be found. Culturally, towns are represented by castellated symbols, a variety of ship-types can be seen in the circumfluent ocean, the Magi of the Gospel story is included and even the Mongolian invasion is illustrated. Legends abound everywhere there is room or no graphic adornment. Surprisingly, unlike many other maps with this degree of illustration, little or no emphasis is given to Jerusalem, i.e. pictorially or through orientation, thus indication of a more sectarian, vice religious, origin and purpose.

Cartographic material
90: Open
Original can be viewed in the presence o
f an early cartographic archivist. Microfiche version is open.
Cartographic material
Microfiche NMC19077
90: Open
Item no. (creator)
Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection #1
Cartographic material
90: Open
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Other accession no.
80101/245 CA
Local class no.
H2/10000/[ca. 1450](1797)

Terms of use

Copyright: Expired
Credit Library and Archives Canada.

Additional name(s)

Additional information

Pictorial Relief

Custodial history
Part of the Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection purchased by the Public Archives of Canada in 1981

Availability of other formats note
The microfiche version is NMC19077

Varying form of title

Subject heading

World - Maps - Early works to 1600 .


Other system control no.