In 1578 was published the Speculum orbis terrarum of Gerard de Jude or de Judaeis.
He was the author of the De mensura orbis terrae, finished in 825, which contains the earliest clear notice of a European discovery of and settlement in Iceland and the most definite Western reference to the old freshwater canal between the Nile and the Red Sea, finally blocked up in 767.
In the 9th Alcuin sends to Charles the Great for a copy of the earlier books (Epp. 103, Jaffe); and Dicuil gathers extracts from the pages of Pliny for his own Mensura orbis terrae (c. 825).
Mappa mundi was the medieval Latin for a map of the world which the ancients called Tabula totius orbis descriptionem Topographical maps and plans are drawn on a scale sufficiently large to enable the draughtsman to show most objects on a scale true to nature.
Cities and kingdoms were allotted to their several patronage on a system fully expounded by Manilius: Hos erit in fines orbis pontusque notandus, Quem Deus in partes per singula dividit astra, Ac sua cuique dedit tutelae regna per orbem, Et proprias gentes atque urbes addidit altas, In quibus exercent praestantia sidera vires.s Syria was assigned to Aries, and Syrian coins frequently bear the effigy of a ram; Scythia and Arabia fell to Taurus, India to Gemini.
Hitherto, from the nature of the case, the works aforesaid treated of scarcely any but the birds belonging to the orbis veteribus notus; but the geographical discoveries of the 16th century began to bear fruit, and many animals of kinds un suspected were, about one hundred years later, made known.
His treatise De natura novi orbis libri duo (Salamanca, 1588-1589) may be regarded as the preliminary draft of his celebrated Historia natural y moral de las Indias (Seville, 1590) which was speedily translated into Italian (1596), French (1597), Dutch (1598), German (1601), Latin (1602) and English (1604).
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1592), of Antwerp, a man of culture and enterprise, but not a scientific cartographer, published the first edition of his Theatrum orbis terrarum in 1570.
Two years later appeared his Recherches geographiques et critiques on the De Mensura Orbis Terrae of Dicuil.