Holy Land – Terra Sanctae XVI Nove Tab

by Sebastian Münster


Date of first edition: 1540

Date of this map: 1540

Dimensions (not including margins): 26 x 34,5 cm

Condition: Good. Sharp woodcut engraving printed on strong paper. Some minor browning, especially at centre fold. Darker color at edges is result of photographing.

Condition rating: A

Verso: blank

Map reference: Karrow, 58/116; Laor 615

From: Geographia Universalis vetus et nova…. Claudii Ptolemai Alexandrini…, Basel, H. Petri, 1540


Item number:
Holy Land, Middle East & Iran
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Sebastian Münster shows the Holy Land

One of the earliest obtainable modern maps of the Holy Land, with evidence of use by an early owner. This is a decorative map of Holy Land from the rare first edition of Münster’s “Geographia Universalis”. Oriented to the West. The map has an ornamental cartouche with explanatory notes and many figures.

The map extends from Sidon and the land of the Phoenicans in the north to Gaza in the south with numerous Biblical sites and a number of vignettes. The inset is a key of ancient and modern placenames. This map is orientated with west at the top and is based on earlier maps by Münster and Ziegler. After the 1542 edition of Münster’s Geographia, the title was changed to XXIII. The map is unchanged from the 1540 edition.


Sebastian Münster

Münster’s Geographia was a cartographic landmark, including not only Ptolemaic maps, but also a number of landmark modern maps, including the first separate maps of the 4 continents, the first map of England and the earliest obtainable map of Scandinavia. Münster dominated cartographic publication during the mid-16th Century. Münster is generally regarded as one of the most important map makers of the 16th Century.

Sebastien Münster was a linguist and mathematician, who initially taught Hebrew in Heidelberg. He issued his first mapping of Germany in 1529, after which he issued a call for geographical information about Germany to scholars throughout the country. The response was better than hoped for, and included substantial foreign material, which supplied him with up to date, if not necessarily accurate maps for the issuance of his Geographia in 1540.

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