APIANUS, Petrus (1495-1552)
Isagoge in Typum Cosmographicum seu Mappam Mundi
Landschut: Johannes Weyssenburger, 1521. Small quarto. (7 7/8 x 6 inches). pp. Wood-cut map on the title.
Quarter vellum with tips over marbled paper covered boards, black morocco label on upper cover. Modern red half morocco and cloth slipcase.
First edition of geographer Peter Apianus' first printed work, describing a large world map of which no copy has survived.
The ellipsoidal map herein described is thought to have been based on the great Waldseemüller map of 1507, the first world map to use the term "America" 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 the 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, and which still stands as a foundational work on the subject. The preliminary section of the Isagoge was reissued in part in his Declaratio et Usus Type Cosmographici at Regensburg, probably the next year.
"Harrisse, who knew this 'rare pamphlet' only in the copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, believed that it could not describe the 1520 map and argued ingeniously that the 1520 map was published at the expense of Luc Alantse, whereas the Isagoge was dedicated to the Duke of Saxony. Ducal patronage would almost certainly supersede that of a private citizen. The James Ford Bell catalogue dates the Isagoge to 1520. Weyssenberger was the publisher of both the Isagoge and the Cosmographicus Liber . The map described in the Isagoge , although no copy is known, is a landmark in the history of the geography of the New World and this pamphlet describing it is an Americanum of the greatest rarity and cartographical significance" (Nebenzahl).
Apianus was a Professor of Mathematics in Vienna, as well as a mapmaker, writer, and leading authority on cosmography - a subject encompassing astronomy, geography, and cartography. The woodcut map on the title of the Isagoge shows Europe, Asia and Africa, with Venice, Portugal and "Callicut" (i.e. Kozhikode) identified.
Very rare in the market with only three copies traced for sale in the last century.
European Americana 521/2; Bell Catalogue A-280; Van Ortroy, Bibliographie de l'Oeuvre de Pierre Apian , 10; Harrisse, History of America , p.534; Bagrow, History of Cartography , p.130; Stillwell I:22; Nebenzahl Catalogue 12:9; Leclerc 31; cf. Shirley, Mapping of the World 45.