Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 16 Issue 04

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Volume 16, No. 4
Pages 77 - 88

Ocean Eddies in the 1539 Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus

H. Thomas Rossby Peter Miller
First Paragraph

In 1539 Olaus Magnus, an exiled Swedish priest living in Italy, published a remarkably detailed map of the Nordic countries, from Iceland in the west to Finland in the east. The map, called ‘Carta Marina’, introduced a scope of information about these countries that broke completely new ground in terms of comprehensiveness and general accuracy. The geographical outline of the Nordic countries is quite accurate and the map includes all the major island groups such as the Faroes, Orkneys and Shetland Islands. In addition to the geography and numerous ethnographic sketches, the map also provides, as it name indicates, an extraordinary wealth of information about the waters surrounding the Nordic countries.


Rossby, H.T., and P. Miller. 2003. Ocean eddies in the 1539 Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus. Oceanography 16(4):77–88, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2003.14.