This is a set of two maps, both in color. The text is elgant font and written in Latin. The top map is of Cyprus, and directly underneath it is a map of Crete. Water is indicated by blue ink. In the water there are two sailing ships below Cyprus and one sailing ship below Crete. Cyprus' land is outlined in yellow ink, and Crete's land is outlined in pink. The map is matted on a cream background and in a dark wooden frame. There is a crease down the center of the paper.
This very important map of Cyprus is coupled with a map of Crete. Its prototype is the significant 1566 map of the Venetian cartographer Giovanni Francesco Camocio, who had copied the rare map of Matheo Pagano (1538). This is the earliest of three maps of Cyprus published by Ortelius. This is not the first production of Cyrpus/Crete that Ortelius crafted. With the crease in this map, it probably came from one of the Atlas' that Ortelius was responsible for. It comes from Ortelius' Theatrum.
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.
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Map, 1573, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8086. Accessed 03/24/23.