Histoire Universelle des Indes Occidentales... des Indes Orientales
Douay, Francois Fabri, 1607
Koeman mentions this edition without bibliography
Skelton in Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, I Vol V, 1964
In folio, 30x20 cm
Contemporary full calf, spine restored. Title in gilt in the spine
4 nn lvs; 136 pp; 19 double page maps ; 4 nn lvs
6 nn lvs ; 72 pp including one double page with 4 maps
Two of three books of Wyfliets atlas, the first atlas of the Americas and, since 1605, in French, an atlas of the discovery of Asia as well.
Lacks, as often, a third book on the Christianization of both continents. The two books each open with a pictorial title page and each have their own pagination.
It was Wytfliets intention- himself a lawyer and secretary to the Council of Brabant- to publish an atlas that describes and shows the recently discovered parts of the world, the parts Ptolemy did not know.
Ptolomaicae Argumentum. Therefore the title of the first edition of the atlas included: an annex to Ptolemy. It must have been Wytfliets intention to add Asia to the atlas as well, but the first editions were limited to the Americas both in text and in maps.
First part of the text -till page 76- is a summarised history of the discovery and conquest of the Americas in 38 chapters. The second part of the text describes each and every region of the 19 maps.
For this text, Wytfliet worked like Ramusio, using most or all existing texts on the discovery of the Americas: Peter Martyr, Oviedo; Lopez Gomara, Cieza de Leon, Benzoni and Acosta. He also used secondary sources then available like Ramusio, Hakluyt and de Bry (parts I to VI)
The world map is a copy, reduced in size, of Rumold Mercators worldmap of 1587. For the regional maps Wytfliet used Plancius wall map of the world of 1592. "This might be considered as the general model which however Wytfliet freely modified and supplemented "(Skelton, 1964)
The second part is a translation of G.A. Maginis Indiae orientalis description, Venice 1596. In 36 chapters, mainly the voyages of Vasco da Gama and the establishment of Portuguese Asia by Albuquerque. The four fine maps are inspired by Langenes (1598) who borrowed his knowledge of Linschoten (1596) who borrowed his knowledge of the Lasso manuscripts bought by Plancius in Lisbon in 1592. So they are essentially Portuguese maps. This second book ends with a "modern" description of each of the countries involved.