Martin Waldseemüller made two world maps to accompany his book, the Cosmographiæ Introductio (Introduction to Cosmography). His maps and book are evidence of his thought.

About his life, little is known. Waldseemüller was born in the village of Wolfenweiler, near Freiburg, sometime between 1470 and 1475. The family moved to Freiburg in 1480 or 1481, and his father, Conrad, became a member of the city council in 1490, the same year that Martin became a student at Freiburg University. At Freiburg he studied cosmography with Gregor Reisch, compiler of the Margarita Philosophica (Pearl of Wisdom), first published in Basel in 1503.

Sometime between 1490 and 1500 he worked in Basel, Switzerland, where the skilled printer Johann Amerbach introduced him to the art of printing woodcut illustrations. During this time he also searched for manuscripts to be used for a revised edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia.

About 1505 Waldseemüller moved to France, to the town of St. Dié in the Vosges mountains, and the site of a Benedictine monastery.

map of strassbourg

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