Mapmakers of the Historic
Lithuanian Area:
The founder of the French school of cartography (and of a mapmaking family) was a prolific
mapmaker, producing over 300 maps during his career. Originally a military engineer, he turned
to cartography with the encouragement of publisher
Melchior Tavernier, who was impressed
with Sanson's map of ancient Gaul, as was Cardinal Richelieu in 1627. Nicholas wound up giving
lessons in geography both to Louis XIII and  to Louis XIV. When Louis XIII, it is said, came to
Abbeville, he preferred to be the guest of Sanson instead of occupying lodgings provided by the
town. At the end of one visit the king made Sanson a counselor of state.  In 1643 Sanson began
publishing his own maps, and later worked with the publisher Pierre Mariette. His 1658 "Cartes
Generales de toutes les parties du monde" had 113 maps compiled by Sanson and engraved/
printed by Pierre Mariette, each having half the copyrights, with separate imprints on the maps.
The 1665 edition had 166 maps, the 1666 181, and the 1667 edition had 200 -- including 17 maps
by Nicholas' son Guillaume.
Sanson, Nicholas [I], [Sanson d'Abbeville]: 1600 - 1667. Worked
originally in Abbeville, then in Paris
Sanson, Nicholas [II]: 1625 - 1648
Son of Nicholas I, and his intended heir -- prevented by Nicholas II's death from gunshot wounds. Three known works, the most
notable of which was "L'Europe..." a  c1648 12-map compilation, engravings by A. Peyrounin, republished by Mariette in 1660,
and 1665; augmented with 40 additional maps -- and engraved by A.B. de la Place -- by Pierre Moullart-Sanson in   1697; other
editions were published in Frankfurt in 1679, and a Dutch edition in 1683.
Sanson, Guillaume: 1633 - 1703
Younger brother of Nicholas II, who, after Nicholas' II's death, succeeded to the family business with his younger brother
Adrien (1639-1718). After disagreements with Pierre Mariette II c1673, began working with
Alexis-Hubert Jaillot. The   
two brothers -- who collaborated until 1689 -- updated and reworked their father's maps, and produced several new maps    
and atlases, most notably the "Atlas Nouveau," begun in 1670 and published in 1681.
Sanson, Pierre Moullart (Moulard): died 1730
Son of Francoise Sanson -- the third child of Nicholas I -- and Pierre
Moulart. Appointed "Geographe du Roy" in 1695 -- the  third in the   
family to hold the title, after Nicholas I and Guillaume. In 1692 he bought
the remainder of the plates from his    uncles Guillaume and Adrien, and
republished them in an atlas, incorporating some of his own work to
replace the plates lost to Mariette. He was succeeded by three friends,    
the lawyer Jean Fremand, the priest Jacques-Simon Perrier, and
Robert de Vaugondy
, who later bought the remaining plates from
Strubicz (Strobicz), Maciej: c1520 - c1604
Silesian (Polish) historian and Royal; Geographer to King Stefan Batory. He prepared Magni Ducatus Lithuaniae, Livoniae et
Moscoviae descripto," his only surviving map, drawn c1581, published 1589 (by M. Kromer, in "Polonia sive in situ...").  A
later, improved, version was used by Mercator in 1595. Details from:  
Polish Museum
"Prince Michał Radziwiłł "the Orphan", son of Mikołaj "the Black," was voivode of Troki and Vilnius. Around 1585, he    
began co-ordination of the work on a Grand Map of the Duchy of Lithuania...Among others, he hired the King Stefan   
Batory’s  cartographer Maciej Strubicz the Silesian, or "Slązak." Earlier, Strubicz began work on editing and re-working
maps of the territories subject to the King of Poland, particularly the map of Lithuania. A Mercator map, the best available
presentation of Lithuania and Livonia at that time, was not satisfactory. The amount and quality of the data on that part    
of the Kingdom required devotion to the work on that map exclusively, which was Strubicz's intention. Correspondence
between Strubicz and Chancellor Jan Zamoyski, in which the cartographer asks Zamoyski for support in obtaining from   
the King materials relating to the Duchy of Lithuania, proves that the work on the maps was well advanced in 1579: "I am
positive that there exists a more reliable and precise description of those Lithuanian Lands, made in the times of war,
without which I started my work, but am not able to complete it, I would be much obliged to Your Excellency for Your
support to my earlier pledge to His Majesty the King, to lend me for a short time such description of the Grand Duchy of

Strubicz's own descriptions of Lithuania did not meet his requirements as materials for the new map. Such was probably  
also the case with the map for which he was asking, as in all likelihood it was the work by Stanisław Pachłowiecki,
engraved in Rome, and made on the basis of data and materials collected during the Polock military campaign. Although
being the first example of military cartography in Poland, the map did not meet Strubicz's expectations. Therefore, the
