Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino Tradotta di Greco nell’Idioma Volgare Italiano da Girolamo Ruscelli


16th century Venetian edition of Ptolemy in contemporary vellum binding.

Date: 1599
Place: Venice
Dimensions: 22.8 x 17.8 cm (9 x 7 in)
Condition Rating: VG+

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Superb sixteenth-century Italian edition of the great achievement of the classical geographer Ptolemy, bound in contemporary vellum and titled in ink on the spine. To Ptolemy’s important advances the 16th century editors have included “modern” maps showing Renaissance discoveries and new geographical concepts. The atlas is notable for its detailed mapping of the Americas but also for four maps which demonstrate in some detail contemporary perceptions of a southern continent, which are notable for the enormous, if largely spurious, changes that had been made from the 1574 edition of the same work.

This edition was edited by Giuseppe Rosaccio and published by the heirs of M. Sessa in 1598 and 1599.

The 69 double-page copperplate engraved maps include 27 Ptolemaic maps and 42 Renaissance maps. There are 4 world maps (including one Ptolemaic), 7 maps of America, 28 maps of Europe, 10 maps of Africa and 20 maps of Asia.

Rosaccio revised the Valgrisi copperplates of the earlier Ruscelli editions, augmenting them with five new plates, along with the addition of ships, sea monsters, trees, and additional place names.

An excellent example!


Girolamo Ruscelli

Girolamo Ruscelli (1518–1566) was an Italian mathematician and cartographer active in Venice during the early 16th century.

Giuseppe Rosaccio

Little is know about the life of Giuseppe Rosaccio (c. 1530 – 1620), a Venetian geographer and scholar.

Condition Description

Quarto. Three parts in one volume, with 69 double page copper-engraved maps, several woodcut diagrams in text; some occasional light toning and spotting.Contemporary vellum binding with ink lettering.Quite clean, no tears; binding tight with some soiling. Back bottom right corner of the corner with a small chip. Generous margins.


Shirley, R. W. Maps in the Atlases of the British Library, T.PTOL-10f/g;T.PTOL-12b; Shirley, R. W. The Mapping of the World, No. 110, 111, 133, 217; Burden, P.D. The Mapping of North America No. 86.