The PARERGON THEATRI
A CATALOGUE of ANCIENT WORLD MAPS
Sanders of Oxford
Antique Prints & Maps
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The Parergon Theatri A Catalogue of Ancient World Maps From Friday 12th January 2018.
Following the success of last yearâ€™s Mapping the Ancient World, this January, Sanders of Oxford is pleased to present The Parergon Theatri: A Catalogue of Ancient World Maps. The catalogue, and its accompanying exhibition in store, explores the art, history, and context of Abraham Orteliusâ€™ Parergon Theatri, a collection of superb maps of the Biblical and Classical Mediterranean. All works are available to purchase and will be on display in the gallery.
Sanders of Oxford. Antique Prints & Maps Salutation House 104 High Street Oxford OX1 4BW www.sandersofoxford.com - 01865 242590 - email@example.com Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm. Sundays 11am - 5pm.
Introduction: Ortelius & the Parergon Theatri
01-03: The Geography of the Bible
04-10: Ptolemy & the Greek World
11-14: Myth as History & History as Myth
15-18: Caesarâ€™s Gallic Wars
19-24: The Rise of Rome, from City to Empire
ORTELIUS & The PARERGON THEATRI
Abraham Ortelius (1527 -1598) was a Flemish cartographer, cosmographer, geographer, and publisher, and a contemporary of Gerard Mercator, with whom he travelled through Italy and France. Although it is Mercator who ﬁrst used the word “Atlas” as a name for a collection of maps, it is Ortelius who is remembered as the creator of the ﬁrst modern atlas. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was the ﬁrst systematically collated set of maps by diﬀerent map makers in a uniform format. Three Latin editions as well as a Dutch, French and German edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were published by 1572 and a further 25 editions printed before Ortelius’ death in 1598. Several more were printed posthumously, and Ortelius’ maps continued to play a vital role in mapmaking across Europe for the century following his death.
In addition to his work as a cartographer, he dealt in antiquities, visited and surveyed ancient sites across Europe, published a critical edition of Caesar’s Gallic Wars in 1593, and assisted Welser in his studies of the famous Tabula Peutingeriana in 1598, producing an engraved copy of the map that can be found in later editions of the Parergon.
The Parergon (’Supplement’) was, as the title suggests, originally conceived of as a supplement to Ortelius’ Theatrum. The work, a massive and intricately researched index of the classical world, was accompanied by a series of ancient world maps. Unlike the maps of the Theatrum, the majority of which were reductions of earlier maps, the maps of the Parergon were researched and drafted by Ortelius himself. The work was a huge commercial success, and the maps themselves set the standard for ancient world maps for the duration of the seventeenth century, being reproduced or reprinted by various publishers after the ﬁnal 1624 Moretus printing.
Ortelius’ own career, like his friend Mercator’s, danced a ﬁne line with the various religious authorities of northern Europe. Indeed his birth in Antwerp, rather than his family’s native Augsburg, was almost certainly the result of the Ortels Family’s ﬂight from the Holy Roman Empire, under suspicion of Protestantism. Like many aspects of publishing, mapmaking in the sixteenth century was risky business. Maps allowed the viewer to see the world from a God-like perspective, looking down from the heavens above. Such a concept, so basic to modern map users, was deeply unsettling to church authorities both Catholic and Protestant.
Ortelius’ interest in the mapping of the ancient world is manifest. The maps of the Parergon are a veritable mine of textual commentary and classical philology, drawing upon Ptolemy, Strabo, Pliny, and many others. Interestingly, the project seems to have been a labour of love, rather than a mercantile venture. Ortelius himself was fascinated with the ancient world, and a formidable classical scholar in his own right.
In 1553, when Ortelius was still a junior mapcolourist, the publisher Michael Servetus was burned at the stake by the Geneva Calvinists for simply suggesting that the bible was wrong in asserting that Palestine was a land rich and fruitful, when his own geographical investigations had suggested it was barren and dry.
The maps of the Parergon ﬁnd their genesis, appropriately, in Ortelius’ maps of the Holy Land and the geography of the Bible. Biblical maps were very much in fashion during the late ﬁfteenth and early sixteenth century, intended originally to illustrate God’s Creation in the terrestrial and celestial spheres. The Protestant Reformation, however, put map-makers in an awkward, and often dangerous, religious and political position.
Perhaps this is one reason why so many of the maps of Ortelius and his contemporaries contain overt biblical references. In exhorting the viewer to marvel at the wonders of God’s Great Work, the mapmaker simultaneously oﬀered a balm to zealous religious authorities. By the end of the sixteenth century, the religious turmoil of Ortelius’ youth had calmed, but remained a valid cause for concern. In 1575, Ortelius was appointed Royal Geographer to King Philip II of Spain. Despite his fame, Ortelius’ position was only ratiﬁed through the support of his friend Montanus, who assured the Catholic monarch of Ortelius’ orthodoxy. The resulting patronage allowed Ortelius greater creative freedom, and his biblical maps, included in early editions of the Theatrum, became the groundwork for a much more ambitious project to examine the history of the Mediterranean. The logical next step for this supplement, or Parergon, was an examination of the geographical legacy of the Classical and Hellenistic Greek world. Illustrated editions of Ptolemy, the second century AD Alexandrine Greek polymath, had begun to appear in the ﬁfteenth century, and so by Ortelius’ day were well-trodden territory for map-makers. What set Ortelius’ maps apart was the application of contemporary geography to classical description. Ortelius’ maps showed more than just classical place names. His maps were both erudite and playful. Theories drawn from Greek philosophy were counterpoised with epic journeys from classical myth, so that Thales and Anaximander on one map met Jason and Aeneas on the next.
Added to this sense of geographic whimsy was a solid foundation in the language and literature of the Greek and Roman worlds. Every map is agonizingly detailed. Every site, city, or notable feature is labelled and referenced. The Roman world is obviously given the most attention. To Ortelius and his contemporaries, their Europe was the unworthy inheritor of a much greater Roman ancestor. Ortelius himself was obsessed with the Roman ancestry of his native lands. His map of ancient Belgium, one in a series illustrating his favourite classical text, Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum, states as much in its dedication, when it exhorts his fellow countrymen to remember their ancient heritage. Similar maps appear for each of the Roman provinces, often illustrating regions, like Dacia, Pontus, Thrace, or Roman Africa, that had no contemporary equal in Ortelius’ world. The maps on the following pages represent the largest collection of Ortelius’ works ever held by Sanders of Oxford. Together they provide a remarkable timeline of Classical geography, from the very earliest histories of Egypt and the Ancient Near East, to the Byzantines, Vandals, and many other Post-Roman nations that connected Ortelius’ Europe to the Classical Mediterranean.
