By: Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1574 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 7.4 x 10.4 inches (18.8 x 26.42 cm) plate size
This interesting 16th century map is from Ruscelli’s 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. The map depicts a region of Italy on the coast of the Gulf of Venice of the Adriatic Sea, an area known for its numerous excellent ports, Ancona being one of the finest even in antiquity.
The ancient port city is perched on the ‘elbow’ of Italy, and is famous for having one of the finest natural harbors in all of southern Europe. The Ancona area has been inhabited since at least Paleolithic and Neolithic times. It is first noted in history as having been founded in the 4th century BCE by Greek colonists from Syracuse, who named the city, which is now the capital of the Marche region of Italy. Annual feasts are held in the province during harvest time. The Marche region contains the densely forested Conero Regional Park, where black truffles grow in abundance.
Inland the region depicted is quite rugged, with mountain ranges covering most of the area, and with river systems shown in some detail. Cities, ports and towns are denoted. 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 with areas where the impression is a bit lighter than in others, suggesting uneven pressure to the plate as it was being engraved.
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