井の中の蛙

2/27/2005

Strange name on a map

Filed under: — Thomas Ekholm @ 10:20 am

This question is not related to Japanese history directly, rather it was when looking at old maps of Japan that I found this strange name.
The maps I have looked at is found here.

In some of the maps an area to the south is marked and with simple geographic thinking, it should represent the north of Australia. For hundreds of years the belief in a southeren continent, Australis, existed. On a map of 1575 it is named:
BEACH, pars
contentis Australis

On a map from 1595
BEACH
provincia Aurifera (latin for goldbearing province (or similar)

(As Abel Tasman was there in early 1640s, further maps name it Nova Hollandia.)

I checked the 1595′s creator a little closer and he was a dutch jesuit. All texts on the map are written in dutch or latin. But where does the name “Beach” fit in? I have looked in Dutch, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish dictionaries without any luck. I dont think they used the english words because of all the nice beach parties they had there.

Does anyone have a clue or can pass it on to someone who knows?

One Response to “Strange name on a map”

  1. Helen says:

    I’ve no idea. Try emailing the maps people at the British Library.

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