Strassburg: Johannes Gruninger, 1525.
Map. Uncolored woodcut. Sheet measures 15.25" x 20.5".
This rare and early Ptolemaic woodcut map dating to 1525 depicts the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, covering Israel, Palestine or Holy Land, Syria, Jordon, Lebanon and Iraq. Includes Cyprus. This map was included in the 1525 Strasbourg edition of the Lorenz Fries' "Geographia" of Ptolemy, published by Johannes Grüninger. Verso includes Latin text and includes a key to important locations marked on the map. The map is in good condition with minor wear along the centerfold and some discolorations. Minor foxing.
Lorenz (Laurent) Fries (c.1490 - c.1531) was a physician, astrologer and geographer born in Alsace. After studying medicine and spending time at several European universities, he settled in Strasbourg in 1519, where he met published and printer Johann Grüninger. With Grüninger, he worked on a new edition of Ptolemy's "Geographia", which was published in 1522 and 1525 and included woodcut maps reduced from Martin Waldseemuller's "Geographie Opus Novissima". Fries eventually had to move out of Strasbourg which marked the end of his cartographic career. He would continue to write on medicine, astrology and religion until his death in c.1531. The subsequent 1535 and 1541 edition of Fries' "Geographia" were published posthumously.
Johann Grüninger (c.1455 - c.1532) was a Swabish printer and publisher based in Strasbourg and was known at the time to be the most prolific printers in Strasbourg. He was associated with the Saint Die group of scholars formed by, amongst others, Martin Waldseemüller. After his death in 1531 or 1532, his son Christoph sold his map plates to Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel from Lyon who published the later editions of the "Geographia".
Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 CE) was a Roman geographer and mathematician living in Egypt, who compiled his knowledge and theories about the world's geography into one seminal work. Although his maps did not survive, his mathematical projections and location coordinates did. During the Renaissance revival of Greek and Roman works, "Geographia" was rediscovered by monks and based upon Ptolemy's detailed instructions, the maps were recreated. The first printed edition of "Geographia" with maps was published in Bologna in 1477. Very scarce.