Claudii Ptolemaei Cosmographaie [sic]


Composed in Alexandria in 160 AD, Claudius Ptolemy’s Geographia has been hailed as the most influential treatise on geography and cartography in human history. Dozens of manuscript copies were produced from the late middle ages onwards, some of them including maps drawn using the cartographic techniques formulated by Ptolemy. The work was first printed in 1475, and the JCB has an unparalleled collection of the printed editions of the Geographia, starting with the first and ending in the eighteenth century. Notably, the collection includes the 1477 edition which was the first use of copper engravings to print maps, launching a new epoch in map production. The new medium of print and the technique of copper engraving utterly transformed how graphic representations of the world and its regions would henceforth be created, as well as seen and understood by new map-buying publics.





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