Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Octava Asiae Tabula

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Article ID EUO3042
Artist Ptolemy/Conrad Sweynheym
Arnold Pannartz and Konrad Sweinheim were two printers of the 15th century. Pannartz died about 1476, Sweinheim in 1477. Pannartz was, perhaps, a native of Prague, and Sweinheim of Eltville near Mainz. Zedler believes (Gutenberg-Forschungen, 1901) that Sweinheim worked at Eltville with Gutenberg in 1461-1464. Whether Pannartz had been connected with Sweinheim in Germany is not known. It is certain that the two brought Gutenberg's invention to Italy. The Benedictine abbey of Subiaco was the cradle of Italian printing. Probably Cardinal Giovanni of Turrecremata, who was Abbot in commendam of Subiaco, summoned the two printers there. They came in 1464. The first book that they printed at Subiaco was a Donatus; it has not, however, been preserved. The first book printed in Italy that is extant was a Cicero, De oratore (now in the Buchgewerbehaus at Leipzig), issued in September, 1465. It was followed by Lactantius, De divinis institutionibus, in October, 1465, and Augustine's De civitate Dei (1467). These four impressions from Subiaco are of particular importance, because they abandon the Blackletter of the early German books. In Italy, Roman characters were demanded. Pannartz and Sweinheim, however, did not produce a pure but only a ""half Roman"" type with Blackletter-like characteristics. n 1467, the two printers left Subiaco and settled at Rome, where the brothers Pietro and Francesco Massimo placed a house at their disposal. The same year, they published an edition of Cicero's letters that gave its name to the cicero, the Continental equivalent of the pica. Their proof and manuscript reader was Giovan de' Bussi, since 1469 Bishop of Aleria in Corsica. In 1472, they applied to Pope Sixtus IV for Church benefices. From this we know that both were ecclesiastics: Pannartz of Cologne and Sweinheim of Mainz. The pope had a reversion drawn up for them, a proof of his great interest in printing. In 1474, Sweinheim was made a canon at St. Victor at Mainz. It is not known whether Pannartz also obtained benefice. Perhaps the pope also aided them, at any rate, they printed eighteen more works in 1472 and 1473. After this they separated. Pannartz printed by himself thirteen further volumes. Sweinheim took up engraving on metal and executed the fine maps for the Cosmography of Ptolemy (arround 100- 160 a.C.), the first work of this kind, but died before he had finished his task. Claudius Ptolemy 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 Octava Asiae Tabula
Year ca. 1478
Description Map shows Mongolia and North China in trapezoid. Rivers and mountains are roughly shown in the country on the side the climatically zones.
Part of Central Asia and lies between Russia in the north and the People's Republic of China in the south. The name Mongols may have arisen after the Tang Dynasty (7th to 10th centuries). In the 8th century Turkic people, especially the Uyghurs, took over, in the 10th century the Kitan survived the Liao dynasty, which lasted until 1125. In the 12th century, Temüdschin succeeded in uniting the Mongolian tribes, which had been destroyed among themselves, and formed a state from them. Around 1206 he became Genghis Khan as the leader of all Mongol rights. The traditional Mongolian laws interested in Genghis Khan Managemente law Jassa became solely about new laws that required those of the Mongol empire. Before his death, Genghis Khan had his empire in four khanates. His grandson Batu gained power over Central Asia and the Golden Horde there. Pol Uri gained power over Mongolia and Ögedei was betrayed with rule over China and East Asia. Ögedei Khan managed to continue to exempt the empire and change and belong to its territory. The last Grand Khan, all Mongolian political empires, war Timur Khan. As before the time of Genghis Khan stiffening the Mongolian borders of the central empire, the rulers of the Ming dynasty were moved to keep the state wall still outstanding and to own it. Partial fights between Mongolian tribes spurred on by China. As a result of a long war between the two, which refer to the Mongolian estates, the Oirates and the Chalcha, which belong to the Oirates from the new Mongolia. In Altan Khan's reign, Tibetan Buddhism began to become the state religion of the Mongols.
Place of Publication Rome
Dimensions (cm)38 x 51
ConditionTear on lower part perfectly restored
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueWoodcut

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