venerdì 6 marzo 2009


Sea serpent
A giant sea serpent is able to attack an entire ship and sink it. It lives in underwater caves, from which it swims to the shore to swallow calves, sheep and pigs whole. This serpent has a long spine and fiery red eyes. It strikes ships by raising itself up as high as a column, then it goes after the men and devours them. The sight of a sea serpent is always a bad omen: a king or prince will die, a great war is ignited, or some other significant disaster will occur.

A fish the size of an elephant
Disgusting, dangerous monsters live in the Arctic Sea. One of them is a creature the size of an elephant, with large sharp teeth. It attacks a person with lightning speed after catching even a brief glimpse of him, and is capable of tearing him into pieces at the same time. These beasts nevertheless have the habit of climbing up high on the cliffs by means of their tusks, in order to eat succulent grass. After their meal, they always snooze while remaining attached to the rock, and then fishermen can catch them by binding their tails to a rock or tree. When, after awakening, they are prodded with canes and rocks back into the sea, their skin peels away and they lose a lot of blood. Then they are easy game.

Aggiungo alla collezione di mostri mangiauomini di AAA un paio di magnifici mostri lapponi, per cui ho un debole per via di certe frequentazioni, anni fa, di quei mari e quelle lande. Tutto ciò grazie a Olaus Magnus.

Cito largamente e vi invito ad andare alla fonte per vedere una magnifica Carta Marina.

Olaus Magnus's woodcuts as a basic portrait of Lapland myth.

The images and captions of the presentation are from the book Pohjoisten kansojen historia (History of the Northern Peoples) by Bishop Olaus Magnus, the original Latin publication of which was published in 1555 with the related first edition of Carta Marina published in 1539. Background material providing further information is Heli Saarinen's study of the wood engravings of Olaus Magnus as original depictions of the Lapland fable. Some of the images refer to the Finnish-language version of Pohjoisten kansojen historia (History of the Northern Peoples) and the English-language translation of the work.

Olaus Magnus (1490 - 1557) was a Nordic historian renowned for Pohjoisten kansojen historia [A History of the Nordic Peoples] and as an author of Carta marina, closely connected with the same. He was a highly learned clergyman who is often referred to as the last Roman Catholic bishop of Swedish Finland. In reality he did not attend to his bishop vocation for even as long as a day, because King Gustav had changed Sweden into a land of Lutheranism and could not approve a Catholic bishop appointed by the Pope. Olaus Magnus lived in exile for the rest of his life and died in Rome.

From 1518 to 1519, Olaus Magnus made a journey across Sweden. During his trek, he collected information connected with nature as well as the people and their habits, which serve as the foundation of his works. Pohjoisten kansojen historia [A History of the Nordic Peoples], which was published in 1555, was the first literary and pictorial presentation of Lapland. Olaus relates his own eyewitness observations of Tornionlaakso Valley, as his journey extended as far as Pello. With respect to the rest of Lapland, his description is based on antique and medieval literary sources and oral accounts which were mixed up with plenty of imagination and prejudices.

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Per vedere più da vicino la Carta Marina con i suoi bellissimi mostri, vedi il sito della James Bell Ford Library, Minnesota

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