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Published: 13 January 2018

By Andy Ross

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An interesting map

While researching the island of Fair Isle for our upcoming trip, I found this amazing map...

I was looking for information about the old name of Fair Isle, Fridarey, an old Norse designation meaning "the island of peace" apparently. And Fair Isle is certainly peaceful nowadays so perhaps it was always thus. 

The map turned up because Fair Isle is shown on it. If you look at the image, just left and south of the central point, you can see a circle and to the right of that circle is a small island. That is Shetland, and below it, the very small dot is Fair Isle!

Originally published in 1539, the map was created by Olaus Magnus, a Swede who wrote the earliest comprehensive book about Scandinavia. This map was made for his book but was published before the latter as "Carta Marina", A Marine Map. (Actually the real title is far longer and you can see it in its entirety here.

The map can also be seen in much greater detail, thanks to digitisation. If you follow this link you can see the map in sections. Shetland and Fair Isle are in Section D. It is a map full of wonders, not least of which are the amazing sea creatures that swim across the waters. Fantastic, isn't it?!