Bizarre "Biblical" and "Fantasy" Maps of the World, Circa 1580

From the famous maps of cartographer Heinrich Bünting's Itinerarium Sacra Scripturae (Travels According to the Scriptures), come these fascinating mashup of religion, fantasy and map-making.

Described by the Yale University Map Collection as a "cartographic oddity," Bunting's map was published in 1581, and serves as a symbolic depiction (Bünting knew the world didn't actually look like this) of "Biblical lands." Also printed in the collection were two other maps of "pure fantasy":

In addition to correct maps of the Holy Land, it also contained three maps of pure fantasy: the world in the form of a clover leaf, Europe as a robed female figure, and Asia as Pegasus the mythical winged horse [pictured below]. The horse is drawn fairly realistically, so that the shape of Asia has to be adjusted; the Caspian Sea lies horizontally between the wings and the saddle, and modern India is the off hind leg.

In Bunting's map of the world as a clover leaf, representing the Trinity, each of the three continents of the Old World forms a section, with Jerusalem in a circle in the center. England and Scandinavia appear separately at the northern edge of the mpa [sic], and the new continent of America can be seen in the lower left corner. It has been suggested that the cloverleaf design represents not only the Trinity, but the arms of Bunting's native city of Hanover.

Bizarre "Biblical" and "Fantasy" Maps of the World, Circa 1580

Bizarre "Biblical" and "Fantasy" Maps of the World, Circa 1580

Read more about these and other "odd, curious, and fanciful maps" at Yale University Library.

Hat tip to Catherine!