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

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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  • Phoebe Baker 4y

  • mikescottnz 3y

    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.
  • excellentzebu1050 2y

  • tedesco57 2y

    I just love old maps and have some Robert Morden pages in my collection
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Taken on July 27, 2004
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