“TABULA VIII. EUROP.” [EASTERN EUROPE - CRIMEA]. Claudius Ptolemy. Lyons: Laurent Fries, 1535. From the first Servetus edition of Ptolemy’s Geographiae. Original wood-cut. (Image: 11 ½ x 18’’). Some toning, and with filled stitch holes along the center fold, as usual for this edition.
“The elaborate Renaissance woodcut panels on the reverse may have been designed by Albrecht Dürer – the known contributor to diagrams elsewhere in the atlas.” (R. W. Shirley “Early Printed Maps of the British Isles…” - Item 15.)
This scarce map (title verso) is from an atlas edited by Michael Servetus with maps printed from the blocks of Laurent Fries (c.1490 - c.1532) - physician, astrologer and geographer. The map is typical Ptolemaic - drawn on a revised conical projection - set in a trapezoidal frame.
The area depicted includes Continental Europe, from the Vistula to the Sea of Azov (Paludes Meotides) including the Crimean Peninsula. Ptolemy collected his data around 160 AD. Ancient parallels are inserted outside the east and west borders. Topographical features are found throughout the map with major towns, cities, waterways, and mountains identified.
Known as the first Servetus edition, this Lyons edition was so named due to the fate of its editor. Michael Servetus (c. 1511-53) was a Spanish physician and theologian. His unorthodox teachings led to his condemnation as a heretic by both Protestants and Roman Catholics. In Geneva, 1553, he was burned at the stake by order of John Calvin who insisted that copies of this edition be burned with him.