The GEOGRAPHY of THE BIBLE
01. Geographia Sacra Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex Conatibus geographicis Abrahami Ortelij. Cum privilegio Imp. Regis, et Cancellariae Brabantiae, ad decennium. MDXCVIII [1624 Parergon] 350 x 478 mm A map of ‘Sacred Geography,‘ essentially depicting the ancient world on a Ptolemaic projection, and showing the lands, peoples, and nations of the Old and New Testament, from the 1624 Parergon. The map features the traditional tripartite division of the Old World into the continents of Europa, Asia, and Africa. Africa is here also given the name Phut, a reference to the eponymous Son of Ham that tradition held to have ﬁrst settled in Libya. As the map draws only upon the text of the Bible for its geographic knowledge, large sections of the map feature only rudimentary details, with some left completely blank. Coasts and borders are outlined in hand colour, and cities and towns are picked out in red. In Europe, the only cities plotted individually are Rome, Athens, Sparta, and Gortina in Crete. Likewise, with the exception of the cities of Egypt, the only African settlement depicted is Tharsis (Carthage). By contrast, the Holy Land is, predictably, very well mapped, with the many cities, towns, and villages of the Bible depicted, many with their Hebrew titles. The map is further embellished by a series of decorative strapwork cartouches, including a large garlanded one enclosing the title, and a box in the bottom right corner featuring a dedication to the Antwerp noble Guilielmus Grimberg.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the map though are the contents of the two cartouches to the bottom and left corner of the plate, describing the source tradition for Ophir, the mythical land of gold. An oval map at centre, essentially a miniature of Ortelius’ celebrated map of the World, depicts putative locations of Ophir according to various geographical sources. Ortelius himself believed that, should such a place exist, its most likely location was in southern Africa, perhaps expanding on contemporary theories regarding the location of the Kingdom of Prester John. Others, meanwhile, have suggested sites in the Far East, the Caribbean, and South America, the latter likely a conﬂation with traveller’s stories of Manoa or El Dorado. Cartographically, the map is also of interest for its depiction of the Poles, showing a separate Arctic landmass to the North, titled here using another popular mythographic convention as ‘Hyperborea.’ This is balanced at the opposite pole by the landmass of Hypernotia, the land ‘Beyond the South Wind.’ Condition: Clean, dark impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor oﬀsetting to left and right edges of plate. Latin text on verso.  £1,000
02. Peregrinationis Divi Pauli Typus Chorographicus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Abrah. Ortelius describebat 1579. Cum privilegio Imp. et Regiae Maiestatis [1641 Parergon] 350 x 500 mm The ﬁnal occurrence of Ortelius’ map of the wanderings of the Apostle Paul through the Eastern Mediterranean, originally printed for the 1624 Parergon. This particular example was one of a number of Parergon maps sold by Moretus for inclusion in the 1641 Spanish edition of the Theatrum, despite the fact that their verso text, in Latin, did not match the Spanish text of the rest of the atlas. The map eﬀectively shows the peoples, states, and divisions of the Eastern Mediterranean during the Roman Imperial period. Provincial borders and sea coasts are outlined in hand colour, and principal cities and towns are picked out in red and labelled with their Latin titles. Sites with particular relevance to St Paul are given special attention, including Tarsus, Ephesus, Corinth, Athens, Malta, and Rome. ‘Paradise’ is plotted as a site in Palestine, at the mouth of the Orontes River, and Mount Sinai is topped with a large cruciﬁx. In the waters of the Mediterranean are a number of sea monsters and sailing ships. The borders of the map feature a pair of boxed texts. One, at centre top, encloses the title, and lists the main source for the map as the Gospel of Luke. 14
Flanking this are a pair of vignettes illustrating two of the best known events from the Life of St Paul. On the left is Saul’s conversion. The Lord, appearing as a beam of light from the Heavens, blinds the zealot Saul on the Road to Damascus, causing him to fall from his horse. To the right, Paul’s shipwreck oﬀ the coast of Malta is shown. The survivors swim to shore, where the hospitable locals have built a bonﬁre to warm them. Drying his clothes by the ﬁre, Paul is shown being bitten by a venomous serpent, but is unharmed. His hosts, amazed, welcome the messenger of Christ to their island and convert. At the bottom of the plate, a large passage of text from one of Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians speaks of the travels, both physical and spiritual, that the believer undertakes in life, in preparation for their heavenly union with the Lord. The Peregrinations of St Paul was one of the ﬁrst of Ortelius’ historical maps, having been engraved for the 1579 Theatrum, and reprinted with very few changes until the mid-seventeenth century. Thus, it diﬀers in style from many of the other maps of the Parergon, the vast majority of which were engraved later and in a much more uniform manner by Jan Wierix. Condition: Clean impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor surface abrasion to margins, not aﬀecting plate. Latin text on verso.  £1,000
03. Palaestrinae Sive Totius Terrae Promissionis Nova Descriptio Auctore Tilemanno Stella Sigenensi Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Cum privilegio. [1601 Parergon] 340 x 450 mm A map of the biblical ‘Promised Land,’ depicting the ancient coastal regions of Egypt, Arabia, Judea, and Syria from the 1601 Parergon. The various kingdoms are outlined and washed in hand colour, with principal cities and towns picked out in red. The Mediterranean features three sailing ships, and unusual historical features of each kingdom are depicted, including the Tomb of Pompey on the coast north of Pelusium and the tomb of Mary in the Wilderness of Zin. The path taken by the Jews in their exodus is also marked, beginning in the Egyptian city of Pi-Ramesses, crossing the Red Sea, and winding through the Arabian desert before reaching Judea.
The map is embellished with two large decorative strap cartouches, one containing the title and a scale in miles, the other featuring a passage in Latin from Deuteronomy, promising the People of God a land rich in rivers, springs, and ﬁelds, where bread, honey, and all manner of fruits are produced in abundance. Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Minor time toning and small tears to margins, not aﬀecting plate. Latin text on verso.  £950
PTOLEMY & The GREEK WORLD
04. Aevi Veteris, Typus Geographicus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Abrah. Ortelius Regiae Mtis. Geographus describ. cum Privilegijs decennalib. Imp. Reg. et Cancellariae Brabantiae. Antverpiae Ambivaritorum, 1590 [1624 Parergon] 312 x 444 mm An unusual but highly decorative world map, eﬀectively a Ptolemaic projection of the Old World, from the 1624 Parergon. The map shows the extent of geographical knowledge as presented in the classical sources. At centre, the old tripartite division of the world into the continents of Europa, Asia, and Africa is depicted, with borders and coasts outlined in hand colour. A small number of cities, including Lutetia (Paris), Rome, Byzantium (Istanbul), Hierusalem (Jerusalem), Alexandria, and Memphis are picked out in red, and forests, mountain ranges, rivers, and lakes are also coloured. The southern regions of Africa are missing, though half of Madagascar is featured, and the map stretches as far east as the South East Asian peninsula, but does not include China. These geographical features are embedded in a much larger empty oval, intended to show, as Ortelius’ explains in his commentary, that the extent of classical geographical knowledge covers only a fraction of the actual surface of our globe. The remaining space is instead used to illustrate the various ‘zones’ of the world, a popular subject in ancient philosophy, and early Christian theosophy. The zone north of Hyperborea, essentially the Arctic circle, is described as a frigid region, void of life. Below this, the zone between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer is the temperate zone, inhabited by the various races of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East.
