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 asumed 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
Tabula Europae II.
This trapezoidal map (10" approx X 7 1/8") is a remake of
the 1482 Francisco Berlinghieri map by the same name.
The present item was designed in 1561, it was printed for
the 1574 issue of Geographia.
Its amazingly archaic coastal delineation is due to the source
material. Notice also the quasi comical hydrography (the Ebro
River empties in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean.).
Some towns are easy to identify: Barcinon, Taracon, Valetia,
Cartago Nova, Selambina, Corduba, Complutica, Pampelon; nowadays
respectively Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia, Cartagena, Salobrena,
Cordoba, (Espinoso de) Compludo, Pamplona.
Others have changed names; Ilerda, Valeria, Ispalis, Emerita
Augusta, Balsa, Lancobriga; nowadays: Lerida, Cuenca, Sevilla,
Merida, Tavira, Santa Maria da Feira.
Notice also the strait of Gibraltar "fretum herculeum" marked
with a column (in ancient times the straits were known as
the "Pillars of Hercules").
Italian text on verso: explanations of the Ptolemy partition
of the Peninsula in only three provinces: Hispania (or Aragon),
Lusitania (or Portugal), and Betica (or Granada); and list
of their main cities.