Claudius Ptolemy, “Tabula Asiae VII.” From La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo. Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1574. 7 1/2 x 10 1/4. Engraving. Image is somewhat dark but otherwise in good condition. Latin text on verso.
A four and a half century old map from Giordano Ruscelli’s La geografia di Claudio Tolomeo. This is a fine example of the Ptolemaic depiction of Central Asia, the region east of the Caspian Sea. Ptolemy’s Geographia is perhaps the most influential work on geography ever published. It introduced the notions of longitude and latitude, of scientific plotting, of a northerly orientation, and most importantly, it preserved the ancient understanding of the world. When Ptolemy put together his Geographia in ca. A.D. 150, this area of Central Asia was quite well known so the depiction is quite accurate. Settlements are shown, and rivers and some indication of interior mountains is given.