Heritage Malta Unveils 320-Year-Old Map Of The World Made By A Gozitan Man

 

A map of the world that impressively dates back to around 320 years has recently been acquired by Heritage Malta to be part of the national collection and eventually, a star in the future display of the Gozo Museum!

 

 

The map was produced by Antonino Saliba, a Gozitan man, and scholar who lived in the time of Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler, one of which he probably knew too…

 

 

He graduated in Canon and Civil Law, was a Doctor of Philosophy, and excelled in mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. Given that in such times it was impossible to study locally, he was likely educated outside Malta.

 

 

Saliba was also the first Maltese scientist to earn international fame, and the first Maltese to have his work printed since the invention of printing.

 

World and Cosmological Map - 1600: MapPorn

 

The original version of his map was engraved by Mario Cartaro of Naples and published in Italian in 1582. It was copied time and time again by important European map makers for over a century and was considered to be a fine piece of work.

 

 

Only one example of 1582 original is known worldwide. This copy is preserved in Germany at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel.

 

DCRB Catalogue XV by Daniel Crouch Rare Books - issuu

 

The version purchased by Heritage Malta is in Dutch and was printed in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in around 1700. It was issued by Ambrosius Schevenhuyse, a seller of charts and works of art.

 

 

Saliba’s consists of nine concentric rings representing the world as seen from the eyes of a 16th century astronomer. The spheres depict fire, comets, winds, clouds, storms, people, houses, trees, and even the subterranean world and the inferno!

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