A map of time

The Concent of Scripture is the first major scholarly work by the learned and pugilistic Hugh Broughton, Hebraist and controversialist, who saw in the mechanics of scriptural chronology a beautiful and perfect proof of the absolute authority of the Bible. Shepherded through the press by John Speed, whose genealogies of Christ are also based on Broughton’s work, the Concent also includes copperplate engravings of visions in Daniel and Revelation, as well as a world map in imitation of Ortelius, all executed by Jodocus Hondius. The apocalyptic bent of Broughton’s account of sacred history naturally also comes with a strong dose of ideological invective, most noticeable in a sumptuous engraving of the Whore of Babylon as the representative of the Roman Church. The splendid fold-out circular map of the northern hemisphere pictured here, which has been attributed to William Rogers, is accompanied by an explication of its depiction of the visions of Daniel and the distribution of the sons of Noah. Each of its small figures for Daniel’s monarchies—the lion, the bear, the seven-headed beast, the three-horned goat—corresponds to one of Hondius’s elaborate engravings which also usually accompany the Concent. Chronology and geography here go hand-in-hand, the mapping of time requiring equally a mapping of space.

Hugh Broughton, A Concent of scripture (London: R. Watkins for G. Simson and W. White, [1587-1590]).


Further Reading

Katharine Firth, The Apocalyptic Tradition in Reformation Britain, 1530-1645 (Oxford 1979).

Ruth Samson Luborsky & Elizabeth Morley Ingram, A Guide to English Illustrated Books 1536-1603, 2 vols. (Tempe, 1998).

Arthur M. Hind, Engravings in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Part I: The Tudor Period (Cambridge, 1952).

Sarah Bendell, ‘Draft Town Maps for John Speed’s “Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine”’, Imago Mundi 54 (2002), pp. 30-45.

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