Descriptio Italiae secundum oarios eius popolos civitates, montes, amnes, mores, mutationes…

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Article ID EUI1077


Descriptio Italiae secundum oarios eius popolos civitates, montes, amnes, mores, mutationes…


Map shows middle Italy from Trient to Neaple with Corsica, Iscia and partly Sardignia, on reverse a map of total Italy.


ca. 1550


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.

Historical Description

The history of Italy encompasses the developments in the territory of the Italian Republic from prehistory to the present. The history of Italy, documented by written sources, only begins after the colonization by Italian peoples. Alongside them, the Etruscan culture, whose origin is unclear, experienced around 600 BC. Their heyday. In the 8th century BC The Greek colonization of the southern Italian mainland and Sicily had begun, Phoenicians settled on the west coast of the island. These colonies later belonged to Carthage. Most of northern Italy were populated by Gauls. From the 4th century BC BC began the expansion of Rome. the conquest of the Mediterranean and later parts of Central and Northern Europe brought cultural influences and people from all over the empire and the neighboring areas to Italy. The peninsula was the center of the Roman Empire. A dense road network connected the expanding cities, thanks to which the exchange of goods, but also the dependence on external goods, such as wheat and olive oil from North Africa, increased. From the 5th century, Italy came under the rule of Germanic tribes, briefly Ostrom conquered the former core area of the empire in the 6th century. In the 8th century, the north, ruled by the Lombards for about two centuries, was annexed to the Frankish Empire, later to the Holy Roman Empire, while Arabs and Byzantines ruled the south. Feudalism prevailed in most regions in the early Middle Ages. The northern Italian municipalities, which came together in the Lombard League, for example, were able to break away from the influence of the empire in the 12th and 13th centuries and establish their own territories. Of this multitude of territories, the most important were Milan, the naval powers Genoa and Venice, Florence and Rome and southern Italy, which was partly French and partly Spanish. The fact that the Bishop of Rome rose to Pope of the Western Church and that the Eastern Church was separated from the Eastern Church in 1054 played a central role. The French King Philip IV forced the Pope into exile in Avignon in 1309, which lasted until 1378. The return of the popes to Rome accelerated the establishment of the papal state in central Italy, which until 1870 had a significant impact on political developments on the peninsula. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, Italy was the economic and cultural center of the Renaissance. Five leading powers had emerged, with the Papal State playing a role of its own. From the late 15th, but especially in the 16th and 17th centuries, the major European powers - France, Spain and Austria - repeatedly interfered in Italian politics. They sealed off their markets to different degrees from foreign goods. At the same time, the Ottoman Empire exerted heavy military pressure, especially on the Republic of Venice, from the late 14th century. After four centuries of fragmentation and foreign rule, the peninsula was politically united in the course of the national movement of the Risorgimento. The modern Italian state has existed since 1861, Veneto and Friuli were added in 1866, followed by Julisch Venetia (Trieste and Gorizia), Trentino and South Tyrol after the First World War.

Place of Publication Basle
Dimensions (cm)24 x 17
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored


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