Close XYL-20 Etzlaub, Erhard: Rom Weg Map

 [Germany (Nuremberg), before 11 Aug. 1500; impression post 1550?]. Woodcut with German inscriptions.

 Edition I. The Rom weg map, which is orientated with south to the top and with Nuremberg positioned programmatically at the centre, provides an accurate overview of the pilgrim routes to Rome from all parts of the Holy Roman Empire and some way beyond, extending as far west as Narbonne and Paris, to Scotland (but not England and Ireland), Denmark (as far as Viborg) and southern Sweden (Skåne ‘Schon’) in the north, to Gdańsk, Cracow, Budapest (‘ofen’) and Montenegro in the east, and to the heel of the Italian peninsula and Corsica in the south. The four seas to the south-east, south-west, north-west, and north-east are identified as ‘Das venedisch mer’ (Adriatic Sea), ‘Das lampartisch mer’ (Ligurian Sea). ‘Das groß deutsch mer’ (North Sea), and ‘Das pomerisch mer’ (Baltic Sea). The principal pilgrim routes are marked in as lines of dots, each of which stands for a German mile, and begin at Nieuwpoort at the mouth of the Yser near Oostende, Utrecht, Marburg, Bremen, Ribe in northern Denmark, Rostock, Gdańsk, and Cracow; a further route leads on to the Chiesa della Casa Santa in Loreto south of Ancona. Mountains, forests (most notably the Bohemian forest encircling Prague) and rivers are all marked in, the latter sometimes named. Several hundred towns are indicated by a small circle and identified by name, the most important towns and pilgrimage centres being marked out by pictograms with towers, gates, or a church. The map is framed by a border, double-lined to left and right, treble-lined at top and bottom, within which are inscribed the names of the points of the compass (‘Mittag’ for south at the top, ‘widergang’ for west to the right, ‘Mittenacht’ for north at the bottom – wanting in the Bodleian copy – and ‘Aufgang’ for east to the left), in the upper border the title of the map ‘Das ist der Rom.weg von meylen zu meylen mit puncten verzeychnet von eyner stat zu der andern durch deuczsche lantt’, in the left-hand border the latitudes from 41 to 58 degrees in arabic numerals, in the right-hand border the number of daylight hours in the longest day measured in quarters from 15¼ at the latitude of Narbonne to 18 at the latitude of Skåne and Viborg, and in the lower border a ruler for measuring distances in German miles. A panel at bottom left contains six lines of text with instructions for calculating distances, using a compass and the ruler, and for converting local systems into German miles (incipit: ‘Wer wissen wyl wye fer von einer Stat . . .’). Bottom centre is a circular compass with arabic numerals 1–12, in a panel to the right six lines of text with instructions for the use of the compass (incipit: ‘Nach dem Compast zu wandern geschigt also Den prief legt man . . .’). The map was devised and executed by the Nuremberg cartographer Erhard Etzlaub, probably to meet the needs of pilgrims to Rome in the holy year of 1500. The most recent publications date it to shortly before 11 Aug. 1500 on the basis of a reference, plausibly interpreted as being to a copy of this map sent to a friend as a novelty, contained in a letter from Sebald Schreyer to Konrad Celtis (Schanze, ‘Romweg-Karte’). There is no positive evidence for an earlier dating. The map was originally accompanied by a Register, printed as a broadside with movable type and attributable to a follower of Kaspar Hochfelder now known as the ‘Printer of the Bannholtzer broadside’ [Nuremberg 1500] (unique copy in Munich BSB; Einblattdrucke, 813). Edition I is distinguished from edition II, which is an exact copy, on the basis of minimal differences in the text and the representation of the towns by small circles rather than dots. One of ten recorded copies of edition I, the others in Copenhagen KglB, Dresden SB (now lost), Göttingen SB, Harvard HoughtonL (formerly Vienna), London BL, Munich BSB, Nuremberg GermNM, Paris BnF, and Washington NatGal; see Miedema, ‘Erhard Etzlaubs Karten’, 121–2; Griese (in preparation).

