1625. Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]

  • Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]
  • Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]
  • Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]
  • Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]

Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps] information:

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Mikrokosmos: A Little Description of the Great World [extra illustrated with maps]

A Well-Titled Travel Guide to the World

This is a great example of Heylyn's scarce Mikrokosmos, with added late 17th century maps. The text is fantastic and detailed, detailing not only the geographies of the various places described, but also their histories, customs, and cultures. Most of the added maps were produced by the prolific English cartographer Robert Morden.

The work is thorough and a trove of little-known information regarding the world. The history of the British Isles is extensive, with a strong focus on the Medieval history of the island and the building of the modern nation-state. While for the most part factual, Heylen's patriotism shines through in certain sections. Other interesting discussions abound, for example, the work includes sections regarding the etymology of China, Portuguese colonization efforts, and the history of Islam.

Peter Heylyn was an early- to mid-17th century English academic who was prominently involved in the political and religious conflicts of the era. His closeness with Charles I would lead to trouble during the Commonwealth, but he would be reinstated to his positions during the Restoration, rising to sub-Dean of Westminster. His monument remains in the abbey. Heylyn's most famous work would be the present Mikrokosmos, which he would publish in eight editions between 1625 and 1639. He would expand on this with his 1652 Cosmographie, an extensively detailed description of the known world, thought to include the first printed descriptions regarding California and Australia.

In addition to Heylen's text, the work includes several loose charts, detailing aspects such as the climates of the world and the length of the longest day in various cities. A bound-in manuscript note in a 17th-century hand provides further detail on Babylon, focusing on Leonhard Rauwolf's description from his travels.

Robert Morden's Cartography

Robert Morden was a British map and globe maker. Little is known about his early life, although he was most likely apprenticed to Joseph Moxon. By 1671, Morden was working from the Atlas on Cornhill, the same address out of which Moxon had previously worked. Most famous for his English county maps, his geography texts, and his wall maps, Modern entered into many partnerships during his career, usually to finance larger publishing projects.

Robert Morden's works included here dates to several decades after the publication of Mikrokosmos, indicating that they must have been bound in later (likely in the earliest 18th century). What is interesting is that most of these works, if not all of them, are taken from Robert Morden's atlas. Evidently, someone considered Morden's text not worthwhile and decided to incorporate his maps into the superior Mikrokosmos. The maps all relate to the various places that Heylyn describes, providing geographic context for the reader.

Two additional maps have not been ascribed. These are the map of the polar regions on the inside front cover and the map of Palestine.


  • [Polar Map]
  • A New Map of Hispania and Portugalia by Robt. Morden
  • France [by Robert Morden]
  • Savoy and Piedmont by Rob. Morden
  • Italia by Robert Morden at the Atlas in Conrhil London
  • The United Provinces vulgo Holland by Robert Moden
  • A New Map of Germany by Robt. Morden
  • Suisse by Rt. Morden
  • Denmark by Robt Morden at ye Atlas in Cornhil London
  • Sweden & Norway by Robt. Morden
  • Moscovie or Russie [by Robert Morden}
  • A New Map of Hungary by Robt. Morden
  • Grecia Novae Descritio Per Robt. Morden London
  • England by Robt. Morden
  • Wales by Robt. Morden
  • A Map of Canaan or Palestine as described by Hadrian Reland [Scarce]
  • A New Map of Persia by Robr. Morden
  • A New Description of Tartarie by Robt. Morden
  • A New Map of the Kingdoms of Fez & Marocco by R. Morden
  • Habessinia Seu Abassia at Ethiopia by R. Morden
  • Aegypt by R. Morden
  • Insula Iamaicae by Robt. Morden
  • The Islands of Barbados. By Robert Morden.
  • The maps are mostly later states from Morden's Geography Rectified, circa 1700.


    Collation: [16, including title], 1-628, unnumbered manuscript page, 629-812, [3]. Signatures: Title Page, ¶2-4, A-I⁴, K-T⁴, V, X-Ii⁴, Kk-Tt⁴, Vv⁴, Xx-Ddd⁴, Eee².

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    Item information:

    Year of creation:
    7902x5368 px
    Number of pages:
    Peter Heylyn.

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