ABRAHAM ORTELIUS

German cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius is recognized as the maker of the first modern atlas, The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, an 8-leaved wall map of the world. He was also a founder of the Dutch School of Cartography and one of the first believers of Pangea, the unified landmass before continental drift separated the world into continents. Born in modern Belgium, Ortelius trained as a map engraver and found work as a map illuminator, which is a fancy term for page decoration. He sold his maps for decent profits, while also selling other antiquities like books and prints. His maps became collector’s items beyond his death and have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

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