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Peter H. Meurer:

The history of the World Map by Johannes Kepler and Philipp Eckebrecht (1630/58)

Cartographica Helvetica 49 (2014) 27–38


Many copies of the Tabulae Rudolphinae (Ulm 1627) by Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) contain a World Map. However, a dedication to Emperor Leopold I implies that this map could not have been on the market before 1658. A recently discovered proof-copy from 1630 now allows the reconstruction of its complicated history.

Kepler must have started working on the manuscript map no later than 1626. Because of personal adverse conditions, the map was not finished when the Tabulae Rudolphinae were published in 1627. Kepler handed over his concept and material to his confidant Philipp Eckebrecht (1594–1667). By the end of 1630, the engraving of the map had been finished in Nuremberg. Because of the deaths of Kepler (1630) and the copper engraver Johann Philipp Walch (1631), the printing plate was not used. It seems that the coronation of Leopold I in 1658 was the reason this map was updated and subsequently published in this form for the first time.

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