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A Magnificent Atlas of the Ancient World
ORTELIUS, A. [Antwerp, 1624]
Abrahami Ortelii theatri orbis terrarum parergon; sive veteris geographiae tabulae, . . . Edition novissima . . . Balthasaris Moreti. Antverpiae, ex officina Plantiniana, 1624.
Contemp. vellum, red morrocco label, shaken; 39 map sheets, 3 views, 2 plates; all with fine hand color; light damp-staining and conservation to bottom margins in early pages; overall sound, very good.
The most complete collected edition of Ortelius’ maps of antiquity. This edition includes the first publication in a work by Ortelius of one of the most important maps relating to the Roman Empire -- the so-called Peutinger Tables. Derived from a surviving, 13th century manuscript, this remarkable four-sheet map depicts the Roman Empire of about 250 A.D with the focus one of the foundations of its success, its road system,. Although published in other works, “Ortelius’ version is now the most reliable representation” (van den Broecke).
The atlas otherwise includes a number of Ortelius’ best known and desirable maps, including the superbly engraved Holy Land map depicting the life and travels of Abraham (Nebenzahl, Maps of the Holy Land, pl. 34). It includes two other maps of the Holy Land -- Typus Chorographicus . . . and Palestinae Sive Totius. There are also maps of the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great; another, single-sheet map of the Roman Empire; one of the world of the Aeneid; and numerous country and regional maps depicted at various periods.
Historical geography was a passion of Ortelius, and he was more directly involved in the practical creation of these maps than he was in the rest of his output.
Koeman Ort 46; van den Broecke, M. Ortelius Atlas Maps, pp. 281-85.
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