On either side of the Equator, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn is another area described by the ancients as inhospitable, due to the belief that the intensity of the Sun made life impossible. Of most interest is the fourth zone, which, although completely unknown and unexplored in the classical era, was rightly theorised to be habitable, sharing a similar climate to that of the northern temperate zone. The map is a curious work of classical philological erudition. The extensive notes on the verso of the map collate as many references as Ortelius’ was able to ﬁnd regarding the science of geography in Antiquity, from Anaximander’s creation of the ﬁrst map, to traveller’s tales of globes, tables, and charts in use across the Greek and Roman world. Some seventeen authors are included in the list, providing a remarkable thorough index of geographical achievement, from Egyptian cosmography, Babylon, and Carthage, to Byzantium, the court of Charlemage, and Dominicanus of Colmar’s 13th century World Map. The map is surrounded by an elaborate fretwork border, in which are embedded a set of four roundel maps of the Continents, a large title cartouche, and an exhortation, below, that the spectator of this map enjoy this puzzle of the world, and wonder at the impact that Columbus’ discoveries in 1492 on our knowledge of the world. Condition: Clean impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor surface abrasion to margins, not aﬀecting plate. Latin text on verso.  £1,250
05. Eλλάς, Graecia, Sophiani. Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Abrahamo Ortelio descriptore. Cum Privilegio. [1595 Parergon] 345 x 490 mm The 1595 Latin printing of Ortelius’ map of ancient Greece, based upon the cartography of Nikolaus Sophianos (c.1500-1552). The map is centred on the Aegean Sea, depicting the regions of Achaea, Epirus, Macedon, Illyria, Mysia, Dacia, Thrace, Bithynia et Pontus, Galatia, Asia, Lycia, Pamphylia, and the Greek Islands. Each region is further divided into the territories of individual Greek city-states, Roman-era administrative regions, and the kingdoms of foreign peoples.
Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, particularly Athens and the Piraeus, which is notable for its size in comparison to other cities. The map is further embellished by two decorative cartouches. One contains a scale in Greek stadia, as well as German, French, and Italian miles. The other, enclosing the title, features two snake-legged kekropid atlantids supporting a pediment decorated with symbols of agricultural abundance. Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Strong, dark impression with full margins. Latin text on verso.  £1,000
06. Thraciae Veteris Typus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. Cum Imp. et Belgico privilegio decennali 1585. [1618 Bertius] 356 x 478 mm A map of ancient Thrace, roughly corresponding to modern day Bulgaria, northern Greece, and the European part of Turkey, originally engraved in 1585 for the 1590 Parergon. This particular example is the rare 1618 printing, which was one of a number of Ortelius’ ancient world maps sold to Petrus Bertius for inclusion in his Theatrum Geographiae Veteris. The map depicts the extent of the ancient tribal lands of the Thracians, with particular reference to the Odyrysian kingdom, a loose confederation of tribes that existed following the expulsion of the Persians in the ﬁfth century BC, until the ﬁrst century AD when it was subsumed by the Roman empire. The map also shows parts of the surrounding territories of Moesia, between the Danube and the Haemus Mountains, Macedonia, Bithynia, Asia, the Aegean islands of Lemnos, Thasos, Samos (Samothrace), Imbros, and Tenedos, as well as part of the Black Sea, the Propontis, and the northern Aegean. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour, and principal geographic features are shown, including the two mountain ranges of the Haemus and Rhodope, named after the mythic king of Thrace and his queen, who were transformed into mountains after having the temerity to compare themselves to Zeus and Hera.
Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, the most signiﬁcant of which, Byzantium, Cyzicus, and Philippopolis, are given extra descriptive text. The Thracian tribe of the Cicones, made famous in their bloody struggles against Odysseus in Book 9 of Homer’s Odyssey, occupy a coastal valley to the south of Traianopolis, and the mythical stables of Diomedes are plotted on the coastline across from the island of Thasos. The horses stabled within were the object of one of Hercules’ labours, and, later, were considered the sires of Alexander’s horse, Bucephalus. The site of the famous battle of Philippi, in which Brutus and Cassius were defeated by the Caesarian forces under Antony and Octavian, can be seen to the north of the promontory of the holy site of Mount Athos. The map is further embellished by a trio of strap-work cartouches. The ﬁrst, enclosing the title, also features the word ‘Thrace’ written in Greek capitals, while the other two contain lists of place names of unknown location, in Thrace generally, and within the region surrounding Byzantium. On the verso, copious notes provide a history of the region, with particular reference to Byzantium and Constantinople, as well as a discussion of classical source traditions for the racial and linguistic features of various Thracian tribes. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Professionally repaired splits to central fold. Latin text on verso.  £650
07. Pontus Euxinus, Aequor Iasonio pulsatum remige primum Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrahami Ortelij. Cum Privilegio Imp. Reg. et Belgico Ad decennium. 1590. [1595 Parergon] 355 x 500 mm
Among the more interesting are Tanais at the top of the Sea of Asov, described as the ‘emporium’ of Europe and Asia, the Colchian Temple of Phryxis, original owner of the Golden Fleece, the Racecourse of Achillles as mentioned in Herodotus, and the city of Tomis, where the Roman poet Ovid served his exile and penned his Tristia, or ‘Lamentations.’
A map of the ancient Black Sea, usually called the Euxine or ‘hospitable’ sea by classical authors, from the 1595 Parergon. The map depicts the ancient nations, kingdoms, and provinces bordering the Black Sea, including Sarmatia, Scythia, the Tauric Chersonese, Asia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Bithynia, Pontus, Thracia, Moesia, and Dacia, as well as the adjoining waters of the Propontis and Lake Maeotis (the modern day Sea of Asov).
The map also features a pair of decorative strap-work cartouches. The smaller of the two encloses Ortelius’ publication line, while the title cartouche, featuring the Black Sea’s names, Pontus and Euxinus, in Greek characters, described the sea as calm, ﬁrst stirred by the oars of the hero Jason. The verso contains a lengthy description of the history of the Black Sea, paying particular attention to the various names given to it in the classical corpus.
The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour, and principal geographic features are shown, including the Riphaean and Caucasus mountain ranges and the forests of the Tauric Chersonese. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, and many are further annotated with references to the classical authors.
Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor foxing to margins, not aﬀecting plate or image. Latin text on verso.  £700
08. Ægyptus Antiqua Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus geographicis Abrahami Ortelij. cum Privilegio decennali. 1595 356 x 508 mm The ﬁrst state of Ortelius’ single-sheet map of Ancient Egypt, from the 1595 Parergon. The map depicts the kingdoms, nomes, and tribal areas of ancient Egypt, oriented with West to top. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities are picked out in red, and the map is heavily annotated with references from the classical source tradition for the various cities, settlements, and monuments of Egyptian antiquity. The Nile itself runs the full length of the map, and sections of the neighbouring parts of Aethiopia, Arabia, and Libya are labelled. The Pyramids of Giza are depicted as three tall triangles, and near the branch of the Nile leading to Lake Moeris is a representation of the mythical labyrinth. The island of Philae can be seen near the borders of Aethiopia, while on the shores of the Mediterranean, the tomb of Pompey is depicted and labelled.
