Scarce third state of Ruscelli's map of Sicily, Sardinia and Malta is one of the earliest obtainable modern maps of the region.
The map is based upon Gastaldi's miniature map of 1548 and 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.
The third state can be distinguished by the addition of a sailing ship and sea monsters in the Mediterranean and a horse-like creature in Sardinia.
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.