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1574 Gallia Nova Tabula

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By: Girolamo Ruscelli

Date: 1574 (published) Venice

Dimensions: 7.4 x 10.4 inches (18.8 x 26.4 cm)

This splendid Ruscelli map is from his work La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino.  Ruscelli based much of his work on that of Claudius Ptolemy and the atlas maps of Giacomo Gastaldi. This map focuses primarily on the territory including the Lowlands, and part of what would eventually become modern day France. Some regions of German, Italy, Spain, and Cornwall and a portion of England are also included.

Cities are depicted with miniscule fortresses, castles and religious edifices, sized according to the population and importance of each city. Mountains, including the Pyrenees, are depicted beautifully. River systems are denoted. Large bodies of water are stippled. There is descriptive Italian text on the verso.

Girolamo Ruscelli (1500-1566) was an Italian cartographer, polymath, humanist and editor, active in Venice during the early 16th century. Ruscelli is best known for his important revision of Ptolemy's Geographia, published posthumously in 1574.

Claudius Ptolemy (85-165 CE), a Roman citizen of Greek descent from Alexandria, was the most influential of Greek astronomers and geographers of his time. He propounded the geocentric theory of the solar system which was to prevail for the next 1400 years.

Giacomo Gastaldi (c.1500-1566) was an Italian astronomer, cartographer and engineer from Villafranca in Piedmont. Many of Ruscelli’s maps are essentially enlarged versions of some of Gastaldi’s maps.

Condition: This map is in A- condition. Minor thinning of paper in top margin near centerfold and fading in upper right quadrant. Otherwise a well-inked, crisp impression. 

Inventory #11805

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