Giovanni Antonio Magini (1555-1617)

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A native of Padua, Magini was the first Italian to prepare a printed atlas of his native country although it was only completed and published three years after his death by his son, Fabio. The maps were based on those of Gastaldi, Vavassore and others and many were engraved by Benjamin Wright, the noted English engraver who was specially commissioned to carry out the task.

Magini also edited a new edition of Ptolemy's Geographia with maps engraved by Girolamo Porro.
1596-1621 Ptolemy's Geographia. 1620 Italia Atlas of Italy Containing about 55-60 maps
The Ptolemy maps were taken from the text of Claude Ptolemy (AD 87 – 150) a Greek mathematician, astronomer and geographer, living in Alexandria, assembled and codified his predecessors' cartographic theories including those of Marinus of Tyre (c. AD 120) to whom he was especially indebted.
In about AD 150 he published his Geographia, a work in 8 volumes, supposedly illustrated with a world map, 26 regional maps and a profusion of smaller maps. Although the text of the Geographia survived, no maps older than about the twelfth century have come down to us and, in consequence, we have no means of knowing whether the 'Ptolemy' maps on which we set so much store were, in fact, drawn by him or were the interpretations of later map makers using his text as a basis.

Giovanni Antonio Magini

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