Decorative Ptolemaic map of Africa with an unusual shape, tapering to a point in the south. It comes from Heinrich Bunting’s Itinerarum Sacrae Scripturae, and is based upon the map of Africa by Sebastian Münster which appeared in 1540.
The Nile is represented according to Ptolemy, with two lakes and the Mountains of the Moon serving as its source. Bunting’s map, however, offers a fascinating deviation from that of Münster in that is also depicts a third large lake – Nidilis lacus – located in Central Africa as a third source for the Nile.
Cities and kingdoms are noted, including the mythical kingdom of the Christian king Prester John. On an island in the Nile we see Meroe, which archaeological excavations have revealed to be part of the capital city of the ancient Nubian Kingdom of Kush.
The stylized wavy seas are dotted with islands, the largest of which, Zaphala, would appear to represent Madagascar.