1550 Aphricae Tabula I.

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By: Sebastian Münster

Date: 1550 (circa)

Dimensions: 10.75 x 13 inches (bottom) (27 cm x 33.02 cm)

This bold Ptolemaic map by Munster covers Maruitania, or present day Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, an area which constituted a large portion of the ancient Carthaginian Empire. The mountains depicted in this map (even if slightly misplaced) are likely representative of the Atlases and their myriad ranges in northern Africa.

The coastlines of northern and western Africa are detailed, showing ports, cities, rivers and fortifications. The Straits of Gibraltar are labeled Columna Herculis in reference to the Pillars of Hercules from Homer’s legend, the two pillars on which Heracles stood to separate Europe from Africa. They are accepted today as two mountains at the entrance to the Mediterranean, one on either side of the Straits of Gibraltar. A lovely sixteenth-century sailing ship graces the Mediterranean just to the east of the straits. The border shows longitude and latitude coordinates. Latin text on the verso describes certain details of the maps.

Condition: This map is in B condition. The woodcut impression is crisp, there is water staining at some edges, and minor toning of the centerfold.

Inventory #19579

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