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The Template for the Modern World Map
In a Beautiful Example
FRIES, L./ WALDSEEMULLER, M./ PTOLEMY, C. [Strasbourg, 1525]
12 x 18 inches.
Superb hand color; upper margin extended, mend to lower centerfold well outside printed image, else excellent.
A splendid example, colored with deep lapis blue, of the map that established the paradigm for the depiction of the world. The second century A. D. geographer, Claudius Ptolemy, provided both the raw geographic data and the technical instruction needed to draw a world map. The recovery of this material in Western Europe via Greek manuscripts from Constantinople provided the groundwork for the renaissance in geography. This map first appeared in printed form in 1477 in Bologna.
Ptolemy, fl. AD 127-180, in essence, mapped the Roman Empire when it was at its fullest territorial extent, which was reached under the Emperor Trajan, who reigned from 98-117 AD. Hence, this map also reveals the known world of the Roman Imperial Period. The woodcutting for this map was carried out with considerable panache; its windheads, in particular, are portrayed with delightful individuality.