Tag Archives: Abraham Ortelius

today’s birthday: Athanasius Kircher (1601?)


Athanasius Kircher (1601?)

One of history’s great polymaths, Kircher was a German archeologist, mathematician, biologist, astronomer, musicologist, and physicist who knew Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, Persian, Latin, Greek, and various modern languages. He tried to decipher one of the most ancient writing systems—Egyptian hieroglyphics—but most of his thoughts on the subject proved incorrect. An avid inventor, he built playful devices including a talking and eavesdropping statue that used a primitive intercom, and what else? More… Discuss

This Day in History: CARTOGRAPHER ABRAHAM ORTELIUS ISSUES THE FIRST MODERN ATLAS (1570)


Cartographer Abraham Ortelius Issues the First Modern Atlas (1570)

Prior to 1570, maps were often unreliable, illegible, and unwieldy. When Ortelius published his Theatrum orbis terrarium, it was the first comprehensive, easy-to-use, and fairly up-to-date collection of world maps. It drew from the works of 87 cartographers, all of whom were credited. Demand was immediate and persisted for decades, during which time dozens of editions were published in several languages. In addition to practical contemporary maps, Ortelius published what? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Abraham Ortelius (1527)


Abraham Ortelius (1527)

Ortelius was a Flemish geographer and cartographer who, while traveling with his contemporary Gerardus Mercator, was inspired to compile the first modern world atlas. The first edition of Theatrum orbis terrarium, issued in 1570, contained 53 maps compiled, in part, from the maps of 87 cartographers. A leading member of the 16th-century Flemish school of geography, Ortelius is thought to have been the first to posit what theory about the positioning of the continents? More… Discuss