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POLAND / UKRAINE: Quinta Europe Tabula.
- The rare map embracing Poland and the Ukraine from the ‘Rome Ptolemy’, a monument in the early history of engraving and the cartography of Eastern Europe. This exquisitely engraved incunable map is one of the earliest printed maps to focus on what is now Poland, Ukraine and parts of Slovakia, Romania, Moldova and Russia. It depicts the Ancient Roman conception of the region as proscribed by Claudius Ptolemy (c. 150 AD), and while initially not all that familiar to the modern viewer, upon closer examination, the map takes one on a fascinating historical journey. The map extends from what is now Poland down diagonally beyond the ‘Tanais Fluvius’ (Don River) to the edges of the Caucuses. The Baltic Sea, called here the ‘Oceanus Sarmaticus’, occupies the upper left, while the Black Sea, the ‘Pontus Euxinus’ and the outsized ‘Palus Meotis’ (Sea of Azov), occupies the lower right. The Carpathian Mountains and other ranges run across the map in virtuously engraved rills. The location of Poland is can be discerned by the labelling of the ‘Vistula Fluvius’ (Vistula). ‘Sarmatia Europae’ and ‘Sarmatie Asiatice’ refer to the land of the Sarmatians. The Sarmatians were an Iranian people who occupied large parts of the Eurasian Steppe and parts of the Eastern Europe from the 5th Century BC to the 4th Century AD. They were very active during the time that Ptolemy conceived the antecedent of the present map. The Sarmatians lands were divided into two distinct groups, the European and Asian Sarmatians, as noted on the map. In the lower left of the map runs the ‘Danubius Fluvius’ (Danube River), while ‘Dacie’ (modern Romania) and ‘Pannonie Inferioris Pars’ (a piece of Hungary) are labelled. The depiction of Crimea, labelled as ‘Taurica Chersonesus’ (meaning Tauric Peninsula) is conspicuous for its relative accuracy and the level of detail with respect to the towns and depicted. Crimea was especially familiar to the Classical world, as since the 5th Century BC it hosted several Greek colonies. Much of the southern part of the peninsula remained immersed in Greco-Roman culture for centuries, as the area was under Roman rule (47 BC -330 AD), followed by Byzantine hegemony (330 - 1204) and, after that, control by the Empire of Trebizond (1204 - 1461). It was later conquered by the Ottomans, before the armies of Catherine the Great brought it under Russian rule in 1783. The Story of the Creation of the ‘Rome Ptolemy’ The story of the creation of the 'Rome Ptolemy' maps is one of the most fascinating and consequential in the history of incunabula. It begins with Konrad Sweynheim, who is widely thought to have been present at the birth of printing while an apprentice to Johann Guttenberg. After Mainz was sacked in 1462, Sweynheim fled to Italy and arrived at the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco, likely at the suggestion of the great humanist and cartographer Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, and with the active support of Cardinal Giovanni of Turrecremata, the Abbot of Subiaco. In 1464-5, Sweynheim, in partnership with another German √©migr√©, Arnold Pannartz, introduced the first printing press to Italy. Over the next few years, Pope Paul II was to become so enthusiastic about the new medium of printing that he liquidated scriptoria and commissioned several newly established printers to publish religious and humanist texts. In 1467, Sweynheim and Pannartz moved to Rome under the Pope's patronage where they issued over fifty books from their press at the Massimi Palace. They are credited for inventing Roman typeface during this period. By 1472, while Sweynheim and Pannartz’s accomplishments were impressive, they were not able to sell enough books to sustain their enterprise. Fortunately, the new pope, Sixtus IV stepped in and gave both men ecclesiastical sinecures, which paid the bills. Sweynheim and Pannartz decided to move away from mass printing and to rededicate their efforts to creating the first printed illustrated edition of Claudius Ptolemy's "Geograph
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Dasa Pahor]
Last Found On: 2015-12-19           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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