Martellus draws Ptolemy

A de luxe Renaissance atlas containing Ptolemy's Geography in Latin translation has just shown up online. The maps are as beautiful as any from the period. Here's Cyprus, Palestine and Syria:

These hand-drawn illuminations are believed to be the earliest surviving maps from the cartographer Heinrich Martellus Germanus and although the manuscript is not explicitly dated, are thought to have been drawn in 1480 in Florence. The Latin translation is by Iacopo d'Angelo da Scarperia.

The codex dates from the period when the West was rediscovering the 2nd-century scientist Ptolemy.
Curiously, Ptolemy's work had impressed his contemporaries with its detail, but failed to trigger any cartographical revolution at the time, perhaps because his ideas were too difficult for antique or late antique students to fully grasp. My forthcoming paper in Amsterdam in July will be touching on that topic.

In all, 41 manuscripts came online over the past week at the Vatican Library. Here is the full list:
  1. Barb.lat.62,
  2. Ross.115,
  3. Ross.299 (Upgraded to HQ),
  4. Ross.307 (Upgraded to HQ), Decretum
  5. Ross.308, Decretum
  6. Ross.317,
  7. Ross.339,
  8. Ross.366,
  9. Ross.373,
  10. Ross.375,
  11. Ross.381,
  12. Ross.382,
  13. Ross.383,
  14. Ross.387,
  15. Ross.397,
  16. Ross.423 (Upgraded to HQ),
  17. Urb.lat.1291,
  18. Urb.lat.1522,
  19. Urb.lat.1577,
  20. Urb.lat.1685.pt.1,
  21. Urb.lat.1685.pt.2,
  22. Vat.lat.2475,
  23. Vat.lat.2489,
  24. Vat.lat.4114,
  25. Vat.lat.4665,
  26. Vat.lat.4694,
  27. Vat.lat.4699,
  28. Vat.lat.4716,
  29. Vat.lat.4717,
  30. Vat.lat.4724,
  31. Vat.lat.4728,
  32. Vat.lat.4731,
  33. Vat.lat.4739 (Upgraded to HQ),
  34. Vat.lat.4744,
  35. Vat.lat.4746 (Upgraded to HQ),
  36. Vat.lat.4757,
  37. Vat.lat.4763,
  38. Vat.lat.4768,
  39. Vat.lat.4771,
  40. Vat.lat.4773,
  41. Vat.lat.7289, beautiful Renaissance codex, Latin translation of Ptolemy's Geography, see above
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 204. Thanks to @gundormr for harvesting. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

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