This fascinating map is full of coded symbols:
Leopold was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1658, a title that had been in his Habsburg family for centuries. However, realising the increasing weakness of this institution (2), Leopold instead shifted his political energy to the consolidation of his Austrian, Hungarian and Bohemian dynastic territories. Vienna was to become the focal point for this newer empire, which would eventually become the Austro-Hungary Double Monarchy.
This map illustrates that ambition to consolidate, showing Bohemia as a Habsburg power flower.
That stem firmly connects the flowering Bohemian rose to the fertile soil of Vienna, the Habsburg’s political centre.
Does anyone else think we’re missing out by going to really excellent but fairly soulless maps like GPS displays and Google Maps? [Via Strange Maps]
8 thoughts on “Rose-shaped map of Bohemia”
At the end of the 30 Years War/Wars of Religion, this is an early indication of the Rosicrucian doctrines which would feed the nascent American Commonwealth. The background is too massive to go into here, but it is to be read against the earlier work of Rudolph II in the earliest days of modern science – our very philosophy here is directly descended from that sense of autonomy from diktat.
Leopold, for example, was the great-grandson of Phillip II of Spain, whose alchemical research in 1560s Brussels fed Jan van Helmont’s breakthroughs in experimental philosophy which would in their turn inspire Boyle, Newton and Leibnitz.
The importance of these channels is that they allowed the earliest natural philosophers to communicate without observation by the intrusive Inquisition, whose objective was to constrain research within theological constraints, see Galileo.
Leo Belgicus, that was on main page of the German wikipedia today.
Belgium was always something of a quandry within Europe. Eventually its position within Burgundy put it into the hegemonic domain of the Hapsburgs, a position consolidated by Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor in the first half of the 16th Century. However, the return of the Empire to its German origins left Belgium with Spain, an unhappy mix given the fundamentalist Catholic Phillip II and the Protestant Netherlands. The administration of the Duke of Alba turned matters to revolution, whence the image of the Belgian Lion.
Phillip II was, however, instrumental as local Brussels sources attribute van Helmont’s “butterfly” trigger to Phillip, in the person of RenÃ© Cerclaes, a supposed Anjou baron with a very Brusselaers name. He apparently reproduced Phillip’s 1560 experiments in alchemy to fund the Counts of Egmont and Hoornes, leaders of the Flemish party (whence the love of the middle Enlightenment for referential works such as Beethoven and Goethe’s Egmont) – I have certainly seen the document readmitting the Countess of Egmont into the nobility in 1600, an event which followed Cerclaes’ delivery of the huge amount of gold he contracted to deliver over thirty years previously, so there appears to have been something to the tale.
The 1560 experiment, recorded in the Simancas Royal Archive of Phillip’s correspondance with his secretary Pedro de la Hoya, led to Rudolph’s famous Prague seminars, but not even Cerclaes was able to reproduce the work outside of Brussels. The unique technology responsible was also responsible for Phillip’s reattribution of the Escorial, see Arquitectura y Magia, the full edition of RenÃ© Taylor’s submission to Rudolph Wittkower’s 1968 festschrift for all of this.
Finally for our American colleagues, see also Newman’s Alchemy, Tried in the Fire for George Starkey’s pioneering work covering the period between van Helmont and Boyle.
,,,wow gnda nman,,,soooo nice picture
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