Double-page woodcut Ptolemaic-style map by Sebastian Münster figuring Arabian Peninsula, published in the edition of Strabo by Henri Petri in 1571.

"Strabonis rerum geographicarum" is one of the earliest and most important scientific treatises on historical geography, notable in this instance for the 27 double-page woodcut Ptolemaic-style maps by Sebastian Münster detailing the known regions of the world.

The map is the same as the 1540 edition

Good hand colour

Very good condition

References: Karrow, 58/94; Khaled Al Ankary, 8; Tibbetts, #20.

code : M4070

Cartographer : Sebastian Munster

Date : 1540/+ 1570 Basel

Size : 27.5*35 cms

availability : Sold

Price : Sold

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Originally a scholar studying Hebrew, Greek and mathematics, Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) eventually specialised in mathematical geography and cartography. It was this double ability - as a classicist and mathematician - that was to prove invaluable when Munster set himself to preparing new editions of Solinus’ “Memorabilia” and Mela’s “De Situ Orbis”, two classical descriptive geographies containing maps, and his own two greatest works, the “Geographia” and “Cosmographia”. These reflect the widespread interest in classical texts, which were being rediscovered in the fifteenth century, and being disseminated in the later fifteenth and sixteenth century, through the new medium of printing.

The “Geographia” was a translation of Ptolemy’s landmark geographical text, compiled in about 150 AD., illustrated with maps based on Ptolemy’s calculations, but also, in recognition of the increased geographical awareness, contains a section of modern maps. In the first edition of the “Geographia”, Munster included 27 ancient Ptolemaic maps and 21 modern maps, printed from woodblocks. Subsequent editions of the “Cosmographia” were to contain a vast number of maps and plans.

One consequence of Munster’s work was the impetus it gave to regional mapping of Germany, but Munster was also the first cartographer to produce a set of maps of the four continents on separate maps. Most importantly, through his books (the “Geographia” and “Cosmographia” alone ran to over forty editions in six languages), Munster was responsible for diffusing the most up-to-date geographical information throughout Europe.