The large manuscript map of Switzerland and its surroundings (approx. 1565) by Aegidius Tschudi
Cartographica Helvetica 32 (2005) 3–16
Aegidius Tschudi (1505–1572), known foremost as a historian, is considered to be one of the pioneers of Swiss cartography. His representation of the liberation tradition in his Swiss chronicle has shaped and influenced Swiss consciousness well into the 20th century. The only known copy of the map Nova Rhaetiae atque totius Helvetiae descriptio, which first appeared in 1538, has been preserved in the second edition of the work which appeared in 1560. For the first time the entire area of what was later known as Switzerland was shown on a single map. During half a century this map was considered the best representation of this area and was therefore recut or re-engraved many times.
However, Tschudi was still not satisfied. Among the hand-drawn maps found in his estate there were six combined sheets whose relationship has only come to light recently. Walter Blumer had already used three of them in his redrawn map of Tschudi's manuscript. The other three maps form the upper half of a north-oriented manuscript map of Switzerland and its surrounding, called 'Large map of Switzerland', whose southern half seems to be lost. For the area of the Free State of Burgundy the landscape description by Gilbert Cousin and the map of the Duchy of Savoy by Gilles Boileau de Bouillon have been secured.