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Rare Spanish Edition

Rare separately issued Spanish edition of Christian Van Adrichom's map of the Holy Land, first published in Cologne in 1584.

Little is known about this finely engraved Spanish edition of Van Adrichom's map. While Spanish editions of Van Adrichom's work appear as early as 1603, our research located only two editions of Van Adrichom which were illustrated with maps, none of which are specifically identified in this map.

The map is of the utmost rarity, as even the Bulletin of the Spanish Geographical Society in 1889 listed the map as anonymous and separately issued. In 2007, Bonham's catalogued a copy of the map as "1590 or later." The map is not listed in Laor. It is possible that the map was sold by the "Colegio de escuelas pias de S. Fernando de Madrid," but this is based upon an early 19th Century entry in a Bibliography, which did not illustrate the map and there is evidence suggesting that there was more than 1 example of the map published in Spanish.

Christian Van Adrichom's original and quite monumental plan of the Holy Land appeared in his Theatrum Terrae Sanctae et biblicarum historiarum cum tabulis geographicis aere expressis.... in Cologne in 1584. Oriented to the east, the map shows the entiretly of the Holy Land divided into 12 Tribes on both sides of the Jordan, along with the shore line running from Sidon to Alexandria. The River Cison (Kishon of today) is shown as connecting the Lake of Tiberias with the Mediterranean Sea. There are many nonexistent rivers shown: a river connecting Jerusalem with the Dead Sea. In the Dead Sea four burning cities are shown: Sodoma, Gomorra, Seboim, and Adama. This map was instrumental in re-defining the depiction of the Holy Land for nearly 200 years.

Christiaan van Adrichem was ordained in 1566, and was Director of the Convent of St. Barbara in Delft till he was expelled in the turmoil of the Reformation. His work was first published in 1590 and edited by Gerardus Bruyns, canon at Deventer; the other editions were published in 1593, 1600, 1613 and 1682. It was also translated in many languages, owing to its extraordinary popularity and influence. As Van Adrichom based his work on sources which are now lost - for example the description of Jerusalem by his brother-in-law Ysbrand Godfriedsz.- his work is still of importance for the history of Palestine and Israel.

The map itself was copied by Hondius, Jansson, Visscher, Stoopendahl and others for over 200 years and is unquestionably one of the most influential maps of the Holy Land.


The map is very rare. This is the second example we have offered in 25 years.