Ruscelli's Ptolemaeic map of Sicily, Sardinia and Malta is one of the earliest obtainable maps of the region. Based upon Gastaldi's miniature map of 1548, it shows remarkable topographical and geographical detail for the period. This example is the first state of the map, from Ruscelli's 'La Geographi di Claudio Tolomeo', first published 1561. A fine example of the first state of the map, with an unusually dark crisp impression.
Girolamo Ruscelli (1500-1566) was a cartographer, humanist, and scholar from Tuscany. Ruscelli was a prominent writer and editor in his time, writing about a wide variety of topics including the works of Giovanni Boccaccio and Francesco Petrarch, Italian language, Italian poetry, medicine, alchemy, and militia. One of his most notable works was a translation of Ptolemy’s Geographia which was published posthumously.
There is limited information available about Ruscelli’s life. He was born in the Tuscan city of Viterbo to a family of modest means. He was educated at the University of Padua and moved between Rome and Naples until 1548, when he moved to Naples to work in a publishing house as a writer and proofreader. He remained in the city until his death in 1566.