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Abraham Ortelius:  Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni typus

Maps of the Caspian Sea

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Title: Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni typus

Map Maker: Abraham Ortelius

Place / Date: Antwerp / 1603

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 19 x 15 inches

Condition: VG

Price: $1,200.00

Inventory ID: 39134


The First Regional Map to name California and an important Early Map for Japan and China

Decorative example of Ortelius' map of Tartary, Japan and the West Coast of North America, from Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terarrum, the first modern atlas of the World.  

The map provides a remarkable early representation of what was then the Tartar Kingdom, extending from the Caspian Sea in the west, to China, Japan and Russian, in Asia, in the east.  It also includes a remarkable early treatment of the northwest coast of America, California, and the southwestern US.

The map is the earliest obtainable map to name California and includes the 7 cities of Cibola in the southwestern US, although only 6 cities are actually shown.  The Straits of Anian are also named.

The map includes a very curious early treatment of Japan and marvelous detail in Tartary, Asian Russia and China, including Marco Polo & Prester John notes, several vignettes, 2 decorative cartouches, sailing ships and a sea monster.  Several vignettes depict the tents of the Tartar kings.  The map is richly annotated in Latin, including some of the lengthier quotes, which have translated from Latin to English below:

The Nephalites are named Neptali after one of the 10 tribes with a Hebrew name and after the Danites, who by way of punishment were called the Danes of the dark North and they were on account of the claims of Rachel Balbah placed to the side, in the area of the Hudores or Iehudeores; in the year 476 they were victorious in their battle against Perosa. Others call them incorrectly Euthalites.

The Scythian ocean, according to Plinius, has sweet water and he also says it contains many islands, as M. Paulus [Marco Polo] also says, but neither of the two tells about their number or location.

Tabor or Tybur, center of the area of the Tartars, where once the Holy Books got lost, yet they are united under one king, who in 1540 first reached France and king Franciscus and later, at the initiative of Charles the Fifth was burnt at the stake for his heresy, because he had secretly endeavoured to convert Christian kings to the Jewish religion, about which he had spoken with Charles the Fifth.

Here the ten tribes retreated, and changed from the Tatar or Tartar area to Scythia. Since then they are called Gauths or Gauthens, confirming Gods highest glory, and here lies the splendid kingdom of Cathai.

Turkestan. The area from which the 10 tribes as allies living on this side of the mountain range have been called 900 years ago by the Persians to fight the armies of Ismael the Muslim.

The great Khan (which in the language of the Tatars means emperor), the highest ruler of Asia.

Argon. Once there was in Asia a Christian kingdom, known to Prester John and D. Thomas founded it [this city] in this place, so that it was in contact with the church of Rome and was subjected to Rome through Prester John of Africa. Before it was defeated by the Goths, it was known as Crive Romove.

This map contains the area of Tartaria, with the remaining part of East Asia to the Morning Ocean, subject to the great Khan whose might is bounded by the river Ob, Lake Kataia, the Volga, the Caspian Sea, the river Chesel, the mountains of Usson, the area of Tibet, the river Caromora and the Ocean. 

The isle of Japan, called Zipangri by Marco Polo of Venice, formerly [called] Chrÿse, once attacked by the great Khan in war, but without success.

Condition Description: Old color. Decorative letter on the verso also in old color.

References: Van Den Broecke 163; Burden 41.

Related Categories:
Maps of Alaska
Maps of California (California, Nevada, Arizona)
Maps of Northwest America (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana)
Maps of Southwest America (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas)
Maps of the Caspian Sea
Maps of Central Asia
Maps of China
Map of Japan
Maps of Russia