Cartographica Neerlandica Background for Ortelius Map No. 7


image of the map

Title: ASIAE NOVA | DESCRIPTIO [A New Depiction of Asia] (Upper centre:) "HIC MAGNUS CHAM TARTARORVM | ET CHATAIAE IMPERATOR LONGE|LATEQVE | DOMINATVR". [Here the great Cham, the chief who rules far and wide over the Tartars and Chataiae.] (Midde right: "Hic Rhabarbarű tanta copia | prouenit vt hinc ad omnes | orbis partes vehatur" [Here one finds medicinal rhubarb in such quantities that it is exported to all parts of the world.] (Upper right:) "Hic vasa porcellinŠ |dicta finguntur" [Here vases of so-called porcelain are made.] (Upper right:) "Pons marmoreus | 300 pa▀:" [Here is a bridge made of marble, 300 strides long.] (Upper right:) "Vrbs Quinsai habet vt M. | P.Venetus refert 100 mill. | pa▀: in circuitu habetq. | 12000 pontes" [The city of Quinsai, according to Mr. P. Venetus, is 100 miles in circumference, and has 12000 bridges.]

Plate size: 376 x 489 mm
Scale: 1 : 28,000,000
Identification number: Ort 7 (Koeman/Meurer: 93/I should be 71/I, not in Karrow, van der Krogt AN: 8000:31B)

Occurrence in Theatrum editions and page number:

most 1574L3 (175 copies printed) (last line, centred like 2 lines above it: nem in maiori Tabula ante tres annos edidimus.),
1575L3 (100 copies printed) (first text line ends: tracta ad; last line, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante tres annos edidimus.),
1579L(A)3 (250 copies printed) (first textline ends: tracta ad Gran-; last line, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante tres annos edidimus. Initial N of this line below rc of previous line.),
1579L(B)3 (250 copies printed) (first textline ends: tracta ad Gran-; last line, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante tres annos edidimus. Initial N of this line below au of previous line.),
1580/1589G3 (350 copies printed) (last line, centred like 5 lines above it, in Gothic script: in Truck verfertigt.),
1581F3 (400 copies printed) (last line, left aligned, in cursive script like the entire text: "te)si c'est une Isle ou terre ferme auec la Magellanique".),
1584L3 (750 copies printed) (first textline ends: Gran- ; last line, centred unlike any other line: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante tres annos edidimus.),
1587F3 (250 copies printed) (last line, left aligned, in cursive script: "Isle ou terre ferme auec la Magellanique."),
1588S3 (300 copies printed) (last line, centred: Nos tambien hemos facado a luz agora ha tres a˝os la description d'ella en tabla mayor.),
1589G3 see 1580G
1592L3 (525 copies printed) (first textline ends: ad ; last line, indented, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante aliquot annos edidimus.),
1595L3 (500 copies printed) (first textline ends: tracta ; 15th line ends: quem in- ; last line, indented, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante aliquot annos edidimus.),
1598/1610/1613D2 (100 copies printed) (last line, left aligned, in Gothic script like the entire text: Magellanicais.),
1598F3 (525 copies printed) (last line, left aligned: descouuerte )si c'est vne Isle ou terre ferme auec la Magellanique.),
1601L3 (200 copies printed) (first textline ends: tracta ; 15th line ends: quem ; last line, indented: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante aliquot annos edidimus.),
1602G3 (250 copies printed) (last line, centred like 6 lines above it, in Gothic script: fertigt.),
1602S3 (250 copies printed) (last line, left aligned, small indentation: Nos tambien hemos facado a luz agora ha tres a˝os la descripcion d'ella en tabla mayor.),
1603L3, (300 copies printed) (last line, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante aliquot annos edidimus. Note that this text and page number are identical to the text of the 1609/1612L edition, but the typesetting is different; the page number 3 is 3/4 to the right, whereas the 1609/1612 is 2/3 to the right),
1606E3 (300 copies printed) (last line, italic like the entire text, centred: "I myselfe likewise certaine yeeres past set forth in a large Map the description of the same."),
1608/1612I3 (300 copies printed) (last line, left aligned: habbiamo dato in luce il suo dissegno in tauola maggiore.),
1609/1612/1641S3 (325 copies printed) (last line, indented: Nos tambien hemos facado a luz agora ha tres a˝os la description d'ella en tabla mayor.),
1609L/1612L3 (300 copies printed) (last line, centred: Nos quoque eius descriptionem in maiori Tabula ante aliquot annos edidimus. Note that this text and page number are identical to that of 1603L, but the typesetting is different; the page number 3 is 2/3 to the right, whereas it is in 1603L 3/4 to the right).

Approximate total number of copies printed: 6700.

States: we know 7.1 only. From 1608 the map displays a spurious line running from the East of Java Maior to the West coast of Sumatra, ending above Ticos.

Cartographic sources: Ortelius' own 1567 wall map of Asia, based in turn on work by Gastaldi and Albufeda (Karrow 1/4, 30/85, 30/91 and 30/92, Meurer p. 21).

References: Tibbets, Arabia in Early Maps, Falcon-Oleander, 1978, map 41, p. 52-53. On Ortelius wall map of Asia, see G. Schilder "The Wall Maps by Abraham Ortelius" p. 93-124 and M. Heintz & C. Reiter "AsiŠ Descriptio and the Judgment Day Painting", p. 125-132, both in: Van den Broecke, van der Krogt and Meurer (eds) "Abraham Ortelius and the First Atlas", HES Publishers, 1998. T. Suarez, Early Mapping of South-East Asia, Periplus,1999, p. 164-170.

Remarks: This plate is very similar to the first Asia plate, but does not have the faint "Cum priuilegio" in the lower left corner. "La Farfana" in the upper right corner in the sea has capital first letter on the first plate (Ort 6) but is in lower case "farfana" in the second plate (Ort 7). The town "Ara" above "Aden" has disappeared in the second plate.

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Bibliographical sources

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