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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 / 1552 circa
Size:
14.5 x 11.5 inches
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75727
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Basle / 1552
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16 x 11.5 inches
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VG
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77566
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Basle / 1552
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15 x 11.5 inches
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77567
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Basle / 1552
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
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VG+
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75746
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Basle / 1552
Size:
14 x 11 inches
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VG+
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75786
Place/Date:
Basle / 1552
Size:
15 x 11.5 inches
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VG+
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73952
Place/Date:
Basel / 1552 circa
Size:
14 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
81273
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554 circa
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6 x 10.3 inches (Including text)
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VG
Stock#:
73670
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554 circa
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
81280
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
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81281
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
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VG+
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81282
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
14 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
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81283
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554
Size:
13.5 x 10.5 inches
Condition:
VG
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81285
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Basle / 1554
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
77361
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Basle / 1554
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15 x 11 inches
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VG
Stock#:
77358
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554
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7 x 10.5 inches
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VG+
Stock#:
81296
Place/Date:
Basel / 1554 circa
Size:
12 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
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81286
Place/Date:
Basle / 1554
Size:
6.5 x 10 inches Including Text
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VG
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73700
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Basel / 1554
Size:
30.5 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG
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80195
Place/Date:
Basel / 1555 circa
Size:
5.25 x 5 inches
Condition:
VG+
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78564
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Basel / 1555 circa
Size:
7.4 x 5.9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
78641
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Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
6 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70795
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Basel / 1560 circa
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12 x 11.5 inches
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VG
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81268
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Basle / 1560 circa
Size:
7 x 10 inches Including Text
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
77379
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Basel / 1560 circa
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
78519
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Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
15 x 4 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
26167
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Basle / 1570 circa
Size:
28 x 10 inches
Condition:
Good
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38390pb
Place/Date:
Basel / 1570
Size:
5 x 6 inches Second image (6 x 5)
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VG+
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66222
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Basel / 1570 circa
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6.5 x 11 inches
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VG
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79363
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Basle / 1570 circa
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14 x 10.5 inches Including Text
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VG
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77630
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Basel / 1570
Size:
7 x 9.5 inches
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VG+
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78333
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Basel / 1570 circa
Size:
15.5 x 11 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
82970
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Basle / 1579
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5.5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71244
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Basle / 1579
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6 x 10 inches Including Text
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VG
Stock#:
77774
Place/Date:
Basel / 1580 circa
Size:
14 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71561
Place/Date:
Basle / 1580 circa
Size:
11.5 x 7.5 inches (including text)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
77212

Archived

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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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2381
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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2385
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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2386
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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2387
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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2391
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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Venice / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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20687
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Basel / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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20684
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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21387
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Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
Stock#:
21648
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Basle / 1542
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14 x 10 inches
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VG
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21655
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Basle / 1542
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14 x 10 inches
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VG
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21656
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Basel / 1542
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14 x 10 inches
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VG
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21657
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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21669
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Basel / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
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VG
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21670
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Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
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21671
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Basle / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
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21695
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
21696
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Basel / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG
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21697
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Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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21724
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Basle / 1542
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13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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21725
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Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
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VG+
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21726
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21727
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21748
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21749
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21750
Place/Date:
Venice / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21752
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21766
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21767
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21768
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21814
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21813
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21812
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22247
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22248
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22274
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22273
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22280
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22284
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22295
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22296
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
13.5 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
22352
Place/Date:
Basle / 1542
Size:
14 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22438