Maps by Claudius Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy (87-150) was an Egyptian astronomer and geographer living and studying in Alexandria. Alexandria was not only the home of the greatest library of any period, but was also one of the most important trade centres between west and east - here Ptolemy could not only study ancient authorities, but could also consult contemporary travellers and merchants. From this wealth of accumulated knowledge, Ptolemy composed his “Geographia”, a work of considerable genius, which “dominated the whole of the Christian and Moslem world for 1,500 years” (Tooley).
- 1477 the first edition with maps. Copper engravings.
- 1482- Ulm Ptolemy. The first edition printed north of the Alps, with four modern maps added. Printed from woodblocks.
- 1513- Published by Martin Waldseemuller, incorporating 20 new maps, including the second map to focus on the discoveries of the New World. Woodblocks.
- 1522- Illustrated with woodblocks cut by Laurent Fries, careful reductions of Waldseemuller’s maps.
- 1540- Sebastian Munster’s issue of Ptolemy’s maps; subsequently re-issued in a variety of books of classical geography -attractive woodblocks.
- 1548- The first Italian text edition, the first miniature edition in copperplate of Ptolemy’s Geography, including several new maps by Gastaldi.
- 1561- Gastaldi’s maps re-issued, in a slightly larger format, by Ruscelli and Valgrisi in Venice.
- 1578- the first issue of Mercator’s version of Ptolemy’s maps - intended as a companion to his Atlas of the Modern World. Numerous re-issues. For the 1698 edition, the plates were re-worked, substituting a new cartouche within the map, containing a second title.