Title/Content of Map: ThusciaeDate Printed: 1588Cartographer: Abraham OrteliusMaterial/Medium: No color, thick paper, very strong impression. Spanish text on verso. From the first modern atlas- the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius.Size: 16 x 21 inches
300 copies printed originally. Exceptionally few loose copies remaining. Common copies of this map from dealers start in the $600-range. More background: Ortelius’ map of Tuscany. Title: THVSCIAE | DESCRIPTIO AVCTORE | HIERONYMO BELLARMATO. [A representation of Tuscany by Hieronymus Bellarmato]. (Panel under title cartouche with 12 lines of text:) "Me Ianus tenuit primus, formataque ab illo | Imposui leges populis, & nomina Ponto. | Inferno, & Supero: missos auxique colonos, | Imperiumq, Italos trans fines; fœdera natis | Dum servata meis, sed me discordia præceps, | Romulæ genti domitam servire coegit: | Que decus antique longo post tempore linguæ | Auxilij male grata mei, male grata laborum | Abstulit, & mansit nomen quod Thura dedere: | Archades aut Lijdi quod vel mutare Pelasgi | Non ausi sacras quibus bas concessimus oras. | Thuscia dixi". [Janus was the first to rule me. Founded by him, I imposed laws on peoples and I gave names to the sea, the underworld and heaven. I grew by founding colonies, as also in power, exceeding Italian borders, as long as my sons remained my allies, but blind discord forced me to serve a mistress, namely the people of Romulus. The ornament of our meanwhile ancient language was cast aside by this mistress, ungrateful as she was for my help and achievements, but the name which the Thurians gave remained: we leave these holy coasts to the Archadians and Lydians, since the Pelasgi were not inclined to move elsewhere. I, Tuscany, have spoken]. (Middle right:) "Cum priuilegio". [With privilege]. (Low left:) "Elba, olim Ilua | Insula inexhaustis chalybum generosa metallis". [Elba, once Ilva, is an island with an inexhaustible supply of steel.] (Low right centre:) "Ansedonia, terminus | patrimonij D. Petri." [Ansidonia, the last home of St. Peter]. (Lower right:) "Coralium hic|nascitur". [Here grows coral]. (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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