We’re certain that you remember the weekly “Cartographic Propaganda” series by Ukrainian historian Kyrylo Halushko, which disenfranchised Russia’s myths about Ukraine’s territory. We avail ourselves of this occasion to thank Kyrylo once again for the interesting materials. The last series was published back in 2014, but the story did not end there.
Kyrylo’s cartographic tales inspired our colleagues from the Embassy of Ukraine to the Holy See: they found ancient maps of Ukrainian lands at Vatican!
The gallery of geographic maps in the Papal Palace of Vatican is adorned with 40 frescoes with geographic maps showing former dominions of the Catholic Church and most important regions of Italy and Europe of the era of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585). Detailed maps were made upon commission of Pope Gregory XIII by cartographer and mathematician Ignazio Danti from Perugia.
We offer to your attention maps showing lands belonging to the territory of the present-day Ukraine and neighboring states. It is worth noting that the maps depict not only geographic data, but also historical events, monuments and peculiarities of places shown.
“UNGARIA, POLONIA Olim sarmatia religione humanitate scientia bonarum artium insignis pascuis idonea melle et sale fossili abundans”
The explanatory description of the map turns attention to the fact that those lands were once Sarmatia. It speaks about the high level of development of culture, science and arts. It also states that the territory is abundant in honey, salt, and natural resources.
The map, inter alia, indicates Volhinia, Podolia, Pokucze, and dozens of Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv. It should be noted that the map has Russia designation, used for the western part of modern territory of Ukraine.
At the same time, there’s no mentioning of Muscovy on that map; there’s a separate map for it (see Fig. 2).
“MOSCOVIA Regio plana et nemorosa paludibus referta fluminibus irrigua”
Map description says that the territory depicted is a woody and marshy plain with many rivers.
Novgorod Principality (Nouogardia ducatus), Smolensk region (Smolentzhia) and Moscow Principality (Moscovia ducatus) are indicated.
“Scythaenunc tartari equitandi et sagittandi peritia clari munitas urbes pauci incolunt plaustra ac tentoria animalium coriis cooperta pro domibus habent”
Map description explains that these lands were once inhabited by Scythians, and now by Tatars, who are characterized as skillful horse-riders and bowmen; they almost never live in cities, instead, they use carts and animal skin-covered tents for living.
The map shows a part of Moscow Principality (Moscovia ducatus), also showing territories of other principalities and the Land of Tatars.