The authors have broken new ground in this study of a long overlooked subject. They examined more than 800 editions of 16th century bibles (including multiple copies for some editions) and found maps in 176 cases. The maps were chiefly in Protestant editions and linked to the theology of the Reformation.
The introduction places the maps in historical and cultural context. Part One describes maps in bibles by subject: Eden, Exodus, Canaan, the Four Kingdoms, Holy Land, Eastern Mediterranean, Jerusalem, and world. Each subject begins with a brief essay and is followed by map listings. Illustrations follow each group of maps. The authors state (page 1) that the descriptions "are not intended to meet the requirements of a full carto-bibliography (complete titles are not always given, for instance) but rather to serve as a means of identifying and tracing the use of individual maps, including multiple copies and states." Perhaps lack of full descriptions was intended to save space; however, it may create difficulties for readers using the book for bibliographic purposes, as searching is sometimes needed to find details of individual maps. For example, titles, when given, are contained in blocks of descriptive text which may take up the better part of a page.
Part Two is bibles with maps, grouped by language. Each entry provides cross-references to maps in Part One, as well as comments. This is followed by an eleven-page index of maps much of which seems to duplicate listings in Part One. There are four more indexes which will be helpful. These are chronological, printers and publishers, place of publication, and other names (artists, cartographers, etc.). Despite some peculiarities of organization, this book contains a great deal of new material and is recommended.
Jon K. Rosenthal, 1994
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