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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 / 1554
Size:
7 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
87154
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:
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 / 1542
Size:
13 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71170
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:
Venice / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74672
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
75698
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
75949
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81281
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81292
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552 circa
Size:
14.5 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
75727
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
75746
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
74886
Place/Date:
Basel / 1552 circa
Size:
14 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81273
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
15.5 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82970
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81267
Place/Date:
Basel / 1628 circa
Size:
13 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82525
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
74845
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
72088
Place/Date:
Basel / 1552
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
80544
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
30.5 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
86508
Place/Date:
Basel / 1588 circa
Size:
14 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68682
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552 circa
Size:
14 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70181mp2
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81280

Archived

Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
3797
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20464
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
4 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
20556
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
4 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
20557
Place/Date:
Basle / 1584
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21470
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21918
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
23235
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20854
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560
Size:
6.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
25785
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560
Size:
6.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
25843
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
25923
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
4 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53572
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 4 inches (image only)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65062
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0736
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
8 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0737
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0738
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0741
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
7.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0748
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
5.5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10953
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10954
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
9.5 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10956
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
14 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
10968
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10989
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
11.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12702
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2429
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2433
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2455
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9323
Place/Date:
Basle / 1584
Size:
6 x 4 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22028
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20853
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20856
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25861
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25901
Place/Date:
Basle / 1580 circa
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26532
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
4 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
26682
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
26734
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26778
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
13.5 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26733
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
15 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26143
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
27231
Place/Date:
Basle / 1580 circa
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
53357
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
15 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0758
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10981
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9330
Place/Date:
Basle / 1584
Size:
6 x 4 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21821
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560
Size:
7 x 5.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25824
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25897
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
13 x 4 inches eacj
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26070