Cartographica Neerlandica Background for Ortelius Map No. 224

image of the map

Title: ERYTHRAEI SIVE RVBRI MARIS PERIPLVS, | "olim ab Arriano descriptus, nunc vero ab Abrah. Ortelio ex eodem delineatus" (in second state:) OLIM AB ARRIANO DESCRIPTVS | NVNC VERO AB ABRAH. ORTELIO EX EODEM DELINEATVS. [Erythræi or the Red Sea, earlier described by Arrianus, but now on this basis depicted by Abraham Ortelius]. (Bottom right:) "Cum Imp. Reg. et Can|cellariæ Brabantiæ privi|legio decennali 1597." [With a privilege from his majesty the king and the Brabant council for ten years, 1597]. (Top left in ANNONIS | PERIPLVS inset:) "Cariconthicos, Gytte, | Acra, Melitta, et Aram:|bys; civitates hoc tractu | ab Annone conditæ". [Cariconthici, Gytte, Acra, Melitta and Arambys, societies in this area that were founded by Hanno]. (Bottom left:) AZANIA, "Regio | Arabiæ, quam Ma:|pharites tyrannus gubernat". [Azania, a part of Arabia ruled by the tyrant Mapharites]. (Mid left:) "Aphar | metropolis et domus | Charibaelis: Homeritarum et | Sabaitarum regis". [The metropolis of Aphar, seat of Charibaelis, king of the Homeritæ and Sabaitæ]. (Mid left:) "Sara, cuius tyrannus | est Cholæbus". [Sara, whose tyrant is Solæbus.] (Centre:) "Sinthus fluvius ma:|ris Rubri fluviorum | omnium maximus. | Indus fluvius alijs". [The river Sinthus is the largest river of all emptying into the Red Sea. By others, it is called the river Indus.] (Centre:) "Dioscoridis insula, | subiecta regi Eleazi | cui quoque tota regio | Thurifera". [The isle of Dioscorides, subject to king Eliazus, who also rules the entire region of Thurifera]. (21 lines of text in Indochina peninsula:) "Arrianum huius Peripli auctorem alium eße ab eo qui Alexan:|dri Magni descripsit expeditionem, videtur Bap. Ramusio in | suo ad eundem Commentariolo Italica lingua edito: quia | utriusque nempe stylus dispar sit atque dissimilis. Idem hunc nostrû | Ptolemæi temporibus vixiße autumat : cui quod | quodammodo adsentiar, facit quod hic ipse in suo | Euxini periplo Traianum Imp. adloquitur. Atque | alium multò vetustiorem mihi veresimile, quod | ille inter eos quos citat scriptores, vix recen:|tiorum Herodoto aut Euripide nominet. | Vtut sit, diuersos facilè lector intelliget, | qui utriusque, huius nempe Nearchi | ab Indo flumine ad Tigridis ostij | nauigationem, cum illius contra | ab eodem ostio ad dictum | Indum, quem Sinthum nun:|cupat, legendo contulerit: | ne uno quidem loci | nomine inter hos | namque convenire | depræhendet". [Arrianus, the author of this Periplus [coastal sea journey] is someone who is different from the person who has written about the expedition of Alexander the Great, as it seems to Baptist Ramusio, in his comments on him published in the Italian language because their style of writing is different and dissimilar. He also thinks that he must have lived in the time of Ptolemæus. With which I somehow agree, for he seems to address himself in his Periplus on the Euxine sea to Traianus the emperor. But the other [source] truly seems to be much older, because among others, he cites authors who are hardly more recent than Herodotus and Euripides. Whatever the case may be, the reader will easily gather from the various sources that one of these two from Nearchus at the river Indus navigated to the mouth of the river Tigris, and from that mouth back to the river Indus just mentioned, in fact called the river Sinthum, as you can read on the map, so that everyone understands why the places are named as they are]. (Inset middle bottom 110 x 210 mm:) VLYSSES ERRORES, | "ex Conatib. Geographicis Ab Ortelij". [The wandering of Ulysses, from the geographical efforts of Abraham Ortelius]. (Inset top left, round, diameter 76 mm:) ANNONIS | PERIPLVS; (Inset top right, round, diameter 76 mm:) HYPER:|BOREI (North Pole). (More text blocks in Topographical Names).

Plate size: 360 x 465 mm.
Scale: 1 : 25,000,000.
Identification number: Ort 224 (Koeman/Meurer: 37P, not in Karrow, van der Krogt AN: 0500H:31A).

Occurrence in Theatrum editions and page number:

1601Lxxxiiij (200 copies printed) (last line first text page, right aligned: cium ; last line second text page, left aligned: prætereuntes nauigauere) quam, etsi non tenuerint,dicam,quod Naiades nymphæ de Phaëtonte,magnis tamen excidisse ausis.)
1603L rarely xxxiiij or mostly xxxvj (300 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical to 1609/1612S/L; last line first text page, right aligned, in cursive script: "Borei"; last line second text page, cidisse ausis.),
1606Exxxiiij (300 copies printed) (last line, first text page of four, cursive like the entire text, full width: "reason, why I may not freely propose to the censure of the learned what I doe think of the same. When I do consider the fashion and maner of building of | Ulysses"),
1608/1612Ixxxvj (300 copies printed) (last line first text page, right aligned: dell'reci- last line second text page, left aligned, in cursive script like the last two sections: "no son caduti di speranza & effetto di smisurati ardimenti & marauigliosi".),
1609S/1612Sxxvj (text in Latin) = 1609L/1612Lxxxvj (600 copies printed) (last line first page, in cursive script, right aligned: "Sospita", last line second text page, left aligned, in very small font: Bonæ Spei longiori itinere prætereuntes nauigare) quam,etsi non tenuerint,dicam,quod Naiades nymphæ de Phaëtonte,magnis tamen excidisse ausis.),
1624LParergon/1641Sxl, xlj (1025 copies printed) (last line second column first text page, right aligned: Cedre- ; last line second column second text page, right aligned: insu- ); in total six text pages.

Approximate number of copies printed: 2725.

States 224.1: as described.
224.2: after 1612L and before 1624 the main cartouche with two lines of text was re-engraved with a four-line but identical title. The following place names were added or changed: upper left "Mioshormos" was changed to "Myoshormos"; lower left "Apocope parvum" changed to "Apocope parva"; "Apocopum | magnum" changed to "Apocopum | magna"; middle left "Daphnus | parvum" to "Daphnus | parvus"; lower left "Polyphem | antrum" changed to "Polyphemi | antrum"; "Politæ sacellum" added; bottom centre "Boræus mons" and "Neptuni | fanum" added; lower right "Cynossema" added. In my "Ortelius atlas maps" of 1996, I wrongly assumed that this was a new plate and called it Ort225.

Cartographic sources: (Ulysses:) Homerus' Odyssee, (Annonis Periplus:) Isaac Tzetzes, Ovidius and Ausonius. .

Remarks: the inset map in the top left corner represents the Northwest coast of Africa. King Hanno from Carthago is supposed to be the first who sailed around the continent of Africa to reach the Arabian sea, and incidentally also the first to tame a lion, as related by Plinius, Xenophon and Solinus, who base themselves on Hanno's writings, as translated by Baptista Ramusio and Conradus Gesnerus. The inset map Hyperborei top right has been added, as Ortelius puts it "for better beautifying or proportioning of this map", and to remind the reader that in spite of all their exertions, a passage to the Far East via the North Pole has not yet been found by the English or the Dutch.


Bibliographical sources

Topographical names

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