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Decoding the Morse: The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

- June 14, 2017 in carta marina, conrad gessner, Culture & History, Featured Articles, morse, olaus magnus, Religion, Myth & Legend, walrus

Amongst the assorted curiosities described in Olaus Magnus' 1555 tome on Nordic life was the morse — a hirsuite, fearsome, walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth. Natalie Lawrence explores the career of this chimerical wonder, shaped both by scholarly images of a fabulous north and the grisly corporeality of the trade in walrus skins, teeth, and bone.

Olaus Magnus’s Sea Serpent

- February 5, 2014 in Art & Illustrations, Articles, carta marina, great norway serpent, konrad gesner, olaus magnus, Painting, Science & Medicine, sea orm, Sea Serpent

The terrifying Great Norway Serpent, or Sea Orm, is the most famous of the many influ…