DAILY FEATURE: By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (October 8, 2020) – In Issue 84 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps tells us what exactly is in a name

Steve Kovacs, Loveland, OH (Provided)

Today is Leif Erickson Day, celebrating the discovery of North America by Europeans in or about 1000.  Most scholars believe that he and his crew set sail from Iceland to North America well ahead of the gentleman from Genoa, Christopher Columbus.

Speaking of Iceland, the very name of this island nation is a classic case of misnaming and misdirection.

Politicians, journalists of certain kind, and many others know the power of misdirection.

The ancient Norse settlers did not want others to come to this gorgeous island with relatively mild climate, given its northern location.  So, they named it Snaeland (Snow Land), and later it was renamed to even more forbidding name.

And, yes, Greenland was named the same way, but with opposite intent.

Here is Abraham Ortelius’s map of Iceland from his small atlas, which is the size of your hand.  This map is from the atlas edition issued in 1602.     

Map of Iceland circa 1602 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Click here to visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.