Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Das Fünffte Buch

  • Translation

Article ID ASA325
Artist Münster (1489-1552)
Sebastian Münsters (1489-1552) is one of the famous cosmographers of the Renaissance. Its real importance in the field of cartography is based on its famous cosmography, which he published in 1544 with 24 double-sided maps (including Moscow and Transylvania). The material for this came largely from research and the collection of information from around 1528, which he initially only wanted to use for a description of Germany, but was now sufficient for a map of the entire world and ultimately led to a cosmography. He constantly tried to improve this work, i.e. to replace or add to maps. In the edition of 1550, only 14 maps were taken over from the earlier editions. The 52 maps printed in the text were also only partially based on the old maps. The great success of this cosmography was also based on the precise work of the woodcuts mostly by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Deutsch and David Kandel. It was the first scientific and at the same time generally understandable description of the knowledge of the world in German, in which the basics of history and geography, astronomy and natural sciences, regional and folklore were summarized according to the state of knowledge at that time. Cosmography is the science of describing the earth and the universe. Until the late Middle Ages, geography, geology and astronomy were also part of it. The first edition of the Cosmographia took place in 1544 in German, printed in Heinrich Petri's office in Basel. Heinrich Petri was a son from the first marriage of Münster's wife to the Basel printer Adam Petri. Over half of all editions up to 1628 were also published in German. However, the work has also been published in Latin, French, Czech and Italian. The English editions all comprised only a part of the complete work. Viktor Hantzsch identified a total of 46 editions in 1898 (German 27; Latin 8; French 3; Italian 3; Czech 1) that appeared from 1544 to 1650, while Karl Heinz Burmeister only had 36 (German 21; Latin 5; French 6; Italian 3; Czech 1) that appeared between 1544 and 1628. The first edition from 1544 was followed by the second edition in 1545, the third in 1546, the fourth edition in 1548 and the fifth edition in 1550, each supplemented by new reports and details, text images, city views and maps and revised altogether. Little has been known about who - apart from the book printers Heinrich Petri and Sebastian Henricpetri - were responsible for the new editions after Münster's death. The 1628 edition was edited and expanded by the Basel theologian Wolfgang Meyer. With Cosmographia, Sebastian Münster has published for the first time a joint work by learned historians and artists, by publishers, wood cutters and engravers. The numerous vedute are usually made as woodcuts. Sebastian Münster obtained his knowledge from the travel reports and stories of various scholars, geographers, cartographers and sea travelers. Long after his death, "Kosmographie" was still a popular work with large editions: 27 German, 8 Latin, 3 French, 4 English and even 1 Czech editions appeared. The last edition appeared in Basel in 1650.
Title Das Fünffte Buch
Year ca. 1550
Description Map shows Arabia, persia, Kaukasus and the Red sea
Arabia, an early empire on the largely uninhabitable Arabian Peninsula, was the legendary Saba in the south, which at times ruled all of southwest Arabia and had colonies in Eritrea and Tanzania. In the seventh century, Islam became the dominant religion on the peninsula. The Islamic prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca around 570 and began preaching in the city in 610, but immigrated to Medina in 622. Mohammed founded a new unified polity on the Arabian Peninsula which, under the subsequent caliphates of Rashidun and Umayyads, experienced a century of rapid expansion of Arab power far beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an expanding sphere of influence from the northwest Indian subcontinent across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South Italy and the Iberian Peninsula to the Pyrenees. Despite its spiritual significance, Arabia soon became politically a fringe region of the Islamic world, with the main medieval Islamic states located at different times in cities as distant as Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo. However, from the 10th century (and indeed until the 20th century) the Hashemite Sharifs of Mecca retained a state in the most developed part of the region, the Hejaz. Their domain originally included only the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, but was extended to the rest of the Hejaz in the 13th century. Although the Sharifs in the Hejaz exercised largely independent authority, they were usually subject to the suzerainty of one of the great Islamic empires of the time. In the Middle Ages, this included the Abbasids of Baghdad and the Fatimids, Ayyubids and Mamluks of Egypt.
Place of Publication Basle
Dimensions (cm)27 x 16
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored


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