Girolamo Ruscelli (1500s-1566) was an Italian physician, alchemist, humanist, editor, and cartographer active in Venice during the early 16th century. Ruscelli is best known for his important revision of Ptolemy's Geographia, which was published post humously in 1574. The maps were based for the most part on those of Giacomo Gastaldi.
It is generally assumed that Alexius Pedemontanus was a pseudonym of Girolamo Ruscelli. His book of secrets, including roughly 350 recipes for medicinal compounds, cosmetics, pigments, and metallurgy, was enormously popular, going through 104 editions between 1555 and 1699. In a later work, Ruscelli reported that the Secreti contained the experimental results of an ‘Academy of Secrets’ that he and a group of humanists and noblemen founded in Naples in the 1540s. Ruscelli’s academy is the first recorded example of an experimental scientific society. The academy was later imitated by Giambattista Della Porta, who founded an ‘Accademia dei Secreti’ in Naples in the 1560s.