Exodus Barbier and Courteau 1578

Catalog Number 46237
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Barbier and Courteau

Short Title:


Full Title:

”Hac Chorographia indicator quod iter ab exitu Aegypti populus Israelius,”(This Movement is indicative of the Exodus of the People of Israel from Egypt).


Contrary to Delano–Smith, who states that maps such as this, ”never appeared in vernacular Bibles printed in Germany,” (1990) this map is a leaf of early printing from a First Edition Biblia Sacra, printed by the prolific Thomam Guarinum at Basil in 1578 (Basil being part of the Holy Roman Empire to 1501 and continues to use German as its official language to date). The quarto size paper leaves measure 190 x 134 mm. in totality and contain 64–lines of Roman Type printed double column in Latin. This map is version 2.3, state 8, of a 1559 map first appearing in a French Quarto (Reformist) Bible issued by the Genevan printers, Barbier and Courteau. This state was originally used in P. Nuyt’s ”Dutch Bible” published in 1566 by Christophe Plantin, Antwerp. Subsequently, this map was then used in Guarinum’s (Vulgate) Biblia Sacra. Vulgate (Catholic) Bibles, such as Guarinum’s, rarely had maps included (Deumeau and O’Connell). The first use of a map in a Bible was a reduced version of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s ”Exodus” in Froschauer’s 1529 edition printed in Zurich, making this map a very early and rare example. It is one out of a 4 map set that, ”dominated ’reformist’ Bibles ”for forty–five years.” This Biblia Sacra (Vulgate– Catholic), however, contains three of the four reformist maps in the set with the addition of the Pre–Calvinist version of Paradise containing four rivers rather than Calvin’s two.

Size of Map:

18.5 x 21.8 cm. approximately (7.375 x 8.5 in.)


This scarce monochromatic woodblock presents ”The Exodus,” using italic and Roman lettering for Latin terms in addition to Dutch terms (ex: Seir Mot, Zin) as opposed to Barbier and Courteau’s French version. Directions using the Latin terms, Septentrion, Orient, Meridi and Occident (North, East, South, West) are found within the neatline, along with Longitudinal and Latitudinal lines and sub–divisions in numbers as well as alternating black and white block patterns. Orientation finds Septentrion (North) at the top. No Prime Meridian is indicated, no compass rose given. ”Heliopolis” in the bottom left has a reversed ”S” as ”Occident” has an inverted last letter. ”Horeb” and ”Sina” are mirror images. Bodies of water include ”Mare Mediterraneum” (Mediterranean Sea), ”Mare Rubrum” (Red Sea), and ”NIL FL.” (Nile River), and ”Zared Torrent” (a stream or brook said to have flowed into the Dead Sea, exact location uncertain). Verso is blank. Left edge slightly wrinkled from folding.


Adams B1086; Delano–Smith and Ingram ”Exodus” 2.3/8, 1990; Calvin Vol. I. 2.10; Laor 576; Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers Vol. (K – P), p.442; Delumeau and O’Connell, p.143, 2000; Catholic Encyclopedia, 2009;

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