1525 Laurent Fries Antique Map NE Africa Red Sea, Egypt, Nile River Delta, Libya

Cartographer : Laurent Fries

  • Title : Libyae Interioris Pars....Tabula III Aphricae
  • Ref #:  93378
  • Size: 22 1/2in x 16 1/2in (565mm x 420mm)
  • Date : 1525
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition

This rare very early original wood-block engraved antique Ptolemaic map of North East Africa from The Red Sea, Egypt, The Nile Delta & Libya by Laurent Fries was published by in the 1525 Strasbourg edition of Ptolemys Geographia

Striking early map of North Africa and Egypt, from the Red Sea, the Nile and Egypt to the Gulf of Libya. Extends up rivers along the Nile to Aden.
Latin text and elaborate decorations on the verso. A nice example, from the 1525 edition of Fries Atlas. First published in Strasbourg by Johannes Gruninger in 1522, Fries map is based upon Waldseemullers map of 1513.
Lorenz (Laurent) Fries was born in Alsace in about 1490. He studied medicine, apparently spending time at the universities of Pavia, Piacenza, Montpellier and Vienna. After completing his education, Fries worked as a physician in several places, before settling in Strassburg, in about 1519. While n Strassburg, Fries met the Strasbourg printer and publisher Johann Grüninger, an associate of the St. Die group of scholars formed by, among others, Walter Lud, Martin Ringmann and Martin Waldseemuller.
From 1520 to 1525, Fries worked with Gruninger as a cartographic editor, exploiting the corpus of material that Waldseemuller had created. Fries first venture into mapmaking was in 1520, when he executed a reduction of Martin Waldseemullers wall-map of the World, published in 1507. While it would appear that Fries was the editor of the map, credit is actually given in the title to Peter Apian. The map, Tipus Orbis Universalis Iuxta Ptolomei Cosmographi Traditionem Et America Vespucii Aliorque Lustrationes A Petro Apiano Leysnico Elucubrat. An.o Dni MDXX, and was issued in Caius Julius Solinus Enarrationes, edited by Camers, and published in Vienna in 1520.
Fries next project that Fries was a new edition of the Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy, which was published by Johann Koberger in 1522. Fries evidently edited the maps, in most cases simply producing a reduction of the equivalent map from Waldseemullers 1513 edition of the Geographie Opus Novissima, printed by Johann Schott. Fries also prepare three new maps for the Geographie: maps of South-East Asia and the East Indies, China and the World, but the geography of these derives from Waldseemullers world map of 1507.
The 1522 edition of Fries work is very rare, suggesting that the work was not commercially successful. In 1525, an improved edition was issued, with a re-edit of the text by Wilibald Pirkheimer, from the notes of Johannes Regiomontanus. After Grüningers death in 1531, the business was continued by his son Christoph, who seems to have sold the materials for the Ptolemy to two Lyon publishers, the brothers Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel, who published a joint edition in 1535, before Gaspar Trechsel published an edition in his own right in 1541.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 22 1/2in x 16 1/2in (565mm x 420mm)
Plate size: - 18 1/2in x 12 1/2in (475mm x 320mm)
Margins: - Min 1 1/2in (20mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - Light soiling along centerfold
Verso: - None

Claude Ptolemy - a Greek mathematician, astronomer and geographer, living in Alexandria, assembled and codified his predecessors\' cartographic theories including those of Strabo & Marinus of Tyre (c. AD 120) to whom he was especially indebted. In about AD 150 he published his Geographia, a work in 8 volumes, supposedly illustrated with a world map, 26 regional maps and a profusion of smaller maps. Although the text of the Geographia survived, no maps older than about the twelfth century have come down to us and, in consequence, we have no means of knowing whether the \'Ptolemy\' maps on which we set so much store were, in fact, drawn by him or were the interpretations of later map makers using his text as a basis.

In Europe the initial awakening of interest in geography arose from the revival of knowledge of Ptolemy\'s Geographia soon after the year 1400. Greek manuscript copies made in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries were brought by scholars to Italy from Constantinople and were subsequently translated into Latin and widely studied. This work coincided with, and was much influenced by, the development of printing techniques, particularly, of course, by the invention of movable-type printing by Gutenberg about 1450, which made possible for the first time the production of printed books in quantity. Apart from this factor, other more far-reaching influences were compelling the peoples of Western Europe to look beyond the horizon they had known for so many centuries. With the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 the Turks effectively closed Europe\'s trade routes to the East and shut off access to traditional sources of luxuries and precious metals from Asia and, above all, denied the supply of the spices which had become so important in the lives of ordinary people. Other factors often based on long-believed myths and legends added to the urge to break out into the unknown world.
The interpretation of Ptolemy\'s text began mainly with the Italians Angelus, Beroaldus & Vadius in 1477 and was re-interpreted and re-issued by many over the next century by the likes Waldseemuller 1513, Gastaldi 1548, Mercator 1578 & Magini 1596. (Ref: Tooley; M&B; Dover)