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The First Separately Map of the Philippine Islands

Nice example of the Bertius-Langenes map of the Philippines, which first appeared in the 1598 edition of Langenes Caert-Thresoor, published in Middelburg.

Engraved by Pieter Van der Keere, the map is drawn from the Linschoten map of 1595, with its peculiar east-west orientation for Palawan, whereas the Bertius rendering is taken directly from the Plancius map of 1592 which in turn was based on Bartolomeo Lasso. An example of the Linschoten map can be seen here: /gallery/detail/45375.

The map was first issued in Caert-Thresoor and later re-published in by Bertius in his Tabularum Geographicarum, beginning in 1600, with the total number of appearances of this map running to no less than 12 appearances between 1598 and 1650 in the two works by Langenes and Bertius.

This map Insulae Philippinae from the Caert-Thresoor is best described as the Petrus Kaerius / Barent Langenes map, to distinguish it from the Jodocus Hondius / Petrus Bertius map Philippinae Insulae from the Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum.

States of the Map

  • First state: no scale of latitude along the bottom
  • Second state: Scale of latitude
  • Third state, with “f.18”  engraved in the bottom right-hand corner and no letterpress title (very rare)

An essential map for Philippine Collectors.

Petrus Bertius Biography

Petrus Bertius was a Flemish historian, theologian, geographer, and cartographer. Known in Dutch as Peter de Bert, Bertius was born in Beveren. His father was a Protestant preacher and his family fled to London around 1568. The young Bertius only returned to the Low Countries in 1577, to attend the University of Leiden. A bright pupil, Bertius worked as a tutor and was named subregent of the Leiden Statencollege in 1593. He ascended to the position of regent in 1606, upon the death of the former regent, who was also Bertius’ father-in-law. However, due to his radical religious views, he eventually lost his teaching position and was forbidden from offering private lessons.

His brothers-in-law were Jodocus Hondius and Pieter van den Keere, who were both prominent cartographers. Bertius began his own cartographic publishing in 1600 when he released a Latin edition of Barent Langenes’ miniature atlas Caert Thresoor (1598). He published another miniature atlas that first appeared in 1616.  

By 1618, Bertius was named cosmographer to Louis XIII. He converted to Catholicism and took up a position as professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Boncourt (University of Paris). In 1622, Louis XIII created a chart of mathematics specifically for Bertius and named him his royal historian. He died in Paris in 1629.