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Fine old color example of Ortelius' map of Southern Italy from Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern world atlas.

A finely rendered, east-oriented map of the Kingdom of Naples, extending from the Tronto and Amaseno Rivers south to the Ionian Sea.

In the historical context, the late 16th century was a period of continued territorial contention and consolidation in Europe. Naples, as illustrated in this map, was under the rule of the Crown of Aragon. The verso text notably references Charles V, who recently reinforced the fortifications of Naples, a testament to the city's strategic importance in the Mediterranean.

The map marks out both modern regions such as Calabria, Apulia, Campania, and Latium, as well as the ancient territories of Picenum, Messapia, and Marrucini. This interweaving of ancient and contemporary designations provides a layered understanding of the area's history, reflecting the enduring influence of the past on the then-present geography.

The map’s design draws heavily from the work of Pirro Ligorio, a well-known Italian architect, antiquarian, and archaeologist of the Renaissance period. His intricate detailing of the region provides an insightful account of the Neapolitan territory during a significant period of its history.

Van Den Broecke 139.
1603L88 (300 copies printed) (text, but not page number and typesetting, are identical with 1609/1612L; last line, left aligned: curatè admodum suam Calabriam litteris comprehendit, & Sanfelius Campaniam.),
Abraham Ortelius Biography

Abraham Ortelius is perhaps the best known and most frequently collected of all sixteenth-century mapmakers. Ortelius started his career as a map colorist. In 1547 he entered the Antwerp guild of St Luke as afsetter van Karten. His early career was as a business man, and most of his journeys before 1560, were for commercial purposes. In 1560, while traveling with Gerard Mercator to Trier, Lorraine, and Poitiers, he seems to have been attracted, largely by Mercator’s influence, towards a career as a scientific geographer. From that point forward, he devoted himself to the compilation of his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World), which would become the first modern atlas.

In 1564 he completed his “mappemonde", an eight-sheet map of the world. The only extant copy of this great map is in the library of the University of Basel. Ortelius also published a map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of Brittenburg Castle on the coast of the Netherlands, and a map of Asia, prior to 1570.

On May 20, 1570, Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum first appeared in an edition of 70 maps. By the time of his death in 1598, a total of 25 editions were published including editions in Latin, Italian, German, French, and Dutch. Later editions would also be issued in Spanish and English by Ortelius’ successors, Vrients and Plantin, the former adding a number of maps to the atlas, the final edition of which was issued in 1612. Most of the maps in Ortelius' Theatrum were drawn from the works of a number of other mapmakers from around the world; a list of 87 authors is given by Ortelius himself

In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title of Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy (his family, as early as 1535, had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism). In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography with his Synonymia geographica (issued by the Plantin press at Antwerp and republished as Thesaurus geographicus in 1596). In 1584 he issued his Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, a Parergon (a series of maps illustrating ancient history, sacred and secular). Late in life, he also aided Welser in his edition of the Peutinger Table (1598).