Hispanie Beschreisbung/mit seinen Kœnigreichen/Landtschafften
und Stadten. -

Click on map to enlarge.
Click HERE to view the map in its frame.

DATE: 1598

MAP MAKER: Sebastian Münster.

SIZE: 5 3/8" X 3".

PRICE: $500.00


Sebastian Münster; 1489-1552.

A true renaissance man, this German linguist and mathematician (and a 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 Europe.
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.
Of note:
- 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.

Hispanie Beschreisbung/mit seinen Kœnigreichen/Landtschafften und Stadten.

This diminutive woodcut map (5 3/8" X 3"), originally prepared for book II of the 1544 Cosmographia, was re-engraved in different states throughout the life of this book.
The present item has been printed for the 1598 German edition.
Notice that only a very few cities are shown, and that the largest one appears to be Toledo (then the capital city of the Spanish King till 1561), and that the boldest name is reserved for Burgos (a major pilgrim stop over on the road to Santiago de Compostela (here shown as S Iacob).
Also note the numerous spelling mistakes.
Even though of a late production, the total page (6 ½" X 10 ¾') is very sought after, because it shows also the coat of arms of the eight kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula:
- Aragon (present day arms have four vertical red bars, not three).
- Granada
- Portugal (king of Spain and king of Portugal were the same person between 1580 and 1668).
- Castile
- Leon
- Toledo (here represented by the crowned miter of the Primate Bishop of Spain residing in that city).
- Galicia
- Navarre
German text on verso.

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