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SLOVENIA / CROATIA]. Ducatus Carniolae una cum Marcha Windorum.
- Rare map depicting what is now Slovenia and Northwestern Croatia by Bolognino Zaltieri, the only map of Carniola produced by the ‘Lafreri School’ This rare map of Carniola and the Windic Mark, by cartographer Bolognino Zalteri, embraces Slovenia, Carinthia, northern Istria and northwestern Croatia. It is the only map of Carniola produced by the 16th Century Italian school (Meurer, The Strabo Atlas, no. 34). It was based, in good part, on Wolfgang Lazius’ Ducatus Carniolae et Histriae una cum Marcha Windorum, published in Vienna in 1561. Wolfgang Laz (1514-1565), better known as Lazius, was an Austrian humanist scholar who was an accomplished cartographer, historian, and physician. Lazius became professor of medicine at the University of Vienna in 1541, and was subsequently appointed curator of the imperial collections of the Holy Roman Empire and the official historian to Emperor Ferdinand I. Between 1541 and his death, Lazius published revolutionary maps of Austria and Hungary, based upon his observations, official documents and various manuscript maps found in monastic collections. His atlas Typi chorographici provin. Austriae (1561) contained the first ‘modern’ set of maps of Austria. Impressively, the atlas’ 11 maps were all drawn in an ovoid form, mounted on the breast of the Habsburg double-headed eagle. Zalteri did not entirely rely on Lazius’ map, as he made several significant changes of his own. He omitted some of the names and translated others from German to Latin. He also shortened the description of the legend of the Argonauts, who were said to have sailed from the River Sava to the Ljubljanica River, whereupon they disassembled their ships at Vrhnika (Oberlaibach) before carrying them to the Adriatic Sea. Zalteri, who was based in Venice, was much better acquainted than was Lazius with the coastal Adriatic regions that were then in the possession of the Serene Republic. Consequently, he corrected the misidentification of the towns of Capodistria and Muggia, which were confused for one another by Lazius. Yet, on the other hand, Zalteri included the imaginary island of Egida, the Adriatic’s most beloved cartographic myth, situated just to the south of Capodistria. Aegida or Egida was actually the Ancient Greek name for Capodistria, based upon the legend of the goddess Athena dropping her shield (Greek: ‘aegis’) into the sea while engaged in battle near the Istrian coast. It was said that the shield became an island, upon which the town of Capodistria was later built. Aegida was mentioned by Pliny the Elder as a merchant town on the Istrian coast and, from that point, the myth gained life. In the succeeding centuries Aegida it was often misinterpreted as a different island. However, Pietro Coppo’s groundbreaking 1520s survey of Istria definitely proved that the island did not exist. In the center of the map is Lake Cerknica, a natural phenomenon of the Karst landscape that was one of the most famous landmarks in Southeastern Europe. Amazingly, the lake would practically disappear in the autumn for several months, sometimes even for more than a year, before suddenly reemerging in the spring to swell to a great size. The lake was often represented on the maps of Austria and the Balkans as being much larger than its actual size. Even Abraham Ortelius, who also used Lazius as his source, represented the lake as a smaller sea in the middle of Carniola. Lazius’ and Zaltieri’s maps are rare examples which depict Lake Cerkinca as it would appear during the dry season, concentrating on the mostly underground channels of water. The lake was the source of much fascination amongst scholars from Roman to modern times, but it was only during the 18th Century that credible explanations were proposed for its mysterious nature. References: Meurer, The Strabo Atlas, no. 34. Cf. Karrow, Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and their Maps, 49/24.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariat Dasa Pahor]
Last Found On: 2015-11-22           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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