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The Best Ptolemaic Map of Germany

Germany/ Denmark. MERCATOR, G./ PTOLEMY, C. [Lyons, 1584]
Europ. IIII. Tab. 13 x 16 inches
Fine hand color; very lightly toned, else excellent condition.


An elegantly engraved map of Germany as it was known in the Roman Imperial Period from Mercator’s definitive edition of Ptolemy’s geography. It was based on geographic data and mapmaking instructions left by Alexandrian astronomer and geographer, Claudius Ptolemy (fl. A.D. 127-180), whose work laid out the fundamental principles of cartography that are followed to this day. Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), the great Flemish geographer, produced the edition of Ptolemy’s geography considered to be the most faithful and accurate. Specifically, Mercator’s maps conformed more closely to Ptolemy’s original design than any of the several earlier editions. Mercator’s edition of Ptolemy became the standard text, with many editions from 1578 to as late as the 18th century. This example is from the second edition, which was published during Mercator's lifetime.

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