Saturday, October 01, 2005


Yep, I admit it: I'm a cartophile. I love maps, particularly antique or ancient maps. That is one of the reasons for my interest in Campaign Cartographer, of course, but what I really like are actual ancient maps. And not just maps of the world, either. Historical maps of medieval cities, the Crusades, or even older works all fascinate me. I'd decorate my walls with them, but unfortunately each map can cost as much as $2500.

A person on the Campaign Cartographer mailing list clued me into a gold mine, however. "Agile Rabbit" is an imprint of Pepin Press out of Amsterdam. They have published a book called, The Agile Rabbit Book of Historical and Curious Maps. And they certainly are curious. Some of them seem to be reporductions of hand-drawn maps that have to be 2000 years old. There are maps of cities, maps of other planets (including one by Galileo, if I recognize it correctly), politcal-cartoon maps (one country gobbling up another, for example), you name it. The book has a very wide variety of very interesting maps.

Unfortunately, the maps are all that the book has. There is no explanation of the maps whatsoever. You have no idea what the map is trying to depict or even what general era it might be from. It's a text-free book. The back cover says that it's intended to be inspiration for graphic artists, but I think it would have been more inspiring if you knew the history of the maps. On the other hand, I feel like it's something of a treasure hunt. It will be fun to reserach the more interesting maps and find out their history.

In the meantime, the book also includes a CD-ROM that has all the maps in both high and low resolution format. I may see about printing some of these on parchment paper for framing. Not as good as the real thing, but they will still look great!

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