Basel, ex officina Heinrich Petri, August 1571, Attractive contemporary calf binding, with gilt frame enclosing gilt device, gilt fleurons, spine gilt with central gilt arabesque designs, gilt gauffered edges. A complete copy of this scarce work, double-column Greek and Latin text, woodcut printer’s device on title and another on verso of otherwise blank final leaf, with 27 double-page woodcut maps by Sebastian Muenster and 7 smaller maps in text, woodcut initials.
A very good copy in a contemporary binding of this important geographical survey, edited by Xylander.
FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION of Strabo’s work and first edition of the commentary and Latin translation by the German humanist Guilielmus Xylander, the Greekizing pseudonym of Wilhelm Holtzmann (1532-1576), professor at the University of Heidelberg.
The maps shown here are the work of the cartographer Sebastian Münster, which he engraved for his edition of Ptolemy’s “Geography” (Basel, Heinrich Petri, 1540). Strabo’s vast compilation is drawn in large from indirect sources, but very rich in historical, geographical, political, economic and religious descriptions of all known peoples. It opens with two introductory geographical treatises, Books III-X deal with Europe with particular regard naturally to Greece (whose paper is repeated twice, while almost all the small descriptions in the text represent Greek islands); books XI-XVI concern Asia; the seventeenth finally Egypt and northern Africa. The Greek text of Strabo was printed for the first time by Aldo in 1516, while the Latin text translated by Guarino Veronese appeared in editio princeps in 1469.
A Greek historian and geographer born in Amaseia (Ponto), Strabo was a pupil of the philosopher Senarco, of grammarian Aristodemus and the geographer Tyrannion. He arrived in Rome in 44 BC to remain there until 31 AD He travelled extensively in Egypt, Ethiopia and Asia Minor, collecting information for this important geographical work. Adams S1907; Phillips (Atlases) 3390; Nordenskiold 30, 21.