"Libyae Interioris Pars [Title on Verso: Tabula III Aphricae]", Ptolemy/Fries
Subject: Northern Africa
Period: 1535 (circa)
Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae Enarrationis…
Color: Hand Color
17.8 x 11.8 inches
45.2 x 30 cm
Claudius Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer who worked in Alexandria, then a part of the Roman Empire, in the 2nd century AD. One of the most learned and influential men of his time, his theories dominated both astronomy and geography for nearly 1500 years. His writings were kept alive by Arabic scholars during the Middle Ages and reemerged in Europe during the Renaissance. The birth of printing led to wide dissemination of his great works on astronomy and geography. There were a number of editions of his Geographia beginning in 1477. These early editions contained maps based on his original writings, known as Ptolemaic maps. As geographic knowledge increased with the explorations of Columbus, Magellan, Cabot and others, maps of the New World were added, and maps of the Old World were revised. Ptolemy's Geographia continued to be revised and published by some of the most important cartographers including Martin Waldseemuller, Sebastian Munster, Giacomo Gastaldi, Jodocus Hondius, and Gerard Mercator (whose last edition was published in 1730).
This stunning, Ptolemaic map covers eastern Libya, Egypt and the Nile Delta in considerable detail with the characteristic rope-like mountains and exaggerated rivers. The map is a slightly reduced version of Waldseemuller's similar map of 1513. This edition was printed by Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel, and edited by Michael Servetus. The verso has Latin text with elaborate wood cut panels flanking it, which are said to be the work of Hans Holbein.
References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #209-29.
A dark impression with some light creasing along centerfold and archival repairs to several worm tracks along the centerfold, with a minute amount of image replaced in facsimile.