This is the earliest printed map of
Africa south of the Equator.
Martin Waldseemuller is most known today as
the author of the famous 1507 wallmap of the world,
Universalis Cosmographia..., the only known example of which
was discovered in 1901 at Schloss Wolfegg and recently acquired
by the Library of Congress. (This wallmap is the first to
identify the New World with the wording "America").
The map shows
considerable detail along the coast of Africa, with numerous
landfalls and sightings recorded by the Portuguese. The
interior shows little detail, apart from the Mountain
of the Moon. The Mountains of the
Moon, the traditional source of the Nile River is identified as
nili", an earlier reference to the twin lakes.
The geography for the map is most
directly taken from the Genoese, Nicolo de Caverio's (or Canerio),
manuscript map of the world of 1502-06 (at the Bibliotheque
Nationale in Paris), which in turn was based on an earlier
Portuguese model. Evidently, a copy of the Caverio map was
passed to Waldseemuller and Ringmann by Duke Rene, who was the
patron for the group of geographers working in St Die, France.
Though we have not yet been able to undertake a direct
comparison of placenames on this map to those of Africa on
Waldseemuller's 1507 wallmap, we believe there is close
The book, Ptolemy's Geographia, from
which this map of southern Africa was taken, was published by
Johann Schott in Strassburg. The book contained a number of
"modern" maps, that is, maps based on an up-to-date knowledge of
the world from the accounts of the explorers, and not only on a
classical understanding of the world. There was a re-printing
of this book in 1520. Though the book is dated 1513, it appears
that Martin Waldseemuller and Mathias Ringmann were working on a
new edition of the Geographia from 1507 (Skelton, p. V). It is
therefore likely that this map was prepared sometime before 1513
and only found its way to print in 1513.
References: Betz, p. 55.
Norwich, Map # 149. Claudius Ptolemaeus. Geographia., Strassburg,
1513. with an introduction by R.A. Skelton.
Facsimile published by Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd.
Fine Example, especially considering
the age of this map. Attractive, even patina to the handmade
paper. Strong image. Binder stub is still on the verso of the
map with no paper repairs. A beautiful map from the beginning
of the "Age of Discovery" and a wonderful companion to
Waldseemuller's map of the northern half of Africa, Map
#AAF-106. These two Waldseemuller
maps are seldom obtainable at the same