Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Aphricae Tabula I

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Article ID AF0003
Artist Ptolemy/Münster Sebastian (1489-1552)
Sebastian Münster (1488 – 1552) belongs tot he very important Comographers oft he Renaicance. He issued his first famous Cosmographia in 1544 with 24 double paged maps with German description of the world.It had numerous editions in different languages including Latin, French, Italian, English, and Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628, long after his death. The Cosmographia was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century. It passed through 24 editions in 100 years. This success was due to the notable woodcuts ,some by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Deutsch, and David Kandel. It was most important in reviving geography in 16th-century Europe.His first geographic works were Germania descriptio (1530) and Mappa Europae (1536). In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits, and costumes. These editions, printed in Germany, are the most valued of the Cosmographias. Claudius Ptolemy (arround 100- 160 a.C.) Geographia, gives a list of geographic coordinates of spherical longitude and latitude of almost ten thousand point locations on the earth surface, as they were known at his times. The list is organized in Tabulae which cor- respond to specific regions of the three known continents at that time, Africa, Asia and Europe. Research on Ptolemy’s Geographia has started at the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in the eighties, focused mainly, but not exclusively, on data re- lated to territories which are now under the sovereignty of the modern Greek state. The World of Ptolemy is classified in Regions, since each Chapter is referred to one of them, giving by this way the concept of Atlas as it is understood today.
Title Aphricae Tabula I
Year ca. 1550
Description
Map shows the northern part of Africa and the southern part of Spain with the strait of Gibraltar.  With decorative ship representation.

According to the "Out-of-Africa theory", Africa is considered the "cradle of mankind", where homo development led to the development of the anatomically modern human Homo sapiens. One of the earliest advanced civilizations in mankind was formed in ancient Egypt. Over the millennia, various "great empires" such as the Empire of Abyssinia emerged on the continent. There were other kingdoms in West Africa, such as the Ashanti and Haussa, but they emerged much later. There were also some important cultures in East and South Africa, as in the area of today's Sudan, then called Nubia or Kush. Nubian pharaohs ruled all of Egypt for a dynasty. For example, the inhabitants of Greater Zimbabwe were important cultures in southern Africa. This stone castle was architecturally a masterpiece at that time and important for trade between the peoples of the south and east. The Swahili were known in East Africa. North Africa was connected to Europe and the Near East by the Mediterranean rather than separated. Carthage, a foundation of the Phoenicians in what is now Tunisia, was around the middle of the 1st millennium BC. The dominant power in the western Mediterranean until it was replaced by Rome in the Punic Wars. This prevailed from 30 BC. BC (conquest of Egypt) over all of North Africa. Even the ancient Egyptians (Queen Hatshepsut) made trips to Punt, probably in what is now Somalia. The kingdom of the Queen of Sheba, which probably had its center in southern Arabia, is said to have spanned parts of the Horn from Africa to the north of Ethiopia.
Place of Publication Basle
Dimensions (cm)27,5 x 34
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueWoodcut

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