Gerardus Mercator

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SCN 579

     The image on the Belgian stamp of 1962 is based on an engraving in 1574 by Frans Hogenberg, who also engraved some of Mercator's maps. The engraving of Mercator first appeared in his 1584 edition of Ptolemy's Geografia. It also appeared in the 1595 editon of Mercator's Atlas, published after Mercator's death by his son, Rumold.
     The view of the earth on the globe included "America" under Mercator's left hand, with the North Pole under the compass in his right hand.

     Gerard Mercator (Kremer) was born in Rupelmonde in East Flanders in 1512. He studied under Gemma Frisius at Louvain. He began producing maps in 1537, and issued his famous Mercator projection in 1569. In this projection a straight line between any two points would describe the loxodrom between them. His atlas was published in three parts in 1585, 1590, and 1595, a year after his death. Jodocus Hondius bought Mercatorís plates and issued several editions of the atlas enlarged with his own.
     On Mercatorís map of Cyprus the eastern part of the island is shown as shorter and broader than it is; also the direction of the island is shown as directly east-west, which is not the case. The map was published in 1590. The map of Africa is dated 1595. The one of South America is from a 1606 atlas.

SCN 324

SCN 297

SCN 3317

     The map Mercator was published in 1606 in Hondius' "Mercator Atlas." Mercator's map is oriented to the south. For the stamp the map has been rotated 180į, so that the top is to the north.