Europe – Roman Empire

by Abraham Ortelius


Date of first edition of this second plate: 1592 (first plate 1579/80)

Date of this edition: 1624, page ix

Dimensions (not including margins): 34,5 x 50 cm

Dimensions (including margins): 47 x 59,9 cm

Condition: Very good. Sharp copper engraving printed on paper. Old coloured. Centre fold as published. Wide margins. General light age-toning.

Condition rating: A

Verso: text in Latin

Map reference:  Van der Krogt, III-B, 31:711

From: Parergon, 1624; Van der Krogt III-B, 1050H:31.2

Note: this item is exclusively offered with catalogue of Exhibition “The Dutch color the World”, organised at the Mercatormuseum in 2018.

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Romani Imperii Imagio

Engraved by Hogenberg, this map was part of the original set of 3 historical maps added to the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum from 1579. It is based on a double folio map by Ortelius from 1571. At the top left and right is a medallion: to the left of Mercury (with the text: “Rome, your destiny is to rule the world”) and Romulus (with the text: “ For Romulus, founder of the Eternal City ”). In the cartouche at the bottom right, Ortelius gives a genealogy of the kings of Rome; strange because the map gives an overview of imperial Rome.

From 1592 he added the following quote from Vitruvius: “A divine spirit placed the city of the Roman citizens in an excellent and moderate region in order to rule the world“. This quote is missing in the map of 1579/1580

In the cartouche at the bottom left, Ortelius gives a brief summary of the Roman conquests. Hibernia is not mentioned here; however, Ortelius has Ireland colored as a conquered territory. This is wishful thinking: the Romans temporarily had a small fort there, on the headland of Drumanagh, but never conquered the island. One notices the projection of longitude and latitude: the meridians are straight lined and converge at the top at a virtual point.





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