Old Maps Collection
Sylvanus cordi form world map
Early Old Maps
JPEG, 7336 × 5182, 34.6MB
Scale not given
Physical Map Dimension (cm):
40 × 55
Without a title at first, the map was printed on two pages of Ptolemy’s book Geography (Geographia) which was published in Venice in 1511, the red letters on which was also printed with special methods. Apart from the data of Ptolemy, Marco Polo et al, the map also absorbed the new knowledge gained by Europeans overseas adventure. On the map, South America appears as a huge land marked with the words "Land of the Holy Cross" (Terra Sanctae Crucis). The location of Caribbean islands like Cuba is obviously a mistake, too westerly and northerly. Southeast Asia on the right of the map extends to the south of the equator, due to the influence of Ptolemy definitely. As for China, Bernard Sylvanus gave no new information. He marked the northeast Asia as "Khitan" (Catai Regio) and regarded that the Greenland and "Khitan" was contiguous, but he left a large blank on the top right of the map with a presuming reason that he was not able to find out the relationship between Asia and North America. Meanwhile, it is precious for few of the editions of Ptolemy’s Geography (Geographia) have been preserved up till now. In addition, this world map was also drawn on a parchment. Bernard Sylvanus’ method of using heart-shaped projection initialed the main stream of mapping by cartographers along the historical passage.
This is an early old map depicted the world.
Sabin 66477. Thacher, II, p. 36-37 (Americana)
Claudii Ptholemaei Alexandrini Liber geographiae cum tabulis et uniuersali figura : et cum additione locorum quae a recentioribus reperta sunt diligenti cura emendatus et impressus.
Ptolemy, active 2nd century
Harvard Map Collection - Harvard College Library