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Ptolemy's World

Tour of Maps

1503

Figure from the Ptolemy map printed in the Margarita Philosophica

In 1503, Gregor Reisch created a map based on Ptolemy that had one intriguing feature.

One of the windhead figures wears eyeglasses.

The figure is taken from the Ptolemy map printed in the Margarita Philosophica by Gregor Reisch (Freiburg: Joannes Schott, 1503). While eyeglasses were apparently invented in Italy, the inventor is not known for certain. Some authorities have said that they were invented by Salvino d'Amarto, who died in 1330. So far as is known, this is their first appearance on a map.

World map from Ptolemy, Geographia 2

World map from Ptolemy, Geographia. Freiburg: Joannes Schott, 1503.