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A 16th Century Italian Rarity

Highly detailed early map of the Holy Land, based upon an earlier map by Claudio Duchetti.

The important cities and noted with the buildings represented and the different episodes mentioned in the Bible are explained.  The four cities in the Dead Sea are shown burning. 

The title translates as, "A true and large description of the Promised Land, from Dan to Beersheba."

The map is printed with two plates and oriented with East at the top and shows the shoreline of Palestine from Gaza to Sidon. Laor notes:

Although the title claims to be a true description, there are many errors in the location of the places. The important cities with the buildings are represented and the different episodes mentioned in the Bible are explained on the map. In the Dead Sea, the cities are shown as burning.

The Sienese publisher and printer Matteo Florimi (1540-1615) was a prolific publisher of engravings, mostly of an allegorical or religious nature, as well as producer of maps. He employed artists of the caliber of Agostino Carracci, Cornelius Galle and Pieter de Jode and commissioned drawings from Andrea Boscoli.

The map includes pictorial markers of cities, battles, burial places, churches and Roman baths, along with many illustrative points and scenes of interest based on Biblical and historical descriptions with Latin captions, such as:

  • In the south: Two spies sent by Moses carrying grape clusters
  • Towards the north: Joseph placed in the pit by his brothers
  • In the east: The angel touching Jacob’s thigh

Notable use of color in the of capital cities of Jerusalem and Damascus, and the burning ruins of thr four cities submerged in the dead sea.


The map is very rare on the market.  This is only the second example we have ever seen on the market.

Condition Description
Two sheets, unjoined.
Bifolco/Ronca #195.