The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, a work by the great Flemish cartographer and geographer Abrahamus Ortelius (1527-1598), was published in 1570 with 70 copper-engraved plates (on 53 sheets) and is considered to be the first modern atlas. It is a compendium of 16th-century cartography: the plates (all of the same format) are partly original and partly derived from earlier maps (whose authors are always cited as well as the sources used), but there are no Ptolemaic maps. The maps produced by Ortelius himself are few, but among them is the world map, Typus Orbis Terrarum, produced in 1564 and characterised by a partial knowledge of South America and the large size assigned to the Terra Australis Incognita, according to the assumptions of the time.
Project: 9. Travels and travelers: economic, social and cultural connections.
Scope: Secondary Education, Higher Education
Resource type: Image
Source: Ortelius, A., Diesth, A. C. & Llwyd, H. (1570) Theatrvm Orbis Terrarvm. Antverpiae: Apud Aegid. Coppenium Diesth. [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/item/98687183/
Language: Latin and English
Owner: Manuela Ghizzoni (Modernalia)
Copyright: Public Domain
Abstract: The first modern atlas: Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theatre of the World) by Abraham Ortelius