By: Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1574 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 7 x 9.5 inches (17.75 x 24 cm)
This is a fine example of one of the most intriguing maps of the 1500s, the “Zeno Map.” Based on the explorations and journal of Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, this map depicts the northern Atlantic region of the world extending from Scandinavia west to Greenland.
The Zeno brothers’ voyage supposedly took place in 1380 when they discovered the islands of Frisland, Greenland, and Icaria. Of course Icaria and Frisland are now known to have never existed, yet they are depicted in the map with detail. Frisland even show to contain numerous cities and towns throughout the island. The lands to the west, Estotiland and Deogeo were never actually visited by the Zeno brothers; however they were included in this map based on fisherman’s tales who included descriptions of natives similar to the American Indians as well as visits by other Europeans. If any of these fisherman’s tales are true, these lands may reflect reports of early exploration of the New World.
Though the original Zeno journal is widely accepted as near complete fabrication, many have used the Zeno account as a basis to actual geography and the accompanying map were ultimately very influential in mapping the North Atlantic. Girolamo Ruscelli’s map is based directly on the map issued with the original Zeno journal published in 1558 and it is the first obtainable version of Zeno geography.
Condition: Map is in A+ condition displaying a fine impression on clean paper with full margins
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