Cartographica Neerlandica Background for Ortelius Map No. 11

image of the map

Title: AMERICAE SIVE | NOVI ORBIS, NO:|VA DESCRIPTIO. [A new description of America or the New World]. (lower right corner:) "Cum Priuilegio decennali. | Ab. Ortelius delineab. | et excudeb. 1587". [With a privilege for ten years. Abraham Ortelius drew and executed [this map] in 1587]. NOVA GUINEA. "Andre:|as Corsalus Florent. videtur eam | sub nomine Terræ Picceinnacoli | designare". [New Guinea. Andreas Corsalis from Florence seems to designate the name Terra Picennacoli to it.] TERRA AVSTRA|LIS, SIVE | MAGELLA:|NICA HAC:|TENVS INCOGNITA. [The Southern or Magellanican land, as yet unknown.] (Left top:) "Vlterius Septentrionem versus hæ | regiones incognitæ adhuc sunt". [Further towards the North, these regions are as yet unknown.] (Centre:) "Hic vspiam insulas | eße, auro diuites | nonnulli volunt" [Some have it that somewhere here there are islands rich in gold.] (Lower right:) PATAGONES, | "vel" | REGIO GI:|GANTVM [The Patagonians, or the region of giants.] (Low right:) "Arx posita hic 1582. ex man. R.M. | C. 11000 virginum" [A fortress was built here in 1582 by hand by his Royal Majesty, for 11000 nuns.] (Middle right:) "Porto Real ad quem | Galli mercatum|nauigant". [Porto Real, to which the French merchants sail.] (Middle right:) "Rio Maragnone | cuius ostium distat | ab ostio Amazonis | flu. 104 leucis teste | Theueto." [The river Maranhao, whose mouths are at a distance of 104 miles from the mouth of the river Amazon, as Thevet says.] (Centre right:) BRESILIA | "à Lusitanis Ao. | 1504. | inuenta" [Brazil, discovered by the Portuguese in the year 1504.]

Plate size: 354 x 484 mm
Scale: 1 : 40,000,000
Identification number: Ort 11 (Koeman/Meurer: 114, Karrow: 1/7a, vdKrogtAN: 9000:31C)

Occurrence in Theatrum editions and page number:
most 1587F5 (100 copies printed) (last line: Asne, & de la façon bien pres d`vn Chameau, estant de couleur rousse.),
1588S5 (200 copies printed) (second line begins with: mado ; third line from last begins: rico ; last line, in two columns, in italic script: "Nuño Gusman, Ioan VerraZano,"
1589G5 (175 copies printed) (11th line from the bottom, left aligned, in Gothic script: theyl in Italianisch ubersetzt.),
1592L5 (525 copies printed) (13th line from bottom begins: rerum Atlanticarum: idem Fredericus Furius Cæriolanus. ; last line, in two columns ANTONIVS MENDOZA; IOANNES STADENSIS, Germanicè.),
1595L5 (500 copies printed) (13th line from bottom begins: mittet & Postellus; last line, in two columns ANTONIVS MENDOZA; IOANNES STADENSIS, Germanicè.),
1598/1610/1613D5 (100 copies printed) (last line, Gothic script, left aligned: trent een Esels ende van gedaente seer na eens kemels wat rosch van verruwt.),
1598F5 (525 copies printed) (last line, left aligned: nes)de la grandeur d'vn Asne,& de la façon bien pres d'vn Chameau,estant de couleur rousse.),
1601L5 (200 copies printed) (13th line from bottom: Indicis. Promittet & Postellus Commentaria rerum Atlanticarum: idem Fredericus Furius Cæriolanus.),
1602G5 (250 copies printed) (last line above columns with authors, left aligned, in Gothic script: lianisch ubergesetzt:),
1602S5 (250 copies printed) (second line begins with: "Orbe", third text-line from last begins: cosas indicas, last line in 3 columns, italic: Nuño Gusman, Ioan Verrazano,),
1603L5 (300 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical with 1609/1612S/L; 13th line from bottom: Promittit & Postellus Commentaria rerum Atlanticarum: idem Fredericus Furius Cæriolanus.),
1606E5 (300 copies printed) (last line, indented: English Voyages.),
1608/1612I5 (300 copies printed) (last line above two columns of cartographic sources, centred: ma sono in Italiano ridotti quasi tutti.),
1609/1612/1641S5 (325 copies printed) (last line, two columns, italic: "Nuño Gusman, Ioan Verazzano", third line from last begins: "tarios de la cosas"),
1609/1612L5 (300 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical to 1603L; first line under T beginning the text: ne Atlantis descriptam opinentur ; ego quoque eius mentionem fieri à Plutarcho de ; last line in two columns: ANTONIVS MENDOZA, IOANNES STADENSIS, Germanicè.),
1613D5 (text identical with 1598D).

Approximate number of copies printed: 4350.

States: 11.1 as described.
11.2: post-1612S copies show Le Maire Strait (1618 or later) and have the date 1587 removed.

Cartographic sources: Gerard Mercator's 1569 world map (Karrow 56/17, 56/18 p. 390-393, Meurer p. 38). Brandmair mentions as a recent source necessitating this new plate the Americas map of Giovanni Mazza, published by Rascicotti in 1583 in Venice.

References: Ph. D. Burden, "The Mapping of America 1511-1670", 1996, p. 79-81, map 64. D. Reinhartz "The Americas Revealed in the Theatrum", p. 209-220 in: Van den Broecke, Van der Krogt and Meurer (eds) "Abraham Ortelius and the First Atlas", HES Publishers, 1998.

Remarks: This plate without a bulge in the west coast of South America is the successor of plate Ort 10, which still has the bulge in the coast of South America. In this plate, there is also additional information on Terra Australis, Solomon Islands (discovered in 1568 by Pedro Sarmiento and Alvaro de Mendana) and added locations and notes on the west coasts of North and South America, possibly after Hakluyt. New cartouche in North America.
Quite a few of the new place names appearing along the North American west coast were provided to Ortelius by Hakluyt on the basis of recent explorations, which were not published for political reasons.
Recently I found a copperplate which is a very close copy of this map plate (or the other way around) from which no copies were printed in Ortelius' time. For further information see next map and also
The poem included in the text below beginning with "Saxa volventur" (paragraph 18-21) also occurs in the "Paraphrase de Galien" written by Michel de Nostre Dame.


Bibliographical sources

Topographical names

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