Embora vários mapas iniciais, como o teatrum orbis terrarum, tenham ilustrações de criaturas mitológicas para decoração, a frase em si é um anacronismo. Até que o globo de ovos de avestruz fosse oferecido à venda em 2012 na London Map Fair, realizado na Royal Geographic Society, o único uso histórico conhecido dessa frase na forma latina "hc svnt dacones" (isto é, hico sunt dacones ', aqui estão Dragons ') era o globo de caça-lenox que datou de 1504. Mapas anteriores contêm uma variedade de referências a criaturas míticas e reais, mas o globo de ovos de avestruz e seu gêmeo, o Lenox Globe, são os únicos globos sobreviventes conhecidos a suportar essa frase. O termo aparece em ambos os globos no extremo periférico e extremo do continente asiático.
A frase clássica usada por cartógrafos medievais era Hic Svnt leones (literalmente, "aqui estão leões") ao denotar territórios desconhecidos em mapas.
Dragões nos mapas
O mapa do mundo Salter com dragões na base
Dragões aparecem em alguns outros mapas históricos:
The T-O Psalter world map (c. 1250 AD) has dragons, as symbols of sin, in a lower "frame" below the world, balancing Jesus and angels on the top, but the dragons do not appear on the map proper.The Borgia map (c. 1430), in the Vatican Library, states, over a dragon-like figure in Asia (in the upper left quadrant of the map), "Hic etiam homines magna cornua habentes longitudine quatuor pedum, et sunt etiam serpentes tante magnitudinis, ut unum bovem comedant integrum". ("Here there are even men who have large four-foot horns, and there are even serpents so large that they could eat an ox whole.")The Fra Mauro Map (c. 1450) shows the "Island of Dragons" (Italian: Isola de' dragoni), an imaginary island in the Atlantic Ocean. In an inscription near Herat in modern-day Afghanistan, Fra Mauro says that in the mountains nearby "there are a number of dragons, in whose forehead is a stone that cures many infirmities", and describes the locals' way of hunting those dragons to get the stones. This is thought to be based on Albertus Magnus's treatise De mineralibus. In an inscription elsewhere on the map, the cartographer expresses his scepticism regarding "serpents, dragons and basilisks" mentioned by "some historiographers".A 19th-century Japanese map, the Jishin-no-ben, in the shape of ouroboros, depicts a dragon associated with causing earthquakes.
Vista em close-up dos dragões no mapa mundial de 1265 saliamento
Outras criaturas nos mapas
Ptolemy's atlas in Geographia (originally 2nd century, taken up again in the 15th century) warns of elephants, hippos and cannibals.The Tabula Peutingeriana (a medieval copy of Roman map) has "in his locis elephanti nascuntur", "in his locis scorpiones nascuntur" and "hic cenocephali nascuntur" ("in these places elephants are born, in these places scorpions are born, here Cynocephali are born").Cotton MS. Tiberius B.V. fol. 58v (10th century), British Library Manuscript Collection, has "hic abundant leones" ("here lions abound"), along with a picture of a lion, near the east coast of Asia (at the top of the map towards the left); this map also has a text-only serpent reference in southernmost Africa (bottom left of the map): "Zugis regio ipsa est et Affrica. est enim fertilis. sed ulterior bestiis et serpentibus plena" ("This region of Zugis is in Africa; it is rather fertile, but on the other hand it is full of beasts and serpents.")The Ebstorf map (13th century) has a dragon in the extreme south-eastern part of Africa, together with an asp and a basilisk.Giovanni Leardo's map (1442) has, in southernmost Africa, "Dixerto dexabitado p. chaldo e p. serpent".Martin Waldseemüller's Carta marina navigatoria (1516) has "an elephant-like creature in northernmost Norway, accompanied by a legend explaining that this 'morsus' with two long and quadrangular teeth congregated there", i.e. a walrus, which would have seemed monstrous at the time.Waldseemüller's Carta marina navigatoria (1522), revised by Laurentius Fries, has the morsus moved to the Davis Strait.Bishop Olaus Magnus's Carta Marina map of Scandinavia (1539) has many monsters in the northern sea, as well as a winged, bipedal, predatory land animal resembling a dragon in northern Lapland.On European maps of Africa, up until the Berlin Conference and the subsequent Scramble for Africa produced accurate cartographic representations of Africa, elephants replaced dragons as placeholders for unknown regions. An excerpt from On Poetry: a Rhapsody by the Irish satirist Jonathan Swift states: "So geographers, in Afric maps, With savage pictures fill their gaps, And o'er uninhabitable downs, Place elephants for want of towns".
Mappa mundi – Medieval European maps of the worldTerra incognita – "Unknown land", area not mapped by cartographers