America

Read the Transcript
This map is a map of America by, uh, Ruscelli. He is a 16th Century mapmaker. This is heavily annotated, and so it is fun to look closely at both what is set forth as North America and also what is South America, and to compare the names of that day with those of the, uh, present. So, one can find, by looking closely, Florida. The islands of Cuba and Hispaniola are there, as are literally dozens and dozens of other locations. It’s all a little congested, but it’s beautifully engraved with all the flourishes that Ruscelli was known for, and, uh, again, in pretty good condition for a map that’s more than four-and-a-half centuries old.

 

 

For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1700142

Tierra Nueva

Read the Transcript
This map is entitled “Tierra Nueva” which is a rendering by, uh, Ruscelli of the east coast of the, uh, North American continent. Again, it’s very hard to match what you see here with what might be found on a current modern-day map. In the lower left-hand corner, Florida appears – not clear what Florida’s real shape is, but it’s at least indicated. Uh, and then there is a potpourri[1] of different islands, or would-be islands, up in the vicinity of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and, uh, and Maine. There’s a lot of speculation that there were water passages in and around and behind, uh, what one sees on the coast. Much of that was speculative. One fun thing about this map is that it shows the prototypic version of the island of Manhattan. Well, it’s not shown as an island. It is shown as a peninsula with the label “Angouleme,”[2] but that, as reflected on later maps, is what the, uh, mapmakers of the day thought of what, at the time, was considered an island- I mean, a part of the mainland, but obviously is, uh, is an island, the most built-upon island, perhaps, in the world.

[1] Potpourri can be defined as “a miscellaneous collection” or “medley.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potpourri Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

[2] “On January 17, 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano, (1485-1528) in command of La Dauphine, became the first European to enter New York Harbor, during a voyage sponsored by King Francis I of France. […] Francis I (1494-1547, King of France 1515-1547) was the son of Charles of Orleans. Prior to Francis’ ascension to the throne, he had been known as Francis of Angouleme. In the King’s honor, Verrazano named the harbor ‘Angouleme’ and reported to Francis: I ‘Called [the harbor] Angouleme from the principality which thou attainedst in lesser fortune…’” http://www.newyorkmapsociety.org/FSAngouleme.html Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

 

 

For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1678261

Isola Cuba nova

Read the Transcript
This map is a map of the island of Cuba. It was done by a mapmaker by the name of Ruscelli in the middle of the 16th century – roughly 1565 – and it includes, in addition to Cuba, if you look down below, you will see of the island of Jamaica rendered as well and then in the lower right-hand corner, the very westernmost tip of the island of Hispaniola. This island or this – well it is an island, Cuba is an island, is again a 16th-century mapmaker’s best effort and, uh, one can find if you look closely, at least where the bay is, where Havana is located on the Northern side of the, of the island. Ruscelli was famous for maps of this era and this is an excellent specimen in very good shape for a map that was made more than 400 years ago.

 

 

For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1691625