Double-page coloured engraved map. The map is titled "MARIS PACIFICI" and it depicts north and south America and Pacific islands, including New Guinea, the Phillipines, Japan and Australia. On the reverse is a page of black printed Latin text titled "MARE PACIFICVM". The map has a vertical fold line down the middle.
Maris Pacifici Map collection
'Maris Pacifici' was the first published map of the Pacific Ocean and reveals the limited knowledge of the region gained from Magellan's initial voyage of discovery in 1519 and the subsequent voyages up the west coast of the Americas. Large cartouches obscure the southern and northern portions of the map, covering those areas about which least was known and providing spaces for continuing speculation about the existence of a Great South Land and a North West passage. When James Cook embarked on the first of his three Pacific voyages in 1768, the maps at his disposal contained little additional information to that found in the 'Maris Pacifici', and the charting of the southern and northern Pacific, still unknown nearly 250 years after Magellan's voyage, would be his aim.