Day 4: Here There Be Dragons

“I need a transition from my Iliad unit to Frankenstein,” I was grumbling to Jane. She had taught the Mythology-Hero & Monsters unit the year before.
“Use the Carta Marina’s amazing,” she was gushing. “The map details where all the monster live.”
She was right, the 16th Century map is amazing. The work of the  Olaus brothers, two Catholic priests, was completed after 12 years of painstaking detail. According to a Slate article, “Here Be Duck Trees and Sea Swine”  the brothers,

 …sought exile following their native Sweden’s conversion to Lutheranism during the Reformation. The brothers were living in Danzig (modern Gdańsk), Poland, when Olaus began work on a map of the northern regions in 1527, the same year that Sweden became Protestant…. Printed in Venice, Olaus’ Carta Marina was the largest, most detailed, and most accurate map of any part of Europe up to that time.


Interactive map courtesy of SLATE magazine.

Interactive map courtesy of SLATE magazine.

I am thinking of having each student choose a monster, define its characteristics, and create a narrative of the monster’s origin. That will be a great segue to Frankenstein.

“If I could wallpaper a room with this map, I would,” Jane said. I have to agree; the art is beautiful.


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