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- Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) was a Flemish engraver and businessman who traveled widely to pursue his commercial interests. In 1560 he became interested in scientific geography during a voyage with Gerardus Mercator. Ortelius’s major work, Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the world), was published in Antwerp in 1570, at the threshold of the golden age of Dutch cartography. Theatrum presented the world in its component parts and reflected an age of exploration, broadened commercial connections, and scientific inquiry. Now considered the world’s first atlas, the original Theatrum was enhanced by frequent updates and reprintings to incorporate the latest scientific and geographical information. This page from the Theatrum orbis terrarum includes three separate maps, each with different scales, one showing the western coast of South America and a part of Central America, another the southeastern United States (Florida), and a third the coast of Tamaulipas in Mexico. The maps are titled in Latin. The texts on the reverse of the maps are in Spanish and provide descriptions of the territory and peoples of the regions depicted.
Abraham Ortelius, Antwerp
Title in Original Language
Peruviae Auriferae Regionis Typus. La Florida. Guastecan reg.
Type of Item
- 3 hand colored engraved maps on 1 sheet ; 32 x 21 centimeters or smaller, sheet 44 x 56 centimeters