The map is further ornamented with three cartouches. One, in decorative strap-work, encloses the title, and a passage from Lucan describing the fecundity of the River Nile. In the centre, a simple oval cartouche lists numerous place names of uncertain location. Finally, at the top right corner, next to the entry for the desert oasis of Siwa, is an inset map of the great city of Alexandria. On the verso, copious notes describe the history and culture of ancient Egypt, beginning with the famous Herodotean maxim that ‘Aegyptus Nili donum,’ Egypt is the gift of the Nile. The map itself is a reduced single-sheet version of Ortelius’ earlier two-sheet map of Ancient Egypt, the cartography for which is based mainly on Diodorus, Herodotus, Strabo, and Pliny. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Professional repaired wormhole to centre bottom border of map. Latin text on verso  £950
09. Alexandri Magni Macedonis Expeditio Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatib. geographicis Ab. Ortelij. Cum Privilegio Imp. et Ordinum Belgicor. ad decennium. 1595. [1624 Parergon] 360 x 460 mm A map of the Middle East depicting the conquests of Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, from the 1624 Parergon. The map depicts the ancient kingdoms and regions of Greece, Asia Minor, Libya, Egypt, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Bactria and Sogdiana, Parthia, Arachosia, Gadrosia, and the Valley of the Indus River. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities are picked out in red, and the map is heavily annotated with references from the classical source tradition for Alexander’s expeditions. Ortelius’ grasp of, and familiarity with, ancient scholarship is detailed and precise, and he provides direct references to Arrian, Curtius Rufus, Pliny, Plutarch, Aelian, Philostratus, Aristobulus, and others. A sea monster and Alexander’s ﬂeet, commanded by Nearchus, are depicted oﬀ the coast of Gadrosia, above a scholarly comment on the naming of the Red Sea, and its connection to the semi-mythic king Erythras. A similar note on classical nomenclature can be found in the Caspian Sea. The terminus of Alexander’s expedition, on the banks of the Indus, is marked by a pair of altars near the source of the Ganges.
The map is further embellished by a trio of strapwork cartouches. One encloses the title, another the dedication to Henricus Schotius, a lord of Antwerp. The largest of the three, in the bottom left corner, contains a fanciful but ornate view of the Temple of Zeus Ammon at Siwa, located in the ancient Libyan desert. The oasis was the scene of one of the most famous of the stories of Alexander. The priests, hoping to ingratiate themselves with the young conqueror, welcomed the King as their ‘son.’ Alexander, always the pragmatist, used this welcome to claim divine descent from the god himself, and the ram’s horns of Zeus Ammon became a key feature of portraits of the King and his Successors. On the verso, the copious notes describe the cartographic sources for the map, with particular reference to Archelaus, Diogenes Laertius, Pliny, and Strabo, as well as histories of the Siwa Oasis, and the famous ‘whispering statue’ of Memnon in the Egyptian desert. The verso also features depictions of Hellenistic and Roman coinage. Condition: Clean, dark impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso  £1,250
10. Erythraei sive Rubri Maris Periplus, olim ab Arriano Descriptus, nunc vero ab Abrah. Ortelio ex eodem Delineatus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Cum Imp. Reg. et Cancellariae Brabantiae privilegio decennali 1597 [1624 Parergon] 360 x 462 mm Condition: Clean impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor foxing to margins, not aďŹ€ecting image. Latin text on verso.  ÂŁ1,250
A fascinating map of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, charting the text of the ancient Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, originally printed for the 1624 Parergon. The map stretches from the Eastern coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, across Persia and the India Subcontinent, to the putative ‘Aurea Regio,’ or Kingdom of Gold in the Far East. Coasts and borders are outlined in beautiful hand colour, and cities, towns, and trade ports are picked out in red. The Greek text upon which the map is based was most likely composed in the ﬁrst century AD by a Greco-Egyptian author, either based in Alexandria or the trading city of Berenice on the Red Sea Coast. The work, in sixty-six chapters, records a sailing voyage along the coasts of the Red Sea and India Ocean, beginning along the Egyptian and Arabian coasts, working down the African coast past Somalia to the trading port of Rhapta, often identiﬁed with a site just north of Dar-es-Salaam. From here, the author discusses the ports of the Arabian Peninsula, the Indo-Roman trading emporium of Barygaza, the cities and rulers of southern India, and ﬁnally the legacy of Alexander in the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms of Central Asia. The text also features what is considered to be one of the earliest western discussions of China, describing traders from a far oﬀ city called Thina. Some of the most interesting sites from the text here recorded are the trading port of Opone, just south of the horn of Africa and a site for trade for merchants from as far east as Indonesia and Malaysia, the city of Cana in Arabia, which is described as the key centre of trade in frankincense, and the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, home to ‘Piratae’ who prey upon passing traders and attest to a very long history of piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The question of authorship of the Periplus, an ongoing discussion to this day, was also evidently of interest to Ortelius. Despite attributing the work to Arrian, author of a similar periplus of the Euxine (Black Sea), a large explanatory note east of the Ganges points out a number of problems with this attestation. Arrian’s authorship of the Periplus has been largely rejected by scholars, and it is likely that the original attestation only came about through marginalia in a 10th century manuscript of the text, now in the collections of the University of Heidelberg. The map is further embellished by a number of decorative cartouches. The largest of these, occupying most of the Indian Ocean, is an inset map of the wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseus) in the Mediterranean, mapped by Ortelius himself from the Homeric epics. Ithaca is roughly equated with Corfu, and, like Ortelius’ other mythographic maps, the south of Italy and Sicily are given as the locations for the Cyclopes, the monsters Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, the witch Circe, and the nymph Calypso. At the top of the map, the title cartouche is ﬂanked by a pair of decorative roundels, each featuring an inset map. To the left, a section of map corresponding to the explorations of the Carthaginian Hanno on the Western coast of Africa is shown. Hanno’s journey, undertaken at some point during the ﬁfth or sixth century BC, was later written into a Periplus by an unknown Greek author. The extent of his journey is debated, with suggestions ranging anywhere from as far as Gabon to as near as Southern Morocco. On the opposite side, a map of the Arctic Regions erroneously shows a separate Polar island, named by Ortelius as Hyperborea, following classical conventions for the mythic land beyond the North Wind.
The island of Menuthesias, usually equated with Zanzibar, is shown here by Ortelius as Madagascar. The putative ‘Land of Gold’ to the very east of the map is here depicted in a manner reminiscent of the Indian Meridionalis or Dragons Tail so common on early sixteenth century maps of the Far East.
