1662 (1684) Africa


1 in stock

Wonderful original copperplate engraving of ‘Roman Africa’ during the reign of Hadrian.

SKU: MW0601 Categories: , , , ,

Drawn for the final volume of Jansson’s Atlas Novus published in 1662. The volume was dedicated to maps illustrating ancient and Biblical history. Blanckaert was a deeply respected historian and philologist, and his contribution to the atlas would have given it more gravitas. This was part of a trio of maps drawn by Blanckaert consisting of Roman Europe, Asia and Africa. The present example, with no verso on text, corresponds to the printing of the map for inclusion in G Hornius’ Accuratissima Orbis Delineato, (Description of the Earth, or Ancient Geography, both Sacred and Profane) Amsterdam, Johannes Janssonius van Waesbergen 1684.

The map shows the continent of Africa from a latitude similar to modern Zimbabwe to the Mediterranean Sea and includes Africa from Cape Verde to Socotra including the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent. The maps topology is consistent with Mercator’s world map of 1569 and the maps toponymy is ancient, partly drawn from Ptolemy, but with ancient place names arranged according to more contemporary geographical ideas. Blanckaert’s goal appears to have been to make the reports of the ancient reports consistent with modern exploration. Blanckaert certainly drew upon earlier sources, in the region of Libya the description of the kingdom of Cinyps as the sweetest and most fertile land in all of Africa is a direct quote from Herodotus.

A shell-motif cartouche appears lower right; a dedicatory cartouche to Dutch scholar and statesman Johan de Brune (1588-1658) is surmounted by a coat of arms. Illustrated lower left are the versi of eight coins minted in Rome during the reign of Hadrian, in commemoration of his tour of the Empire. The heads of these coins depict Hadrian in profile; the versi or tails faces contain allegorical figures and the names of the Imperial provinces for which the coins were dedicated. Blacnkaert had published many important translations of early histories of Rome, and the coins surviving may have represented important corroborations for his historians often questionable reports.

Jan Jansson or Johannes Janssonius (1588-1664) was born in Arnhem Holland, the son of a printer and bookseller. He married into the prominent cartographic family of Hondius in 1612. Following the marrige he moved to Amsterdam where he worked as a book publisher. IN 1616 Jansson produced his first maps. most of which were heavily influenced by Blaeu. He expanded his business establishing himself in various cities in Europe and by the mid-1630’s, partnered with his brother-in-law Henricus Hondius, to produce his most important work, the eleven volume, Atlas Major. About this time, Jansson’s name appear on Hondius’ rie-issues of notable Mercator and Jondius atlases. Jansson’s last major work was the issue of the 1646 full edition of English County Maps. Following his death in 1664 the company was taken over by his brother-in-law Johannes van Waesbergen. Wasebergen adopted the name of Jansonius and published a new Atlas Contractus in two volumes with Jansson’s other son-in-law Elizee Weverstraet with the imprint Joannis Janssonii haeredes in 1666. These maps also refer to the firm of Janssonius-Waesbergius.

In 1676, Waesbergen and Weyerstraet sold by auction all remaining Atlases in Latin, French, High and Low German as well as the Stedeboecken in Latin, in 8 volumes bound and unbound, maps, plates belonging to the Atlas and Stedeboecken. The copperplates were afterwards sold to Schenk and Valck.

Nicolaas Blanckaert (1624-1703) was a Dutch philologist, historian, and professor. Very little is known of his background or education but we do know that his father was a Schout (Sherriff) During his lifetime he was prolific and respected author, editor and scholar. He published a broad array of translations from the Greek, including in 1683 Harpocration’s Lexicon, the first published translation of that work (virtually the only lexicon of ancient Greek oratory to survive). By 1662 he was professor of history and politics in Leiden, and was a historian for the Order of Zeeland. He became Professor of Greek at the University of Franeker, a position thought to have held until his death in 1703.

Dimensions 54 × 39 cm
Map Maker

BLANCKAERT, Nicolaas (BLANCARDUS, Nicolaus) / WAESBERGHE, Johannes Janssonius

Dimensions with Mount

74 x 59cm


Africae Antiquae et quarundam Europae Asiaeque,Adiacentium Regionum accurata delineatio, ad Historiarum lucem edita a Nicolao Blancardo Batavo. Leidensi, Historiarum et Politices Professore with a dedication to Johannes Bruno by Nicolaus Blancardus.


Jansson’s Atlas Novus/G Hornius’ Accuratissima Orbis Delineato,


Amsterdam First Edition c1662 This edition 1684 from the original plate


Excellent condition

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