"[Title on Verso] Europae Tabula Quarta Continet", Ptolemy/Fries
Subject: Central Europe, Germany
Period: 1541 (published)
Publication: Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae…
Color: Hand Color
14.5 x 12 inches
36.8 x 30.5 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 Ptolemaic map of ancient Germany extends to the Rhine River in the west, the Vistula River in the east and the Danube River in the south. The map depicts rope-like mountain ranges and names numerous cities. Denmark is oddly shaped with a group of islands labeled Scandia adjacent. This edition was printed by Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel, and edited by Michael Servetus. Latin text on verso.
References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #211-4.
A nice impression on paper with a bunch of grapes watermark, a few old manuscript notations, and a couple of tiny holes along the centerfold.