Ptolemaic map of the region between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea showing Babylon and Mesopotamia as well as several ancient religious sites. The base of the Caspian Sea, also named the Hyrcanian Sea, is at the top of the map. Armenia is in the upper left, and the Arabian Desert is named in the lower left. Major mountain ranges, rivers, and cities are shown.
The map first appeared in the 1561 Ruscelli edition of Ptolemy's Geografia.
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.