Inclitae Bernatum urbis delineatio chorographica – Thomas Schoepf's text for his map of the Canton of Bern (1578)
Cartographica Helvetica 47 (2013) 27–36
The map of the Canton of Bern drawn up by physician Thomas Schoepf (1520–1577) and published posthumously in Strasbourg in 1578 is well-known and highly esteemed. This, however, is not the case for the description of the same region that Schoepf left in writing. This Latin text, unpublished for political reasons and preserved only in manuscript form, has been little studied so far and is considered comparatively uninteresting. The present article tries to show that this neglect is unjustified. Schoepf's text possesses high value as a source of historical geography and stands on a par with his map. To demonstrate these assertions, the three manuscripts known so far are presented. Next, the text contents are summarised and its make illustrated with some excerpts from the dedication and the description. Following a concise characterisation and appraisal, further ways to make the text accessible are discussed.