Olaus Magnus was born at Linköping, Sweden in 1490. He died in
Rome, 1 Aug., 1558. He belonged to the old and noble family of Store.
From 1518 to 1523 Olaus Magnus traveled throughout Scandinavia,
collecting data about local topography, folk-lore, natural history,
and customs. After Gustavus Vasa was elected king of Sweden in 1523,
Olaus was sent to Rome, and his brother, Johannes, was appointed
Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of Sweden.
In 1527 he
began work on his map,
Carta marina et Descriptio septemtrionalium terrarum
ac mirabilium rerum in eis contentarum, diligentissime elaborata Annon
Domini 1539 Veneciis liberalitate Reverendissimi Domini Ieronimi
Quirini, which translates as "A Marine map and Description of the
Northern Lands and of their Marvels, most carefully drawn up at Venice
in the year 1539 through the generous assistance of the Most
Honourable Lord and Patriarch Hieronymo Quirino,"
and completed it after some delays in 1539. It
was composed of nine sheets printed from wooden blocks. It measured
1.7 by 1.25 meters.
The map disappeared round 1574 and was not seen again
until a copy was discovered in 1886 in the Hof and Staatsbibliotek in
Munich by Dr. Oscar Bremer. A second copy was discovered in 1961 in
Switzerland and returned to Sweden.
sheets from Iceland are from the 1539 edition of the map. A copy of
the map is preserved in the James Ford Bell Library at the University
of Minnesota (http://bell.lib.umn.edu/map/OLAUS/indexo.html).