15 May 2013

On Vacation: Hondius his map

Mercator Hondius, 1625-35, 13.5 x 17.2 cm.
Published in Purchas, His Pilgrimes
Hand-colored. DW Collection.


  1. Hi Diana,

    It's really surprising to see Grizi and Faneromeni on a map with towns such as Methoni, Koroni and Navarino. Is there any clue on why they were important?

    Also, how come Hondius missed Galaxidi across the Corinthian Gulf? It should be immediately to the left of Crissa and way more important as far as I know. Unless he mixed up the names. Crissa is misplaced anyway as it should be a bit more inland although misplacing seems like a topographic error to me (look at Attica for example, not very good representation compared to the Morea) rather than confusion.



  2. I know nothing about Hondius, his map-making, his clients, or his sources. I know that Grizi was extremely important in the early 15th C between Achaia & Venice, then between the Despotate & Venice, & then it shows up again at the primary fief for those land documents I did recently from 1489.

    You are on your own here.

  3. Dear Dr. Wright,

    Jodocus Hondius (1563-1611) was first an engraver and secondly a publisher, but he was not a cartographer like his Dutch compatriots Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) and Gerard Mercator (1512-1594). At the age of 28 he migrated to London working as engraver for John Speed’s county Atlas and he married there the sister of another Dutch map-maker, Pieter van den Keere or Kaerius. He returned to Amsterdam before 1600 and he acquired control of Mercator’s stock. From 1606 he issued enlarged editions of Mercator’s atlas. There are at least 15 Latin editions of the Atlas sive cosmographicae, eight French, one Dutch and one German.
    Hondius’ contribution was not at all cartographical and he never added new information in his maps from topographical, or nautical, or historical maps and descriptions of travelers. Since his maps are not original your questions can find an answer by checking Mercator’s map of the Morea.
    Hondius published also maps of Ortelius, Bertius, Ptolemy and Janssonius. After his death his son, Henry, succeeded to the business.
    The size of your map (13.5 x 17.2 cm.) from the Atlas minor automatically excludes a lot of toponyms. Besides, the pilgrims used maps not for their accuracy, but to give authority to their texts and help the readers to discover the exotic places like the Peloponnese…
    See, R.V. Tooley, Maps and Map-makers, London 1970, pp. 32, 33.
    C.G. Zacharakis, A Catalogue of Printed Maps of Greece 1477-1800, Athens 1992, pp. 88, 112, 113.

    Dr. Stella A. Chrysochoou,
    43, Levidou str. Kifisia 14563

  4. Thank you, Stella Chrysochoou, for your generosity in giving all this information, and especially for the references. Other readers will be as grateful as I.


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