Wednesday 20 May 2020

theatrum orbis terrarium

First printed on this day in Antwerp in 1570, the collaboration “Theatre of the Orb of the World” from Abraham Ortelius and Gillis Hooftman van Eyckelberg is considered the progenitor of the modern atlas and informed charting, seafaring and to a large extent the Golden Age of Exploration—transforming worldview from older, staid conceptions.
The edition of some seventy uniform, bound maps with keys, legends and explanatory text with a section called a nomenclator that was a registry of place names from Antiquity as well as table of endonyms and exonyms. Though more immediate literacy accrued with this publication and plate tectonics and continental drift would not be articulated or scientifically accepted until l centuries later, it is believed that Ortelius, while compiling his work, was one of the first people to notice the correspondence of the landmasses and postulate that they might be mobile.