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Abraham Ortelius

Antwerpen 1527 - Antwerpen 1598


Abraham Ortelius was a Dutch geographer and cartographer, born in Antwerp on April 14, 1527. He studied Greek, Latin and mathematics in Antwerp and worked as a map and book dealer. He also spent time with cartography and published the first world atlas, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum", which was probably the first collection of maps in the shape of a book, 20 years before Mercator published his world atlas.
In its time, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" was so successful, that it had to be re-printed 4 times in the first year of its publishing alone.
Between 1570 and 1612 the atlas was published in 42 editions and the 7 languages Latin, German, Flemish, French, Spanish, English and Italian. It proved to be an enormous success for Abraham Ortelius and his beneficiaries.
Abraham Ortelius was the first cartographer, who named the sources of his maps by mentioning the cartographers. Any subsequent editions after 1598 were published by Jan Baptiste Vrients, who purchased the rights after the death of Abraham Ortelius and his beneficiaries. Abraham Ortelius also produced a collection of place names "Thesaurus Geographicus", which is of similar importance.
Abraham Ortelius died in 1598.


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