Cartographica Neerlandica Background for Ortelius Map No. 201

image of the map

Title: ORDINES SACRI ROMANI IMP: AB OTTONE III INSTITVTI [The ranks of the Holy Roman Empire, as established by Otto the Third].
(Top row left:) "Tres officiales ac Eclectores Ecclesiastici" [Three officials and electors on behalf of the Church]. (Top middle:) IMPERATOR [Emperor] (Top row right:) "Quatuor officiales ac Electores seculares Romani Im". [Four officials and secular Electors of the [Holy Roman] Empire]. (Left row middle:) "Quatuor Duces Impery" [Four Dukes of the [Holy Roman] Empire]. (Right row middle:) "Quatuor Marchiones Impery" [Four Marquises of the [Holy Roman] Empire].(Bottom row left:) "Quatuor Comites Provinciales Impery". [Four Provincial dignitaries of the [Holy Roman] Empire]. (Bottom row right:) "Quatuor Comites Castrenses Impery" [Four military dignitaries of the [Holy Roman] Empire].

Plate size: 374 x 521 mm.
Scale: not applicable.
Identification number: Ort 201 (Koeman/Meurer: 40P, not in Karrow, vdKrogtAN: P-HRE/1:32).

Occurrence in Theatrum editions and page number:

few 1603Lxxxviij or (mostly) xvij (300 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical with the 1609/1612L/S editions; last line, left aligned: qui sequenti tabula exhibetur.),
1606Exxxviij (300 copies printed) (last line, left aligned: RENECK, and STOMBVRG, are Earles Marshall or of the field.),
1608/1612Ixvij (300 copies printed) (last line, left aligned: Germani pacificamente restasse ; come nella seguente tauola si dimostra.),
1609/1612Sxvij (text in Latin) = 1609L/1612Lxvij (600 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical with 1603L ; last line, left aligned: sequenti tabula exhibetur.),
1624LParergon/1641Sxxj (1025 copies printed) (last line second column: neret,excogitauit,qui sequenti Tabula exhibetur.).

States: 201.1 only

Approximate number of copies printed in Theatrum: 2525.

Cartographic sources: this plate is the first of a pair, made by Gerard de Jode (as is indicated on the next plate). These two plates first appeared in the 1593 edition of the Speculum Orbis Terrę, and were later acquired by Vrients, who included them in the Theatrum from 1603L onwards. They represent the dignitaries entitled to choose German Emperors, as instituted to end the turmoil and quarrelling that occurred after the death of Charles the Great, by Otto IV and the Pope. This plate shows left of the Emperor the highest ranking officials, three ecclesiastical and four lay dignitaries. The second rank consists of four dukes and four marquises, the third of 8 counts. Further ranks are depicted on the sequel plate, Ort 202. The copper plate used for printing this view has been preserved in the Plantin-Moretus museum in Antwerp.

References: P.H. Meurer: "Abraham Ortelius' Concept and Map of 'Germania'", p. 263-270 in M. van den Broecke, P. van der Krogt and P.H. Meurer (eds.) "Abraham Ortelius and the First Atlas", HES Publishers, 1998.


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