Catalog Archive
Auction 190, Lot 574

"Tabula Asiae VIII", Ptolemy/Ruscelli

Subject: Central Asia

Period: 1561 (circa)

Publication: Geographia Cl. Ptolemaei Alexadrini...

Color: Black & White

9.6 x 7 inches
24.4 x 17.8 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

Claudius Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer and geographer who worked in Alexandria, then a part of the Roman Empire, in the 2nd century AD. One of the most learned and influential men of his time, his theories dominated both astronomy and geography for nearly 1500 years. His writings were kept alive by Arabic scholars during the Middle Ages and reemerged in Europe during the Renaissance. The birth of printing led to wide dissemination of his great works on astronomy and geography. There were a number of editions of his Geographia beginning in 1477. These early editions contained maps based on his original writings, known as Ptolemaic maps. As geographic knowledge increased with the explorations of Columbus, Magellan, Cabot and others, maps of the New World were added, and maps of the Old World were revised. Ptolemy's Geographia continued to be revised and published by some of the most important cartographers including Martin Waldseemuller, Sebastian Munster, Giacomo Gastaldi, Jodocus Hondius, and Gerard Mercator (whose last edition was published in 1730).

The ancient regions of Scythia Intra Imaum, Serica, Scythia Extra Imaum, India Intra Gangem, India Extra Gangem, and Sina Regio are distinctly divided by mountain ranges. This terrific Ptolemaic map covers these little known parts of Central Asia and Northern India with a few recognizable rivers and only a few place names. Latin text on verso, published in either 1561 or 1564.

References: Mickwitz & Miekkavaara #217-52.

Condition: B+

A dark impression with light printer's ink residue, and a handful of tiny wormholes and a hint of toning along the centerfold.

Estimate: $100 - $130

Sold for: $75

Closed on 11/16/2022