Skopje – Von Macedonia
Rare and interesting
Date of first edition: 1493 (Latin edition)
Date of this map: 1493 (German edition)
Dimensions text to text (not including margins): 35,3 x 22,5 cm
Dimensions (including margins): 42,6 x 27,5 cm
Condition: Very good. Wood cut print on good paper and wide margins. Old handwritten text on recto and verso.
Condition rating: A
Verso: text in German
From: Liber Chronicarum, December 1493
This picture comes from the addendum of the German edition (December 1493) of the Chronicles. In this seventh and last part Schedel published images of countries, such as Thrace, Austria, England and Portugal. In fact the remain city views.
The title of this image is not accidental “Von Macedonia”. However, if one considers the picture more closely, most likely the capital Skopje is shown. Indeed, one sees the River Vardar and the specific location of the hills around the city, including the Vodno Mountain in the background, beyond “Kale”, the castle of Skopje. And finally the old city walls. No doubt this must be Skopje.
Schedel is best known for his writing the text for the Nuremberg Chronicles, known as Schedelsche Weltchronik, published in 1493 in Nuremberg. It was commissioned by Sebald Schreyer (1446–1520) and Sebastian Kammermeister (1446–1503). Maps in the Chronicle were the first ever illustrations of many cities and countries.
With the invention of the printing press (in Europe) by Johannes Gutenberg in 1447, it became feasible to print books and maps for a larger customer basis. Because they had to be handwritten, books were previously rare and very expensive.