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The Codex Quetzalecatzin Historic map, Library of Congress


The Codex Quetzalecatzin Historic map, Library of Congress



Shows genealogical information and land ownership for the Nahuatl "de Leon" family from 1480-1593.
Map covers southern Puebla from the church of Todos Santos, Ecatepec (now suburb to the north east of modern-day Mexico City), and Lake Texcoco (now the National Reserve "El Caracol") to the church of Santa Cruz Huitziltepec, Pue at the lower right, with the lower portion of the map crossed by what appears to be the Atoyac River in northern Oaxaca.
Relief shown pictorially.
Title from dealer's publication.
Iron gall ink and watercolor on European laid paper, some discoloration and repaired losses, and mounted on cloth.
Includes text, romanized Nahuatl glosses for the hieroglyphics, the date "1593" in Latin script in lower left, and color illustrations.
On verso in lower right corner: 2668.
Place names in Latin with translations of numerous ancient Mexican hieroglyphs.
Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

The geography discoveries and the new printing techniques resulted in maps that can be cheaply produced. Since a globe remains the only accurate way of representing the spherical earth, and any flat representation resulted in distorted projection. In 1569, Mercator published a map of the world specifically intended as an aid to navigation. It used a projection now known by Mercator's name, though it has been used by few others before him, based on a system of latitude and longitude that dated back to Hipparchus. Mercator's projection greatly enlarged territories as they recede from the equator. The distortion of Mercator's projection is a benefit to navigators since Mercator achieves a matching scale for longitude and latitude in every section of the map. A compass course can be plotted at the same angle on any part of Mercator's map. As a result marine charts still use this projection. By the time of his death in 1595, Mercator has either published or prepared large engraved maps, designed for binding into volume form, of France, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, and the British Isles. Mercator's son issues the entire series under the title "Atlas": "Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes." The name becomes the word for a volume of maps.







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