Map shows the north west part of France with the the English Channel, with representation of Julius Caesar
Joan Guilliemus Blaeu was the eldest son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), and was probably born in Alkmaar in the province of Noord-Holland in the final years of the 16th century. He was brought up in Amsterdam, and studied law at the University of Leiden before going into partnership with his father in the 1630s. Although his father Willem had cartographic interests, having studied under the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and having manufactured globes and instruments, his primary business was as a printer. It was under the control of Joan that the Blaeu printing press achieved lasting fame by moving towards the printing of maps and expanding to become the largest printing press in Europe in the 17th century. By the 1660s the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (or Atlas Maior as it had became known by this time) had expanded to between 9 and 12 volumes, depending on the language. With over 3,000 text pages and approximately 600 maps, it was the most expensive book money could buy in the later 17th century. The translation of the text from Latin into Dutch, English, German, French, and Spanish for several volumes created enormous work for those involved in typography and letterpress activities. It is estimated that over 80 men must have been employed full-time in the Blaeu printing house in Bloemgracht, not including engravers who worked elsewhere, with over 15 printing presses running simultaneously, and in 1667 a second press was acquired at Gravenstraat. At the same time as producing the Atlas Maior, Blaeu was also publishing town plans of Italy, maps for globes, and other volumes. At its peak the Blaeu press managed to produce over 1 million impressions from 1,000 copper plates within four years.
It is estimated that today's France was settled about 48,000 years ago. Important rock paintings from the Paleolithic period have been preserved in the Lascaux cave From 600 BC Chr. Phoenician and Greek traders founded bases on the Mediterranean coast, while Celts settled from the northwest the country that was later called by the Romans as Gaul. The French Middle Ages were marked by the rise of kingship in the constant struggle against the independence of the nobility and the secular violence of the monasteries and religious orders. Starting from today's Île-de-France, the Capetinians enforced the idea of a unitary state, which was underpinned by participation in various crusades. The Normans invaded Normandy repeatedly, hence its name; in 1066 they conquered England. A long series of armed conflicts with England began under Louis VII after Ludwig's divorced wife Eleonore von Poitou and Aquitaine married Heinrich Plantagenet in 1152 and thus about half of France's territory fell to England. Philip II August, together with the Hohenstaufen family, largely displaced England from France until 1299; the English king Henry III Ludwig IX. recognize as suzerain. From 1226 France became an inheritance monarchy; in 1250 Ludwig IX was one of the most powerful rulers in the West. In the 17th and 18th centuries, France held European leadership and supremacy. The political and cultural charisma was significant: The court of Louis XIV became the model for absolutist states throughout Europe and the French Revolution with the declaration of human and civil rights, together with occupations by Napoleon Bonaparte, started in many countries the time and again Setbacks interrupted development towards democracy.
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Dimensions (cm)||39 x 49,5|
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