Object ID
Object Name
Cypri Insulae Nova de Script
Date Created
Glass; Paper; Wood
Object Entities
Ortelius, Abraham (created by)
Ortelius, Abraham (is related to)
Object Description
This is a map of Cyprus. The text is in Latin and there are images of sailing ships and a sea monster in the top portion of the map. The bottom right corner contains an inset of another small island with an elborate boarder. In the top left corner of the map is the title stamp with an elaborate design and two nude figres sitting on the sides. The map is matted on a cream background, in a wooden frame. The map is drawn by Jacomo Franco in 1570. On the back of the frame is a note from W. Graham Arader III, describing the origins, dimensions and price of the map.
Purchased by Cyprus Museum through Richard B. Arkway Inc. Listed for $550.00

This map is a copy of a classic map of Cyprus. It is the earliest obtainable version of the best map of Cyprus made to date. Ortelis based his map upon that published in Venice by Jacomo Franco in about 1570. Franco's map greatly improved the shape and outine of the island, and he gave more placenames than any previous mapmaker. This map is from the Theatrum.

Unfortunately, Franco's map survives in only three copies, and thus Ortelius' beautifully engraved version of 1573 is the earliest obtainable version. It is a landmark in the history of the cartography of Cyprus, as it was coped by scores of later mapmakers. Ortelius' map improved upon that of Franco in that it is on a larger scale and is superior in its style and ornamentation.

In his Additamentum I, Ortelius introduced a new map of Cyprus coupled with the island of Lemnos inside a cartouche. His prototype was an extremely rare map of Cyprus, published in Venice in 1570 by Jacomo Franco. Franco's map was furnished with accurate information concurring with the latest discoveries.
Ortelius' map of 1573 became the most advanced and correct prototype destined to be used by cartographers and publishers throughout Europe until the middle of the 18th century. The map is also elegantly decorated and lavishly colored. Since it was published in all subsequent editions of the Theatrum, Ortelius periodically updated the text while the engravers he employed conditioned the printing plate.

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)
Abraham Orteluis, also known as Abraham Ortel, was born in Amsterdam. He studied Greek, Latin and Mathematics. After the death of his father, he set up a family business as a book dealer and a painter of maps. His sisters would then mount the maps on linen and Abraham would color and sell them.

He traveled widely and established contacts with the literati in many countries. From 1558 onwards, Ortelius began purchasing multiple copies of maps in order to color them and at the same time he was building a large personal collection. In 1564, Ortelius' career reached a turning point with the publication of a world map in eight sheets.

In 1560, Ortelius began to produce maps in preparation for his greatest project, the first systematic "modern" atlas. The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the World) was first published in 1570, with the majority of the maps engraved by Franz Hogenberg. The Theatrum achieved instant fames as it was the first atlas with maps prepared in a uniform format. It appeared in numerous editions and different languages, including addendum issued periodically that incorporated the latest contemporary knowledge and discoveries.

In its initial form the Theatrum consisted of 70 maps printed on 53 leaves. Supplementary maps were gradually added to the original corpus under the title Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. In later editions the Theatrum contained up to 163 map-sheets. The maps themselves are finely engraved, often very decorative and generally found with text on the reverse. The final edition appeared in 1612.

Apart from the modern maps in his major atlas, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps known as the Parergon Theatri, which first appeared in 1579. The Pareregon Theatri circulated as a separate publication and sometimes it was incorporated in the different editions of the Theatrum.
Rights and Reproduction
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Map, 1573, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8085. Accessed 04/17/24.