top of page

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - 1574


Cartographer :

Abraham Ortelius

Dimensions :

Conditions details :

Very Good

Reference :


Beautiful and complete atlas "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" by Abraham Ortelius in the 1574 edition, is a historic masterpiece and one of the first modern atlases. It's a meticulously compiled collection of beautifully engraved maps that provided a comprehensive and accurate portrayal of the known world in the late 16th century. This groundbreaking atlas was not only a work of geographical significance but also a work of art, influencing the understanding of the world's geography for generations to come.


This complete edition of the "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" from 1574, published in Antwerp, is the second edition of Abraham Ortelius' world atlas, first published in 1570. The content of the atlas consists of a collection of maps, and it is often regarded as the first true modern atlas. The maps were engraved on copper plates, which allowed for higher-quality printing and greater detail compared to earlier woodcut maps. This edition is uncoloured and the engraved maps features Latin text to verso.

This edition contains 70 maps, all of which were engraved by Frans Hogenberg and printed on high-quality paper. The maps in the 1574 edition were arranged in alphabetical order by region, starting with Europe and ending with America. Each map was surrounded by decorative elements, such as images of people, as well as coats of arms and other decorative elements.

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is widely recognized as the first modern atlas which shaped the future of cartography throughout the 17th century. The maps themselves were based on the best available sources at the time, including the work of previous cartographers such as Gerardus Mercator and Sebastian Münster.

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was a highly influential figure in 16th-century cartography. Born in Antwerp, Belgium, he embarked on extensive travels throughout Europe and had the opportunity to meet Gerard Mercator, another renowned cartographer. Ortelius would go on to become one of the most significant cartographers in history, with his crowning achievement being the publication of this atlas "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum." Notably, he was appointed as the Royal Cartographer to King Philip II of Spain, underscoring the significance of his contributions to the field of mapmaking during his lifetime.

Overall, the 1574 edition of the “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum” is a significant achievement in the history of cartography and geography. It helped to standardise maps and atlases and was widely praised for its accuracy and beauty. It's considered a major advancement in map accuracy and cartography during its time. Ortelius was diligent in compiling the most accurate and up-to-date geographic information available at the time, drawing on the works of earlier cartographers, explorers, and travelers.

Would you like to  have details or order this map ?

bottom of page