Catalog Archive
Auction 159, Lot 41

Famous Peutinger Table in History of Roman Roads

"Tabula Itineraria ex Illustri Peutingerorum Bibliotheca… [in book] Histoire des Grands Chemins de l'Empire Romain, Contenant l'Origine, Progres & Etendue Quasi Incroyable des Chemins Militaires…", Jansson, Jan

Subject: Ancient World

Period: 1736 (published)


Color: Black & White

8.2 x 10.2 inches
20.8 x 25.9 cm
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This impressive long map is the famous Peutinger Table, or a Roman road map of the world. The original parchment document was found in a library in Augsburg by Konrad Celtes, who bequeathed it to Konrad Peutinger in 1508. The map later went to Peutinger's relative, Mark Welser, who was the first to publish a copy of it in 1591 at Aldus Manutius in Venice. This map, based on the original manuscript, was popularized by Ortelius in 1598 and became an important part of his great historical atlas. Jansson's version is nearly identical to that of Ortelius. This decorative strip map depicts the imperial roads and posts within the Roman Empire throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia as far as Toprobana (Sri Lanka).

This example, printed on 8 sheets, was published in Nicolas Bergier's Histoire des Grands Chemins de l'Empire Romain. Bergier (1567-1623), a lawyer and Jesuit historian, was commissioned by Louis XIII to study the Roman roads. In 1622 Bergier published his work about the origin, progress, and extent of military roads paved until the end of the Roman Empire. The book was subsequently translated into English in 1712, and then republished in French in 1728 and 1736. All editions are relatively uncommon. This edition includes a frontispiece engraved by Picart, a portrait of Nicolas Bergier, an engraved page of Roman coins, and three engravings of Roman antiquities.

Five volumes in two; 458 pp. + index; 451 pp. + index; with frontispiece, title pages, 8-page Peutinger Table, and 4 engravings. 4to., hardbound in full leather with raised bands, gilt tooling, and red leather title labels on spines.

References: Shirley #393.

Condition: B+

The map is in very good condition with light toning along the top edges of the sheets and occasionally along a fold as well. The first sheet of the Peutinger Table has a short fold separation confined to the far bottom blank margin. The engravings and text also have light toning along the sheet edges and minor soiling. The covers are somewhat loose and moderately worn. The spines are heavily worn and cracked. There has been some conservation work done along the top and base of the spine, and new endpapers have been added.

Estimate: $3,000 - $3,750


Closed on 9/14/2016