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A: Roma, Lazio, Italy

Flavio Biondo Writes the First Historical Geography

1448 to 1458
<p>This early printing has neither pagination nor foliation nor catchwords at the beginning or end of signatures. At the back of the book it has what is called an "index" (INDICES) to places arranged in the numerical order of their appearance but there are no numbered references in the text.&nbsp;</p>

This early printing has neither pagination nor foliation nor catchwords at the beginning or end of signatures. At the back of the book it has what is called an "index" (INDICES) to places arranged in the numerical order of their appearance but there are no numbered references in the text. 

Between 1448 and 1458 Italian humanist, historian and proto-archaeologist Flavio Biondo (Flavius Blondus) of Rome published Italia illustrata. Based on Biondo's personal travels through eighteen Italian provinces, this was the first historical geography.

"Unlike medieval geographers, whose focus was regional, Biondo, taking Strabo for his model, reinstated the idea of Italy to include the whole of the peninsula. Through topography, he intended to link Antiquity with modern times, with descriptions of each location, the etymology of its toponym and its changes through time, with a synopsis of important events connected with each location. This first historical geography starts with the Roman Republic and Empire, through 400 years of barbarian invasions and an analysis of Charlemagne and later Holy Roman Emperors. He gives an excellent description of the humanist revival and restoration of the classics during the first half of the fifteenth century." (Wikipedia article on Flavio Biondo, accessed 02-02-2013).

Italia illustrata was edited by Gaspar Blondus and first published in print by Johannes Philippus de Lignamine of Rome "[not before 10] December 1474." ISTC No. ib00700000. In August 2020 a digital facsimile was available from the Universidad de Salamanca at this link.

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