From its first appearance in 1570 with 53 mapsheets, the Theatrum was far more comprehensive in scope than the contemporary Italian Lafreri atlases, which were assembled or printed to order, and filled the need for a wide ranging modern geography (see lot 122). Its popularity can be judged by the fact that in its first year of publication no less than four issues were produced. In all, over forty different editions were published, with text in Latin, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, English or Italian, with the maps being frequently revised or replaced. In 1612, when the final edition appeared, the atlas contained no less than 150 maps.
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