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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 / 1550 circa
Size:
14 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63703
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
28 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38390pb
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49125
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
5.5 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65825
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
62199
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60562
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
14 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62058
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60685
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
66272
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60254
Place/Date:
Basel / 1588 circa
Size:
14 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60652
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60454
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60298
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38613pb
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 3 inches (plus text)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57702
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
14.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
27712
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
28443
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
15 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26167
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
5 x 6 inches Second image (6 x 5)
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
65810
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65107
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60350
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60669
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
58846
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
15 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64304
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60195
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57326
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
15 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65882
Place/Date:
London / 1598
Size:
15 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45242
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
15 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0751
Place/Date:
Basel / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57236
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
13 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55125
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37814
Place/Date:
Basel / 1550
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64949
Place/Date:
Basle / 1572
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38853se

Archived

Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63196mp2
Place/Date:
Basle / 1540
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64284
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
14 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
0102gh
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
10 x 7 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
29094
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65760
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
52339
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
14 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57554
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
40013
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43998
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55425
Place/Date:
Basle / 1590 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46000
Place/Date:
Basle / 1590 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49679
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
14 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26150
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
14.5 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26388
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
14.5 x 11.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26088
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
2.5 x 2.5 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
27162
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
27268
Place/Date:
Basle / 1580
Size:
14 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63804
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
15 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26143
Place/Date:
Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
13.5 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26501
Place/Date:
Basel / 1580 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
40108
Place/Date:
Basle / 1588 circa
Size:
7 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27397
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
7 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0756
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570
Size:
7 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
11604
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570
Size:
7 x 6.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2876
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
20560
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 / 1560 circa
Size:
4 x 3 inches
Condition:
Stock#:
26682
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 5.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2445
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
7 x 5.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21815
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560
Size:
7 x 5.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25824
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10983
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
13.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
4984
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9837
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
25884
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
15.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9328
Place/Date:
Basle / 1575 circa
Size:
9.5 x 15.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
52483
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26711
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10990
Place/Date:
Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6.5 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25818