This is the only copy of the earliest woodcut world map
printed on a single sheet of paper in the fifteenth century. Two other maps,
now in libraries in Germany
and Washington, DC,
were based upon this print, and all three were pasted into early printed books
from the 1470s. The depiction of the spherical world is based upon earlier
medieval traditions that placed Jerusalem
at the center, with the Garden of Eden at the top (east) and the Mediterranean
Sea to the bottom (west). While the map was produced in Germany,
no cities in central Europe are labeled on the map, and Rome
(“Rom”) is located east of Venice
(“Venedig”), with Greece
still further to the west. On the edges of the then known world are the mythic
and monstrous races, including dog-headed and two-headed people, while in the
waters around the edge float islands, such as England
(“Engenland”) at the bottom left. At the very bottom of the map, the left
circle depicts the four elements: air, fire, land, and water, while the one on
the right shows the three parts of the world: land, town, and sea. The artist’s
name is in the banner in the middle.


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