Abraham Ortelius


Birthday April 14, 1527

Birth Sign Aries

Birthplace Antwerp, Belgium

DEATH DATE Jun 28, 1598 (71)

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Brabantian cartographer and geographer who is recognized for being the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. He is also known for being one of the founders of the Dutch School of Cartography. He is also believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions. 

Before Fame

His career began as a map-engraver. He began traveling extensively to Europe and throughout the Seventeen Provinces. In 1547, he entered the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as an illuminator of maps. In 1564, he published his first map Typus Orbis Terrarum, an eight-leveled wall map of the world. 


He was honored with a Google Doodle on May 20, 2018. His publication of the atlas in 1570 is also considered being the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. 

Family Life

He was born and raised in Antwerp, Habsburg, Netherlands. 

Associated With

His observations of continental changes and his insistence on rupture and separation were expanded upon and explained as continental drift in a 1912 publication by Alfred Wegener