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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:
Basle / 1579
Size:
15 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0751
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
15 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26167
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47262
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 3 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57702
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
6 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
59206
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21698
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560
Size:
7 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62498
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38613pb
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48947
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60226
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60275
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60350
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
28 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38390pb
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60562
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
14.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
27712
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
30310
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60328
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60685
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47441
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49125
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60298
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60669
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0125gh
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
28443
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44462
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57364
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57271
Place/Date:
Basel / 1545
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57301
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
58846
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60254
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56329
Place/Date:
Basel / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57236
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60925
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62199
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55125
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37814
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57539

Archived

Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
10995
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27260
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10951
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
4.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0414
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
4.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0417
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
3 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10970
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
4 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26847
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
4 x 2.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
27103
Place/Date:
Basle / 1588 circa
Size:
7 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27397
Place/Date:
Basle / 1588 circa
Size:
8 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27478
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20872
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
2.5 x 2.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
27162
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
4 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
27203
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0747
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
11.5 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10961
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
11.5 x 7 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
10962
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2418
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
20560
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20874
Place/Date:
Basel / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20894
Place/Date:
Basel / 1579
Size:
6 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20895
Place/Date:
Basel / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20857
Place/Date:
Basel / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20852
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
4 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26750
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
4 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26821
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
3.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26867
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
4.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26979
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27325
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
6 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27031
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10987
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
3 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23047
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
26703
Place/Date:
Basel / 1598
Size:
12 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21183
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
6 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23177
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20855
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
7 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0735
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
5.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0412
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
5.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0413
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0757
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10952
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
11.5 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10957
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10963
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
11.5 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10975
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2413
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2420
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2427
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2431
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
3797