This is the second state of Ortelius’ African map (same year as the first state). It went through six printings between 1570 and 1612. “This beautiful map is one of the cornerstone maps of Africa. It generally replaced Sebastian Munster’s widely circulated map of Africa of 1540. Modern in appearance compared to Munster’s map and others, this 1570 map by Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) remained the standard map of Africa well into the seventeenth century. By 1570, the coast of Africa had been relatively well explored, primarily by the Portuguese, but also by occasional explorers from other European countries and by the Arabs on the east coast. Successive expeditions into the interior of Abyssinia, West Africa, the Congo River, and the Zambezi River basin had also yielded a significant amount of information.” “This map is from Otrelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Initially published in 1570, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was the first atlas to purposefully produce a uniform series of maps. The publication of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum can be considered the starting point for over 100 years of Dutch supremacy in the production of detailed and decorative maps and atlases.” In the text to accompany this map in the Theatrum, Ortelius freely acknowledges his sources for the preparation of his maps in his Catalogus Auctorum. Like all fifteenth and sixteenth century cartographers, Ortelius used the writings of Herodotus ( 484-425 BCE), Strabo (58 BCE – 25CE), and Ptolemy. He also relied heavily for this map of Africa on the more recent sources: primarily Ramusio in Navigationi et Viaggi (Venice, 1550 and later editions), João de Barros in Décadas da Asia (Lisbon, 1552), and Leo Africanus in Jean Temporal’s Historiale description de l’Afrique (Paris 1556). Geographically, the map closely follows Gastaldi’s wall map of 1564.” An exceptionally good copy with wide margins. Some light age toning and a spot to the lower left. Text in Latin to the verso. Richard L. Betz. The Mapping of Africa. A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700. Map 12.2. Oscar I. Norwich. Norwich’s Maps of Africa. An illustrated and annotated carto-bibliography. Map 10.
Date Published: 1570
Condition: Very good
Dimensions: plate mark: 50.5 x 37.5cm