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Greece, by Sebastian Münster. 1542

Sebastian Münster (1488-1552)

Sebastian Münster, a German geographer, cartographer, Hebraist, and theologian, was born in Ingelheim, near Mainz In 1505, he went to Heidelberg to enter the Franciscan order. In 1507 he went to Louvain, where he studied mathematics, geography, and astronomy. In 1509 Münster became a student of Konrad Pelikan, who taught Hebrew and Greek as well as mathematics and cosmography. In 1518 he completed his studies at the University of Tübingen. He was the favorite of the famous mathematician and astronomer Johann Stöffler.
In 1524 Münster was appointed professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg University. In 1525 he published his first map as part of a broadside: The Instrument of the Suns combined a map, calendar, astrological almanac, sundial, and nocturnal on one attractive sheet, suitable for wall mounting.
In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. He based this edition on the Latin translation by Willibald Pirkheimer and produced new maps to supplement the Ptolemaic maps. The twenty-seven maps of the Ptolemaic canon are supplemented by twenty-one new maps. Further editions appeared in 1541 and 1542.
In 1544 he published the Cosmographia, a bulky book with 659 pages and some 520 woodcuts. Maps in this edition included three maps from the Ptolemaic canon and fourteen modern maps (from previous editions of the Geographia), as well as nine new maps. Later editions (1545, 1546, 1548) enlarged the Cosmographia. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits, and costumes. These editions in both Latin and German constitute the full fruition of Münster's dream of a comprehensive geography.
The Cosmographia was one of the most successful works of the 16th century. It passed through 24 editions in 100 years, in different languages, including Latin, French, Italian, English, and even Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628.
He died at Basel of the plague in 1552.
As a cartographer, Münster deserves special recognition for formulating a plan for a comprehensive and uniform map of a country. As a geographer, his greatest achievement was the Cosmographia. (Karrow).

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Tabula Europae X

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Item Number:  14704
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Southeastern Europe
References: Karrow - 58/84; Zacharakis - 1834

Antique map of Greece by S. Munster

Date of the first edition: 1540
Date of this map: 1542

Woodcut
Size: 26 x 33cm (10.1 x 12.9 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Excellent, some 16th century handwritten text in margins
Condition Rating: A
References: Karrow, 58/84; Zacharakis, 1834.

From: Geographia Universalis, Vetus et Nova, complectens Claidii Prolemaei Alexandrini enarrationis libros VIII. Basel, Heinrich Petri, 1542.

The woodcut border surrounding the type of the verso is the work of Hans Holbein.

Sebastian Münster (1488-1552)

Sebastian Münster, a German geographer, cartographer, Hebraist, and theologian, was born in Ingelheim, near Mainz In 1505, he went to Heidelberg to enter the Franciscan order. In 1507 he went to Louvain, where he studied mathematics, geography, and astronomy. In 1509 Münster became a student of Konrad Pelikan, who taught Hebrew and Greek as well as mathematics and cosmography. In 1518 he completed his studies at the University of Tübingen. He was the favorite of the famous mathematician and astronomer Johann Stöffler.
In 1524 Münster was appointed professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg University. In 1525 he published his first map as part of a broadside: The Instrument of the Suns combined a map, calendar, astrological almanac, sundial, and nocturnal on one attractive sheet, suitable for wall mounting.
In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. He based this edition on the Latin translation by Willibald Pirkheimer and produced new maps to supplement the Ptolemaic maps. The twenty-seven maps of the Ptolemaic canon are supplemented by twenty-one new maps. Further editions appeared in 1541 and 1542.
In 1544 he published the Cosmographia, a bulky book with 659 pages and some 520 woodcuts. Maps in this edition included three maps from the Ptolemaic canon and fourteen modern maps (from previous editions of the Geographia), as well as nine new maps. Later editions (1545, 1546, 1548) enlarged the Cosmographia. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits, and costumes. These editions in both Latin and German constitute the full fruition of Münster's dream of a comprehensive geography.
The Cosmographia was one of the most successful works of the 16th century. It passed through 24 editions in 100 years, in different languages, including Latin, French, Italian, English, and even Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628.
He died at Basel of the plague in 1552.
As a cartographer, Münster deserves special recognition for formulating a plan for a comprehensive and uniform map of a country. As a geographer, his greatest achievement was the Cosmographia. (Karrow).

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