Detailed map of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Isles at the time of the Roman Empire.
Zatta's map provides a cartographic representation of the Iberian Peninsula that delineates its division into three main Roman provinces: Tarraconensis, Lusitania, and Baetica. Published in Venice, this map serves as a record of the 18th-century Enlightenment interest in antiquity. Its detailing of ancient divisions and settlements offers a glimpse into the Classical understanding of geography superimposed upon the cartographic advancements of the late 18th century.
Historically, the late 18th century was a period of burgeoning interest in the study of antiquities, fueled by the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment. While the focus was often directed towards the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, there was also an increasing interest in the Classical divisions of European territories.
The map strives for accuracy in the representation of the Roman provinces, a feat not trivial during a period when archaeological methods were far from standardized. It demarcates the boundaries of Tarraconensis, Lusitania, and Baetica and includes significant geographical features and ancient place names.
From Zatta's monumental Altante Novissimo, one of the last great decorative atlases of the 18th Century.
Antonio Zatta (fl. 1757-1797) was a prominent Italian editor, cartographer, and publisher. Little is known about his life beyond his many surviving published works. It is possible that he was born as early as 1722 and lived as late as 1804. He lived in Venice and his work flourished between 1757 and 1797. He is best known for his atlas, Atlante Novissimo (1779-1785), and for his prolific output of prints and books that were both precisely made and aesthetically pleasing. Zatta clearly had a large network from which to draw information; this is how he was able to publish the first glimpse of the islands visited by Captain Cook in the Atlante Novissimo. Zatta also published books of plays and architecture.