Parergon, sive Veteris Geographiae aliquot Tabulae. [Bound with:] Nomenclator Ptolemaicus.

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
A splendid copy of Ortelius' Atlas of Ancient Geography. All maps and views finely coloured by a contemporary hand.

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Reference 11259



The Parergon maps began appearing as supplements within the Theatrum in 1579 with 3 maps. During the following years, more map were completed and the Parergon became an atlas in its own right. The present edition of 1595 is usually bound with the 1595 Latin edition of the 'Theatrum'. According to van den Broecke, around 300 copies of this edition was been published separately. It consists of one engraved portrait of Ortelius by Philip Galle, a woodcut architectural title border, 30 engraved double-page maps and two engraved double-page views. All finely coloured by a contemporary hand.

Koeman notes to this atlas:

This atlas of ancient geography must be regarded as a personal work of Ortelius. For this work he did not, as in the 'Theatrum', copy other people's maps but drew the originals himself which were later engraved by Jan Wierix ... The maps in the Parergon have to be evaluated as the most outstanding engravings depicting the wide-spread interest in classical geography in the 16th century

Provenance: W. K. Rehmann (manuscript exlibris on front free endpaper)

Maps bound into this atlas:

Page number; Title; van den Broecke reference, State

A, Aevi Veteris Typus, 186, 1st state
B, Europam sive Celticam, 189, only state
C, Britannicarum Insularum, 192, only state
D, Hispaniae Veteris Descriptio, 193, undescribed state between 1st and 2nd
E, Gallia Vetus, 194, 2nd state
F, Galliae Veteris Typus, 196, 1st state
G, Belgii Veteris Typus, 198, 1st state
H, Germaniae Veteris Typus, 200, 1st state
I, Pannoniae et Illyrici Veteris Tabula, 203, only state
K, Italiae Veteris Specimen, 204, 2nd state
L, Italia Gallica sive Gallia Cisalpina, 206, undescribed state between 1st and 2nd
M, Tusciae Antiquae Typus, 208, 1st state
N, Latium, 209, 1st state
N (old manuscript O), Graecia Maior, 210, 1st state
P, Siciliae Veteris Typus, 211, 4th state
Q, Hellas, Graecia Sophiani, 215, 2nd state
R, Thraciae Veteris Typus, 214, 2nd state
S, Daciarum Moesiarumque, 212, 1st state
T, Pontus Euxinus, 213, 1st state
V, Creta, 217, 2nd state
X, Insular Aliquot - Cyprus, 216, undescribed state between 2nd and 3rd
Y, Alexandri Magni Macedonis, 222, 1st state
Z, Palaestinae Sive Totius, 172, only state
a, Typus Chorographicus, 180, 1st state
b, Aegyptus Antiqua, 221, only state
c, Africae Propriae Tabula, 218, 1st state
d, Peregrinationis Divi Pauli, 181, 2nd state
e, Abrahami Patriarchae, 182, 1st state
f, Aeneae Troiani Navigatio, 223, 1st state
g, Romani Imperii Imago, 187, 2nd state
h, Tempe, 231, 1st state
i, Daphne, 232, 1st state


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleParergon, sive Veteris Geographiae aliquot Tabulae. [Bound with:] Nomenclator Ptolemaicus.
Publisher, YearPlantin, Antwerp, 1595
Size44.3 x 28.5 cm (17.4 x 11.2 inches), Folio
Illustrations1 engraved portrait, 1 woodcut title border, 30 copper engraved maps, 2 engraved views, several woodcuts in text
CoverCalf binding
Volume2 parts in 1 volume
ReferenceKoeman Ort 45 & Ort 44; Adams O-340 (bound with Theatrum)


Contemporary blind-ruled calf, in a brown cloth slipcase. Rebacked with title stamped in gold, corners and edges restored.

All maps and views finely coloured by a contemporary hand. Very good paper quality, no oxidation for the colours. Occasional light marginal soiling or spotting. Some tears in lower centrefolds backed. Map of Britain lightly browned, Divi Pauli with a tear left to centrefold restored.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

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Abraham Ortelius: Parergon, sive Veteris Geographiae aliquot Tabulae. [Bound with:] Nomenclator Ptolemaicus..
A splendid copy of Ortelius' Atlas of Ancient Geography. All maps and views finely coloured by a contemporary hand.

Atlases - Ortelius, Abraham - Parergon, sive Veteris Geographiae aliquot...

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