MYTH as HISTORY & HISTORY as MYTH
11. Argonautica Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij Antverp. [1601 Parergon] 340 x 490 mm A stunning ﬁrst edition printing of Ortelius’ map of the journeys of Jason and the Argonauts, from the 1601 Parergon. The map, a partner to Ortelius’ celebrated map of the voyages of Aeneas, shows the Mediterranean and Black Sea with speciﬁc reference to the path of the Argo, mainly following the timeline and geography of Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica. The map is heavily annotated with references and verses from the classical corpus, plotting the key points from Jason’s travels, as well as the various tribes, peoples, and nations of the Greek, Scythian, and North African worlds. Many of the myth’s more fantastical elements are also plotted, including the Symplegades or ‘Wandering Rocks’ at the Bosporus mouth of the Black Sea, the monsters Scylla and Charybdis on either side of the Straits of Messina, the island of Aeaea home of the witch Circe oﬀ the Neapolitan coast, the island of the nymph Calypso oﬀ the southern Calabrian coast, the paradisiacal Garden of the Hesperides on the northern coast of Africa, and the cities of Colchis on the Black Sea, home of Jason’s future wife Medea and the famous Golden Fleece. The River Danube is described, with reference, to Ovid, as ‘papyriferous,’ while the Tanais, in the lands of the savage Sauromatae, is explained to be the division between the continents of Europa and Asia.
The title, at top centre, is emblazoned above a vignette depicting the Golden Fleece hung on a tree. The guardian serpent Drakon lies menacingly below. To either side of the tree, a pair of ﬁre-breathing bulls stand guard, representative of those that Jason was required to use to sow a ﬁeld of dragon’s teeth, as part of the trial set for him by Aeetes, child of the sun and King of Colchis. At bottom left, an oval cartouche encloses a dedication to Carolus, Duke of Arenberg and Knight of the Golden Fleece. The ﬁnal two cartouches, in the top left and bottom right, contain three inset maps. The ﬁrst, at top left, shows the whole of the continent of Europa, with reference to the Argonauts journey to the land of the Hyperboreans, here equated with Scandinavia and the Russian Arctic Circle. The remaining two provide details of Jason’s home land of Iolcos in Thessaly, and the cities his men encountered in their journey through the Hellespont. On the verso, a lengthy text combines references from the extant source tradition for the Argo and its crew, including a table of the heroes that took part in the voyages, and the texts that attest to their inclusion. Condition: Strong, dark impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor time toning and foxing to edges of sheet. Two small insect holes to bottom margin, not aﬀecting plate or image. Latin text on verso.  £1,500 33
12. Aeneae Troiani Navigatio ad Virgilij sex priores Aeneidos Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrahami Ortelij Antwerp. Cum privilegio Imperatorio, Regio, et Cancellariae Brabantiae, decennali. 1594. [1624 Parergon] 345 x 490 mm A superb map of the wanderings of Aeneas, the Trojan hero and ancestor of the Roman people, from the 1624 Parergon. The map depicts the journeys of Aeneas and his band of Trojan exiles across the Eastern Mediterranean. The map is heavily annotated with information and verses gleaned from Virgil’s Aeneid, listing all of the locations mentioned in the text, as well as the various tribes, peoples, and nations of the Greek, Trojan, North African, and Latin worlds. Principal cities and towns are listed, and many of them are provided with further anecdotes and explanations. In the sea itself, two groups of warships are depicted. One, oﬀ the coasts of North Africa and Sicily, depicts a scene of ship-wreck. A number of the epic poem’s more fantastic elements are also featured on the map, including the Cyclopes, included amongst the inhabitants of Sicily, the monster Scylla at the straits of Messina, and the rocks of the Sirens oﬀ the coast of Naples.
The map is further embellished by three decorative strap cartouches, one enclosing the title, another with a dedication to Balthasar Robiano surmounted by a chirho and alpha-omega, and the third featuring a passage from Aeneid 1, describing Aeneas’ journey with his ancestral gods, and the seven ships remaining to him after his tumultuous voyage. On the verso, in addition to a lengthy description of the geography of the Mediterranean in reference to the Voyages of Aeneas, is a depiction of Roman coinage in bronze and silver, depicting ﬁgures from early Roman history and myth. These include the Roman Eagle, the She-wolf with the infant twins Romulus and Remus, Aeneas carrying the Penates and the aged Anchises, as well as personiﬁcations of Roma and Italia. Condition: Strong, dark impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor oﬀsetting to top left of plate. Minor time toning to top margin, not aﬀecting plate or map. Latin text on verso.  £1,250
13. Tempe Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Delineatum et æditum auctore Ab. Ortelio cum privilegio decennali, 1590. [1624 Parergon] 364 x 476 mm A dramatic view of the Vale of Tempe, an idyllic classical paradise bordered by Mount Olympus, from the 1624 Parergon. The view is ornamented in beautiful hand colour, with the river Peneus at centre, running between the rocky slopes of Mounts Olympus and Ossa, on the Macedonian and Thessalian borders respectively. The Peneus joins the Aegean at the same point as the River Helicon, a temple of Jupiter occupying the promontory. At the top of Mount Olympus, the famous altar of Zeus is outlined dramatically against the clouded sky, while the sun sinks below the horizon of Mount Ossa. In the gentle wooded vale, numerous ﬁgures in classical dress gather. Some are depicted feasting or oﬀer sacriﬁces, as described by Ovid, while others, nude, cavort in the river. A number of small barges travel up the river towards the city of Gonnum, while a sailing ship rests at anchor in the waters of the Aegean.
The view is further embellished by a pair of strapwork cartouches, containing the title, and a passage from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, describing the situation of the valley and its encircling woods. To further enhance the paradisiacal nature of the Vale of Tempe, the second cartouche features a pair of birds, the halcyon of the Greek poets, whose placid nests became emblematic of peace and serenity. Historically, this view is signiﬁcant, being the ﬁrst known printed depiction of the Vale of Tempe. Ortelius himself was the likely creator of the scene, advertised as such in the inscription to the bottom left. The view, one of only two from the Parergon, was intended as a pair to Ortelius’ scene of the town of Daphne, a Seleucid settlement on the Turkish coast near Antioch, and a favourite resort town during the Roman era. The verso features a lengthy descriptive text, drawing upon Ovid, Athenaeus, Pliny, Herodotus, Varro, and Aelian. Condition: Strong impression with full margins, ornamented in full and attractive hand colour. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso.  £1,250
14. Daphne Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex utriusque linguae scriptoribus adumbrabat Ab. Ortelius. Cum privilegio decennali. [1624 Parergon] 365 x 485 A romantic scene of the town of Daphne, a Seleucid settlement on the Turkish coast near Antioch, and a favourite resort town during the Roman era, from the 1624 Parergon. The view is ornamented in beautiful hand colour, with the heavily wooded climes of Daphne sloping down to the bends of the River Orontes, which meanders along the left hand side of the scene. The various bathhouses, pleasure palaces, and gardens of the town are dotted amongst the woods, depicted anachronistically in a grand Renaissance style. Groups of revellers lounge in wooded clearings, draw water from the fountains and streams, and congregate around a grand domed palace in the centre of the town. In the distance, the cities of Antioch and Seleucia can be seen, on the banks of the river as it makes its way to the Mediterranean beyond. The sun shines on the horizon, from behind a bank of gentle cloud.
