Of course, by the end of the fifteenth century, Europeans had better geographic information about their own continent than was included on the century and a half old Ptolemaic maps. It is interesting that in many of the same atlases which included Ptolemaic maps, the publisher also included a “modern” map of the same place. The map above, showing Spain as understood by Sebastian Munster—one of the greatest cartographers of his day—was issued in the same 1542 atlas as the previous Ptolemaic map. This map was issued when Spain was entering its period of greatest glory, not long after the Reconquista of 1492 and during the reign of Charles I, also ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
To see a selection of maps of Spain, visit The Philadelphia Print Shop West's web site.