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Important map of modern Italy.
Italy by Martin Waldseemüller 1513

One of Italy's first acquirable, separate maps based on modern toponymy rather than the classical place names of Ptolemy.


Martin Waldseemüller (Ilacomilus) (c. 1473-1519)

Martin Walseemüller and his collaborator, Matthias Ringmann, are credited with the first recorded usage of the word America to name the New World in honour of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

He was born about 1475, most probably in the village of Wolfenweiler near Freiburg in Breisgau (southern Germany). He studied at the University of Freiburg, where he met Johann Scott, the future printer of Waldseemüller’s edition of Ptolemy and Matthias Ringman, a poet who wrote Waldseemüller’s texts. Gregor Reisch was their tutor. He was noted for his philosophical work, Margaretha Philosophica (1503), a widely read book that included a world map in Ptolemaic form. He undoubtedly aroused the students’ interest in cosmography.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Walseemüller moved to St.Dié in the Vosges. He Hellenized his name to Ilacomilus and worked on an edition of Ptolemy. He learned the printing trade in Basle and became a professor of cosmography under the patronage of René II, Duke of Lorraine.

Together with a group of scholars, among them were Nicholas Lud and Matthias Ringmann, they installed a printing press in St. Dié. The first book appeared in 1507: Cosmographiae Introductio… Few books have generated as much interest and speculation as this book because it suggested that the new continent is named America in honour of Amerigo Vespucci, whose letters about his American “discoveries” form a large part of the book. Great interest was also attached to the two maps on the title page constituting part of the Cosmographiae Introductio: a large 12-panel wall map of the world and a set of globe gores. The map and globe were notable for showing the New World as a continent separate from Asia and naming the southern landmass America.

Ringmann wrote the Cosmographiae Introductio's text, using the name ‘America’. He died in 1511, and by then, Waldseemüller was having doubts about the name they had coined.

In 1511, Walseemüller published the Carta Itineraria Europae, a road map of Europe that showed essential trade routes and pilgrim routes from central Europe to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It was the first printed wall map of Europe.
After Ringmann’s death, Waldseemüller concentrated on the new version of Ptolemy’s Geographia. The new edition was finally printed in 1513 by Johannes Scott in Strasbourg and is now regarded as the most important. Waldseemüller included twenty modern maps in the new Geographia as a separate appendix.

The 1507 wall map was lost for a long time, but Joseph Fischer found a copy in Schloss Wolfegg in southern Germany in 1901. It is the only known copy purchased by the United States Library of Congress in May 2003.

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Tabula moderna et nova Italie ac Sicilie.

€6800  ($7344 / £5780)
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Item Number:  27587 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy

Old, antique map of Italy, by Martin Waldseemüller.

Title: Tabula moderna et nova Italie ac Sicilie.

Date of the first edition: 1513.
Date of this map: 1513.

Woodcut, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 410 x 550mm (16.14 x 21.65 inches).
Verso: Blank.
Condition: A number of wormholes, else excellent.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Claudii Ptolemei viri Alexandrini Mathematice discipline Philosophi dictissimi Geographiae opus novissima . . . Strassburg, J. Schott, 1513.

One of the first acquirable, separate maps of Italy based on modern toponymy, rather than the classical place names of Ptolemy.

One of Italy's first acquirable, separate maps based on modern toponymy rather than the classical place names of Ptolemy.


Martin Waldseemüller (Ilacomilus) (c. 1473-1519)

Martin Walseemüller and his collaborator, Matthias Ringmann, are credited with the first recorded usage of the word America to name the New World in honour of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

He was born about 1475, most probably in the village of Wolfenweiler near Freiburg in Breisgau (southern Germany). He studied at the University of Freiburg, where he met Johann Scott, the future printer of Waldseemüller’s edition of Ptolemy and Matthias Ringman, a poet who wrote Waldseemüller’s texts. Gregor Reisch was their tutor. He was noted for his philosophical work, Margaretha Philosophica (1503), a widely read book that included a world map in Ptolemaic form. He undoubtedly aroused the students’ interest in cosmography.

At the beginning of the 16th century, Walseemüller moved to St.Dié in the Vosges. He Hellenized his name to Ilacomilus and worked on an edition of Ptolemy. He learned the printing trade in Basle and became a professor of cosmography under the patronage of René II, Duke of Lorraine.

Together with a group of scholars, among them were Nicholas Lud and Matthias Ringmann, they installed a printing press in St. Dié. The first book appeared in 1507: Cosmographiae Introductio… Few books have generated as much interest and speculation as this book because it suggested that the new continent is named America in honour of Amerigo Vespucci, whose letters about his American “discoveries” form a large part of the book. Great interest was also attached to the two maps on the title page constituting part of the Cosmographiae Introductio: a large 12-panel wall map of the world and a set of globe gores. The map and globe were notable for showing the New World as a continent separate from Asia and naming the southern landmass America.

Ringmann wrote the Cosmographiae Introductio's text, using the name ‘America’. He died in 1511, and by then, Waldseemüller was having doubts about the name they had coined.

In 1511, Walseemüller published the Carta Itineraria Europae, a road map of Europe that showed essential trade routes and pilgrim routes from central Europe to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It was the first printed wall map of Europe.
After Ringmann’s death, Waldseemüller concentrated on the new version of Ptolemy’s Geographia. The new edition was finally printed in 1513 by Johannes Scott in Strasbourg and is now regarded as the most important. Waldseemüller included twenty modern maps in the new Geographia as a separate appendix.

The 1507 wall map was lost for a long time, but Joseph Fischer found a copy in Schloss Wolfegg in southern Germany in 1901. It is the only known copy purchased by the United States Library of Congress in May 2003.

References: Karrow - 80/40; Borri (Italy, 1999) - #16; Aliprandi - II p.76 #259

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