Map of Prussia "Prussiae Descriptio", 1579. The oldest map of Prussia, drawn by Heinrich Zell and edited by the famous Dutch cartographer and publisher Abraham Ortelius. It is an example of the historical variability of the territory and the nomenclature referring to it. It shows the area of Prussia in its 16th century form, which consisted of Royal Prussia and Ducal Prussia. It depicts, among others, the areas of Gdansk Pomerania and Warmia and Masuria, which belonged to or were dependent on the Polish state at the time of the map’s creation, and now also belong to Poland. The copy included in A. Ortelius’ atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum makes part of Ossolineum collection in Lviv and was transported to Wrocław after World War II. It is an atlas map, map dimensions 31×20 cm. Scale ca. 1:1 630 000. The title is at top in an oval strapwork and Rollwerk cartouche. The linear scale is along the bottom edge of the map. On the reverse of the leaf is another map of Thietmarsiae, Holsaticae Regionis Partis Typus and texts in Latin entitled Thietmarsia and Prussia. Full title: "Prussiae Descriptio ante aliquot annos ab Henrico Zellio edita, ab eoq. D. Ioanni Clur, ciui Gedanensi Ded."


  • Title: Map of Prussia by H. Zell
  • Creator: Heinrich Zell, Abraham Ortelius
  • Date Created: 1579
  • Location Created: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Physical Dimensions: h 31, w 20 cm
  • Provenance: Former collection of the Ossolineum Library in Lviv
  • Type: Map
  • Contributor: Frans Hogenberg [engraver]
  • Publisher: Abraham Ortelius, Christoffel Plantijn
  • Medium: Coloured engraving

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