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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.

Place/Date:
Basel / 1545
Size:
14 x 10 inches
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VG
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57301
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
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0125gh
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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21698
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
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48947
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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49125
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
58048
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
62807
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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62810
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60925
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Basle / 1542
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14 x 10 inches
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VG+
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60175
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Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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60195
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Basel / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
60226
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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60254
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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60275
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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60298
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
60328
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60350
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
60562
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
60669
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
60685
Place/Date:
Basle / 1537
Size:
21.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57814

Archived

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Basle / 1588 circa
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7 x 3 inches
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27397
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Basle / 1588 circa
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8 x 6 inches
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27478
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Basel / 1588
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14 x 12 inches
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Basle / 1588
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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27614
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Basle / 1588 circa
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14 x 12 inches
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Basel / 1588 circa
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14 x 10 inches
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Basel / 1588 circa
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VG+
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Basel / 1588 circa
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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40145
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Basel / 1588 circa
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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Basle / 1588 circa
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14 x 12 inches
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Basle / 1588 circa
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14 x 12 inches
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46954
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Basle / 1588 circa
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14 x 12 inches
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54283
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Basel / 1588 circa
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14 x 12.5 inches
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54355
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Basel / 1588 circa
Size:
14 x 12.5 inches
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57843
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Basle / 1588
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14 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1584
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5.5 x 4 inches (plus text)
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Basle / 1584
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Basle / 1584
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6 x 4 inches (plus text)
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22028
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Basle / 1580 circa
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14 x 10 inches
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VG
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Basle / 1580 circa
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Basel / 1580 circa
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VG
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Basel / 1580 circa
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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Basel / 1580 circa
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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46761
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Basle / 1580 circa
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5.5 x 4 inches (plus text)
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VG
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53357
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Basel / 1580 circa
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14.5 x 12.5 inches
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60736
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Basle / 1580
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14 x 12 inches
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63804
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Basle / 1579
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6.5 x 4 inches
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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8 x 7 inches
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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Basle / 1579
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6 x 5.5 inches
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Basle / 1579
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5.5 x 4 inches
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0743
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Basle / 1579
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
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VG+
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0744
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Basle / 1579
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6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
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0745
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Basle / 1579
Size:
10 x 7 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
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