Ramusio G.B. Delle Navigationi et Viaggi. 1559-1565.
Delle Navigationi et Viaggi. - Ramusio G.B.
RAMUSIO, Giovan Battista (1485-1557). Delle Navigationi et Viaggi. Venice: Giunta, 1563-59-65. 3 vol. folio (320 x 225 mm). Woodcut device on titles. 3 double-page woodcut maps in vol. I and 6 folding woodcut maps in vol. III. (Vol. I with wormtracks in approximately 40 leaves at the beginning and affecting maps (wormholes in the maps filled); vol. II with title and 1.8 repaired and mounted on guards, waterstaining in 1.4-7, marginal browning to last 30 leaves; occasional staining, browning, worming and spotting in all 3 vols). Vols I and III in contemporary limp vellum, spines lettered in manuscript (ties lacking, front hinges broken, extremities rubbed and lightly soiled); vol. II in contemporary stiff vellum, not uniform with the other volumes, spine lettered in manuscript, mottled edges (new endpapers, small stain at head of spine and upper cover, extremities lightly rubbed).
Sabin (America) 67732, 67739, 67740; Church 99; Hill (Pacific Voyages), 1418, 1420, 1421; Adams H.M. R136; Borba de Moraes II: 698-699; Brunet IV, 1100-1101
Mixed set (as almost always): Third edition of vol.I, first edition of vol.II and second edition of vol.III.
This collection of voyages was compiled by Giovanni Battista Ramusio (Venice, 1485-1557). The three volumes he left form the most highly valued collection of voyages of the sixteenth century. It is composed of accounts of voyages which had already been published, translated from the French, Spanish and Latin, and also of manuscript accounts which appear here for the first time.
All authors are unanimous in their praise of Ramusio's choice of published narratives. Locke, the English philosopher, states that it is "the most perfect work that nature in any language." Harisse writes, "The publication of Ramusio Raccolta may be said to open an era in the literary history of Voyage and Navigation. Instead of accounts carelessly copied and translated from previous collections, perpetuating errors and anachronisms, we find in this valuable work, original narratives which betray the hand of a scholar of great critical acumen. Not should we forget that we are indebted to Ramusio for the preservation of accounts of voyages of the utmost importance to the student of American history; and did his work contain only the 'Relatione d'un gentilhuomo del Sig. Fernando Cortese,' and the first voyage of Jacques Cartier to Canada, the two capital relations would entitle the Raccolta to a prominant place in any American library." The first volume also contains the account of Cabral's voyage in 1500, first published by Montalboddo in 1507.
Ramusio's collection of voyages enjoyed great succes, and each volume appeared in several editions, some containing more narratives than others, and with small differences in the maps. (Borba de Moraes)
"This is one of the earliest and most important collections of voyages and travels, and may be said to have opened a new area in the literary history of voyages and navigation" (Hill)
This work contains maps of great significance, including those of Brazil, Canada, New England, Africa, Asia and Japan.
Burden 34, about the map Universale della parte del mondo nuovamente ritrovata 1565: "This is the first American map to include any of the names from the travels of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, the first European to travel extensively the south-western part of North America."
Burden 35, La Nuova Francia 1565: "The first map devoted to New England and New France, the latter name being used here for the first time."
Betz 4, Prima Tavola, 1563: "It is the first printed map of Africa in a book to show a southbound river, the Zembere ... it also shows for the first time on a printed map of the entire continent, the island of Madagascar."
Walter L. 9, Universale della Parte del Mondo Nuovamente Ritrovata, 1565: "Japan is no longer called Zipangi or some such but "Giapam" and lies some distance from North America."
Walter L. 10, Terza Tavola, 1563: "Japan now clearly belongs to Asia."
Brunet: "Collection recherchée et dont les exemplaires complets sont rares. If faut choisir les éditions les plus complètes, car chaque volume a été imprimé plusieurs fois. ..."
Based on Brunet's commentaries it is believed that, in order to be absolutely complete, with the maximum text, the collection should be composed of the first volume of the third edition of 1563, the second volume of the 1583 edition, and the third volume of the 1565 edition.