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6. Thraciae Veteris Typus Ortelius, Abraham Copper engraved with hand colour Ex conatibus Geographicis Abrah. Ortelij. Cum Imp. et Belgico privilegio decennali 1585. [1595 Parergon Edition] 356 x 478 mm A map of ancient Thrace, roughly corresponding to modern day Bulgaria, northern Greece, and the European part of Turkey, from the 1595 Parergon (Supplement) of Ortelius’ famous Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. 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 in Latin 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. Crossed arrows watermark. [41521] £650

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Mapping the Ancient World  

A catalogue of some of the finest examples of sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century cartography of the Ancient Mediterranean. Mappi...

Mapping the Ancient World  

A catalogue of some of the finest examples of sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century cartography of the Ancient Mediterranean. Mappi...

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