First Atlas

Epitome of the Theater of the World
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum: Courtesy of the Library of Congress

On this date in 1570, the first atlas was published by Abraham Ortelius, a Flemish book collector and engraver. Called Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the World), the groundbreaking work was a collection of 70 maps, all organized logically by continent and/or region.

Ortelius died in 1598, but the atlas continued to be published until 1612, running a total of 31 editions. By 1612, the atlas had grown to include 167 maps.

“Buy an atlas and keep it by the bed—remember you can go anywhere.”
—Joanna Lumley

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

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