c1594 Julius Caesar Map Belgii Veteris Typus by Ortelius


A beautiful antique c1594 map of ancient Belgium ‘BELGII VETERIS TYPUS Ex Conatibus Geographicis Abraham Ortely’, following the description provided in Julius Caesar's ‘Commentaries of his Gallic Wars’ (De Bello Gallico), from the 1593 supplement of Abraham Ortelius' famous Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. His close familiarity with the text is immediately apparent in this scholarly, but also highly decorative map.

Belgii (actually the Low Countries), is separated from Gaul, following the tribal divisions of the Belgae, and borders the German tribes along the Rhine. A part of the neighbouring Britannia can be seen. There are 4 ornate cartouches and a compass rose. The map was first issued in 1584.

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.

The map is in very nice condition, with a slightly faded palette of colours and a bit of bruising and small crack to the left paper along where Britain sits. The picture is mounted, glazed and framed in gilt wood.

Size of Print: 50 x 39.5 cm (19 ¾ x 15 ½ inches)
Size of Frame: 67.5 x 57 x 1.5 cm (26 ½ x 22 ½ x 5/8 inches)
Weight: 3680 g