Map of Sarmatia. The second edition of "The Geography by Ptolemy" by Miguel Servet

    Map of Sarmatia. The second edition of "The Geography by Ptolemy" by Miguel Servet

    Austria, Vienna


    Mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller.
    Editors: Lorenz Friez, Gaspar Trechsel.

    Paper; xylography

    38.0 х 52.0 cm ( size of the sheet)


    In the projection, based on the isosceles trapezium, the horizontal sheet features the detailed map of the region limited by the Azov Sea (Meotidas Paludes), the Black Sea (Ponti Euxini pars) and the Caspian (Hyrcanlmar) Sea, which was called European and Asian Sarmatia (Sarmatie Europae Pars, Sarmatia Asiatica ) with the outlined adjacent neighbouring territories. The names of the settlements, rivers, mountains, etc. are given in the Latin language and their location is determined by geographic coordinates. Explanatory inscriptions are to the right and to the left of the coordinate grid.

    On the reverse side in the right and in the left parts of the sheet there is a text in Latin in the fancy decorated frame describing in detail the region presented in the map and named "TABULA SECUNDA ASIAE".


    The map originated from the second edition of “Geography of Claudius Ptolemy” compiled by Spanish thinker and philologist Miguel Servet (151-1553) and published in Vienne in 1541 by Gaspar Trechsel (Claudii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Geographicae enarrationis libri octo. Vienne: Gaspar Trechsel, 1541). The first edition was published in 1535.

    The book-atlas contained three parts. The first part included the text by German humanitarian Willibald Pirckheimer (1470-1530). The second part consisted of fifty maps; and twenty seven of them were made on the basis of “The Geography” by ancient scientist Claudius Ptolemy and they were widely recognized among Europeans and served as the main source of information on geography until the Age of Discovery. The data of the maps was reprinted from “The Geography” by Ptolemy (1522), issued and edited by French scientist, doctor, astronomer Lorenz Friez (1490-1532/1533), a great admirer of German mapmaker Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1520). After M. Waldseemüller died, L.Friez revised and published almost all his works.

    The third and the last part of the book-atlas included a detailed index.

    European Sarmatia in “The Geography” by Ptolemy is the territory of the Eastern Europe from the Vistula to the Don River, and Asian Sarmatia is the area of the Northern Caucasus.