Title/Content of Map: PortugalliaeDate Printed: 1588Cartographer: Abraham OrteliusMaterial/Medium: Hand color, strong impression. Spanish text on verso. From the first modern atlas- the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius.Size: 16 x 21.5 inches
300 copies originally printed. Few loose copies remaining. A copy of this map sold at Bonhams in 2005 for $450. More background: Map of Portugal. Title: PORTVGALLIAE | "quæ olim Lusitania, novissima | & exactissima descriptio, Aucto|re Vernando Aluaro Secco". [A very new and exact depiction of Portugal, once called Lusitania, by Fernando Alvaro Secco]. (bottom right corner:) "Cum priuilegio" [With privilege]. (Low left of middle cartouche with 17 lines of text:) "GVIDONI ASCA |...Anno MCCCCCLX". [Achilles Statius salutes Guido Ascanius Sfortia, S.R.E. Card[inalis] Camer[arius]. With dedication the Lusitania of Fernando Alvaro has been depicted for you, Guido Sfortia, because we call it the protectorate of our people: from here men have sailed out with incredible courage in foul and fair. They have frequented all parts of the world. They added a large part of Africa to our country; countless is the number of islands, known only by name or not even that, because they had no name, which they first discovered and took in their possession. The most fair lands of Asia they have made tributaries; the most distant lands they taught the service and religion of Jesus Christ. Fare thee well. Rome, on the 13th day of the calends of June, in the year 1560]. (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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