1570 Ortelius Map of Poland

Poloniae finitimarumque locorum descriptio. - Main View

1570 Ortelius Map of Poland


Dominant mapping of Poland of the 16th century.


Poloniae finitimarumque locorum descriptio.
  1570 (undated)     14.5 x 19.5 in (36.83 x 49.53 cm)     1 : 2500000


This is Abraham Ortelius' 1581 map of Poland, based on the c. 1556-58 Grodziecki. The map reaches from Szczecin and the Oder River in the west to the Dnieper River, thus embracing much of Ukraine as well as part of Russia and the Baltic. Mountains and forests are shown pictorially.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved for inclusion in Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum in 1579. 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. The separate map is well represented in 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...

Wacław Grodziecki (or Grodecki) (c. 1535 - 1591) was a Polish Catholic priest, canon, and cartographer. He was born to the family of a Starost, a community elder; he studied mathematics and philosophy at Krakow Academy, and between 1556 and 1558 studied further at the university in Leipzig. He is thought to have travelled to Rome in 1558 and to have visited Prague in 1561. Having returned to Krakow, he graduated with a master's degree in liberal arts in 1564. Thereafter he became canon in several towns successively: Wrocław, Olomouc and Brno, where he and his brother Jan established a Jesuit college. In 1572, he became Olomouc's bishop. During his time in Leipzig, Grodziecki drew a map of Poland, published around 1562 in Basel; it is thought to have been derived from the 1526 map of Bernard Wapowski, but as virtually all of Wapowski's maps were destroyed in the fire of Kraków in 1528, Grodziecki's work was long the best map of Polish lands. It provided the model for Ortelius' 1570 map, to which Grodziecki's fame can largely be ascribed. Learn More...


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


Excellent with a sharp strike.


OCLC 179744155. Rumsey 10000.097. Van der Krogt 1900:31A; Van den Broecke Ortelius Atlas Maps 154.