Item #1429 Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europiana et de contentis in eis. Maciej Miechowita.
Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europiana et de contentis in eis.
The First Accurate Description Of Eastern Europe

Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europiana et de contentis in eis.

Kraków: [Sigmund Grim, Marx Wirsung], August 4, 1518. Second edition. In later paper. Title in figural woodcut border. Woodcut initials throughout. (58) p.; a6, b-g3 [last blank not present]. Title page slightly over-trimmed with a little effect to the woodcut border. Some leaves are artistically restored at the gutter. A brown stain to the lower margin of A6, with no effect on the text. Water stain to the gutter of the final quire, and a small stain to the margins of the last two leaves with no effect on the text. Overall a firm copy in very good condition.

The first accurate geographical historical and ethnographical description of Eastern Europe.

Miechowa’s work provides the first systematic description of the lands between the Vistula, the Don and the Caspian Sea, Russia, Ukraine, and Tartaria, or Ptolemy’s Sarmatia Asiatica and Sarmatia Europea. Tractatus is also the source of the earliest authoritative information about the Rus’ people and the Cossacks.

The Tractatus is dedicated to Stanislav I Thurzo, bishop of the Bohemian town Olomouc, and divided into two books of which the first and longer is concerned with “Sarmatia Asiana”. It gives definition and description of the different Western Asian peoples and their territorial expansions, which includes the Goths, Alans, Vandals, Swabians, Hungarians and the Tartars among them the Cossacks and Nogais people. The second book centers on “Sarmatia Europiana” and describes the parts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuania and Samogitia) and Muscovy and the regions, the Scythian territories (Perm, Baskird, Iuhra, and Corela). Maciej Miechowita (Miechów or Miechowa; 1457–1523) was a Polish historian, astronomer, and physician, the author of the first printed history of Poland, Chronica Polonarum (1519). His treatise, Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis Asiana et Europiana et de contentis in eis was first published by Jan Haller, also in Cracow, a few months before the present second edition (on October 31, 1517). Soon after its publication Tractatus gained such popularity and recognition among the European cosmographers, historians, travelers, and politicians to become a milestone in the shift of the concept of the Eastern Europe topographies, languages, and cultures.

VD 16 M 5188; USTC 698846; Wierzbowski 948

Bibl.: Piechocki, K. N.: Discovering Eastern Europe: Cartography and Translation Maciej Miechowita’s Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis (1517). In: Facca, D., Lepri, V. (ed.): Polish Culture In the Renaissance: Studies In the Arts, Humanism and Political Thought. Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2013. pp. 53–71.; Piechocki, K. N.: Erroneous Mappings: Ptolemy and the Visualization of Europe’s East. In: Tylus, J., Newman, K. (ed.): Early Modern Cultures of Translation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. pp. 76–96.


Price: €40,000.00

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