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Lettera di Andrea Corsali allo Illustrissimo Signore Duco Iuliano de Medici Venuta Dellindia del Mese di Octobre Nel M.D.XVI 1516

by Andrea Corsali

‘This cross is so fair and beautiful that none other heavenly sign may be compared to it,’ wrote Andrea Corsali when he first saw the Southern Cross. Corsali observed the constellation in 1515 while on a Portuguese expedition to India, and sent his observations in a letter to his patron, Giuliano de Medici, in Florence. Containing information of commercial and scientific interest, Corsali’s letter was privately published soon after it was received, making it one of the earliest appearances of the Southern Cross in print. There are only four known copies of this publication, most likely printed for private circulation within the Medici family.