Sebastian Münster

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     Sebastian Münster(1489-1552) was a German mathematician, cartographer, professor of Hebrew, and, for a time, a Franciscan monk. After the Reformation became a Protestant and taught at Heidelberg and at Basel, where he lived after 1536. A noted theologian and Hebraist, he edited the first Hebrew Bible produced (1534–35) by a German. He published his atlas, Geographica Universalis in 1540 and the Cosmographia universalis, a descriptive geography, in 1544. The map reproduced on the Austrian stamp is from the Cosmographiae. The map on the Viet Namese stamp appears to be from the Cosmographiae also. The map on the stamp from Cost Rica is from the Geographica Universalis.

SCN 1569

SCN 2124

SCN 901

     His map of the western hemisphere is the first to show the New World as connected northern and southern land masses separated from Asia. At the top of the map the false see later called "Sea of Verrazano," a legendary passage to Asia, almost breaks through the east coast of North America. The strait of Magellan is bounded on the south by a large landmass, rather than by the island of Tierra del Fuego. Magellan's ship, Victoria, is shown in the Pacific Ocean. There are Portuguese flags off the coast of Africa, a Spanish flag near Hispaniola, and the legend, Canabali, "cannibals," on the eastern projection of South America.

SCN 295

     The Map of Africa is from the Geographica Universalis of 1540. It was printed from a wood block, and is decorated with a cyclops, an elephant, birds, and crowns representing native rulers.

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