De Jode's Arabia
By JODE, Cornelis de , 1578

Secunda Partis Asiae.

Arabia Asia
  • Author: JODE, Cornelis de
  • Publication place: [Antwerp
  • Publication date: 1578].
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved map.
  • Dimensions: 320 by 450mm (12.5 by 17.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 3154


De Jode’s rare map of Arabia, reduced from Giacomo Gastaldi’s seminal work, the first modern map of the Arabian Peninsula.

Gastaldi revitalised European mapping of the Middle East, producing a two sheet wall map of Arabia and the Indian Ocean and creating a series of maps of the region for his 1548 edition of Ptolemy. Gastaldi used new sources to give a more accurate picture of the area, and his cartography was used as the basis for maps by Abraham Ortelius, Cornelius de Jode and Gerard Mercator in their respective atlases. Although not a slavish copy, de Jode’s map is by far the closest in style and content to the one published by Gastaldi in 1561.

Despite Gastaldi’s updated sources, parts of the map are still guesswork. De Jode has retained Gastaldi’s entirely fictional lake, “Stag Lago”, and the title cartouche mentions the kingdom of Prester John, a mythical Christian king.

The map appeared in the first edition of Gerard de Jode’s atlas, ‘Speculum Orbis Terrarum’. The atlas was first issued in 1578, and although it received many favourable comments from contemporaries such as Petrus Montanus, it was not a commercial success.

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