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Stock# 44462
Description

Interesting early regional map showing the region from Poland and Russia in the North, to the Ukraine, Serbia, Black Sea and the Danube River, centered on Poland and Lithuania.

From an early edition of Munster's Cosmographia, one of the most influential geographical works of the 16th Century.

Sebastien Munster's Geographia and his later Cosmographia were landmark works, including not only Ptolemaic maps, but also a number of important early modern maps, including the first separate maps of the 4 continents, the first map of England and the earliest obtainable map of Scandinavia. The town views included in the Cosmographia were among the earliest widely distributed modern views of European and other cities available to Europeans in the mid-16th Century, pre-dating Braun & Hogenberg's work by several decades. Munster dominated cartographic publication during the mid-16th Century. Munster is generally regarded as one of the most important map makers of the 16th Century.

Sebastien Munster was a linguist and mathematician, who initially taught Hebrew in Heidelberg. He issued his first mapping of Germany in 1529, after which he issued a call for geographical information about Germany to scholars throughout the country. The response was better than hoped for, and included substantial foreign material, which supplied him with up to date, if not necessarily accurate maps for the issuance of his Geographia in 1540.

Sebastian Münster Biography

Sebastian Münster (1488-1552) was a cosmographer and professor of Hebrew who taught at Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Basel. He settled in the latter in 1529 and died there, of plague, in 1552. Münster made himself the center of a large network of scholars from whom he obtained geographic descriptions, maps, and directions.

As a young man, Münster joined the Franciscan order, in which he became a priest. He then studied geography at Tübingen, graduating in 1518. He moved to Basel, where he published a Hebrew grammar, one of the first books in Hebrew published in Germany. In 1521 Münster moved again, to Heidelberg, where he continued to publish Hebrew texts and the first German-produced books in Aramaic. After converting to Protestantism in 1529, he took over the chair of Hebrew at Basel, where he published his main Hebrew work, a two-volume Old Testament with a Latin translation.

Münster published his first known map, a map of Germany, in 1525. Three years later, he released a treatise on sundials. In 1540, he published Geographia universalis vetus et nova, an updated edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia. In addition to the Ptolemaic maps, Münster added 21 modern maps. One of Münster’s innovations was to include one map for each continent, a concept that would influence Ortelius and other early atlas makers. The Geographia was reprinted in 1542, 1545, and 1552.  

He is best known for his Cosmographia universalis, first published in 1544 and released in at least 35 editions by 1628. It was the first German-language description of the world and contained 471 woodcuts and 26 maps over six volumes. Many of the maps were taken from the Geographia and modified over time. The Cosmographia was widely used in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The text, woodcuts, and maps all influenced geographical thought for generations.