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Lot number: 39952
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Publisher: HONDIUS, H.
Title: Sebastienus Munsterus.
Published: The Hague, 1602

Size: 6.7 x 4.8 inches.
17.0 x 12.2 cm.
Colouring: Uncoloured.
Condition:  In good condition. Dark impression.
 Condition Rating

Rare copper engraved portrait of Sebastian Münster (1488 – 1552) by Henricus Hondius (1573-1666) of The Hague. Published in Jacob Verheiden: "Praestantium aliquot theologum ... Affbeeldingen von sommighe Mannen, die bestreden hebben den roomschen Antichrist.".

Münster was a German cartographer, cosmographer, and a Hebrew scholar.
Münster was born at Ingelheim near Mainz, the son of Andreas Munster. He completed his studies at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in 1518. His graduate adviser was Johannes Stöffler. He was appointed to the University of Basel in 1527. As Professor of Hebrew, he edited the Hebrew Bible, accompanied by a Latin translation.
His work, the Cosmographia from 1544 was the earliest German description of the world. It had numerous editions in different languages including Latin, French, Italian, English, and even Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628, long after his death. The Cosmographia was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century. It passed through 24 editions in 100 years. This success was due to the fascinating woodcuts (some by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Manuel Deutsch, and David Kandel). It was most important in reviving geography in 16th century Europe.

Content of the 1544–1598 editions:
Book I - Astronomy, Mathematics, Physical Geography, Cartography
Book II - England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Savoy, Trier, Italy
Book III - Germany, Alsace, Switzerland, Austria, Carniola, Istria, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Pomerania, Prussia, Livland
Book IV - Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Walachia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey
Book V - Asia Minor, Cyprus, Armenia, Palestine, Persia, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Scythia, Tartary, India, Ceylon, Burma, China, East Indies, Madagascar, Zanzibar, America
Book VI - Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, South Africa, East Africa

In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits, and costumes. These editions, printed in Germany, are the most valued of the Cosmographias.
Münster also wrote the Dictionarium trilingue in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew and Mappa Europae (map of Europe) in 1536. In 1537 he published a Hebrew Gospel of Matthew which he had obtained from Spanish Jews he had converted.
He died at Basel of the plague in 1552.

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