Title/Content of Map: Hispaniae Novae Sivae Magnae Recens Et Vera Descriptio Date 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 inches
250 copies printed originally. Very few loose copies remaining of this particular issue. Good-quality copes of this map typically sell for $400 - $600 at auction. More background: Map of an area corresponding roughly to the modern Mexican states of Michoacan, Jalisco, Mayarit, and Guerrero, plus the Valley of Mexico. Title: HISPANIÆ | NOVÆ SIVÆ | MAGNAE, RE:|CENS ET VE:|RA DESCRIP:|TIO 1579. [A recent and true representation of new or large Spain 1579]. (upper right:) "Cum Imp. et Reg. Mts. | priuilegio decennali". [With a ten year imperial and royal privilege]. Text block upper right centre: "Deserta regio, et gens siluestris, | animalium carnes putrefactas et | sole somicoc.tas in delicijs habens. | Bella inter se, ob messem et fruc:|tuum collectiones, sepius gerunt". [This is a deserted region, where people live in the woods, who highly favour rotting meat, somewhat cooked in the sun. They often fight among each other while collecting harvests and fruits]. Cartouche lower left: "Lectori, | Partium longitudinis hu:|ius tabulæ initium non sumi:|tur Ptolemaico more ab insu:|lis Canarijs, versus Orientê; | sed à Toletano Hispanien:|sis meridiano, Occiden:|tem versus". [To the reader; the beginning of the longitude on this map we have not, in the Ptolemæic fashion taken from the Canary islands towards the East, but from the Spanish meridian in Toledo towards the West.] (Top left;) "Anthropophagi sunt, qui | his montibus|habitant". [They who live in these mountains are cannibals.] (Above centre:) "Magala Hispanorum, vrbi | armenta p:ascuntur" [The encampments of the Spanish, where their armed soldiers roam.] (Middle left top:) "Terra incognita et mon:|tibus asperrima". [Unknown land and very rough mountains]. (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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