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The Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster (1488 – 1552) from 1544 is the earliest German description of the world.

It had numerous editions in different languages including Latin, French (translated by François de Belleforest), Italian, English, and even Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628, long after his death. The Cosmographia was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century. It passed through 24 editions in 100 years. This success was due to the fascinating woodcuts (some by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Manuel Deutsch, and David Kandel). It was most important in reviving geography in 16th century Europe.

His first geographic works were Germania descriptio (1530) und Mappa Europae (1536). In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with illustrations. The 1550 edition contains cities, portraits, and costumes. These editions, printed in Germany, are the most valued of the Cosmographias.

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