Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account
Stock# 92158

The First Atlas of Italy.

Fine and crisp example of Giovanni Antonio Magini's atlas of Italy, a remarkable compendium of 61 maps showing all the parts of Italy in fine and beautiful detail.

Magini's opus was the defining cartographic text on Italy of the period. The atlas displays a high level of craftsmanship, being expertly engraved and carefully compiled from the most accurate sources. His work opens with a fabulous engraved title page, his portrait, and an introduction, before giving way to the maps. The first map is of Italy, while the rest focus on individual regions, covering the entire peninsula as well as its islands.

This is the third edition of the atlas, published in 1642. Its creator, Giovanni Antonio Magini, was well-regarded as a cartographer, but he is perhaps most famous for being chosen instead of Galileo to occupy the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna.

History of Publication

Magini first conceived of and started work on his atlas in 1594 but experienced a number of issues with publishing his work. The first engraver employed by Magini was Arnoldo di Arnoldi, but di Arnoldi was quickly lured away by the better wages offered by Magini's rival, Matteo Flroimi, in Siena. His brother Jacobo replaced him, but then went to rejoin Arnoldo, only to find that his brother had already died. Jacobo returned to continue working for Magini, but then left for the Netherlands in 1603 when he became ill.

Magini replaced the di Arnoldis with the extremely talented Benjamin Wright, who, despite his brilliance, was a difficult alcoholic. Magini had to pay for copper plates that Wright had pawned not once, but twice. Somehow, Wright managed to engrave the sixty-one plates as well as Magini's wall map of Italy, but not before Magini's death.

The first edition of this work would appear in 1620 and would be published by Magini's son Fabio Maginiand printed by Sebastian Bonomi. The second edition was published in 1632, by Clemente Ferroni, while the third edition was published by Niccolò Tebaldini.


  1. Collectors stamp to title from L. Haria
  2. Ex libris Giorgio di Veroli. di Veroli born in Rome and graduated from the Technical School of Zurich. He became general manager of the Banca Commerciale of Milan in 1928. He emigrated to the United States and was a representative of the Banca Commerciale on Wall Street. He was a noted collector of rare Italian books. Veroli died in 1952.
  3. Italian-language booksellers cataloging with listed price of $60.00.

List of Maps

  1. Italia Ansica di Cl. Tolomeo.
  2. Piemonte, et Monferrato.
  3. Stato del Piemonte.
  4. Signoria di Vercelli.
  5. Ducato del Monferrato con parte del. Piemonte.
  6. Liguria, Ostato della Republica di Genova.
  7. Riviera Di Genova da Ponente.
  8. Riviera di Genova di Levante.
  9. Corsica Isola, olim Cyrnus.
  10. Stato di Milano
  11. Parte Alpesre Dello Stati di Milano, con il Laggo Maggiore di Lugano e di Como.
  12. Ducato, Overo Territorio di Milano.
  13. Territorio di Pavia, Lodi, Novarra, Tortona Alessandria.
  14. Territorio di Cremona.
  15. Ducato di Mantova
  16. Ducato di Modena Regio et Carpi
  17. Ducato di Parma et di Piacenza
  18. Dominio Veneto Nell' Italia
  19. Territorio di Bergamo
  20. Territorio di Brescia et di Crema
  21. Polesino di Rovigo
  22. Territorio Trevigiano
  23. Il Bellune se Con Il Feltrino.
  24. Territorio Cremasco [Single-page]
  25. Territorio di Verona.
  26. Territorio di Vicenza
  27. Territoriano Padovano.
  28. Il Cadorino. [Single-page]
  29. Patria del Friuli olim Forum Iulii
  30. Istria, olim Iapidia.
  31. Territorio di Trento.
  32. Stato del la Chiesa
  33. Ducato di Ferrara
  34. Piano del Territorio di Bologna
  35. Parte Alpestre del Territorio Bolognese.
  36. Romagna olim Flaminia.
  37. Marca D'Ancona olim Picenum.
  38. Territorio Prugino.
  39. Territorio di Orvieto.
  40. Umbria, Overo Ducato di Spoleto.
  41. Patrimonio di S. Pietro, Sabina, et Ducato di Castro.
  42. Campagna di Roma Olim Latium.
  43. Dominio Fiorentino.
  44. Territorio di Siena
  45. Elba Isola olim Ilua. [Single-sheet]
  46. Al'Sermo. Sri. Franio Mara. Feltrio dalla Rovere. Duca d'Urbino &c.
  47. Stato della Republ. Di Lucca.
  48. Regno di Napoli.
  49. Abruzzo Citra, et Ultra.
  50. Abruzzo Ulteriore Regione del Regno di Napoli
  51. Terra di Lavoro Olim Campania felix.
  52. Contado di Molise & Principato Ultra.
  53. Capitanata Olim Mesapiae, et Japigiae pars.
  54. Principato Citra olim Picentia
  55. Terra di Bari et Basilicata
  56. Terra di Otranto Olim, Salentina & Iapigia.
  57. Calabria Citra, Olim Magna Graecia.
  58. Calabria Ultra Olim Alterra Magnae Graeciae Pars
  59. Ischia Isola, olim Aenaria
  60. Isola di Sardegna
  61. Regno di Sicilia
Condition Description
20th-century half-vellum binding with marbled boards. Red morocco pastedown to spine reading "G. A. Magini | Italia | Bononia | 1620." Pastedowns to first blank and collectors stamp to title. Complete with 61 maps. Several discrete repaired tears internally, and minor abrasions to a few maps, but otherwise fine.
Giovanni Antonio Magini Biography

Giovanni Antonio Magini was an accomplished Italian cartographer, astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician—in short, a Renaissance man. Born in Padua, he studied philosophy in Bologna. His first publication was Ephemerides coelestium motuum, an astronomical treatise published in 1582. In 1588 he was selected, over Galileo Galilei, to fill the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna. He died in that city in 1617.

Magini operated under a geocentric understanding of the universe and created his own planetary theory consisting of eleven rotating spheres. He published this theory in Novæ cœlestium orbium theoricæ congruentes cum observationibus N. Copernici (Venice, 1589). In the 1590s he published works on surveying and trigonometry, as well as invented a calculator. In 1596, he published a commentary of Ptolemy’s Geographia, which was published in several editions and languages. He labored for years on an atlas of Italy, which was printed posthumously in 1620. To pay for this project, Magini served as the math tutor to the son of the Duke of Mantua, as well as being the court astrologer to the Duke.