Casper Specht worked in Utrecht between 1684 and 1708 and it is known that his maps were later published by R. and I. Ottens. This map was probably drawn around 1700 and would have been published ca. 1710, during the Golden Age of the Republic when the Seven United Provinces were the foremost maritime and merchant power in Europe and there was a great flourishing of the arts and sciences in the Netherlands. This map depicts the Statenbond or federation of seven northern Dutch provinces , which from 1579 were united in the Union of Utrecht. The map does not show today's southern provinces of North Brabant and Limburg, nor the mainland part of Zeeland (=Zeeuws-Flanders). These areas belonged to the federation of southern Dutch provinces, united in the Union of Atrecht.
The inset to the left of the map contains the coats of arms of the seven provinces and gives details of these provinces, such as the administrative divisions, the names of rivers, the number of towns and villages per province and the number of hours taken to travel round each province. The Dutch lion appears in all the provincial coats of arms, with the exception of Groningen (Groeninge en Omlanden). In order of size the provinces are 1. Holland (coloured yellow, in the west); 2. Gelderland (coloured pink, in the mid-east); 3. Overijssel (coloured yellow, in the east); 4. Friesland (coloured pink, above the Zuiderzee); 5. Groningen (coloured green, in the north-east); 6. Utrecht (coloured green, in the centre); 7. Zeeland (coloured pink, in the south-west). During the age of the Republic of the United Provinces (1576-1795) the province of Holland was by far the largest and most important. This is probably why the whole country is still often referred to as Holland.
The town of Wageningen (on the map it appaers as WAGEN-with INGE underneath), the seat of Wageningen University since 1918, lies on the river Rhine in the province of Gelderland, just east of the border between the provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland. Its location can be read on this map as latitude 52 degrees and 1 minute North and longitude 23 degrees and 43 minutes East - a unique central location for the Wageningen UR in the present-day Netherlands.
|Wageningen Digital Library, 13 July, 2006|