[Taprobana - Sri Lanka]
$2200 / ≈ €1912
Based on the slightly larger map from 1513 published in "Ptolemy's Geographia". The atlas was reprinted in 1520, 1522, 1525, 1535 and 1541.
This wood block was cut in 1525 for the publisher J.Grünninger. This being the variant of 1541, now without the banner title and wood cut ornaments on the verso.
From the last edition of Ptolemy's "Geography", with maps by Laurens Fries and the text edited by Michael Servetus.
Servatus who was accused of heresy, and when he was burnt at the stake, Calvin ordered that copies of the book should be burnt with him.
Fortunately it seems that Calvinist authorities may only have burnt a few token copies !
Ptolemy's mythical island of Taprobana originally became associated with Sri Lanka although it was sometimes confused with Sumatra. Taprobana, as it was called on most early maps, was an important post for trade between the east and the west, and was drawn too large on many maps because of its importance.
But Marco Polo states: It has a circumference of some 2400 miles. And I assure you that it used to be bigger than this. For it was once as much as 3500 miles, as appears in the mariners' charts of this sea. But the north wind blows so strongly in these parts that is has submerged a great part of this island under the sea.
To the left a text box explaining that Taprobana is surrounded by 1378 islands.
The line across the lower part of the island represents the equator, and the numbers below the line indicate the degrees east of Ptolemy's prime meridian in the Canary Islands.
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