A Medieval Mappamundi
Rare medieval World map from Le mer des Histoires, the monumental encyclopedia of world history issued in 1475, which contained the first printed maps.
The map is oriented with east at the top and Jerusalem in the center. The Pope is shown in the walled city of Rome. Asian and African countries are noted by hills surrounded by water. The extent of the known world reaches to Taprobana, Ethiopia, Tartary and the Sea of the Amazons. The Pillars of Hercules are shown at the bottom of the map. In lieu of Adam & Eve, two priestly figures are shown in a garden at the top of the map. The outline of Europe and the Mediterranean, along with the names of several countries, appear in a rough outline.
The work was translated into French under the title Mer des Hystoires in 1488, by Pierre Le Rouge, in Paris. Two separate blocks can be identified for these French translations; the first in Paris in 1488, and the second in Lyon in 1491. The version printed in Lyon is clearer and includes several corrections to the earlier works.
Tony Campell notes that while the earlier Mer des Hystoires map of 1488 remained close to the Rudimentum Novitorum prototype, this second derivation of 1491 betrays the work of a thinking individual (Campbell). The map derives from a Christianised medieval traditions without any reference to Ptolemaic or Portolan sources.
Nice example of this highly important map.