THIS IS THE FIRST printing of the earliest example of a map of the world, called a “T–O Map” because of its symbolic design. The design had great religious significance, with the “T” representing the central Christian symbol of the cross and placing Jerusalem at the center of the world. The “T” also separated the continents of the known world—Asia, Europe, and Africa—and the “O” that enclosed the entire image, represented the medieval idea of the world surrounded by water.

Isidore, Bishop of Seville. Etymologiae (Etymologies). Augsburg: Guntherus Ziner, 1472. Vollbehr Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

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T-O Map of the World