Map shows Asia with two decorative cartouches.
Jodocus Hondius (1563 –1612) was a Dutch engraver, and cartographer. He is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe, for re-establishing the reputation of the work of Gerard Mercator, and for his portraits of Francis Drake. He helped establish Amsterdam as the center of cartography in Europe in the 17th century. He was born in Wakken and grew up in Ghent. In his early years he established himself as an engraver, instrument maker and globe maker. In 1584 he moved to London to escape religious difficulties in Flanders. While in England, Hondius was instrumental in publicizing the work of Francis Drake, who had made a circumnavigation of the world in the late 1570s. In particular, in 1589 Hondius produced a now famous map of the bay of New Albion, where Drake briefly established a settlement on the west coast of North America. Hondius' map was based on journal and eyewitness accounts of the trip and has long fueled speculation about the precise location of Drake's landing, which has not yet been firmly established by historians. Hondius is also thought to be the artist of several well-known portraits of Drake that are now in the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 1593 he moved to Amsterdam, where he remained until the end of his life. In co-operation with the Amsterdam publisher Cornelis Claesz. in 1604 he purchased the plates of Gerard Mercator's Atlas from Mercator's grandson. Mercator's work had languished in comparison to the rival Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius. Hondius republished Mercator's work with 36 additional maps, including several which he himself had produced. Despite the addition of his own contributions, Hondius gave Mercator full credit as the author of the work, listing himself as the publisher. Hondius' new edition of Mercator's work was a great success, selling out after a year. Hondius later published a second edition, as well as a pocket version Atlas Minor. The maps have since become known as the ""Mercator/Hondius series"" . In the French edition of the Atlas Minor we find one of the first instances of a thematic map using map symbols. This is a map entitled Designatio orbis christiani (1607) showing the dispersion of major religions. Between 1605 and 1610 he was employed by John Speed to engrave the plates for Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Hondius died, aged 48, in Amsterdam. After his death, his publishing work in Amsterdam was continued by his widow, two sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and son-in-law Johannes Janssonius, whose name appears on the Atlas as co-publisher after 1633. Eventually, starting with the first 1606 edition in Latin, about 50 editions of the Atlas were released in the main European languages. In the Islamic world, the atlas was partially translated by the Turkish scholar Katip Çelebi. The series is sometimes called the ""Mercator/Hondius/Janssonius"" series because of Janssonius's later contributions.
Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. The history of Asia can be seen as the distinct histories of several peripheral coastal regions: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, linked by the interior mass of the Central Asian steppes. The coastal periphery was home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, each of them developing around fertile river valleys. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yellow River shared many similarities. These civilizations may well have exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other innovations, such as writing, seem to have been developed individually in each area. Cities, states and empires developed in these lowlands. The central steppe region had long been inhabited by horse-mounted nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the steppes. The earliest postulated expansion out of the steppe is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread their languages into the Middle East, South Asia, and the borders of China, where the Tocharians resided. The northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia, was largely inaccessible to the steppe nomads, owing to the dense forests, climate and tundra. These areas remained very sparsely populated. The center and the peripheries were mostly kept separated by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus and Himalaya mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could cross only with difficulty. While the urban city dwellers were more advanced technologically and socially, in many cases they could do little in a military aspect to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force; for this and other reasons, the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East often found themselves adapting to the local, more affluent societies.
|Place of Publication
|16 x 19 cm
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