Projects of the Yale University Map Department at Sterling Memorial Library

Silvani, Bernardo

Silvani (Sylvanus, Silvano) was an Italian cartographer and scholar born in Eboli, Italy and worked on maps published maps in Venice. He updated Ptolemy’s Geography (Clavdii Ptholemaei Alexandrini Liber geographiae cvm tabvlis) in a 1511 edition. He was the only editor at the time to modernize the Ptolemaic maps themselves (other editors simply added new maps to the cannon).

The Yale Map Department has 2 world maps by Silvani from his 1511 edition of Clavdii Ptholemaei Alexandrini Liber geographiae cvm tabvlis. These maps are very rare due to the use of both black and red ink in printing and also because it was the first Italian edition of Ptolemy to use woodcuts instead of copper engraved plates. Some evidence suggest he worked on these maps in and around Naples (the court of his patron), but the work was printed in Venice, probably due to the blockcutters and printers in the city.


11_1511A_Lanman_World_recto.jp2

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Karrow, Robert W., Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and Their Maps, Chicago, 1993, p.520-524.