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Heinz Musall and Walter Sperling:

The Theatrum Belli Rhenani by Cyriak Blödner from 1713/1715

Cartographica Helvetica 42 (2010) 3–18


The presently described map series Theatrum Belli Rhenani by Cyriak Blödner (1672–1732) shows the theater of war at the Upper Rhine in the year 1713 during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714). The map sheets feature a wealth of characteristics significant to the history of cartography not only as far as the representation of the terrain, the settlements and road network is concerned, but also regarding the various points of view to the question of generalization. Furthermore, the map describes the oldest, relatively large-scaled comprehensive representation of the entire southwestern German region including Alsace and a part of northeastern Switzerland. It also shows a unique cartographic cross section of the developing cultural landscape as it emerged towards the end of the long periods of war during the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries.

When researching the background of this map series, one inevitably comes upon the large general map by Henri Sengre from the 1680s which served as the model for the Theatrum Belli Rhenani and is also described here. The article closes with a reference to two copies of the Theatrum Belli Rhenani by Johannes Schwenck (1742) and Caspar Carl Schwenck (1754).

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Cyriak Blödners 'Theatrum Belli Rhenani' vom Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts. Karlsruhe 2009. (Karlsruher Geowissenschaftliche Schriften C, 16).

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