Monday, October 12, 2020

Weird Maps V

     In Sneffels Joculis craterem quem delibat
     Umbra Scartaris Julii intra calendas descende,
     Audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges.
     Quod feci, Arne Saknussemm.

Which bad Latin may be translated thus:

"Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jokul of Sneffels, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth; which I have done, Arne Saknussemm."

The passage above comes from Chapter 5 of Jules Verne's 1864 novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth. I cite it because comic writer Mike Grell, creator of The Warlord (about which more later today), claimed that it's the source of the name of the hollow earth setting of the comic, the Inner World of Skartaris. 

I have a great deal of fondness for the concept of the hollow earth. It's utterly absurd from a scientific standpoint, of course, but it's fun and a part of many foundational pulp fantasies, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs's Pellucidar (which J. Eric Holmes clearly admired as well). In 1990, the late Aaron Allston wrote a pretty clever Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting based on the concept, showing that, even as late as that date, the pulp fantasy literature from which the game sprang had not yet been forgotten.