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State Library of NSW
Nova et accuratissima totius terrarium orbis tabula1662
This world map was prepared by Joan Blaeu for his Atlas Maior in 1662. Classical gods, representing the planets orbiting the heavens, decorate the map’s upper margins. An astronomer, holding an armillary sphere (a planetary model), and a geographer, taking measurements of the globe, flank the hemispheres. Allegories of the seasons decorate the lower margin.
Acclaimed as the largest and most splendid atlas of the 17th century, the Atlas Maior was published in 12 volumes by Joan Blaeu between 1662–65. The frontispiece (decorated title page) of the atlas displays the crowned figure of Cybele, the Greco-Roman earth goddess, in a chariot led by lions. She is surrounded by four female figures and their companion animals, representing the known continents.