Abraham Ortelius was the famous and respected author of the first known modern atlas named Theatrum orbis terrarum, which is translated into English as “Theatre of the World”. It was designed by Ortelius and published in 1570. He, one of the most famous cartographers in history, is also well-known as a talented dealer in maps, books and antiquities. He is also widely considered the first person in history to suppose that the continents of the Earth were joined together once.

Abraham Ortelius was born in the Flemish city of Antwerp on the 14th of April, 1527. He was trained as an engraver and by 1554 had created a book and set up a antiquary business. In 1560 (under the influence of Gerardus Mercator), Ortelius got involved into map-making, and found this engagement quite interesting and even entertaining. Within a decade of hard work, Ortelius created several maps of the world, of Egypt and of Asia. In the same period of time he worked on the first edition of his renowned Theatrum. Enlarged and kept up to date in successive editions until late 1612, the Theatrum appears to have been the most popular atlas of its epoch. Ortelius was appointed geographer to Philip II of Spain (1575). A facsimile of the Theatrum was published in 1964.

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