Das funft alter Mantua

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Article ID EUI3166


Das funft alter Mantua


View shows the city of Mantua, Italian Mantova, in Lombardy, two poets on the obverse and three bishops on the reverse.


ca. 1493


Schedel (1440-1515)

Hartmann Schedel (1440 -1515) settled in Nuremberg 1484. He published the famous Nuremberg Chronicle 1493, Schedel's library has been sold in 1552 to Hans Jacob Fugger. Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle must have been one of the most popular of incunables, judging by the number of surviving copies. Some 800 copies of the Latin edition have been traced and 400 of the German. This is not surprising considering that this compilation of sacred and profaned history was the most elaborate printed book of its time, illustrated with more than 1800 woodcuts. Among these were a number of double-page city views, a folding map of the world and another of northern and central Europe. The text is an amalgam of legend, fancy and tradition interspersed with the occasional scientific fact or authentic piece of modern learning. Hartmann Schedel, a physician of Nuremberg, was the editor-in-chief; the printer was Anton Koberger, and among the designers the most famous were Michael Wolgemut and Hanns Pleydenwurff, masters of the Nuremberg workshop where Albrecht Durer served his apprenticeship. The first edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle in July 1493 was in Latin and there was a reprint with German text in December of the same year. World Map: His Ptolemaic world map with the figures simbolizing the three sons of Noah's: Sem, Ham and Jafet. The world map was included in the Chronicle of the Nuremberg physician, Hartmann Schedel to demonstrate the world after the Deluge. The hundreds of the woodcuts used for printing the illustrations of the famous German work were cut by Wolgemut and Pleydenwurff. The young Albrecht Dürer could contributed to the book as he apprenticed the Nuremberg printers. The panel to the left side, showing the monstrous races, is an illustration of the tales, fables and antique works, first of all Pliny the elder. Note that this panel is the best identification mark of our edition, there was another panel with the map of the 1493 edition.

Historical Description

Mantua was founded by the Etruscans, for its mythical founding story is named the Greek seeress Manto. In 804 the Roman Catholic bishopric of Mantua was founded. Since 1328 the noble family of the Gonzaga ruled there, who were raised by the Roman-German emperors to counts in 1362, to margraves (Marchesi) in 1433 and to dukes in 1530. In 1536, Emperor Charles V also granted the Gonzaga, as a loyal ally, the rule over the important margraviate of Monferrato on the often contested French-Italian border. For a time, they thus rose to become one of the most important dynasties of princes in Italy. The extinction of the main Mantuan Gonzaga line in 1627 triggered the War of the Mantuan Succession between France and the Habsburgs over the strategically important duchy, which abruptly ended the economic and cultural prosperity of the country. In 1631, the Habsburg emperor had to recognize the French succession candidates, the dukes of Gonzaga-Nevers, as the new rulers of Mantua. Since they were again on the French side against Austria in the War of the Spanish Succession from 1701, the emperor deposed them in 1708; Mantua was since then a direct part of the Habsburg Empire. During the Coalition Wars, the city, which had been part of the Habsburg Duchy of Milan since 1745, was fought over several times. Napoleon was able to capture Mantua after a month-long siege in early 1797, but it was lost again as early as 1799. In 1814 Mantua became Austrian again and only in 1866, as a result of the German War, did it become part of Italy.

Place of Publication Nuremberg
Dimensions (cm)23,5 x 14,5 cm
ConditionPerfect condition


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