Note: North is to the right, which is why Scotland is turned to the side. At the time of this Atlas, "North" faced toward Rome, to the right, because the world revolved around the Pope and the Church.
On May 20, 1570, Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp issued the first modern atlas, Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, a collection of 53 uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. The Ortelius atlas is sometimes referred to as the summary of sixteenth-century cartography. Many of his atlas’s maps were based upon sources that no longer exist or are extremely rare. More than an original concept, the Theatrum was also the most authoritative and successful such work during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
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Bonny Gregory © 2008
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