VARTHEMA, Lodovico de (15th century). [Die ritterlich und lobwirdig rayss des gestrengen un uber all anderweyt erfarnen ritters und lantfarers herren Ludowico Vartomans vo Bolonia sagent vo den landen, Egypto, Syria vo bayden Arabia Persia India un Ethiopia vo den gestalte, syte un dero menschen leben und gelauben, auch von manigerlay thyeren voglen und vil andern in den selben landen seltzamen wuderparlichen sachen, das alles er selbs Erfaren un in aygner person gesehen hat]. Translated by Michael Herr (d. ca 1550). Augsburg: Johann Miller, 16 June 1515.
4° (198 x 148 mm). 42 (of 45) woodcut illustrations in text (each about a third of a page in size), by Jörg Breu the Elder. With printer's device on final leaf. (Lacking 5 leaves: title with woodcut, first two text leaves [a2-3, including two illustrations] and leaves q2-3, [including one illustration].) Modern brown morocco, edges gilt. Provenance: Jules Kunckel d'Herculais (bookplate).
FIRST GERMAN EDITION. “Varthema was the first European to visit Mecca by caravan. He also traveled to Egypt, Syria, the coast of a land he called Ethiopia (probably present-day Eritrea of Somaliland), India, Persia, Ceylon, Bengal, the Moluccas, Sumatra, and Mozambique.
Heresay reports by him renewed interest in the fabled Southern Continent and had great bearing on the voyage of Magellan to the Pacific” (Hill, p. 306). Cox notes that he is probably the first European after Marco Polo to bring back the rumor of Terra Australis. The first edition was published in Milan, 1511, and all early editions are RARE. According to online databases, no copies of this first German edition have sold at auction since 1971. Cox I, p. 260; Dodgson II, p. 424; Graesse I, 301.