By: Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1574 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 7.25 x 10.25 inches (18.42 x 26.04 cm) plate size
This is a fine example of Ruscelli’s map of India on trapezoidal projection, issued for an Italian edition of his work La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino. It is based on the work of Ptolemy and Giacomo Gastaldi, and depicts India and the land mass south and westward from China as it was perceived by many cartographers at the time.
The map covers a vast area starting from the Ganges River in the west, extending to China, Burma, Vietnam and the China Sea. It extends from the Himalaya Mountains in the north south to the tip of the Malay Peninsula and back to the west, suggesting the view held by many, beginning with Ptolemy, that the Indian Ocean was landlocked. A number of river systems and mountain ranges are depicted and many cities are named.
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 slight fading of the border in lower center. Descriptive Italian text on the verso.
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