Johann Lauremberg (or Laurenberg) was a German scholar, mathematician and author of satirical works, who also published under the pseudonym of Hans Wilmsen L. Rost. Lauremberg studied medicine and literature (1613-1616). After finishing his studies, he travelled in several European countries such as Holland, England, Italy and France (1612-1617). In 1616 Lauremberg was proclaimed doctor of medicine by the University of Reims. Subsequently, he returned to his native Rostock, where he taught petry at the local university (1618-1623). From 1624 until his death he taught mathematics at the University of Soro, and was awarded a special decoration by the king of Denmark in 1623.
Lauremberg wrote several works, such as a dictionary titled “Antiquarius”, an epithalamium (“Venus navigans”), comical and satirical poetry in German, allegorical comedies, and poems in Latin as well as treatises on algebra, pedagogical works, and a topographic manual.
Lauremberg's first map was included in the great “Atlas” by W. & J. Blaeu (1623). In 1639, Christian IV of Denmark asked him to draw a large format map of the country; this project however could not be completed due to the oubreak of the war with Sweden. Lauremberg owes his fame as cartographer principally to his maps of ancient Greece, several of which were incorporated in the Atlases by J. Jansoon (1651), Blaeu (1662), Visscher (1717) and G. Horn (1740). His work in cartography was influenced by the maps of A. Ortelius and G. Mercator, as well as the editions by G.Fr. Camocio, (1571) και Τ. Porcacchi (1572).
The thirty-one maps of “Graecia antiqua” are available here in a reproduction of the uncommon first edition. Jansoon, the editor, was in possession of the maps, which he published after Lauremberg's death. The excellent engraving was realized in Jansoon's press, where engravers D. Van Brenden and S. Rogies worked. The maps are accompanied by historical and geographical texts written by Lauremberg himself, in which his erudition shines through.
Written by: Ioli Vingopoulou