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This important historic map is from Geographicae enarrationis libri octo Ex Bilibaldi Pirckeymheri tralatione, fed ad Graeca & prisca exemplaria…. The work was published in 1535 in Lyon after Lorenz Fries by Melchior & Gaspar Trechsel. This is considered the Fries edition of Ptolemy’s Geography. The atlas was translated by Willibald Pirckheimer and revised by Michael Servetus.
It was the first edition edited by Servetus who used the pseudonym “Michel de Vileneuve” as he was under suspicion of heresy. His edition of Ptolemy described Palestine as “not such a fertile land as was generally believed, since modern travelers reported it barren.” Though this was a remark he pulled from Johannes Regiomontanus’s notes on the 1525 edition it put him in the crosshairs of the Church. Because of the heretical remark, many copies of the 1535 Fries Atlas were destroyed. Servetus would eventually be burnt at the stake for heresy in 1553.
This work is considered a later published ediiton of Claudius Ptolemy (Ptolemaeus)s Geographia. The work was considered one of the most influential cartographic accounts of the ancient world and served as inspiration for all Renaissance mapmakers. He compiled what was known of the world’s geography in the Roman Empire during his time (circa 90-168 AD). Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet. The earliest known manuscripts of Geographia date to 1300 and was first printed in 1477.
Lorenz (Laurent) Fries (ca. 1485-1532) was born in Alsace. He studied medicine and worked as a physician for many years, eventually settling in Strasbourg in 1519 where he met printer and publisher, Johann Grüninger. He worked with and studied as a cartographic editor from 1520 to 1525 where he first produced his atlas in 1522. Many of the maps he reduced from Waldseemüller’s 1513 edition, while also producing his own maps of Southeast Asia, China, and the world.
Provenance: Joy de Droyont(?), ink inscription on title.