A Modern Depiction of the World, Done by Philippus Eckebrecht, Citizen of Nuremberg, for the Sole Reason of Bringing the Depiction into Line with the Equator According to the Astronomical Tabulae Rudophinae: Financed by Ioannes Kepler and Engraved at Nuremberg by J. P. Walch


Although dated 1630, this “modern depiction of the world,” by Philippus Eckebrecht appears to be a later reprinting. It is dedicated to Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, who came to the throne only in 1658. The map was originally produced at the behest of astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) to reflect his new calculations of longitude and latitude based on planetary observation. First published in 1627, Kepler’s astronomical tables were vastly more accurate than any previously existing. Framed by the two-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, the map’s design reflects the way in which in the 17th-century science was enlisted to serve political ends. The central hemisphere focuses on Europe, which is located over the eagle’s body, while the eagle’s wings span the entire globe. The imperial symbolism was used on Habsburg maps of the period and was an allusion to wars in the west with France and in the east with the Ottoman Empire. The central meridian runs through the Danish island that was home to the 16th-century observatory of Kepler’s mentor, the astronomer Tycho Brahe. When Kepler succeeded Brahe as Imperial Mathematician in Prague under the reign of Rudolf II, he relied on Brahe’s data to finalize his own calculations, known as the Rudolphine Tables.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Philippus Eckebrecht, Nuremberg


Title in Original Language

Noua orbis terrarum delineatio singulari ratione accommodata meridiano tabb. Rudolphi astronomicarum / Philippus Eckebrecht civis Norimbergensis ; sumptus faciente Io. Kepplero ; sculpsit Norimbergae J.P. Walch


Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 engraved map on sheet, 44 x 72 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:100,000,000

Last updated: September 18, 2015