The scene is one of contentment and ease, despite Daphne’s notorious reputation as a centre for wantonness, vice, and license of all kinds. The title, at top centre, is enclosed in a small decorative strapwork cartouche, while a simple box in the bottom left corner advertises Ortelius himself as the creator of the scene, ‘sketched from the writings of authors both Greek and Latin.’ The view, one of only two from the Parergon, was intended as a pair to Ortelius’ scene of the vale of Tempe, an idyllic classical paradise bordered by Mount Olympus. The verso features a lengthy description in Latin, drawing upon Ammianus, Strabo, Tacitus, Philostratus, Petronius, and the Suda. Condition: Strong impression with full margins, ornamented in full and attractive hand colour. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso.  £1,000
Caesarâ€™s GALLIC WARS
15. Gallia Vetus, Ad Julij Caesaris commentaria Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex Conatibus geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. 1590. Cum Imp. Reg. et cancellarie Brabantie privilegio decennali. [1595 Parergon] 352 x 458 mm A map of ancient Gaul (France), following exactly the description provided in Julius Caesar’s Commentaries of his Gallic Wars, from the 1595 Parergon. The map was ﬁrst issued in 1590, likely coinciding with Ortelius’ work on an edition of the Bellum Gallicum that he published in 1593. His close familiarity with the text is immediately apparent in this scholarly, but also highly decorative, map. Gaul, as per Caesar’s description, is divided into three parts, following the tribal divisions of the Belgae, Celtae, and Aquitani. Parts of the neighbouring provinces of Hispania, Provincia Romanorum, Cisalpine Gaul, Germania, and Britannia are also depicted. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour, and notable geographic features are shown, particularly the extensive Belgic forests. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, including ‘Londinum’ in Britannia. The lands of each Celtic tribe are labelled, and extensive boxed lists on the right and left margins record every tribe, chieftain, and notable individual mentioned in Caesar’s text.
The map is further embellished with a wide decorative border, and three strap-work cartouches, enclosing the title, inscription, and a dedication to the Archbishop of Antwerp and Renaissance humanist, Laevinus Torrentius. The text on the verso reassures the reader of the painstaking accuracy of Ortelius’ map, stating that no person, place, or region mentioned in Caesar is absent. The remainder of the text is mostly occupied with a lengthy description of the Druid class of Celtic society, drawing widely from many diﬀerent authors, including Ammianus Marcellinus, Lucan, Diodorus Siculus, Athenaeus, Strabo, Pliny, Pomponius Mela, and Dio Chrysostom, Tacitus, Suetonius, and even his contemporary, William Camden. The end piece of the text features a depiction of a Roman coin of the emperor Galba featuring ‘Tres Galliae’ on the reverse, which Ortelius proudly conﬁrms is in his own collection. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Crossed arrows watermark. Latin text on verso.  £750
16. Belgii Veteris Typus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex Conatibus Geographicis Abrahami Ortelij. 1594. Cum privilegio Imperiali et Belgico, ad decennium. [1624 Parergon] 378 x 490 mm A map of ancient Belgium, usually referred to as Belgica and considered a part of Gaul by classical authors, from the 1624 Parergon. The map depicts the ancient Celtic regions of Ortelius’ homeland, divided according to tribal territories, and densely covered in forest, as well as the east coast of Britain, inhabited, according to Caesar, by Belgic tribes. Principle cities and towns are picked out in red. The names of many settlements also appear alongside pertinent references from the classical source tradition. Indeed all place-names that are featured on the map have had their names recorded according to their age and origin. The oldest names, of Celtic tribes and settlements, are recorded in Latin capitals, while younger Roman titles are given in lower case. Those names that are not featured in the classical sources are rendered in cursive, while relevant modern titles are given in a stylised Germanic cursive.
The map is heavily annotated with points of cartographic and historic interest. Places of uncertain location are listed above the cartouche at the top right corner, while classical remains, many of which were explored by Ortelius himself, are depicted, including a ‘Barbarian’ altar, a bridge supposedly built by Julian the apostate, the camps of Cicero and the German legions, numerous temples, and a coastal beacon or lighthouse established by Charlemagne. Ortelius’ evidently took great pride in this map of his home country, as the four large decorative cartouches feature numerous laudatory remarks about the Low Countries, and Ortelius himself. In the bottom left corner, a strap-work box cartouche encloses four poetic lines penned by Ortelius friend Hugo Favolius, urging the Belgian race to reconnect with their antique past. In the top right, an oval cartouche dedicates the map to the Senate and People of Antwerp, and commenting on the sweet hold the native soil has on the cartographer himself. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Minor time toning to edges of sheet, not aﬀecting map or plate. Latin text on verso.  £650
17. Britannicarum Insularum Typus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. Cum privileg. decen. 1595 [1603 Parergon] 365 x 505 mm A map of Roman and ancient Britain, from the 1603 Parergon. England and Wales are labelled as Britannia Superior, and further divided into the later Roman provinces of Prima (the South), Secunda (Wales), Flavia Caesariensis (the Midlands), and Maxima Caesariensis (the North). Scotland is labelled using both its early and later Roman titles, as Britannia Inferior and the province of Valentia. Hibernia (Ireland), the Orcades, and the Hebrides are also labelled. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, as are the two Roman era walls built by Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, here labelled as Severan.
