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Author: Munster, Sebastian
Date published: 1556circaWoodcut. Overall size: 40.4cms x 34.4cms. Image size: 378mm x 296mm including imprint. Overall toning with some finger soiling and browning to margins; some show through from the German text and town plan on verso, one pinhole in title banner only noticeable when held up to the light; one small printer's crease right corner else good condition. Very desirable, decorative and early bird's eye view of the principal Inca city of Cuzco. One of the most important map-makers of the 16th.century, Sebastian Munster (1488 - 1552 was born in Ingelheim, Gerrmany. In 1505 he joined the Franciscan order and was eventually sent to the monastery in Rufach where he studied Hebrew, Greek, mathematics, cosmography and later, astronomy. After 1514 Munster's interest in cartography began to develop and his notebooks from that time show numerous maps drawn by him. He became a professor of Hebrew first at Heidelberg University and then at Basle where he lived the rest of his life. In 1540 he published an edition of Claudius Ptolemy's Geographia which contained 48 woodcut maps. A number of these were new maps which represented a significant contribution to the mapping of Europe and both the maps and the text exerted a considerable influence on his successors. In 1544 Munster published his major work, the Cosmographia. This volume represented virtually all that was then known of the world in mapping terms. There was also a huge amount of detailed information contained in the text together with several hundred woodcuts. The Cosmographia continued to be published long after Munster's death of the plague in 1552 and altogether 46 editions were produced including issues in German, Latin, Italian and French.