Great Siege of Malta

CIRNI, Anton Francesco Comentarii d’Antonfrancesco Cirni Corso, ne quali si descrive la guerra ultima di Francia, la celebratione del Concilio Tridentino, il soccorso d’Orano, l’impresa del Pignone, e l’historia dell’assedio di Malta. Rome, Giulio Accolto, 1567. 4to, (4), 132 (i.e. 136) leaves. With woodcut device on title and folding woodcut-block map of Malta at end. Contemporary vellum.

FIRST EDITION, exceedingly rare. Anton Francesco Cirni (1520-1583) was a Corsican diplomat and writer. Next to Francesco Balbi’s Relacion, Cirni’s Comentarii is the only other eyewitness account and one of the most important literary sources for the Great Siege of Malta. Cirni came to Malta with the main relief force in September 1565. Unlike Balbi, who was present from beginning to end, Cirni only witnessed the very last phase of the campaign. His account was compiled by him from the actual survivors of the siege and has a number of details not recorded by Balbi. The work also relates to the Ottoman/European encounters in the Mediterranean Sea in the sixteenth century, shortly after the siege. The very rare map of Malta is one of the earliest obtainable separately issued maps of the island. – The map is mounted, with a small area on right lower corner reinforced and redrawn.

Bibliography: Gollner II, 1210

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