Original celtic tribal regions are also labelled, as well as the site that Caesar allegedly landed in his invasion of 55 BC. The map is embellished with three decorative strap cartouches, one containing the title, another the publication details, and a third, the largest, featuring a lengthy dedication to George of Austria. The seas around the British Isles are heavily populated with sailing ships of various types and sizes. Condition: Central vertical fold as issued. Strong, dark impression with full margins. Latin text on verso.  ÂŁ1,250
18. Italia Gallica, sive Gallia Cisalpina Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. Cum privilegio decennali, Imp. Belgicae, et Brabantiae 1590 [1595 Parergon] 342 x 462 mm A beautiful map of ancient northern Italy, known in the Roman era as Cisalpine Gaul, from the 1595 Parergon. The region, formerly inhabited by Gallic tribes, was conquered by the Romans in the third century BC and, though originally administered as a province, was merged with the rest of Roman Italy in the mid ﬁrst century BC. Cisalpine Gaul, named for its position on the ‘hither’ side of the Alps, was often colloquially referred to as Gallia Togata, a playful stab at its Romanized Gallic inhabitants. The region produced some of Rome’s most famous ﬁgures, including the poets Catullus and Vergil, the authors Livy and Tacitus, and the natural historian Pliny the Elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger. The home towns of all of these men are depicted here, picked out in red along with numerous other cities, towns, and settlements, including Venetia (Venice), Patavium (Padua), Florentia (Florence), Luca, Pisae (Pisa), Mediolanum (Milan), and Ravenna, capital of the Western Roman Empire and later the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
The various imperial Regiones are also listed, along with larger divisions, such as Gallia Cispadana and Gallia Transpadana, south and north of the Padus river respectively. Marshes, forests, rivers, lakes, and mountain ranges are picked out in beautiful hand colour, as are the borders of the neighbouring pars of Germania, and Gallia Transalpina. The southern border of Cisalpine Gaul is marked as a dotted line, running along the course of the famous Rubicon, the crossing of which by Julius Caesar with his army sparked the Civil War. The map is further enhanced by a series of decorative cartouches. In the bottom right corner, a boxed text lists tribes and peoples from the classical corpus that Ortelius has been unable to locate geographically. A similar text at top centre shows places of uncertain location. To the right, in the waters of the Adriatic, a small note describes the Electrides, a series of islands often mentioned by classical geographers, but believed ﬁctitious by Strabo. Condition: Clean, dark impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso. Crossed arrows watermark.  £850
The RISE of ROME, from CITY to EMPIRE
19. Latium Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex Conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij Antverp. [1595 Parergon] 353 x 450 mm An early state of Ortelius’ map of the ancient Italian region of Latium, modern Lazio, from the 1595 Parergon. The map depicts the extent of Latium Vetus and Latium Novum, as well as adjoining parts of Tuscia, Umbria, and Campania. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, and the map is heavily annotated with references from the classical source tradition for the various cities, settlements, and myths of ancient Latium. On the border of Etruria and Latium is the Tiber River, with the walled city of Rome depicted in detail. A number of Rome’s most representative monuments are also depicted, including the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the dome of St Peters. The ancient Latin tribes, including the Rutuli, Hernici, Aborigines, Latini, and Sicani, are listed across the region, as are signiﬁcant geographical features like the Pontine Marshes, the Alban Hills, and the Fucine Lake. The map also plots the locations of villas, including those of Lucullus, Cicero, Pliny, and Hadrian, as well as the Tomb of the Scipios, the sanctuary of Juno Sospita, the Shrine of Juturna, the Harbour of Portus, and numerous other points of classical interest. Ortelius, as much a bibliophile as a philologist, pays great attention to the monastery at Subiaco, where in 1465, a group of German monks printed the ﬁrst book in Italy, an edition of the works of Lactantius. The map is further embellished by a trio of decorative cartouches. The ﬁrst, in decorative strap-work, encloses the title.
The second, in an oval egg-and-dart pattern border, contains a dedication to Ortelius’ friend Markus Welser, a German humanist, historian, and antiquarian of Augsburg, who is best remembered for his study of the famous Tabula Peutingeriana, a medieval copy of a Roman map of the imperial road system, the cursus publicus. Later editions of Ortelius’ map of Latium feature the addition of the Roman road network, and his engraved copy of the Tabula Peutingeriana was published in posthumous copies of the Parergon. Finally, in the bottom left corner of the map, a strapwork cartouche contains an inset view of Mons Circeius, the mythical home of Circe, the witch featured in Homer’s Odyssey. The promontory, now home to the modern village of San Felice Circeo, was the location of a Roman colony from at least as early as the 4th century BC, but the citadel and walls were likely of an earlier date. On the verso, a lengthy history of Latium includes a monumental feat of philological collation, in which Ortelius lists in three columns every descriptive or poetic title for the City of Rome found in the classical corpus, complete with attributions to the relevant ancient authors. A similar description for Mons Circeius preserves the text of a damaged dedicatory inscription, as well as a pair of coins featuring ships prows and portraits of the Italic gods Saturn and Janus. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Crossed arrows watermark.  £750
20. Italiae Veteris Specimen Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Cum Privilegio Imp. Reg. et Cancellariae Brabantiae decennali, evulgabat Abrahamus Ortelius. [1624 Parergon] 345 x 480 mm A map of ancient Italy, with particular reference to its divisions during the Roman imperial period, from the 1624 Parergon. The various classical Regiones of the ancient Italian peninsula are marked with their relevant numbers, in Roman numerals, and titles, including Gallia Togata, Liguria, Forum Iulii, Flaminia, Picenum, Tuscia, Latium, and Magna Graecia. The borders of Italy, as well as the neighbouring provinces of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul, Illyricum, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily, are outlined in hand colour, and principal cities, towns, and settlements, are picked out in red. On the other side of the Adriatic, the Dalmatian coast features the cities of Salona, the ancient Greco-Roman capital of Dalmatia, and neighbour to the famous Spalato (Split) of the Emperor Diocletian, as well as Epidaurum, which in the seventh century was sacked by the Avars, prompting the founding of Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik) on an adjacent island.
The map also features a trio of decorative strapwork cartouches. One, with garlands of hanging fruit, contains the title, while another below encloses Orteliusâ€™ privileges. The most notable of the three, at bottom centre, frames a pair of Roman bronze coins, depicting the personiďŹ ed goddesses of Rome and Italy, issued by Vespasian and Antoninus Pius respectively. On the verso, drawing upon the source traditions of Pliny, Solinus, Vergil, Strabo, and others, a descriptive text outlines the pre-Roman history of the region, discussing the various native populations, the colonisation of the south by the Greeks, and the rise of the Roman state to become the supreme power of both the region, and the ancient world. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Old pencil marks to right of plate, just below title cartouche, and on right margin. Latin text on verso.  ÂŁ1,000
21. Hispaniae Veteris Descriptio Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. Privilegio Imp. Reg. et Belgico, ad decennium. 1586 [1595 Parergon] 372 x 490 mm A map of ancient Spain, with particular reference to its Roman heritage, from the 1595 Parergon. The Spanish peninsula is divided into its three imperial provinces, Lusitania, Baetica, and Hispania Tarraconensis, and outlined in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, and labelled with their Latin names, while mountain ranges, rivers, and forests, are also picked out in hand colour. To the north of the Pyrenees, the important Gallic settlements of Narbo and Massilia are also shown. The map is heavily annotated with references to the classical source tradition, and various points of interest are given extra explanatory notes. The Straits of Gibraltar, here labelled with reference to Heracles and the ancient settlement of Gades (modern Cadiz), are described as the threshold between the Mediterrean and the Atlantic, while the reaches of the North African coast, modern Morocco, are listed here as Hispania Transfretana ‘Spain beyond the Straits.’ Cartagena features a small note about its Punic heritage, while the nearby Balearic Isles are given their ancient Greek title ‘Gymnastic,’ a reference to the lackadaisical nudity of their native inhabitants. 50
