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Letha : S. Munster

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An attractive woodcut set in a page of text from Sebastian Munster's "Cosmographia". Originally a scholar studying Hebrew, Greek and mathematics, Munster (1489-1552) eventually specialised in mathematical geography and cartography. It was this double ability - as a classicist and mathematician - that was to prove invaluable in producing the "Geographia" and "Cosmographia". These works reflect the widespread interest in classical texts, which were being rediscovered in the fifteenth century, and being disseminated in the later fifteenth and sixteenth century, through the new medium of printing. The "Geographia" was a translation of Ptolemy's landmark geographical text, compiled in about 150 AD., illustrated with maps based on Ptolemy's calculations, but also, in recognition of the increased geographical awareness, contains a section of modern maps. In the first edition of the "Geographia", Munster included 27 ancient Ptolemaic maps and 21 modern maps, printed from woodblocks. Subsequent editions of the "Cosmographia" were expanded to contain a vast number of maps and plans, including this early map/view of Edinburgh and Leith as perceived from the Firth of Forth.
mapmaker: S. Munster  
place and date of publication: Basle 1544-c.1570
medium and colour: woodblock, Uncoloured
size in mm: 185 by 100mm (7.25 by 4 inches).
ref: 42976

Price: £ 280

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