De Jode’s rare map of Greece

By JODE, Gerard de, 1578 

Videbis totius Greciae limites Divisos per motes flumina & maria…

Europe Greece
  • Author: JODE, Gerard de
  • Publication place: [Antwerp
  • Publication date: 1578].
  • Physical description: Double page engraved map.
  • Inventory reference: 13054


The map is drawn from Ligorio’s map of 1561 and shows the Greek peninsula and archipelago with part of Turkey, naming many ancient and contemporary towns.

Pirro Ligorio (c1512-1583) was a Neapolitan artist, architect and antiquarian active in Rome from the early 1530s. He was Papal Architect under Paul IV and Pius IV, and nurtured a deep interest in classical Roman antiquity. Ligorio pursued cartography later in life, designing several maps of Rome, Italian regions and other European countries. Allegedly, he found an enemy in fellow architect Giorgio Vasari, who refused to include his biography in his Lives of the Artists’, hence leaving Ligorio’s life much less documented compared to his contemporaries.

De Jode’s atlas Speculum Orbis Terrarum’ was first published in 1578 by Gerard de Jode (1509–1591) with text by Daniel Cellarius. It was designed to compete with Abraham Ortelius’ atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’, which had been published eight years earlier. Ortelius used his influence to disrupt de Jode’s application for a royal privilege. By the time this was finally granted, seven years after the publication of the Theatrum’, Ortelius’ work had become so popular that de Jode’s atlas did not sell well, despite the accuracy and clarity of his maps.

Although sales of de Jode’s work were less than ideal, the atlas was evidently held in high regard, with several contemporaries citing its importance alongside the atlases of Mercator and Ortelius. Few examples of either edition of the Speculum’ have survived, making the maps within a rarity. 


  1. Karrow 1993:354
    • Karrow, R. (1993). Mapmakers of the sixteenth century and their maps. Chicago: Speculum Orbis Press.
  2. Van der Krogt 7800:32.
    • Koeman, C and van der Krogt, Pieter (2000–2010). Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. MS’t Goy-Houten: HES & De Graaf Publishers. 9 vols.