First Map of Scotland 'Scotia: Regno di Scotia' - 1570

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Where: B846, Pitlochry PH16, UK

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When: 27 July 2004

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This is the first surviving printed map of Scotland portrayed on its own. Watermarks in the paper indicate Venetian origin, and it may have been engraved by Paolo Forlani, who was active in Venice during the 1560s and 1570s. Although the outline of the east coast is recognisable, the depiction of the west coast and islands shows how little was known about the shape of Scotland in the sixteenth century.

The map is based on an earlier outline of Scotland, first shown on a 1546 map of the British Isles probably compiled by George Lily, an English Roman Catholic cleric who had lived in Italy. The influence of Hector Boece's History of Scotland might be seen in the 70 placenames (out of 105 on the map) which also appear in his work, and in the figures XLIII and XXXI which were his imaginative idea of the number of Hebridean and Orcadian islands respectively.

The National Library of Scotland purchased the map in 1992 from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, which was given the map in 1919. It was believed to be the only known copy, but further research has revealed a variant in the Netherlands, which lacks the title Scotia.
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Owner: National Library of Scotland
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 37024
scotland map scotia paoloforlani nls venice georgelily sixteenthcentury scotiaminoralba

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    • 11/Jul/2011 02:44:23


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    • 31/Mar/2012 05:08:42

    Alba / modern Scotland was known as 'Caledonia' by the Romans. Then known as 'Scotia minor' as Ireland was Scotia major . Pictland or Scotland slowly became merged to 'Scotland' in the 700/800s to a certain Popes declaration too about the year 1000 AD, to disfranchise the Irish -Hibernian 'Scoti' monks who had been re christianizing Dark Age Europe.Over centuries it was was gradually colonized, partly conquered, by the original 'Scoti' (Irish) or Scots - tribes from Ulster under Dalriada and others. The original inhabitants of the NE Caledonia were the Picts. So Scotland has three main strands the Gaelic-Pictish merger of crowns and Celtic clans and some settling Danes / Norse from the Viking incursions.

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    • 08/Jul/2013 20:52:25


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    • 23/Dec/2013 16:11:06

    I just love old maps and have some Robert Morden pages in my collection

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    • 18/Jun/2016 22:55:54

    Superb! thanks for the posting and info!

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    • 18/Jun/2016 22:59:50

    Aye. Old and classical maps tells us much about the predominant world view or the times.