Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World)

Abraham Ortelius1588

Archivos Estatales

Archivos Estatales

Theater of the World (Theatrum orbis terrarum) by Abraham Ortelius … [printed text] by Abraham Ortelius, Cosmographer to the King, our Lord, with his statements translated from Latin.

The Flemish scholar and merchant Abraham Ortelius (Antwerp, 1527–98), cosmographer of King Philip II, is the author of this atlas, which contains all the maps of the known world at that time. Ortelius used 87 maps produced by other travelers and cartographers and included comments on each map in his work, as well as an index and a catalog with ancient Latin place names and their modern equivalents. The first edition of Theater of the World (Theatrum) was published in 1570 and was so well received that up to 40 editions were published in a short space of time in different languages. They also featured appendices and supplements that added more maps. The 1588 edition, printed in the production workshops of the French humanist Christophe Plantin, is profusely illustrated on hand-colored intaglio plates, with dimensions of 450 x 300 mm (11.8 x 17.7 in).

Ortelius' atlas brought about a new understanding of cartography for the modern world.


  • Title: Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World)
  • Creator: Abraham Ortelius
  • Date: 1588
  • Physical Dimensions: 45 x 31,1 cm
  • Provenance: Archivo General de Indias
  • Type: Printed book
  • Original Source: Archivo General de Indias
  • Medium: Paper
  • Identifier: Biblioteca, L.A. s. XVI – 1

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