Girolamo Ruscelli; 1504-1566.
A Venetian humanist and editor of fame, Ruscelli is mostly known for
his 1561 edition of a Ptolemy's Geographia. This atlas was
re-edited a number of times, specially in 1562, 1564, 1574,
1598 and 1599. For this purpose, he used slightly larger versions
of the maps Giacomo Gastaldi's compiled in 1548 for his own
It is generally assumed that Alessio Piemontese (Alexius Pedemontanus), was his pen name for the immensely popular book "The Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont" which was published in more than a hundred editions and was still being reprinted in the 1790s. The book contributed to the emergence of the concept of science as a key to the secrets of nature, leading eventually to the Scientific Revolution.
Isola Spagnola nova.
This map (9 5/8" X 7 1/16") was originally engraved with a
map of Cuba on the same copper plate for the 1561very rare
first edition of "La Geografia di Claudio Tolome". Once printed,
the two maps would be separated and inserted in the book to
illustrate respectively chapter #33 (Isola Cuba) and #34 (Ysla
Espaniola nueva). Hence, the plate mark of both maps runs
off the top of the page. Starting in 1574, new individual
plates were engraved, which lasted until the last edition
It shows exactly the same details as depicted in the 1548
Gastaldi map. In particular La Isabela on the northern coast
(town established, in 1493 by Colombus on his second trip,
to replace the ruined La Navidad which had harbored the 40
crewmen he could not take home after the wreckage of the Santa
Maria the year earlier). La Isabela was in turn abandoned.
In 1496 the town of Nueva Isabela was founded on the south coast. After being destroyed by a hurricane, it was rebuilt on the opposite side of the Ozama River and called Santo Domingo. It is by long shot the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas
continually occupied till today).
Italian text on verso.