Girolamo Porro after Giovanni Magini. “Tabula Asiae III.” From Geographiae Universætum Veteris tum Novae.
Cologne, 1597. Printed by Peter Keschedt. 4 7/8 x 6 5/8. Engraving. Full margins.
From Giovanni Magini’s edition of Ptolemy’s Geography, a fine example of the Ptolemaic depiction of a region in Asia Minor. When Ptolemy put together his Geography in ca. 150 A.D., regions around the Mediterranean were well known and depicted with great accuracy by the head librarian at the Alexandrian Library. There is much detail of interest, showing rivers, ‘kingdoms,’ and the hint of a sea monster in the Caspian Sea. Of particular note is the fact that this map, based on information a millenium and a half old, was issued in the same atlas as a very current Porro map. The publication of both the old-Ptolemaic and the new rendition of each part of the world was a common practice in the sixteenth century, and is a wonderful reflection of the culture and world-view of that period.