Holy Land Barbier and Courteau 1578

Catalog Number 46236
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Barbier and Courteau

Short Title:

Barbier and Courteau

Full Title:

"Terrae Sanctae Descriptio Non Solum Ea Continens Loca, De Quibus A Quatuor," et al (Description of the Holy Lands, not only those places visited by Jesus Christ but also Judea, Samaria and Upper and Lower Galilee).


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). This map is a leaf of early printing from a First Edition Biblia Sacra, printed by the prolific Thomam Guarinum at Basil in 1578. 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 of the Holy Lands is drawn after Barbier and Courteau’s Geneva Bible of 1559, as well as Guillaume Rouille’s later 1569 Biblia Sacra, Lyon. 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 x 20.5 cm. approximately (7 x 8 in.)


This scarce black and white woodblock presents the "Holy Land" or "Land of Canaan" extending from Gaza in the South to Sidon in the North, "Mare Mediterra" (Mediterranean Sea) in the West to "Ammonit." (Land of the Ammonites, East of the Jordon River) in the East. Two ships appear in the Mediterranean Sea. As per the title, this map includes the area of Jesus Christ’s travels as well as Judea, Samaria and Upper and Lower Galilee. Title, geographic locations and cardinal directions use French (lakes) as well as Latin terms (as opposed to Barbier and Courteau’s French version) such as Septentrio, Oriens, Meridies and Occidens (North, East, South, West) are found within the map borders. Orientation finds Septentrio (North) at the top. Calibrations within the East and West neatlines of 32 and 33 degrees, and the North and South neatlines of 66 and 67 degrees are further reduced into increments of 10. Additional bodies of water include "Iorda: FL" (Jordon River), "Lac Genezar" (Lake of Gennesaret or Sea of Galilee), "Lac Gadara" (perhaps mistaken for Sea of Galilee) and "Lac Samachonit." (Bahr-el-Houleh).Commentary at the top of the map relates the subject material to the Book of Matthew. Verso is blank. Left edge slightly wrinkled from folding. Tear on lower right edge.


Adams B1086; Delano-Smith and Ingram, p. 91, 5.2/1; Calvin Vol. I. 2.10; Laor 1569; Broer, 4476; Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers Revised Edition Vol. (K – P), pp.453-454; Delumeau and O’Connell
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