By: Sebastian Münster
Date: 1576 (Dated) Basel
Dimensions: 4.9 x 5.9 inches (12.5 cm x 15 cm)
This woodcut on watermarked paper is from an original map by Pomponius Mela in De Situ Orbis, based on Ptolemy’s Geographia from the 2nd century A.D. The Tropic of Cancer is prominent near the middle of the map. Labeled in Latin, this map does not show the Indian subcontinent extending south, though it does indicate it correctly between the mouths of the Indus and Ganges rivers. Mountains are indicated, including the Vindhyas, labeled “Vindius M.” The Ganges River and the Indian Ocean are depicted and labeled. The city of Bucephala, named after Alexander the Great’s beloved horse Bucephalus, is shown. Other place names appear, but are difficult to identify with current places, posing interesting riddles to solve on this old map.
Condition: Paper slightly yellowed. Margin is trapezoidal, narrowing slightly to the north, at the top.
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