Map Details      Question or Comment about this Map?
Number: 658
Continent: Africa
Region: South
Place Names: Cape Town, South Africa
Year of Origin: 1726
Title: [untitled] [labelling Baya Saldanha. Cabo Boa Esperanca]
Language: Dutch
Publish Origin: Amsterdam
Height: 28.4
Width: 36.4
Units: centimeters
Size Class.: Medium
Scale: 1 : 502,890
Color Type: Outline Color
Click for high-resolution zoomable image
Cartographer: Francois Valentyn - Valentijn
Other Contributors:
Northernmost Latitude: -32.63
Southernmost Latitude: -34.91
Westernmost Longitude: 17.33
Easternmost Longitude: 19.25
Measurement Notes: Prime Meridian Greenwich -- Longitudes are estimated because are not reported in the map.
Notes: Joppen; from "Oud En Nieuw Oost Indien"; Valentyn was a minister of the Dutch Reform Church and served with the Dutch East India Company; The map includes Casteel Good Hope, built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679. In 1682 the gated entry replaced the old entrance which had faced the sea. The fortress housed a church, bakery, various workshops, living quarters, shops, and cells, among other facilities, and ("New East-India"), a book about the history of the Dutch East India Company and the countries of the Far East. Valentijn was born in 1666 in Dordrecht, Holland, but spent significant time in the tropics, notably in Ambon, in the Maluku Archipelago. In total, Valentijn lived in the East Indies 16 years. Valentijn was first employed by the Dutch V.O.C. or East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie), at the age of 19 where he served as Minister to the East Indies. He returned to Holland for about ten years before returning to the Indies in 1705, where he was to serve as Army Chaplain on an expedition in eastern Java. He again returned to Dordrecht where he wrote his Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien (1724?26), a massive work of five parts published in eight volumes and containing over one thousand illustrations and including some of the most accurate maps of the Indies of the time. He died in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1727. Valentijn probably had access to the V.O.C.'s archive of maps and geographic secrets which they had always guarded jealously. Johannes Van Keulen II became Hydrographer to the V.O.C. in the same year Valentijn's book was published. It was in Van Keulens time that many of the VOC charts were published, a signal of the decline of Dutch dominance in Spice Trade. Valentijn was fortunate to have seen his work published as the VOC (Dutch East India Company) strictly enforced a policy prohibiting former employees from publishing anything about the region or their colonial administration. And while, as Su?ez notes, by the mid-18th century the Dutch no longer feared sharing geographic secrets, the execution of this policy was still erratic and based on personal motives. While Valentijn's maps and diagrams were prized possessions, his scholarship, judging by contemporary standards, was not of the highest integrity. While current standards of referencing and plagiarism were not in effect during the 18th century, Valentijn's borrowed liberally from other scientists' and writers. E.M Beekman referred to Valentijn as an "exasperating Dutch braggart," but nevertheless cites him as an important figure and given his writing style, diction and penchant for story, one of the greatest Dutch prose writers of the time?going so far as to suggest comparison between one of the various stories in his work and a Chaucerian tale. Valentijn?s work is one of the truly great maps showcasing the European geographical knowledge of South and East Asia and Australia from the early 18th century.
Last updated: Aug 13, 2017