Leen Helmink Antique Maps & Atlases


Magni Chami Tartari Imperium

Certificate of Authentication

This is to certify that the item illustrated and described below is a genuine antique
map, print or book that was first produced and published in 1596, today 428 years ago.
July 14, 2024

Dr Leendert Helmink, Ph.D.


First Published

Cologne, 1596

This edition



14.5 x 20 cms


Copper engraving

Stock number




Antique map of Tartaria by Andreas/Botero/Metellus
Antique map of Tartaria by Andreas/Botero/Metellus


First published in Botero's "Theatrum Principum Orbis Universi ... Cologne, 1596".

Extremely rare and early map of Tartaria. The map has no latitude and longitude coordinates.

This map of Tartary is attributed to Lambert Andreas on the basis of his publication of the atlas in which it is found. This was a translation of the popular geographical work by Giovanni Botero in Rome. It displays part of the west coast of North America, which bears no placenames. A ship is prominently placed in the Arctic Ocean where none had as yet travelled, and Japan takes its usual position midway between the two continents of America and Asia. It appeared in a total of six different works which are listed below:

1596 Andreas-Botero Theatrum Principum Orbis Universi
1596 Andreas-Botero Theatrum oder Schawspiegel
1599 Christoffel-Botero Eynkommen, Reichtumb ...
1600 Sutorium-Metellus Asia
1602 Sutorium-Botero Mundus Imperiorum
1602 Sutorium-Metellus Speculum Orbis Terrae

The publication of Giovanni Botero's Theatrum in 1596 marked the first occasion when Ortelius's map was copied by reduction in size to some 60%. The map also appears in works by Johannes Metellus (Jean Matal).

The map originally published by Botero was exclusively used in his publications from 1596 to 1599. As of 1600, the map was also used, unchanged, in Metellus's Asia Tabvlis Æneis and Speculum Orbis Terrae.

Based on detailed comparison made between examples of the map included in Theatrum Principium... 1596 and that included in the Specvlvm Orbis Terre... 1602, it would appear that there is only one state of this map.


Ref: Meurer BOT 1 map Bot 10.

Giovanni Botero (1533-1617)

Giovanni Botero (1533-1617) was born in Bene, Piemonte. He received a Jesuit education and entered the Order, becoming a teacher of rhetoric and philosophy in Italy and France. He was one of the greatest economists of the sixteenth century and considered a precursor of Malthus. He was expelled from the Order after delivering a sermon where he criticized the worldly authority of the Pope. His first geographical work, Le Relationi Universali, was published in 1591 but contained no maps.