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Publisher: MÜNSTER, Sebastian.
Title: (Fragment from the Cosmographia)
Published in: Basel, 1544
Size: 13.6 x 8.5 inches.
34.5 x 21.5 cm.

Condition: FRAGMENT. In good condition with large margins as issued. Light age toning.
The fragment offered here is covered by an acid free copy of the two-coloured title page of the Cosmographia, embodying also the image of Sebastian Münster.

Condition Rating

This fragment of the Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster covers the entire mathematical and geographical introductions given in Book I. In these twenty-two pages Münster instructs the reader in the practice of geography and the techniques by which cartographical information is acquired. He also sets out the geographical knowledge about the physical structure of Earth which was current in his day.

He describes his calculation of the circumference of the earth, and how long it would take to walk around the world disregarding mountains and other barriers (1350 days). He instructs the reader on meridians and parallels, on the Equator, the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Münster takes the terraqueous globe , and divides it by continent, explaining which seas and rivers separate each from the other, juxtaposing it with the knowledge of ancient writers such as Ptolemaeus, of whom we also find a woodcut illustration.

In this section, he also provides instructions and illustrations on practical surveying. His objective was to obtain the correct latitude and longitude of cities and landmarks, and to determine the distances and bearings between them. He discusses how he was able to find the distance between Basel and the Danube, using the third point of Offenburg. He illustrates the use of a rudimentary form of triangulation (determining the location of a point by intersection from two different points of observation), and traverse (a method of surveying using previous surveyed points as a basis surveying the next point). All the instructions are profusely illustrated with in total no less than twenty woodcut illustrations and they are often opened with a highly decorative initial lettering.

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MÜNSTER, Sebastian. - (Fragment from the Cosmographia)
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Lot number: 83323

MÜNSTER, Sebastian. - (Fragment from the Cosmographia)

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