1579 Ortelius Map of Hungary

Ungariae Loca Praecipua Recens Emendata Atque Edita, per Ioannem Sambucum Pannonium, Imp. Ms. Historicum. 1579. - Main View

1579 Ortelius Map of Hungary


The Danube below Vienna.


Ungariae Loca Praecipua Recens Emendata Atque Edita, per Ioannem Sambucum Pannonium, Imp. Ms. Historicum. 1579.
  1579 (dated)     13.5 x 19.5 in (34.29 x 49.53 cm)     1 : 1200000


This is Ortelius' updated map of Hungary, derived from the similarly-titled and unacquirable 1571 map of János Zsámboky aka Johannes Sambucus. This new map supplemented Ortelius' earlier map of Hungary, based on the much older (1556) map of Wolfgang Lazio.
Lazio and Sambucus
While Ortelius trusted the Lazio sufficiently to retain it in his atlas throughout its print history, he esteemed Sambucus as a clear-eyed and well-traveled scholar, and would include at least three of the Hungarian's maps in the Theatrum, including this one. There are numerous changes in toponymy; for example, the city at the confluence of the Sau and the Danube is here named Belgrado, as opposed to the antiquated German Griechschweissenburg appearing on the Lazio. The course of the Danube stretching from Vienna to modern-day Romania and Serbia; the remains of Trajan's bridge across the Danube are marked on the map.
An Evocative Engraving
The mountainous terrain is depicted pictorially, as well as the forests and the wetlands southwest of the Danube. The region of Timisoara north of the Danube is decorated with deer; other areas north of the Danube are embellished with flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle - perhaps suggesting that those lands, then under Turkish domination, might be a valuable prize.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved in 1579 and first included in the 1579 Latin edition of Ortelius' Theatrum. The present example conforms typographically to the 1581 French text edition, of which van den Broecke estimates there were four hundred printed. Nine examples of that edition of the book are listed in OCLC. Twenty-five examples of the separate map, in various editions, appear institutional collections.


Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was one of the most important figures in the history of cartography and is most famously credited with the compilation of the seminal 1570 atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, generally considered to be the world's first modern atlas. Ortelius was born in Antwerp and began his cartographic career in 1547 as a typesetter for the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. In this role Ortelius traveled extensively through Europe where he came into contact with Mercator, under whose influence, he marketed himself as a "scientific geographer". In this course of his long career he published numerous important maps as well as issued several updated editions of his cardinal work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Late in his career Ortelius was appointed Royal Cartographer to King Phillip II of Spain. On his death in July fourth, 1598, Ortelius' body was buried in St Michael's Præmonstratensian Abbey , Antwerp, where his tombstone reads, Quietis cultor sine lite, uxore, prole. Learn More...

János Zsámboky, or Johannes Sambucus,(June 1, 1531 - June 13, 1584) was a Hungarian humanist polymath. He is best known for his emblem book, Emblemata cum aliquot nummis antiqui operis, published in five editions starting in 1564. He had studied in Vienna, but traveled broadly: he studied and worked in Leipzig, Wittenberg, Ingolstadt, Strasbourg, Paris, Venice, Padua, Genoa, Naples, Milan, Ghent, and Antwerp. He would be appointed court physician of Emperor Maximilian II, and prospered in that association, allowing him to amass wealth, influence, and an impressive library. His works included several maps - Hungary, Transylvania and Illyricum - which provided the basis for Abraham Ortelius' maps of those regions. Ortelius' decision to use Sambucus' maps speaks both to his influence, as well as a shared interest: Like Ortelius, Sambucus collected coins. Learn More...


Ortelius, A., Theatre de l'univers, contenant les cartes de tout le monde, (Antwerp) 1581.    


Excellent. Few small filled marginal wormholes not impacting printed image.


OCLC 699732769.