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A hand coloured depiction of medieval Ostia


Original, hand colored leaf from Cosmographia by Sebastian Munster, published in 1564, German edition. Munster (1489-1552) was a German mathematician, cartographer, professor of Hebrew and, for a time, monk. He was the first mapmaker to produce separate maps of the 4 known continents and the first to publish a separate map of England. Munsterís Cosmographia was one of the most influential works on geography in the 16th century. It was printed in 5 languages and published in 40 editions.

This 12" x 8.5" page shows Ostia, the port of Rome, as it appeared in the early Renaissance with massive fortifications and a very early view of artillery emplacements. Dedicated to the god Neptune, Ostia was perhaps the most important port of the ancient world as it was the debarkation & embarkation point for goods and people entering and leaving Rome. All roads might lead to Rome, but all sea routes led to Ostia. An ancient galley is shown standing offshore. The Tiber River splitting into two branches at its delta is shown in the foreground.

The same leaf, uncoloured:


[jthb - 24-Apr-2004]