Title/Content of Map: Barbariae Et Biledulgerid Nova DescriptioDate Printed: 1579Cartographer: Abraham OrteliusMaterial/Medium: No color. Latin text on verso. From the first modern atlas- the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius.Size: 17 x 21.5 inches
250 copies originally printed. Few loose copies remaining. More background: Map of the North African Barbary Coast . Title: BARBARIAE ET BILEDVLGERID, NOVA DESCRIPTIO. [A new representation of Barbary and Biledulgerid]. (Bottom right:) "Cum Priuilegio" [With privilege]. (Texts on map: 5 lines west of Gibraltar:) Golfo de las ye:|guas, "id est Sinus e:|quarum: à demersis | inibi equabus, vt refert Fernandus Ouiedus". [Golfo de las Yeguas or Gulf of the Mares, because of the mares that drowned here, as Fernandus Oviedus tells.] (At the bottom of the page, from left to right:) "Azanaga, | Huius incolæ os veluti pu:|dendum coperiunt, neque | detegunt nisi sumendi cibi gratia". [Azanaga, whose inhabitants cover their mouth out of shame, only revealing it when taking food.] "Desertum Azoahad | aridißimû, in quo neque | aquam neque habitationem in | centesimo vix reperias milliario". [Azaohad desert, extremely dry, where you will fail to find water or habitations for a hundred miles.] "Guadem, vicus miser:|rimis incolis habitatus, | venationibus victum quærunt". [Guadem, a poor village, inhabited by people searching for food when hunting.] "Deusem op|pidum antiquiss. | ubi multa ad:|huc antiqua | monumê|ta extant". [Deusem, a very ancient city where until now many ancient monuments survive]. "Abuinam, incolæ mendicißimi". [Abuina, whose inhabitants are very mendacious]. "Tegazza, hic salis fodine, | vnde sal in vicinas prouin:|cias defertur. estaque eius | hic maxima negociatio". [Tegazza. Place of salt, from which salt is exported to adjacent provinces. This is an important trade for them.] "Zis | lacus. | Hic lacus situs est in | medio arenæ, omni habi:|tatione vacuum. Arabes | venatores tamen hic | maximas prædas agunt". [Lake Zis. Here is a lake amidst fully uninhabited sand dunes. Nevertheless, Arab hunters chase the biggest preys here.] "Guargala, ciuitas | eleganti structura, | dactilorû hic maxima | vbertas, Incolæ ditißimi sed | propter carnium inopiam. stru:|tionibus vescuntur". [Guargala, a city well built. There is an abundance of dates here. The inhabitants are exceedingly wealthy. But because of lack of meat, they eat ostriches here.] "Lemta desertum, aridißi:|mum est, et incolis latroni:|bus infestum". [The Lemta desert is very dry, and infested by robbers.] (Lower right:) "die vocatur | totus ille Africæ | tractus maritimus | qui olim vtramque Mauri:|taniam, et Africam minorem | continebat". [Now the whole coastal area of Africa is called like this [i.e. BARBARIA], which used to comprise Mauretania and Lesser Africa as well.] (Right centre:) "Lacus aquæ calidæ leprosos sanas" [A lake with hot water, healthy for lepers.] (Along bottom:) "Libyæ pars. quæ hodie Sarra appellatur. quæ uox, idem quod desertum significat". [Part of Libya, which is nowadays called Sarra, which means voice, as well as desert.] (Lower left:) "Ifran castel:|lum, hic prope | sunt æris fo:|dinæ". [The castle of Ifran. Close to this place are copper mines.] (From leading Ortelius scholar Marcel van den Broecke.)
Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was a Flemish cartographer & geographer, celebrated as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). Ortelius' work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, was the first uniformly sized, systematic collection of maps; this work can therefore be called the first atlas (although the term was not used until 20 years later by Mercator).
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