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Description found in Archives

Orbis typus universalis iuxta hydrographorum traditonem exactissime depticta 1522, L.F. [cartographic material] 



Place of creation


1 map : woodcut, hand col. ; 29 x 45 cm on sheet 40 x 45 cm.

Scope and content

This bold woodcut by Laurent Fries combines both outmoded geographical concepts with the latest geographical discoveries, and is one of the earliest maps to show the name "America". Aware of the New World discoveries, Fries has expanded the old Ptolemaic worldview to incorporate these "western lands". Despite this, much of the world is still crudely depicted. Madagascar is wildly displaced, the Indian peninsula and Ceylon ("Taprobana") are almost unrecognisable and England and Scotland are shown as separate islands. The outer border of the map, depicting banners naming the winds linked by coiled ropes, give the map its distinctive decorative appeal.

Cartographic material
90: Open
Original can be viewed in the presence o
f an early cartographic archivist.
Cartographic material
Microfiche NMC21088
90: Open
Item no. (creator)
Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection Item #3
Cartographic material
90: Open
3 Item no. assigned by LAC 3
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Other accession no.
80101/245 CA
Local class no.

Terms of use

Credit Library and Archives Canada.
Copyright expired.

Biography / Administrative history

Physician, astrologer and geographer from Colmar, Alsace. Studied medicine at several European universities, and worked in Strasbourg ca. 1519-1527. Produced a number of scientific instruments and revived a method of projectiion recorded by an Andalusian astronomer. Reworked most of the maps of Martin Waldseemuller. Worked with Peter Apain on the preparation of Tipus orbis univesalis , 1520 (based on Waldseemuller's world map of 1507, published in J. Camers's Solini Enerrationes, Vienna 1520, also in Pomponius Mela's De situ orbis, Basle 1522) ; The major project that Fries and Gruninger worked on was a new edition of the Geographia of Claudius Ptolemy, which was published by Johann Koberger in 1522. Here again, Fries evidently edited the maps, in most cases simply producing a reduction of the equivalent map from the 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 Waldseemuller's world map of 1507. (the maps were re-used in versions edited by W. Pirkheimer, published Strasbourg, J. Gruninger, Nuremberg, J. Koberger 1525, Lyons, M & G Trechsel 1535, Lyons, G. Trechsel 1541 etc.).

Additional information

Woodcut engraving.

Map has the added decorative banner reading Tabu. Totius Orbis across the top.

Includes a decorative rope border where twenty-four winds are named. The rhumb lines suggest that it was to be used as a navigation chart and is often referred to as the "Admiral"s map.

This is the first of the two modern world maps in Fries' edition of Ptolemy's 'Geographia'; however, this is of his own rendering and bears his initials 'L.F.' after the title.

The map is a reworking of Waldseemuller's famous 1513 world map with the notable addition of the name America in the New World. It was first published in Fries' Ptolemaic geography of 1522, with this second edition appearing in 1525. In its crude yet stunning outline of the world, Fries' map follows the Waldseemuller, adding even further distortions. England and Scotland have reverted to separate islands, while India has become a confusing double-peninsula. Shirley also notes that Fries has added a western coastline to South America, more by intuition than by factual report.

From: Clavdii Ptolemaei Alexandrini Mathematico[rum] principis. opus Geographie nouiter castigatu[m] & emaculatu[m] additio[n]ibus. raris et inuisis. necnon cu[m] tabularum in dorso iucunda explanatione. Registro quoq[ue] totius operis. tam Geographico. q[uam] etia[m] historiali. facillimu[m] introitu[m] prebe[n]ti... / Claudius Ptolemaeus, 1522, [no 50]

Pictoral relief.

Custodial history
Part of the Alexander E. MacDonald Canadiana Collection purchased by the Public Archives of Canada in 1981.

Related materials
See also G1005 1535 fol. Vault.( NMC 15727)

Cartographic math data
Scale indeterminate.

Citation / reference note
Shirley, Entry 48.
Layng, Entry 85.
Phillips, Entry 361, no [50]

Availability of other formats note
The microfiche version is NMC 21088.

Exhibitions note
National Map Collection 1983 Antique Map Calendar.
Discovery and Mapping of Upper Canada: An exhibition held at the Canadiana Department, Royal Ontario Museum, May - December 1967.
Treasures of the National Map Collection, Public Archives of Canada : An exhibition of 100 original maps, atlases, globes and architectural plans, 1490-1982, held at the Public Archives of Canada 17 August 1982 to 9 January 1983.

Subject heading

1. World - Maps - Early works to 1600 .


Other system control no.