Map of the southern part of the African continent taken from the Atlas van der Hagen, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Part 4.
During the 17th century this chart by Willem Jansz. Blaeu (1571-1638) functioned as a blueprint from which many maps of southern Africa were copied. The chart is partly based on the map of the Kingdom of Prester John drawn by Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) in 1573. According to legend, somewhere deep in the unknown African interior there was a Christian kingdom. The east coast of Africa is rendered fairly accurately, and it is thought that Blaeu drew from Portuguese sources. The two great lakes situated just below the equator were taken by Blaeu from descriptions recorded by the geographer Ptolemaeus in the second century AD. These lakes were deemed to be the sources of the Nile.
Blaeu, Wilhelm (Jansz.)
AETHIOPIA INFERIOR, vel EXTERIOR. Partes magis Septentrionalis, quae hic desiderantur, vide in tabula Ethiopiae Superioris Blaeu, Wilhelm (Jansz.)
38 x 50 cm