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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 / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74916
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
14 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81283
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81271
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81287
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
14 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81289
Place/Date:
Basle / 1590
Size:
14 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
69621
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
12 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81268
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
86489
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches (including text)
Condition:
Stock#:
78339
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0125gh
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
16 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77566
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81282
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554 circa
Size:
12 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81286
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#:
70464
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
14 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77563
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554
Size:
7 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
87154
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
28 x 10 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
38390pb
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
7 x 10 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77379
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70795
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77567
Place/Date:
Basel / 1555
Size:
13.5 x 10.25 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
75623
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48947
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77668
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
6 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78197
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570
Size:
7 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78333
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
15.5 x 10 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78805
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
15 x 10 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77299
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21698
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75462
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
14.8 x 10.8 inches (including text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77890
Place/Date:
Basle / 1590
Size:
7.5 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78330
Place/Date:
Basel / 1555 circa
Size:
7.4 x 5.9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78641
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570
Size:
5 x 6 inches Second image (6 x 5)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
66222
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
6.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
75024
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
8 x 12 inches (sheet size)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75156
Place/Date:
Basle / 1561
Size:
3.25 x 4.75 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75274
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
6 x 4.25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78391
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78519

Archived

Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
16298
Place/Date:
Basle / 1561
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16985
Place/Date:
Basel / 1561
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
17266
Place/Date:
Basel / 1568
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22897
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
28899
Place/Date:
Basel / 1552
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
33023
Place/Date:
Basle / 1558
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
35946
Place/Date:
Basel / 1572
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34655
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43429
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37058dr
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
15 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38647
Place/Date:
Basle / 1572
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53316
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55045
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544
Size:
15 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
55373
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
56173
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73459
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73697
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
1962
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
34123
Place/Date:
Basel / 1568
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22334
Place/Date:
Basle / 1561
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10052
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
1149p
Place/Date:
Basel / 1552
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
12032
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13381
Place/Date:
Basel / 1558
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
29175
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
15 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35005
Place/Date:
Basle / 1572
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37163
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
13.25 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21418
Place/Date:
Basel / 1558
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
14044
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60157
Place/Date:
Basel / 1572
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10232