Consuming maps and producing space : explaining regional variations in the reception and agency of mapmaking in the Low Countries during the medieval and early modern periods
Faculty of Arts. History
Continuity and change : a journal of social structure, law and demography in past societies. - Cambridge, 1986, currens
, p. 209-240
University of Antwerp
The acceptance of mapmaking in medieval and early modern Europe was neither a uniform nor a linear process. Comparing two neighbouring regions in the Low Countries, we explain the varying appetite for maps and mapmaking first by unravelling how people dealt with space before the introduction of modern mapmaking and, second, by identifying the actors that actively promoted its adoption. In regions where local elites had already been considering space as a commodity with a preference for clear-cut, geometric forms before the introduction of mapmaking, the latter was enthusiastically accepted and rapidly became instrumental in propagating this modern concept of space. Other regions did not develop this appetite for mapmaking and continued to prefer different and more negotiable representations of space.