Author(s): Paul Binding
Published in Antwerp in 1570, the Theatrum orbis terrarum did something no previous book had done—it presented the world in all its component parts, offering the chance to see our planet as a place of staggering variety and ultimate unity. It was the world’s first atlas. Brainchild of Abraham Ortelius, the Theatrum reflected the enormous vitality of the era, the prevailing zest for exploration and discovery, and the linked activities of international commerce and mapmaking. Paul Binding has immersed himself in the Antwerp that produced Ortelius and his atlas, and he draws on a mass of letters, personal documents, maps, and pictures to bring it vividly to life. A masterly volume that stands as a tribute to the human need to impose order and reason on an all-too-turbulent world.