Sebastian Münster; 1489-1552.
A true renaissance man, this german linguist and mathematician
(and franciscan) may not have been as good a cartographer
as Gerard Mercator or Abraham Ortelius. But he is generally
credited for having been the first and foremost influence
in the spreading of geographical interest and knowledge throughout
His major publications must have been the most read books
of their time (beside religious texts). He expanded on, and
corrected, the work of Martin Waldseemüller, on the basis
of his massive correspondence with numerous german scholars.
Most of his maps were printed using the woodblock technique
of the day.
- Geographia in 1540-42-45-52, all in latin, with 27 ptolemaic
maps and 13 (growing to 27 in the last issue) modern maps.
- Cosmographia Universalis in 1544. In 6 volumes, it was also
published by his step son; Henrich Petri, who continued the
printing till 1588, well after Münster death of the plague.
Further editions in 9 volumes by Petri's son (Henri Sebastian)
till 1628 were rushed to print to compete against the more
successful Ortelius atlas, with Ortelius maps instead of Munster's!
All in all: 33 editions, 19 in german, 5 in latin, 6 in french,
2 in italian and 1 in czech.
Der statt Themistitan in den neüwen inseln gelegen/figuriernung.
This archaic town plan (6 3/8' X 6 ½") is a faithfully re-engraved
woodblock print of "La gran citta di Temistitan", first issued
by Benedetto Bordone for his 1528 "Isolario".
Said Bordone plan being itself a copy of the map of "Temixtitan"
included by Hernan Cortez in his 1520 second letter to his
king, Carlos V.
The present item was probably printed for a c1556 issue of
It depicts the town of Tenochtitlan, capital city of the Aztecs,
as it appeared in the Texcoco lake before its siege and destruction
by the spaniards (who built on its site the present day town
of Mexico City). Dikes, bridges, levies, floating islands,
large avenues, palaces, defenses to its access causeways,
temples, squares, the Chapultepec aquaduct, gardens .are clearly
marked, reflecting the wonder felt by the invaders.
The plan is on a double page of german text, with a large
birds eye view of the town of Cuzco on the verso.