Venice: Appresso Tomaso Baglioni, 1609. Item #03774
The First Practical Treatise on Navigation
Second Italian Edition
MEDINA, Pietro da. Arte Del Navigare dell'eccel Dottor Pietro Da Medina. Nella quale copiosamente si tratta tutto quello, che appartiene alla Navigatione, e sua cognitione. Venice: Appresso Tomaso Baglioni, 1609.
Second edition in Italian (first published in 1554) of this ground-breaking Spanish work on Compass Navigation.
Small quarto (7 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches; 197 x 145 mm.). [xiv], 137, [3, blank] pp. Title-page printed in red and black and with a large woodcut. Full-page woodcut map of Europe, the Atlantic Ocean and the New World on page 33 (identical to the 1554 edition) and numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams throughout. Numerous woodcut head pieces and initial letters. Early ink name on either side of woodcut, library blind-stamp at top of title.
Contemporary mottled calf, spine with four raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Spine expertly repaired at head and foot, armorial book-plate of the Earl of Macclesfield on front paste-down. A fine copy of a rare treatise.
"The Venice blocks were used again in a Venice edition by Tomaso Baglione. Six blocks of the 1554 set, apparently lost, were replaced by repetitions, and several blocks were turned in printing. Tables and calendar. Type ornaments. Putti, historiated and foliated initials. The historiated initials include a set of burning cities. Roman letter, text endings in decorative forms." (Harvard. Italian 16th Century Books, p. 440).
"Se puede afirmar que los Europa aprendio a navigar en libros Espanoles" …that Europe learned to Navigate from Spanish Books. (Palau 159680).
The "Art of Navigation" by Pietro da Medina was the first printed treatise to deal exclusively with Nautical science. It was first published in Spanish as Arte de Navegar in Valladolid in 1545. The present copy is the second Italian edition, and was translated by Vincenzo Palentino. Intended as an instructional manual for those voyaging to the New World, Medina’s Arte del Navigare is the first treatise to give reliable information on the navigation of American waters.
In the sixteenth century, as a consequence of the discovery of America, the science of Navigation developed significantly in Spain. In his treatise, Medina underlined how important navigation was to extending Spanish dominion, and the need to give instruction to those crossing the seas to reach distant, unknown regions.
The work, from its first appearance, became a training manual for pilots not only in Spain, but also in Europe: it was translated into French Italian, German, English and Dutch, and the number of editions reached at least twenty-seven.
Pedro de Medina (1493-1576) was a cleric who for a time served as librarian to the duke of Medina-Sidonia. Asked to prepare charts and other aids to navigation by the Emperor Charles V, he was named cosmografo de honor in 1549.
European Americana 569/32. JCB I, p. 240. Sabin 47345 note. STC French, p. 308. Palau, 159680. Italian 16th Century Books (Harvard College Library) #300 (1554 edition).