"Italiae Veteris Specimen", Ortelius, Abraham
Period: 1584 (dated)
Publication: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
19.3 x 13.8 inches
49 x 35.1 cm
Ortelius based this map on Gastaldi's map with the additional cartography from classical sources, namely Virgilius, Plinius, Aelianus, Aethicus, Strabo, Polybius and Varro. The map is beautifully rendered with two cartouches and a decorative plinth with "Italia" at top and bearing a medallion of a female warrior and wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome. The seas are stipple-engraved, and the map extends to include the Adriatic Sea, Corsica and northern Sardinia. This is the first state with Latin text on verso, published in 1584.
References: Van den Broecke #204.
A strong, early impression on a bright sheet with the crossed arrows watermark commonly found on Ortelius maps and a printer's crease adjacent to the centerfold.