Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account

Nice example of Bernadus Sylvanus' map of the World, published in Rome in 1511.

Sylvanus world map is one of the earliest obtainable world maps to incorporate modern geographical knowledge with the classical world of Claudius Ptolemy. Sylvanus's map is also the one of the earliest world maps printed in Venice and the first map printed in two colors.

The sides of the map are embellished with information on the climates and several zodiacal signs on the left side of the map. The British Isles, the Indian Peninsula, and Africa all reflect the work of modern cartographers. No longer does a strip of land connect the southern part of Africa with Asia. However, Sylvanus does not include the New World, as he does in his cordiform map of the same date which appeared in the same work.

While the map is based upon the Geography of Claudius Ptolemy, it differs from the earlier maps of printed editions of Ptolemy (Bologna 1477, Rome 1478, Ulm 1482, Berlingheri 1482 and Rome 1507), presenting some hints of modern information not present in the earlier maps. As noted by Ashley Baynton Williams

The most unusual of the editions of Ptolemy, was that published by Jacobus Pentius de Leucho in Venice in 1511, edited by Bernardus Sylvanus. Sylvanus, realizing the geography [of Ptolemy] was out-dated, attempted to update the maps by inserting more modern information, often from contemporary manuscript sources, over the Ptolemaic material, creating an unusual effect. An innovative feature is that the maps, which are printed from woodblocks, are printed in two colors, red and black, with the principal names in red.

Sylvanus' world map is also one of the earliest reasonably obtainable maps of the world for collectors, along with the Schedel map of 1493 from the Nuremberg Chronicle.

The map has been printed on two leaves, which are joined here, as issued.

Shirley 31