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1598 Edition of Ptolemy's Geography
An excellent example of Rosaccio's improvement on Ruscelli's Ptolemy, adding contemporaneous knowledge and interpretations and extensively reworking the copperplate-engraved maps with decorative sea monsters and ships. Four new maps have been added since the previous edition, which had been published in 1574. Many maps have been updated, for example, the double hemisphere world map now has a large southern Terra Australis, occupying a vast portion of the globe.
This is the sixth edition of Ruscelli's Ptolemy, and the fourth to be published in Italian. The volume contains two parts, the first of which is in eight books and the latter of which in four.
This work was written as the sun set on Ptolomy's millennia-long domination on the studies of geography. Recognizing this, the work compares Ptolomy's geography to "modern" geography. The first section provides a full account of Ptolomeic geography, detailing coordinates for hundreds of localities, including cities, mountains, and supposed historical features. This section includes twenty-seven maps, and any superfluous descriptions and discussions of Ptolomeic geography are limited to the twenty pages of bridge text between the two sections. The second part, comprising four books, touches on more modern concepts of geography. This section includes thirty-seven maps and includes detailed descriptions of the regions of the world. These two sections are ordered similarly, allowing for easy comparison between the two schools of thought. As such, this work provides a fascinating look at how concepts regarding world geography were changing during the 16th century.
Title page with the signature of Andrea Buonuciavi (sp?), written in a 19th-century? hand. Early ink manuscript in Italian on the final blank.
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