This 1542 map drawn by Sebastian Münster is an excellent example of a map of the area between the Black and Caspian Seas. This map shows Greater Armenia, Iberia, Albania, Colchis, the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, Assyria, and many other ancient states. In the Caspian Sea, Münster’s map depicts Noah’s Arc, which is believed to have moored on an Armenian mount, as stated by the map. In comparison with an older 1540 issue of the map, the newer version isn’t that much different.
The map of Sebastian Münster is a remarkable example of cartography along with the antique maps of Ptolemy as well as more modern-oriented maps, including separate maps of the four continents known at the time, the first map of England, and the earliest available map of Scandinavia.
Considered one of the key cartographers of the 16th century along with Abraham Ortelius and Gerardus Mercator, Münster’s works were dominant in the map publication of the time.
A linguist and mathematician who had taught Hebrew in Heidelberg, Münster issued his first map of Germany in 1529. Shortly, he made the geographical information about the country open to the scientific circles. This was welcomed quite warmly, and soon, Münster would be supplied with up to date maps, which greatly contributed to the issuance of his Geographia in 1540.
Description: “Cosmographia Claudii Ptolomaei Alexandrini”, Jacob d’Angelo after Claudius Ptolemaeus, 1467.
Description: Tabula Asiae III, Armenia, Iberia, Colchis, etc. Gerardus Mercator, 1579.
Description: Tabula Asiae III: Armenia major, Colchis, Iberia, Albania. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Michel Servet, 1535.
Description: Tercia Asiae Tabula (Armenia, etc.) (with early manuscript additions), Martin Waldseemuller, Lorraine, 1513. This map is a fine example of Waldseemuller’s map of the territory in between the Caspian and Black Seas. Armenia is depicted in the center.
The first modern atlas created by Martin Waldseemuller is one of the most important editions of Claudius Ptolemy’s maps. Apart from the traditional Ptolemaic 27 maps derived from the 1482 Ulm edition, Waldseemuller’s atlas contains about 20 new maps of the region based on coeval knowledge.
Together with his associate Mathias Ringmann, Martin Waldseemuller prepared his edition of Ptolemy at somewhat the expense of the Lorraine Duke Rene. Jacobus Eszler and Georgius Ubelin brought the atlas to completion. The first map of the atlas, often called “Admiral’s map” after Columbus, is entirely dedicated to America. Being printed in red, black, and olive, the map of Lotharingia is one of the earliest examples of color printing, not to mention that it is the first map of the Duchy of Lorrain. This edition of the atlas was reprinted in 1520.
Tabula Tertia Asiae [Title on Verso – Armenia and Caspian Region], Laurent Fries, Lyon, 1541. This finely engraved map quite vividly portrays Armenia and the territories between the Black, Caspian Seas, and the Caucasus Mountains. It is one of the earliest obtainable maps of the region.