Catalog Archive
Auction 162, Lot 38

Famous Peutinger Table of Roman Roads - Over 13 Feet in Length

"Tabula Itineraria ex Illustri Peutingerorum Bibliotheca...", Jansson, Jan

Subject: Ancient World

Period: 1622 (circa)

Publication: Histoire des Grands Chemins de l'Empire Romain

Color: Hand Color

159.6 x 7.3 inches
405.4 x 18.5 cm

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 and joined (measuring over 13 feet in length!), 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.

References: Shirley #393.

Condition: A

A crisp impression issued folding, and now rolling, with very minor toning to a few folds and a couple of small worm holes. There are professional repairs to several short fold separations, and a few additional fold separations confined to the blank margins that have not been repaired.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 4/26/2017