Atlas of Borso d’Este

Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Ms. Lat. 463 (α.X.1.3)


+39 333 9860 410

Illuminated Facsimiles

Atlas of Borso d’Este

Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Ms. Lat. 463 (α.X.1.3)

Alternative titles
Atlante di Borso d’Este – Atlas des Borso d’Este.
Physical features
Codex on parchment, dimensions 450 x 310 mm, 256 pages.
The original binding has been lost. The Biblioteca Estense has provided the manuscript with a natural calfskin cover.
Italy, 15th century (1466).
The atlas was acquired in 1466 by Borso d’Este (b. 1413, d. 1471), the first Duke of Modena and Reggio and later of Ferrara. It was dedicated directly to him by its author, the German cosmographer and astrologer Nicolaus Germanus (b. ca. 1420, d. ca. 1490).
Present repository
Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Ms. Lat. 463 (α.X.1.3).
Treatises / Secular booksGeography / Maps.
The manuscript contains the Geography (Ancient Greek: γεωγραφικὴ ὑφήγησισ) by Claudius Ptolemy (b. ca. 100, d. ca. 170), in the version translated into Latin by the Italian humanist Jacopo Angelo da Scarperia, better known as Jacobus Angelus (b. ca. 1360, d. 1411). Jacobus Angelus chose the title Cosmography for his translation to convey the idea of Ptolemy’s geographical conception, in which earthly and celestial geography combine to form the same cosmos. Nicolaus Germanus – the author of the manuscript – accompanied it with the traditional 27 double-page geographical tables, renewed with the adoption of the trapezoidal projection. The first of the 27 maps depicts the ecumene, the subsequent ones illustrate the individual terrestrial regions then known, preceded by an explanatory text on the verso.
27 geographical maps.
Nicolaus Germanus.
Italian Renaissance.

Data sheet: Il Bulino edizioni d’arte



L’Atlante di Borso d’Este. Cosmographia di Claudio Tolomeo

Publisher – Il Bulino edizioni d’arte (Modena, 2006), by concession of the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria.
Series – Ars Illuminandi.
Limited edition – Unique and exclusive edition of 499 numbered and certified copies.
Type of reproduction – Colour reproduction of one or more portions of the original document: the facsimile contains the 27 full-page geographical maps of the original manuscript; the text is reproduced in reduced size in the commentary volume.
Binding – The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian, with an abstract in English. Essays by Mauro Bini, Laura Federzoni, Annalisa Battini.
Slipcase – Facsimile and commentary volume are housed in an elegant blue canvas slipcase.
ISBN – 88-86251-53-x.

Copyright photos: Il Bulino edizioni d’arte

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Il Bulino edizioni d'arte