Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Undecima – Asiae – Tabula

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Article ID ASI1256
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. In 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 Undecima – Asiae – Tabula
Year ca. 1478
Description Map shows Bangladesh, Birma, India, Thailand and Malaysia.
In the first centuries after the turn of the times, Indian traders spread their culture over large parts of Southeast Asia. The Kingdom of Funan (200-550) in the Mekong Delta developed into the first center of Hinduism and Buddhism in Southeast Asia. It was replaced by the Khmer Kingdom and the Srivijaya Empire in Sumatra. 750 Borobodur was built on Java, a terraced temple complex of enormous size. The Khmer kings created an equally impressive work of art with the construction of their Angkor Wat temple complex. From the 9th century, the Tai migrated from the north to their present-day settlement areas and met the high-ranking Mon, whose culture they shaped. In 1044 the first Burmese Empire was founded with Bagan as the capital. In Southeast Asia, extensive trade had developed from the 6th to the 16th century, numerous shipwrecks testify to this development, such as that of the Lena Shoal junk. The ship types of the junk and the balangay were used for this trade. Two main routes of trade China on the one hand and Java, Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula on the other hand could be determined. One route leads along the mainland and the second route along Borneo, Palawan to the island of Luzon. In the 15th century, Arab, Persian and Indian traders converted the Malays to Islam. The Muslim Malacca took the place of the Hindu kingdom Majapahit on Java. With the exception of Siam, all Southeast Asian countries were colonized from the 16th century. The background to colonization was the region's wealth of raw materials and spices, which were of particular value at the time. After the trade had been dominated by Arab traders for a long time, the European powers now fought over supremacy in the region. The Spaniards became active in the region at the same time and colonized with the aim of conquering China and converting to Christianity the Philippines, which they named after the Spanish King Philip II. The British came to Southeast Asia as the third major colonial power and also tried to establish themselves in the region. After initially holding an insignificant base in Indonesia, after negotiating with the local sultans, they reached control of the island of Penang and Singapore, which was then a small Malay fishing village. Together with the port city of Malacca, these areas formed the so-called Straits Settlements, the most important bases for the British in Southeast Asia.
Place of Publication Rome
Dimensions (cm)38 x 54 cm
ConditionMissing part at upper center perfectly replaced
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueWoodcut

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