PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (after 83 - ca 168 AD). Undecima Asiae Tabula. Strassburg: Johann Schott 1513.
Single sheet (17 4/8 x 23 inches). FINE woodcut map of India, by Martin Waldseemüller, WITH ORIGINAL HAND-COLOUR wash in full, and as such EXCEPTIONALLY RARE, showing the entire region of southeast Asia, Bangladesh, Burma, India, the Malay Peninsula and Thailand, with the Ganges River in the west, "Sina" (China) in the east, and southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and China Sea (central vertical fold strengthened on the verso with archival tissue).
From the first modern atlas: “Geographie opus nouissima traductione e Grecorum archetypis castigatissime pressum”, prepared by Martin Waldseemuller using the translation of Mathias Ringmann. One of the most important editions of Ptolemy, it contained many new regional maps based on contemporary knowledge "unlike many of the alleged 'new' maps produced by earlier editors, [they] contained a great deal of new information, and in nearly every case they were decided improvements over anything that had been previously offered..." ("The World Encompassed", 56), were included in addition to the traditional body of twenty-seven Ptolemaic maps derived from the 1482 Ulm edition (or possibly from the manuscript atlas of Nicolaus Germanus that served as source for the latter).
Schott's edition while initiated by the most famous of all early sixteenth-century cosmographers, Martin Waldseemuller and his associate Mathias Ringmann, partly at the expense of Duke Rene of Lorraine, was brought to completion by Jacobus Eszler and Georgius Ubelin.
Claudius Ptolemy was an Alexandrine Greek, and a dominant figure in both astronomy and geography for more than 1500 years. "He compiled a mapmaker's manual usually referred to simply as the 'Geography'. He demonstrated how the globe could be projected on a plane surface, provided coordinates for over 8,000 places across his the Roman world, and expressed them in degrees of longitude and latitude. No maps drawn by Ptolemy himself are known to survive, but maps compiled from his instructions as outlined in his 'Geography' were circulated from about 1300. For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and others in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Caleb Kiffer