BUNTING, Hienrich (1545-1696). "Die eigentliche und warhafftige gestalt der Erden und des Meers". Leipzig: Johan Beyer for Johan Franck, 1585.
Single sheet (12 ¼ x 15 ½ inches) (Paper aging, some ink fading.)
Beautiful woodcut map of the world, showing America in the bottom left-hand corner, and the spurious outline of the Western Australian coastline in the bottom right.
From Bunting's Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae. Das ist Ein Reisebuch, [-ander Theil] uber di gantze Heilige Schrifft. -- De monetis et mensuris sacrae scripturae.
This intriguing map of the world in outline does in fact approximate to geographical reality, and shows the principal cities visited by the biblical characters, i.e. Calicut in southern India is included for its association with Thomas the Apostle. America appears in the lower left-hand corner, and part of what might well be mistaken for Western Australia is placed in the near-correct position lower right: labeled "India Meridionalis", a quarter of a century before the first confirmed charting of any part of the Australian coast. Its appearance here has given rise to "speculation that it reflects knowledge of an early discovery, perhaps by Portuguese navigators. The placement of Africa and India Meridionalis on the same parallel is remarkably accurate... India Meridionalis is better explained as a survival from Ptolemy's "Geography". If Bunting's map had extended a few degrees further east, it would have shown two 'legs' connected to India proper: Ptolemy's 'Aurea Chersonesus' (Malay Peninsular) and 'the Dragon's Tail' (an imaginary peninsula that formed the eastern arm of a non-existent Great Gulf). In the year the 'Itinarium' was published, the Spanish and Portuguese crowns were united under Philip II, and in 1594 he issued an instruction that the states of India Meridionalis were to be incorporated in the crown of Portugal. His successor, Philip III, commissioned a Malay/Portuguese cosmographer, Manuel Gondinho de Eredia, to acquire them. Like his monarchs, Eredia believed that India Meridionalis existed, and for nine years, while unsuccessfully trying to mount an expedition from Malacca, he strove to reconcile Marco Polo's 'greatest island in the world' (Java la Grande) with the travelers' tales he gathered from the Indonesian archipelago and the report of an agent he sent into Dutch-dominated Java. In the end, he claimed to have discovered Luca Antara, a rich Javanese land in the southern hemisphere. Alas, its people, topography and location were all fanciful" (Granville Allen Mawer). Heinrich Bunting was a Protestant professor of theology at Hanover. Bunting's Itinerarium was an exceedingly popular work, running to ten editions in seven languages over a period of seventy years from its first publication. The book describes the travels of the religious figures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as well as its geography, accompanied by some interesting maps that take more than a little liberty with the actualities. The first part begins with the definition of the German mile and the biblical stadium, gives a list of biblical place-names with their coordinates, describe Jerusalem and the walla, gates, buildings mentioned in the Bible, before proceeding with the lives and journeys of the patriarchs, moses and Isrealites, Joshua, and concluding with the Maccabean Wars.
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