10 April 2012
APIANUS, Petrus (1495-1552). Isagoge in Typum Cosmographicum seu Mappam Mundi. Landschut: Johannes Weyssenburger, [c.1521].
4o (201 x 151 mm). Large woodcut of the old world surrounded by windheads on title. 4 leaves. 19th-century half vellum; red half morocco slipcase.
EXTREMELY SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF APIANUS' FIRST PRINTED WORK describing his large world map, of which no copy has survived. The map is thought to have been based on the great Waldseemüller map of 1507, and was considerably larger and more detailed than extant maps by Apianus. The woodcut map on the title of the Isagoge shows a map of Europe, Asia and Africa.
Published about four years before his Cosmographicus liber, which passed through thirty-five editions in the sixteenth century, the Isagoge is divided into twelve "Propositiones" showing how to use the map. Many of his comments and instructions in this guide are intended to explain the use of the map for astronomical and calendrical calculations. In his preface, he mentions his "Cosmography", which was not published until 1524. The preliminary section of the Isagoge was reissued in part in his Declaratio et usus type cosmographici at Regensburg, c. 1522.
Peter Bienewitz (Apianus) was a Professor of Mathematics in Vienna, as well as a mapmaker and writer on Geography. He was a leading authority on geography and astronomy, and many of his instructions in the Isagoge relate to its use for astronomical and calendrical calculations.
VERY RARE: only three copies of this book have been traced in the market in the last century, with none at auction and none since 1961. Alden & Landis 521/2; Bagrow, History of Cartography, p.130; Bell A-280; Harrisse, Discovery of America, p.534; Nordenskjold, Facs. Atlas 101/6; Stillwell Science I:22; Van Ortroy, Apian 10.
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