1712 Wells Map of Northern Italy and Southern Italy in Antiquity
Description: This is a charming 1712 map of the northern Italy and southern Italy in antiquity by Edward Wells of Oxford. Essentially two maps on a single sheet, the top map depicts the northern part of Italy from Lake Geneva (Lake Lemanus) to Volterra (Volaterrae). The lower map covers the southern part of Italy from Salerno (Salernum) to Reggio (Rhegum) and includes the northeastern part of the Island of Sicily. Both maps identify important cities and towns and uses ancient names throughout. The Roman districts of Umbriae, Veneti, Etruriae, Carni, Gallia, Cisalpina, Liguria, etc. on the upper map and Siciliae, Brutii, Apuliae, Graecia, etc. in the lower map are also noted. During the first centuries of Imperial Rome, Italia was the territory of the city of Rome rather than a province, and enjoyed a special status such that the armies of military commanders were not allowed into the region.
A decorative cartouche appears on the top left quadrant of the map featuring the coat of arms of the Duke of Gloucester. This, like many other Wells maps, is dedicated to Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and son of Queen Anne, who, when this map was being prepared, was a student at Oxford. Engraved by Sutton Nicholls and published by T. Bonwicke for the 1712 edition of Edward Wells' Atlas, A New Sett of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography.
Date: 1712 (undated)
Source: Wells, E., A New Sett of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography, (London, T. w. Bonwicke) c. 1712. A New Sett of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography was published by Edward Wells in various editions between 1701 and 1730. The publication contained some 40 maps all of which were dedicated to Prince William, Duke of Gloucester. Wells tutored the young prince at Christchurch, Oxford and seems to have developed a close relationship with him. At just 11 years of age, William died in 1700 and never had the opportunity to see the published work that he inspired. The atlas was intended for educational purposes with a focus on school use.
Cartographer: Edward Wells (1667 - 1727) was an English mathematician, geographer, and classical scholar based at Christ Church College, Oxford. Well's was trained for the ministry but quickly found himself unsuited to religious life and instead applied for an academic position at Oxford, where he authored numerous well respected works on a wide range of mathematical and scientific topics. He was chosen to tutor the young Prince William, the sickly son of Queen Anne. The two must have been quite close for Well's dedicated nearly all of the maps in his most important atlas, A New Sett of Maps both of Ancient and Present Geography. Sadly, he young prince died in July of 1700 shortly before the atlas was published. Nonetheless, Wells' geography proved popular and was published in number editions well into the 1730s. Click here for a list of rare maps by Edward Wells.
Size: Printed area measures 15.5 x 19.5 inches (39.37 x 49.53 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 1850000
Condition: Very good. Original platemark visible. Some wear and creasing along original fold lines. Narrow margins. Corners show rusted paper clip stains.
Code: GalliaCisaldina-wells-1712 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)