ills. Schramm XVIII no. 720; I. Kejlbo, ‘“Das ist der Rom-Weg . . .” Første moderne vejkort. Udarbejdet af mercatorprojektionens pioner Erhard Etzlaub’, Geografisk Tidsskrift, 63 (1964), 28–42, plate after p. 120 (Copenhagen copy); H. G. Pollard and A. Ehrman, The Distribution of Books by Catalogue (Cambridge, 1965), fig. 9 (Bodleian copy); Field, Washington, ill. 281 (Washington copy); Campbell, ‘The Woodcut Map’, ill. 1 (Munich copy), 2 (Harvard copy); Campbell, Maps, ill. 48 (London copy); Cartographia Bavariae: Bayern im Bild der Karte, Ausstellungskataloge Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 44 (Weißenhorn i.B., 1988), 27 ill. 9 (Munich copy, colour); Focus Behaim-Globus, exhibition catalogue of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum 1992/3 (Nuremberg, 1992), II 663 (Nuremberg copy); Continental Shelf, 31 (Bodleian copy); Miedema, ‘Erhard Etzlaubs Karten’, ill. 2 (Munich copy); Spätmittelalter am Oberrhein. Alltag, Handwerk und Handel 1350–1525. Katalogband, exhibition catalogue of the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe (Stuttgart, 2001), II/1, 120 ill. 221 (Göttingen copy).

refs. E. Rosenthal, ‘The German Ptolemy and its World Map’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 48 (1944), 135–47; H. Krüger, ‘Des Nürnberger Meisters Erhard Etzlaub älteste Straßenkarten von Deutschland’, Jahrbuch für fränkische Landesforschung, 18 (1958), 1–286; F. Schnelbögl, ‘Life and Work of the Nuremberg Cartographer Erhard Etzlaub (†1532)’, Imago Mundi, 20 (1966), 11–26; Continental Shelf, 30 no. 7; Field, Washington, no. 281; T. Campbell, ‘The Woodcut Map Considered as a Physical Object. A New Look at Erhard Etzlaub’s Rom Weg Map of c.1500’, Imago Mundi, 30 (1978), 79–91; F. Machilek, ‘Kartographie, Welt- und Landesbeschreibung in Nürnberg um 1500’, in Landesbeschreibungen Mitteleuropas vom 15. bis 17. Jahrhundert, ed. H.-B. Harder (Cologne and Vienna, 1980), 1–12; T. Campbell., ‘Erhard Etzlaub’s Rom Weg Map: A Postscript’, Imago Mundi, 33 (1981), 71; Campbell, Maps, 59–67; Cartographia Bavariae 383 no. 2.2; N. Miedema, ‘Erhard Etzlaubs Karten. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Kartographie und des Einblattdrucks’, Gb Jb 71 (1996), 99–125, ill. 2 (Munich copy); F. Schanze, ‘Zu Erhard Etzlaubs Romweg-Karte, dem Drucker Kaspar Hochfelder in Nürnberg und einem unbekannten Drucker in der Nachfolge Hochfelders’, Gb Jb 71 (1996), 126–40; U. Lindgren, ‘Die Grenzen des Alten Reiches auf gedruckten Karten’, in Bilder des Reiches, ed. R. A. Müller, Irseer Schriften, 4 (Sigmaringen, 1997), 31–50; Griese (in preparation).

copy Chancery sheet. 404 × 293 mm (woodcut 402 × 290 mm). Chain-lines horizontal. Watermark: Monogram (?) with ‘quatre-de-chiffre’ in a shield. The watermark is as yet unidentified, but the ‘quatre-de-chiffre’ device suggests that the paper came from Lorraine, in particular from the Vosges, and most likely dates from the second half of the sixteenth century; see Briquet II 513 nos 9807–52, with three examples from the period 1524–42, all the rest 1561–1610; J.-M. Janot, Les Moulins à papier de la région vosgienne (Nancy, 1952), I 49–51 (earliest example 1550). Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Uncoloured. Folded into four. The verso is clean, with only a little staining at top right. The Ehrman-Bodleian copy has been described as a relatively early impression, despite the loss of the the inscription ‘Mittenacht’ in the margin outside the lower border (probably, but not necessarily, already missing in the block), but the watermark evidence makes it more likely that this copy, perhaps like that at Harvard, was printed from the original block in the later sixteenth century. See also the discussion of Rosenthal’s correspondence concerning the Washington and London BL Library copies by R. Field. Campbell associates this impression, on the basis of a number of small defects due to damage to the block, with those in London and Paris.

refs. Rosenthal, ‘The German Ptolemy and its World Map’; Continental Shelf, 30 no. 7; Field, Washington, no. 281 note 1; Campbell, ‘The Woodcut Map’, 84.

Binding: Mounted on card, and kept together with Ehrman’s blue cloth-covered portfolio inscribed: ‘das ist der rom wegerhard etzlaub nürnberg’. 416 × 312 × 8 mm. Now kept in a cardboard folder made for the Bodleian.

Provenance: Erwin Rosenthal (1889–1981), bookseller, at that time in Berkeley, California. Albert Ehrman (1890–1969); armorial book-plate; purchased in 1954 from Art Auctions for £575; ledger no. ‘R 1263’. Presented in 1978 by John Ehrman.

shelfmark: Broxb. 95.24.