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BRITANNICARUM INSULARUM VETUS DESCRIPTIO - Map of Ireland, England and Wales

BRITANNICARUM INSULARUM VETUS DESCRIPTIO - Map of Ireland, England and Wales

Cartographer: Ortelius, Abraham

Medium: Engraving

Date: 1590

Shelfmark: Maps.C.2.c.3

Item number: Sheet 7

Length: 720

Width: 490

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Map

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This map of the British Isles is the work of Abraham Ortelius. It dates from 1590 and was published in Antwerp. It appears in the fourth Additamentum to Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Ortelius published these 'additions' to supplement editions of his atlas. The fourth Additamentum contained, in addition to new, more modern maps, a section devoted to classical history known as the Parergon. It is in this section that this map resides. Here the northern and southern parts of the British Isles are shown with British tribes, Roman town names and other information according to classical traditions. Key features such as Hadrian's Wall and the forts along its length, such as Segodunum and Longovicum, can be clearly seen.

For this new map Ortelius based the outline of England and Wales on that of Christopher Saxton, which portrayed the proportions of the land mass more accurately than before, although Ireland and Scotland remain the same as the existing maps in the atlas. It is likely that the engraving was by Jan Wierix.

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