16th Century Tuscany
Third state of Ruscelli's map of Tuscany, from Ruscelli's Geographia, one of the earliest obtainable modern maps of Tuscany.
Ruscelli's maps are based on a set of smaller maps published by Giacomo Gastaldi in 1548, which included a number of modern maps, many of which are the earliest obtainable regional maps of the areas depicted.
The third state of the map includes a sailing ship, sea monster, and new topographical details at the top right section of the map.
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.