Sezione Storica – Fondo Cartografico Losardo – Sala IX (Tav. V)

  • Apuliae quae olim Iapigia nova corographia Calabriae descriptio (1592?) (Hall IX) (pl. V)

The plate (570×460 mm) is composed by two engravings. The one in the left side is attributable to G. Gastaldi and represents the Apuliae quae olim Iapigia nova corographia, with the East on top, without marginal graduation, lacking of a metric scale and with a vibrant use of colours. From the top, it represents Apulia (also known as Terra D’Otranto), Terra di Bari and Calabria. The map is marked by a dense hydrographic network, colourful territorial boundaries and toponyms that define an articulated mesh of settlements.

The engraving on the right is related to the Calabriae descriptio by Prospero Parisio, taken perhaps from the work of Ortelius, also without marginal graduation and with a 20-miles scale, characterized by vivid colours. It was included in the work of Ortelius because it was considered  pulcherrima et exactissima (beautiful and absolutely exact).

The map, dated around the end of XVI century, is one of the earliest and most detailed representations of Calabria, perhaps attributable to a second edition published in 1592, preserved also at the British Library of London and the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. The map was commissioned by the archaeologist and numismatist Prosperio Parisio from Cosenza, and perhaps dedicated to the Bishop of Cosenza, Evangelista Pallotta. This is a map of excellent workmanship, full of topographic and erudite information, so that even Joachim of Fiore will include a copy in his 1691 work Calabria Illustrata.

The map was probably made through an extensive survey of the area, perhaps together with G. Barrio, author of one of the most important scholarly works about Calabria, De Antiquitate et situ Calabriae, 1571. For the first time Calabria is divided in Citerior and Ulterior; both the complex orographic system of Calabria and the Sila-Silua, the great forest of Calabria, are identifiable.