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Claudii Ptolemaei Tabulae Geographicae Orbis Terrarum Veteribus cogniti.


Cartographer :

François Halma

Dimensions :

Conditions details :

Very Good

Reference :


This beautifully coloured atlas "Claudii Ptolemaei Tabulae geographicae Orbis Terrarum Veteribus cogniti" by François Halma, in its 1695 edition, is a renowned historical atlas that presents the geospatial knowledge of the ancient world as documented by the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy.


Between 1695 and 1705, three different editions of François Halma’s issue of Mercator’s Ptolemy atlas were published in three different Dutch cities: Amsterdam, Leiden and Utrecht. This issue is the first out of the three, which was published in 1695 in Utrecht. It merely includes plates that have been reworked with new cartouches as well as a new title page that is engraved by Jan van Vianen. It is most likely that Halma obtained these plates at an auction in 1694 of the Janssonius heirs.

The atlas contains a hand-colored copper engraved title page, one leaf index, as well as twenty eight double-page maps, all engraved. Amongst these maps, it includes: the Old World map, ten maps of European content, twelve of Asia and lastly; five of Africa.

This exceptional copy has been heightened in gold. This makes this specific edition extremely rare and remarkable.

François Halma (1653-1722) was a well known Dutch cartographer and publisher who was active in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Franeker and Leeuwarden.

Claudius Ptolemy (fl. AD 127-145) was an ancient geographer, astronomer, as well as a mathematician. He is known today through translations and transcriptions of his work. Perhaps his best-known work is his Geographia, in eight books. However, Ptolemy’s ideas had been absent from western European intellectual history. In 1295, a Greek monk found a copy of Geographia in Constantinople; which eventually led to the circulation in eastern Europe. In 1393, a Byzantine diplomat brought a copy of the Geographia to Italy, where it was translated into Latin in 1406 and called the Cosmographia. The manuscript maps were first recorded in 1415. These manuscripts, of which there are over eighty extant today, are the descendants of Ptolemy’s work and a now-lost atlas consisting of a world map and 26 regional maps.When Ptolemy’s work was re-introduced to Western scholarship, it proved radically influential for the understanding and appearance of maps.

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