Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 768

"[Facsimile] Cosmographia Roma 1478", Ptolemy

Subject: Facsimile Atlases

Period: 1966 (published)


Color: Black & White

12.2 x 17.7 inches
31 x 45 cm
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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).

Cosmographia Roma 1478 is from the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Series of Atlases in Facsimile Second Series - Volume VI and is an excellent edition both in regard to the scholarship of the text and the accuracy of the maps, finely engraved after the Greek manuscript of Ptolemy preserved in Vienna. 260 pages including 27 double-page maps and a bibliographical note by R.A. Skelton. Folio, hardbound in brown cloth with gilt insignia on front cover and title on spine, with a dust jacket.


Condition: A

A touch of wear to the dust jacket, otherwise fine.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $375

Closed on 2/18/2015