Bernard Wapowski (1475-1535) a Polish cartographer, is credited with the first contemporaneous map of Poland in 1526. He was born in Wapowce near Przemyśl, but virtually nothing is known of his early life. While in Rome as part of Erasme Ciołk's Polish Embassy between 1505 and 1506, he produced his first map of Poland. He enjoyed influence there, gaining introduction to the Pope and the protection of Cardinal Peirre Jules II. Wapowski stayed in Rome for several years at the Court of the Holy See where he worked on his map of Jagellonian Poland, based on Nicolas de Cuse's 1491 map. He is thought to have drawn the Ptolemaic maps covering Poland and Kievan Rus for the 1507 and 1508 Rome Ptolemies. By 1526 Wapowski was secretary to the King Sigismund the Old. At that time, he producd a map of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the assistance of Nicolaus Copernicus, with whom he studied at the University of Kraków under Albert Brudzewski. The 1526 map would be Wapowski's most important: it was the first large-scale, detailed, contemporaneous map of Poland. Wapowski's maps are now all lost except in a few surviving fragments. Despite this, his work was powerfully influential in the 16th century, providing the basis for the mapping of Poland and Hungary by Münster, Ortelius, Mercator and others. He is underdstood to have had assistance from Nicolaus Copernicus. The astronomer also learned from Wapowski during their longtime friendship, producing his own map of Prussia in 1510. Wapowski also wrote a continuation of Jan Długosz's History of Poland.

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