Johann Baptist Homann

Following the long period of Dutch domination, the Homann family became the most important map publishers in Germany in the eighteenth century.  The business was established by Johann Baptist Homann (1663-1724) in Nuremberg circa. 1702.  Soon after publishing his first atlas in 1707 he became a member of the Berlin academy of Sciences and in 1715 he was appointed Geographer to the Emperor. After the founder’s death in 1724, the firm continued under the direction of his son until 1730.  It was then bequeathed to his heirs on the condition that it continued to trade under the name Homann Heirs. The firm remained in being until the 19th century and had a wide influence on map publishing in Germany.

The Homman’s produced a Neuer Atlas in 1714, a Grosser Atlas in 1737, and an Atlas Maior with about 300 maps in 1780. They also issued a special Atlas of Germany with full sized plans of principal cities, school atlases and an Atlas of Silesia in 1750 with 20 maps.  Apart from the atlases, the firm also published a very large number of individual maps.

Jodocus Hondius and Henricus Hondius (son)

Jodocus Hondius 1563-1612, a native of Flanders, grew up in Ghent, apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584, to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries at that time, he fled to London where he spent some years before finally settling in Amsterdam about 1593. While in London period he came into contact with many of the leading scientists and geographers of the day.  He engraved many maps and atlases working with Pieter van den Keere, his brother-in-law. His exile in London brought him to international attention, including his selection by John Speed to engrave the plates for the maps in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in the years between 1605 and 1610.

In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator’s Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not faired successfully against Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Hondius added about 40 maps to Mercator’s original number and from 1606 published enlarged editions in many languages, still under Mercator’s name but with his own name as publisher. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/Hondius series. The following year the maps were reengraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor.

After the death of Jodocus Hondius the Elder in 1612, work on the two atlases, folio and miniature was carried on by his widow, Coletta van den Keere and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus (1587-1638) , and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson, Henricus’ brother-in-law in Amsterdam.

Johann Huebner

Johann Huebner (1668-1731) was a German geographer and scholar who taught by his own question and answer method. He was one of the first to teach the subject of geography in schools. His Questions and Answers to Geography, was published in 1693. His method using a system of letters on blank maps coded to a separate key list was employed in one of the earliest school atlases.

Huebner collaborated with the firm of Johann Babtist Homann in Nuremberg to publish the Atlas Scholasticus in 1732.