Let him wander who desires to wander. Let him see England, Hungary, France and Spain. I am content to live in my native land. I have seen Tuscany, Lombardy, and the Romagna, and the mountain range that divides Italy, and the one that locks her in, and both the seas that wash her. And that is quite enough for me. Without ever paying an innkeeper I will go exploring the rest of the earth with Ptolemy, whether the world be at peace or else at war. Without ever making vows when the heavens flash with lightning, I will go bounding over all the seas, more secure aboard my maps than aboard ships.
Monday, August 09, 2010
Fifteenth century Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto, writing about the rediscovery of Ptolemy's Geography (Greek original; translated into Latin circa 1409) -- essentially, the first atlas -- quoted in Toby Lester's The Fourth Part of the World (2009), at 148: