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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 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21698
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57539
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48947
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60588
Place/Date:
Basle / 1544 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
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0125gh
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60925
Place/Date:
Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56250
Place/Date:
Basle / 1540
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60649
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
62810
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Basel / 1545
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57301
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60226
Place/Date:
Basle / 1550 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
30310
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Basle / 1545
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60416
Place/Date:
Basle / 1537
Size:
21.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57814
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Basle / 1544
Size:
15 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54182
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
6 x 4 inches (image only)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65062

Archived

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Basle / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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VG
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Basle / 1570 circa
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10.5 x 6.5 inches
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Basle / 1570 circa
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Basle / 1578
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10.5 x 6.5 inches
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Basle / 1578
Size:
10.5 x 6.5 inches
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20558
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Basle / 1579
Size:
5 x 6 inches
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47262
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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10853
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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Basel / 1570
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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VG
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15909
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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VG+
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Basel / 1570
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Basel / 1570
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Basel / 1570
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27223
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Basel / 1570
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27750
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Basel / 1570
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11 x 7 inches
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Stock#:
30633
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Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
11 x 7 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
35143
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Basel / 1570 circa
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11 x 7 inches
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35074
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Basel / 1570 circa
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41004
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Basel / 1570 circa
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Basel / 1570 circa
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64101
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Basel / 1570 circa
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11 x 7 inches
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47311
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Basel / 1570 circa
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11 x 7 inches
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VG
Stock#:
51519
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Basel / 1570 circa
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11 x 7 inches
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VG
Stock#:
53355
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Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
6.5 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
56676
Place/Date:
Basle / 1579
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10988
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Basle / 1560
Size:
5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
25873
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Basle / 1572
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
53316
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Basle / 1540
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
66333
Place/Date:
Basle / 1570
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
2429
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Basle / 1579
Size:
6 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
10987
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Basle / 1579
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
9302
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Basle / 1579
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6.5 x 5.5 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
10985
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Basle / 1572
Size:
6.5 x 5.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23081
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Basle / 1560
Size:
6.5 x 5.5 inches
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VG
Stock#:
25811
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Basle / 1560 circa
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6.5 x 6 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25931
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Basle / 1560 circa
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5.5 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
38461
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49029
Place/Date:
Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49030
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
15 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
44609