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MERCATOR,G./ HONDIUS,J. - Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis Imperiu.

MERCATOR,G./ HONDIUS,J. -  Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis Imperiu.
Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis Imperiu. - MERCATOR,G./ HONDIUS,J.
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Title : Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis Imperiu..
Map maker : MERCATOR,G./ HONDIUS,J..
Date : Amsterdam 1630.
Size : 13.3 x 19.2 inches. / 33.9 x 48.7 cm.
Colouring : In original colours.

Description :Despite the title this map extends far beyond Prester John's supposed kingdom. It covers Africa from the fabled mountains of the moon in the center of the continent north to the Mediterranean. Only the Northwest of Africa is excluded. On this place an inset of Congo. The interior, though largely imaginary, is filled with cities, lakes and rivers.
Prester John: For centuries it was an article of faith among Europeans that a great and powerful Christian kingdom existed in Asia, separated from its co-believers by the forces of the Islam. If only they could join together, Christian armies could then destroy the Moslem empires.
This notion was stimulated in 1177 when Byzantine Emperor Manuel I received a letter purporting to be from the ruler of this Christian Kingdom, Prester John. (Prester derives from the Latin presbyter or priest.) As European knowledge of Asia grew, the location of Prester John's kingdom changed until it was realized it could not be in Asia. Africa then became the place of choice, a legend strengthened by the fact that the Ethiopians were Coptic Christians. Even up to the 16th century, there was sufficient belief (or hope) for maps to include this mythical kingdom.

Condition : A good and strong impression. Paper slightly age-toned, with marginal spotting. Altogether in good condition.

ID: 12133

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