Americae Sive Novi Orbis… (The New World or America…)
The date of this later issue of Ortelius’s map of the Americas, 1587, is stated in the inscription in the bottom right-hand corner – on the edge of 'Terra Australis', the hypothesised continent in the Southern Hemisphere that acted as a counterweight to the known lands of the north.Full description »
The date of this later issue of Ortelius’s map of the Americas, 1587, is stated in the inscription in the bottom right-hand corner – on the edge of 'Terra Australis', the hypothesised continent in the Southern Hemisphere that acted as a counterweight to the known lands of the north. This map is easily distinguishable from the earlier world map produced in 1570, on which the southwest corner of South America has a large protuberance – a distinctive error on the cartographer’s part.
The 1570 version of the map had presented information based mainly on accounts of campaigns by the Conquistadors, from the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez along the Gulf of Mexico in 1521 to Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s exploration of the Californian coast in 1542. As well as removing the aforementioned bulge on South America, Ortelius has made additions to this later depiction of the Americas in the light of intervening discoveries and explorations. On the east coast of North America, the name ‘Wingandekoa’ has been added, just below an inlet. It is thought to be based on accounts of attempted English settlement in ‘Virginia’ on Roanoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina; the inlet may be Chesapeake Bay. On the west coast the name ‘California’ appears on what is now Baja California, correctly shown as a peninsula, not an island (as on some maps produced after c.1626).
At north, the inscription ‘Regions further north from here are unknown’ appears now in a grand cartouche not previously present. The even grander one below at left (with the map’s title) had been incorporated earlier and served to hide the fact that map-makers had no idea what was in that region. For the first time after their discovery, the Solomon Islands, somewhat enlarged, are depicted to the east of New Guinea. This version of the New World map continued to be included in Ortelius's atlas 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum' until its last edition in 1612.
French text on verso. Copperplate, coloured.
From 1587 to 1598