This impressive pair of sheets illustrated the ranks of the Holy Roman Empire as established by Otto III (980-1002). At top is the Holy Roman Emperor seated in the center, flanked by officials and electors. The second row shows Dukes and Marquises and the third row shows provincial and military dignitaries (counts). The second sheet continues the order of ranking with counts, barons, freemen (or knights), city representatives, village representatives, and farmers. The plates were engraved by Antonie Wierix, a master engraver, for Gerard de Jode, who published them in his Speculum Orbis Terræ in 1593. The plates were acquired by Jan Baptista Vrients, who included them in Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum and Parergon beginning in 1603. Latin text on verso.
References: Van den Broecke #201 & 202.
Sharp impressions on clean, bright sheets with professional repairs to several short centerfold separations and to some small worm tracks adjacent to the centerfold, which are almost entirely confined to blank areas of the image. Please note that the main image is a composite image - the map is in two separate sheets.