1620 Magini Map of Southern Italy

Regno di Napoli.

1620 Magini Map of Southern Italy


Important highly decorative map from the first specific Atlas of Italy.

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Regno di Napoli.
  1620 (undated)    15 x 17.5 in (38.1 x 44.45 cm)     1 : 700000


A beautifully engraved 1620 map of southern Italy or the Kingdom of Naples by Giovanni Antonio Magini. Centered on the Gulf of Taranto, this magnificent decorative map covers from Rome northern Sicily and from Rome to Albania, inclusive of al of southern Italy. Sea Monsterds, mermen, sailing ships, and dragons abount throughout. The elaborate title cartouche bears armorial crests for 12 Italian cities.

Magini assembled this chart from various more regional cartographic work including Gastaldi's 1567 map of Publia, Bonifacio's 1587 Abruzzo, and Parisio's 1589 Calabria, Egnatio Danti's Vatican map paintings, and the unpublished atlas of Mario Cartaro and Niccolò Antonio Stigliola, among others. This map was engraved by Benjamin Wright. It was intended as part of Magini's magnificent atlas of Italy, Atlante geografico d'Italia, the first such conceived. Unfortunately, Magini died before his vision could be completed. His son, Fabio published the completed work in its first edition in 1620, three years later.


Giovanni Antonio Magini (June 13, 1555 – February 11, 1617) was an important 16th century map engraver, geographer, astrologer, astronomer and mathematician based in Bologna, Italy. Magini was born in Padua and studied philosophy in Bologna from 1579. He was a known correspondent of Ortelius, Mercator, Keppler, Brahe, and Galileo, among other Renaissance luminaries. In 1588 Magini was given was the chair of Mathematics at the Bologna University, a position for which he was given preference for over Galileo Galilei. There he developed his own geocentric planetary theory which he advocated in opposition to the propositions of Copernicus. Cartographically his most ambitious project was his Atlante geografico d'Italia  (Geographic Atlas of Italy), which was intended to include details maps of every Italian region with historical annotations. The project, the first national atlas of Italy, was innovative for its time. To raise money for the atlas, served the Gonzaga dukes of Mantua as judicial astrologer and as teacher of mathematics to the princes, for which he received roughly 400 ducats per year. Magini, unfortunately never saw the atlas published, as it was only issued posthumously by his son in 1620. He also issued multiple revised editions of Ptolemy's Geographiae. Magini died in Bologna in 1617.


Magini, G. A., Atlante geografico d'Italia (Italy: Fabio Magini) 1620.    


Good. Minor centerfold wear and repair. Minor loss and repair between Merman and Italy just south of the Bay of Taranto with minimal affect on printed area. Original platemark visible.


OCLC 494354977.