Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account
This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available.

Nice example of Giacomo Foresti's Medievel style T-O World Map and Pythagorian / Greek Zonal World Map, which was first published in Venice, circa 1503.

The image depicts the two earliest standardized concepts for the mapping of the world, dating to the times of the Greeks and Romans. On the left is the so-called "Zonal" map of the world, a concept which dates to Pythagorus. On the right is the so-called T-O World Map, which dates to Isadore of Seville in the 7th Century A.D.

In describing the T-O model, Rodney Shirley notes:

By medieval times the globular form of the earth was recognized by most scholars and geographers. World maps of the Middle Ages were often expressed in the form of simple climatic diagrams (e.g. in the works of commentators such as Macrobius, Sacrobasco, or Lilius) or conceived as one of the numerous "T-O" maps. In these examples to O represents the boundary of the world, the horizontal stroke of the T the meridian running from the Don to the Nile, and the perendicular axis (the T-O maps invariably being oriented with east at the top) the line of the Mediterranean. T-O maps appeared in manuscripts from the early Middle Ages, and the very first printed world map, from a version of the seventh-century AD writer Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae published in 1472, is of this kind.

The second "map," is described as a "primitive zonal concept" of Pythagorus. Pythagoras (580-500 BC) believed the earth was divided into five zones - two frigid zones at the poles, two temperate zones and a torrid zone at the equator. He believed the equatorial zone formed an impassable barrier between the hemispheres. Aristotle (384-322 BC) postulated that symmetry was nature's favored form and if the world was symmetrical, then a Great South Land must exist to counterbalance the lands of the north. As noted by Robert Clancy, et al., in Mapping Antarctica: A Five Hundred Year Record of Discovery at p. 67:

The early Greek notion of parallel and symetrical zones built on the logic that the world was spherical and that there was balance and order -- Antarkticus must exist because the lands of the Arctic demanded a balancing antipode. Aristotle separated the earthly and heavenly spheres and focused on nature, observation and logic, but fell short of anticipating any "habitable" world south of the limiting "torrid" or equatorial zone. Pompanius Mela, the earliest Roman Geographer who worked in the first century A.D., challenged this concept by considering both temparate zones occupied, while the traditional Greek ideas were maintained in the contemporary accounts of Greek geographers such as Strabo. Mela considered the southern "temparate" zone to be inhabited by antichthoones or antipodeans, just as later geographers would "move" the bizarre and deformed from the depths of Africa to "Antarctic" lands. . . .

The map is set within a full page of text, as shown here: /gallery/enlarge/39964a

Giacomo Filippo Foresti, also know as Jacobus Philippus Foresti da Bergamo or Burgomensis (1434-1520), was an important historian and biblical scholar of the incunabula period. Foresti was a noted historian in his day. His 'Supplementum Chronicarum' (1491), was plagiarized by Hartmann Schedel, appearing word for word in the more famous 'Nuremberg Chronicle'

Shirley, p. XX, Plate 2.