The map is further embellished with a set of decorative strapwork cartouches. The title appears to top left in an oval, while the dedication is ﬂanked by a pair of winged satyric atlantids. The dedication itself praises the work of one of Ortelius’ personal friends, the Spanish orientalist and ascetic, Benito Arias Montano, author of the famous Plantin Polyglot, a composite bible featuring columns of text in Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin. The largest cartouche, in the bottom right of the plate, combines an inset map of the harbour of Gades with a boxed text listing places, peoples, and geographical features of uncertain location. On the verso, a lengthy text describes the history and geography of the Spanish peninsula with reference to the classical corpus. At bottom left, the obverse and reverse of a Roman coin in Ortelius’ possession is depicted, showing the reclining goddess Hispania holding a cornucopia, and a portrait bust of the Emperor Hadrian. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso.  £850
22. Africae Propriae Tabula, In qua Punica regna uides, Tyrios, et Agenoris urbem Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus geographicis Abrahami Ortelii. cum privilegio Imperiali, Regio, et Belgico, ad decennium. 1590. [1595 Parergon] 333 x 485 mm A map of ancient North Africa, from the 1595 Parergon. The map depicts the extent of the Roman Province of Africa, roughly contiguous with modern day Libya and Tunisia, as well as parts of the neighbouring provinces of Mauretania Caesariensis, Numidia, Cyrenaica, and the southern half of Sicily. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities are picked out in red, and the map is heavily annotated with references from the classical source tradition for the various cities, settlements, and myths of North African antiquity. The famously dangerous shallows of Syrtis are marked oﬀ the coast of Tripolitana, and the domain of the mythical Lotus-Eaters from Homer’s Odyssey is plotted on the borders of Cyrenaica, close by a forest representing Pliny’s putative location for the paradisiacal Garden of the Hesperides. In the preRoman period, the North African coast was largely controlled by the maritime and commercial empire of the city of Carthage, and the map is described as a ‘proper’ representation of the Punic kingdom and the city of Agenor, the mythic ruler of Tyre and father of the Phoenician people. 52
Ortelius’ depiction of the region is historically and chronologically nuanced, overlaying the various tribes, nations, and empires that occupied the area, including nomadic Berber tribes, Carthaginian and Greek trading cities, Roman administrative divisions, and even the Vandals, who invaded under their leader Geiseric and seized Carthage from the Byzantines in the ﬁfth century AD. Further notes add details about St Paul’s shipwreck oﬀ the coast of Malta, the naming of the city of Zama where Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal, and the mythical Lake Tritonis and its islands. The map is further embellished by a pair of decorative cartouches. The ﬁrst, enclosed by decorative strap-work and cupids, encloses the title and dedication. The second, much larger, cartouche at the bottom of the plate includes a three columned list of place names of uncertain location as well as a circular inset map of the walled harbour of Carthage and the nearby cities of Tunis and Utica. Adorning the strap-work on both cartouches are numerous examples of the region’s ancient prosperity, most ubiquitous being the famous Punic ﬁgs that the Roman orator Cato the Elder used to great eﬀect in his speeches exhorting the destruction of Carthage. On the verso, in addition to historic notes about the region, are four examples of ancient coinage. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Pair of printer’s creases to bottom left of map. Latin text on verso.  £750
23. Daciarum, Moesiarumque, Vetus Descriptio Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Cum Privilegiis decennalib. Imp. Reg. et Cancellarie Brabantice. Ex conatibus Abrahami Ortelij, 1595. [1618 Bertius] 348 x 458 mm A map of ancient Dacia and Moesia, roughly corresponding to modern day Romania and Bulgaria, originally published for the 1595 Parergon. This particular example is the rare 1618 printing, which was one of a number of Ortelius’ ancient world maps sold to Petrus Bertius for inclusion in his Theatrum Geographiae Veteris. The map depicts the extent of the ancient kingdoms and tribal lands of the Getic and Dacian people, to the north and south of the River Danube, as well as the adjoining parts of the Roman provinces and ancient regions of Sarmatia, Germania, Pannonia, Dalmatia, and Thracia, and the western reach of the Black Sea. The map is ornamented in beautiful hand colour. Principal cities and towns are picked out in red, with the largest concentration appearing on the southern bank of the Danube and the frontier of Roman Moesia. The Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa, destroyed by Trajan during the Dacian Wars and refounded as the capital of the new Roman province of Dacia under the name Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, is the largest settlement depicted, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountain range.
Just north of the conﬂuence of the Danube and Tissus (the modern Tisza) Rivers is the massive complex of Felix Romuliana, modern Gamzigrad, built by the early 4th century AD Roman Emperor Galerius. Galerius, whose mother was Dacian, constructed the site as a grand imperial palace, and cult sanctuary. As Ortelius notes on the map, Galerius was buried there, after succumbing to a horriﬁc disease described in ﬂorid detail by the early Christian writers Eusebius and Lactantius. The map is further ornamented by three strap-work cartouches, enclosing the title and a list of place names of unknown location, a dedication to the Bavarian duke and renowned bibliophile Johann Georg of Werdenstein, and a four line passage from Ovid’s Tristia ex Ponto about the Straits of the Bosphorus. The text on the verso contains a lengthy discussion about the racial and linguistic origins of the Dacian and Getic peoples, drawing upon the evidence of Pliny, Dio, Stephanus, Herodotus, and others, as well as a history of the region with particular reference to the Dacian Wars of the Emperor Trajan in the period AD 101-106. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Latin text on verso.  £650
24. Romani Imperii Imago Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Cum Gratia et Privilegio [1624 Parergon] 344 x 495 mm A map of the ancient Roman world, with particular reference to its divisions during the height of the Roman imperial period, from the 1624 Parergon. Coasts and regional borders, mostly following the divisions of Roman provinces, are outlined in beautiful hand colour, and principal cities are picked out in red. Each region is given its Roman title, and place names are rendered in Latin. The notable exception to this rule is Britain, here labelled with its Ptolemaic title ‘Albion’, rather than the expected Roman ‘Britannia.’ Ireland, by contrast, is still labelled as Hibernia, rather than the Ptolemaic ‘Ierne.’ The map is further annotated with individual descriptive texts. The River Tanais, in Sarmatia, is described as the geographic division between Europa and Asia, while the Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa Regia features a note about the defeat of King Decebalus and the refounding of the city by the conquering Trajan. In the extreme north east of the map, the empty expanse of the Eurasian steppe is ﬁlled with a large poetic text drawn from Vitruvius, describing how the Roman people, given their favourable geographic position, have come to rule the whole world. Uncharacteristically for Ortelius, his reference to Book 8 is incorrect, the famous passage instead being found in Book 6.
The rest of the map, however, is a masterpiece of classical philology. A decorative strapwork cartouche at bottom centre, crested by a lion’s head, describes the early history of Rome in the Regal Period, with reference to Livy, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Plutarch. A genealogy of these early kings, from Romulus to Tarquin the Proud, is featured in the bottom right corner, surmounted by a depiction of the famous She-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus. In the bottom left corner, a boxed text describes Rome’s rise, from a small city-state in central Italy to the undisputed ruler of the Mediterranean Basin. The map is completed by a set of three strapwork cartouches at top, enclosing the title and a pair of portrait busts of the goddess Roma and the hero Romulus. Condition: Clean, crisp impression with full margins. Central vertical fold as issued. Professionally repaired tears to central fold. Light, old waterstaining to left and right borders of the map. Latin text on verso.  £1,750
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Following the success of last year’s Mapping the Ancient World, this January, Sanders of Oxford is pleased to present The Parergon Theatri:...
Published on Jan 11, 2018
Following the success of last year’s Mapping the Ancient World, this January, Sanders of Oxford is pleased to present The Parergon Theatri:...