Chapter

Introduction

in Historical Atlases

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226300719
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226300726 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226300726.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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The Theatrum orbis terrarium of Abraham Ortelius, often called the first modern atlas of geography, was in its entirety “dedicated to the understanding of history.” Ortelius's Theatrum and its successors contain all-purpose maps potentially helpful to readers of history. The historical atlases circulating today are diverse. Some, usually devoted to a single region or country, are lavish in thematic detail and in exacting scholarly preparation. Others perpetuate a long-standing fascination with the geography of the classical world and the Bible. Historical atlases with a general scope—costly productions with exacting technical demands—occasion much cooperation among European and American publishers. Historical atlases are alive and well today. Some recent ones embody a high order of scholarship; others stand out for their artwork; a few have had enviable commercial success.

Keywords: historical atlases; American publishers; scholarly preparation; Abraham Ortelius; Theatrum

Chapter.  5251 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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