cartographer finally decided to work in co-operation with Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł, hoping that the latter's energy and
spirit of enterprise may lead to the publication of a highly accurate map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as planned. As    
the starting point for research, Strubicz began collecting his own earlier works which he has been drawing since his
appointment to the Royal Chancellery in 1559. Diligent and precise as he was, Strubicz probably was not the sole author     
of the map; it must have been a result of team work.…Judging by surprisingly precise location of places where Jesuit
colleges were, it seems that members of that order were involved in the work. Radziwiłł maintained close relations with    
the Society of Jesus, and even built a college for Jesuits in his hometown Nies'wież. The sciences were held in great esteem
among members of that order, so in all probability, many measurements were made with state-of-the-art instruments and
based on mathematical and astronomical calculations. It is known that the outstanding Jesuit mathematician, Englishman
Jacob Bosgrave, was visiting Lithuania at the time when the map was created; some sources say that he was the founder  
of the mathematical department of Vilnius Academy. It seems therefore probable that Bosgrave contributed to the work    
of the editorial team, which was perhaps headed by the Prince himself. Bosgrave could have commissioned some work   
with his students at the mathematical department, as he was very complimentary about them in his letters to General of  
the order Claudius Aquaviva.

An analysis of Radziwiłł's correspondence allows the assumption that the Prince sought assistance in the work on the map
with Lithuanian, Belorussian and perhaps even Ukrainian magnates, and also with personalities at the Court. This clever
strategy allowed the enterprising Prince to make use of various influences and support to execute his ambitious task in
minute detail. One of such mighty assistants could have been voivode of Kiev, prince Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, to whom
Radziwiłł wrote in order to collect data on the lower course of the Dnieper."
Draftsman, editor, who may have worked in Naples and Venice. He completed a manuscript edition of Ptolemy's "Liber
geographiae cum tabulis et universalis figure" ("Geographics") (27 maps on vellum) c1490, and edited another edition,
published in Venice, 1511: the title and headlines were printed in red, the text And 28 woodcut maps were printed in red and
black -- the first Venetian Ptolemy, called a pioneering achievement not only in terms of the history of bookmaking and
printing, but also for the presentation of new geographical information. Sylvanus amended Ptolemy's maps to take account of
modern discoveries, and in printing the major place-names in red provided the earliest example in Atlas production of
two-colour printing. The large cordiform (heart-shaped) map of the 'modern' world is the earliest of its kind, and only the
second map in an edition of Ptolemy to show America; it is also the first western printed map to indicate Japan. By challenging
and tentatively correcting the Ptolemaic view of the Old World, Sylvanus established a new freedom for his contemporaries to
deviate from the classical Ptolemaic world-view.
Sylvanus (Silvanus, Sylvano), Bernardo (Bernardus, Bernardi
: born Eboli, Italy
1511 Bernardus Sylvanus: "World," in cordiform projection. (See a detail image of Europe on
the "1500 - 1575 Lithuanian Area Maps" page.)
Speed, John: c1552 - 1629; born Frandon, Cheshire; died London
Renowned historian and mapmaker, known primarily for his "Historie of Great Britaine," for  which he compiled an atlas with
county maps and inset plans of English towns. But his "A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World," published by
George Humble in 1627, was thought to be the first printed general atlas of the world published in Great Britain, and was
reissued under a variety of publishers until 1676
Seutter, Matthäus (The Elder): 1678–1757, born and died in Augsburg,
Seutter was an engraver, globe-maker and publisher. In 1697 he went to Nuremberg and apprenticed  as
an engraver to Johann Baptist Homann. Ten years later he returned to Augsburg to establish his   own
map publishing house, which became a primary competitor to Homann. Most of Seutter’s maps were
copies of earlier work done by the Homann and Delisle firms – only about 40 were based on  original  
work. On his death the business was carried on by Tobias Conrad Lotter, his son-in-law and a master
engraver for the firm.
"Estats de la Couronne de POLOGNE ou sont les
Royaume de Pologne, Duches de Provinces de
Prusse, Cuiavie, Mazovie, Russie noire &c, Duches
de Lithuanie, Volhynie, Podolie &c, de l'Ukranie &c."
1655 First
state of  
Sanson plate
1679 Sanson-
1703 Sanson