Africa Propriae Tabula

Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598)

Coloured engraving

  • About the work
    Country: Tunisia
    City: Tunis
    Place: British Embassy

    Abraham Ortelius’ coloured and decorative map shows an early image of North Africa and the Mediterranean as they appeared in the 16th century. It is based on Giacomo Gastaldi's famous eight-sheet map of Africa made in 1573. It shows in great detail the northern coast of Africa between modern-day Algeria and Libya. The map centers on the Carthaginian Empire (modern-day Tunisia and Libya). Also depicted are the islands of Sicily (Siciliae) and Malta (Melita). Two decorated insets at the bottom of this map feature an intricate plan of ancient Carthage and a list of sources including Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy. This map was first published in Ortelius’ 1590 edition of Parergon, a supplement to his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas of the world. 

  • About the artist

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    Materials & Techniques
    engraving, coloured engraving
  • Details
    Africa Propriae Tabula
    Coloured engraving
    width: 53.50 cm, height: 41.50 cm
    Purchased from Sifton, Praed & Co., January 1973
    GAC number