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Sea Monsters: The Lore and Legacy of Olaus Magnus’s Marine Map by Joseph Nigg

December 26, 2015


The psalms mention ‘that Leviathan’. The Jews saw the sea as a return to chaos and a retreat from creation and the civilised order. Ancient folk were fascinated and terrified by sea monsters.

They got their myths from Aristotle, Pliny the Younger and St. Ambrose.

Many had moral tales attached to them – if you mess with nature, the monsters will get you.

The medieval world view, pre-science, was so different from ours.

Many if not most of the first zoologists were clergy.

You had to take lots of supplies for a long voyage.

Early humankind shared our love of dolphins.

Now we know where Jim Cotter got his unicorn from.

A beautifully produced book – a joy to handle and to read.

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