The 27 traditional Ptolemaic maps, enriched with 37 new ones, including two maps of the Arabian Peninsula

Ptolemaeus, Claudius. La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino, nuovamente tradotta di Greco in Italiano, da Girolamo Ruscelli, con espositioni del medesimo [...].

Venice, Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1561.

4to. 3 parts in one vol. (8), 358, (2), (56) pp. (= 28 double-page maps of the ancient world); (56), (72) pp. (= 36 double-page maps of the modern world); 47, (49) pp. A total of 64 double-page engraved maps. Contemporary limp vellum with hand-lettered blue spine label; wants ties.


First edition of Girolamo Ruscelli's Italian translation of Ptolemy's "Geography": "a new and important edition in Italian, with a new series of maps" (Stevens). Apart from the 27 traditional Ptolemaic maps, this edition boasts 37 new ones, including three maps of the world, showing the earth according to the description of Ptolemy ("tutta la terra conosciuta fin' à tempi di Tolomeo") and as it was viewed after the discovery of America ("Tavola universal nuova", in two hemispheres - "the first time that such a representation had been used in an atlas", Shirley 110), with a separate navigation map ("carta marina nuova tavola"). Among the "new" maps, the most remarkable ones are those of India, South-East Asia and of America, offering some of the earliest depictions of the newly-discovered continent; other maps include Arabia, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and North and South Africa. Ten of the old Ptolemaic series show Europe, four show Africa, and twelve Asia. Most of the maps are based on the Gastaldi maps from the 1548 Venice edition made by Giulio and Livio Sanuto, but maps not found there include Scandinavia (after Jacob Ziegler, 1532); Brasil (after Ramusio); the Arctic regions; South Africa; and the navigational chart of the World (Shirley 111).

Title-page a little stained and remargined in the lower corner. A few insignificant lower edge flaws to the first quires. Printed on strong paper, all maps in stark, excellent impressions. A fine copy in its first binding.


Edit 16, CNCE 38126. BM-STC Italian 543. Adams P 2235. Shirley 110f. Alden/Landis 561/42. Burden 29-31. Norderskiöld Collection 2:216. Stevens p. 50. Phillips (Atlases) 371. Le Gear 5915. Sabin 66503.