Robert Born, Map and Propaganda. The Example of Transylvania during the Long Turkish War

Robert Born - Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe (BKGE) in Oldenburg
TOME LX 2022
pp. 45-76
Online publication date: 
Sigismund Báthory; Domenicus Custos; Alexander Mair; Fugger; propaganda

In recent decades, cartographic processes and practices have repeatedly been the subject of cultural and visual studies. However, the propagandistic function of this medium in the early modern period has been largely ignored. In view of this situation, the present study focuses on the functionalization of cartography in the context of the Long Turkish War. The focus of the study is on three maps that served to glorify the Transylvanian prince Sigismund Báthory. The maps were produced in Augsburg, which, along with Nuremberg and Vienna, was certainly the most important centre for the development of cartography in the German-speaking world. Augsburg was also an important place for the transmission of a variety of innovations from Antwerp, probably the most important centre of cartography in Europe in the sixteenth century. The analysis of the works created by Domenicus Custos and Alexander Mair on behalf of the powerful Augsburg families of the Fuggers and Welsers reveals a network of actors from Transylvania, Vienna, Prague and Augsburg. Moreover, the analysis of the iconographic elements of the maps offers insights into current political agendas as well as interesting conclusions about the circulation of geographical and antiquarian knowledge in East Central Europe.

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