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Maps of 16th century Livonia


LIVONIAE NOVA DESCRIPTIO / Joanne Portantio auctore. – [Antwerp, 1573 1598 ]. – Copper engraving ; 22 x 24 cm. – (Theatrum orbis terrarum / Abraham Ortelius; 100)


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

The map is compiled by a Flemish cartographer Johannes Portantius in 1573 and was first published in Abraham Ortelius’ atlas Theatrum orbis terrarum. This is the earliest preserved map of Livonia.

The map depicts the borders of Old Livonia as they historically were, but indicates outdated source data, considering the date of publication (its political division reflects the situation before the Livonian War). Unlike the other maps of that time, it outlines Estonian territory more or less correctly, although the islands are unnaturally large. Compared with previously published maps, it presents a larger number of place names (approximately 50).

Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598), a self-taught cartographer and publisher of maps from Antverpen, had learned the art of engraving as a young map and was a member of Antverpen’s St. Luke Guild of engravers and artisans since 1547. In 1554 he started to work at a shop of antiquities and old maps. After making acquitance with Gerhard Mercator in 1560, Ortelius increasingly started to take interest in geography and cartography. In 1570 he issued the first atlas in the world, Theatrum orbis terrarum, that included 53 maps on separate sheets. The atlas was published by Gilles Coppens de Diest from Antwerp and its maps were engraved by Fr. Hogenburg. It was an atlas in the modern sense, that is, its systematically selected maps were of the same size and of similar style. The atlas also included the list of authors of the maps. In 1573 Ortelius added 17 maps to the atlas (including Portantius’ map of Livonia). Ortelius’ atlas was very popular at his time and had been published at least 42 times in several European languages between 1570 and 1624. The present map originates from a French edition, published in 1574, in 1578, in 1581, in 1585, in 1587 and in 1598.


LIVONIÆ PROVINCIÆ AC EIVS Confinium Verus et elegans tÿpus / Io. Portantius Cosmographus Delinea . – [Ca 1:3 800 000] ;
Moscoviæ Maximi Amplissimi Qve DUcatvs chorographica descriptio / Authore Anthonio Iankinsono Anglo . – [Ca 1:10 000 000].Ioannes à Deutecū, Lucas à Deutecū, Fecerunt. – Antwerpen : Vidu æ et Haeredes Gerardi de Iudaeis, 1593. – 2 maps on the same sheet : copper engraving ; 55 x 41 cm. – (Speculum orbis terrae / Cornelis de Jode).


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

The present version of the map of Livonia by Johann Portantius, an astronomer and mathematician from Antwerp, for the first time published in 1573, as well as Anthony Jenkinson’s Moscovia map were published in Cornelis de Jode’s atlas Speculum Orbis Terrae in 1593.

The map of Johann Portantius represents the Old Livonia in its historical boundaries which, considering the date of publishing of the map, indicates out-of-date source data (the political distribution on the map reflects the situation before the Livonian War). Unlike on the other maps of the period, on this map the outlines of the Estonian territory are drawn almost as they are; though the islands are unnaturally large. Compared with the previously published maps, it also presents a larger number of Estonian place names (approximately 50).

Gerard Jode (1515–1591), a cartographer and mathematician from Antwep, was a map engraver in the beginning; then started to draw and publish the maps by himself. He mostly drew large-scale maps and revised and published the works of other mapmakers. His most outstanding work is an atlas in two volumes, Speculum Orbis Terrarum, which he finished in 1570. Twelve copies of it have preserved in the world. In 1593 his son Cornelis de Jode, also a cartographer, published a new edition of this atlas naming it Speculum Orbis Terrae.

The brothers Jan and Lucas van Doetecums were the skilled engravers who crafted the maps for the atlas of Gerard Jode. They worked for Christoffel Plantijn, a publisher from Antwerp, and engraved the maps of many eminent contemporary cartographers, for example of Cornelis de Jode, Lucas Jansz Waghenaer and Abraham Ortelius.


Magni Dvcatvs Lithvaniae, Livoniae et Moscoviae Descriptio / [Maciej Strubycz]. – [ Cologne, 1589]. 1 map : copper engraving; 39 x 32 cm. – (Polonia / Martin Kromer).


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

Maciej Strubycz (ca 1520 – 1589) was a Polish cartographer from Silesia. He studied in the University of Königsberg and was later in the services of Albrecht, Duke of Prussia, the Polish King Sigismund II August and Stefan Batory. He drew up several maps of the Eastern boarders of Lithuania and Poland, but exept for this one, they have been destroyed. Gerardus Mercator engraved this map.


Tavola Nuova Di Prussia et Di Livonia / Jacopo Gastaldo. [Ca 1:6 800 000]. - Venetia //Venice// : Giordano Ziletti, 1574. - 1 map : copper engraving; 21 x 26 cm. - (La Geografia / di Claudio Ptolemeo Alessandrini; 14).


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

 


Livonia. [Ca 1:9 700 000]. [16./17. saj. vahetus]. - 1 map : copper engraving; 8 x 11 cm.


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

 


Livonia. [Ca 1:9 700 000]. [16./17. saj. vahetus]. - 1 map : copper engraving; 8 x 11 cm.


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

 


Prussia ET Livonia Nova / Iacopo Gastaldo [Ca 1:9 700 000]. - Venetia //Venice// : Giovanni Baptista Pedrezano, 1548. - 1 map: copper engraving; 17 x 12 cm. - (La Geografia / di Claudio Ptolemeo Alessandrini ; 20).


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Original in the National Library Cartography Collection

 

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