A Current and Precise Description of Portugal, Which Was Once Lusitania, by Fernando Alvarez Seco


Fernando Alvares Seco (fl. 1561-85) was a Portuguese mathematician and cartographer who made the first known map of Portugal. It was engraved by Sebastiano del Re and published in Rome in 1561. Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) later reprinted the map in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the world), which was first published in May 1570. Ortelius was a cartographer and map publisher from Antwerp. From 1564 to 1570, he made maps of his own, but in 1570 turned to publishing the Theatrum. Known as the world’s first atlas, this work included maps by many well-known cartographers. It was issued in numerous editions between 1570 and 1612, in Latin, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, English, and Italian. This map is possibly from the Latin edition of 1579. It is oriented with north on the right, placing the Algarve, at the southwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, in the upper left of the map.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Abraham Ortelius, Amsterdam?


Title in Original Language

Portugalliae, que olim Lusitania, nouissima & exactissima descriptio / auctore, Vernando Alvaro Secco

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 33 x 51 centimeters

Last updated: February 12, 2016