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Description

Nce full color example of Mercator's Ptolemaic map of Italy.

While Mercator is perhaps best known for his modern maps and the map projection which bears his name, one of his life goals was to produce his own version of Ptolemy's Geographia. As a second installment of his Atlas sive Cosmographia . . ., Mercator published an authentic version of Ptolemy's seminal work, deliberately devoid of the distracting interpretations and misinterpretations by earlier editors intent on improving the Egyptian geographer's seminal work. Mercator's goal was an accurate portrait of Ptolemy's second-century view of the world. To understand the present, the mapmaker believed, one must appreciate the past.

The atlas, published in 1578, included Ptolemy's twenty-seven maps, carefully restored, handsomely engraved, and supplemented by an index of place names and an enlarged boundary map of the Nile Delta. A total of 8 editions were published between 1578 and 1730.