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Ortelius, Abraham

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was a Flemish cartographer and geographer, regarded as the publisher of the first modern atlas, although the word "atlas" was first used later by Mercator. In 1570 he published his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum ("Theatre" of the Whole World), which contained the first systematically organised series of uniformly sized maps. It was reissued in 42 editions and 7 languages to 1612. He also produced a series of historical maps known as the Parergon Theatri (1579-1606). He is thought to be the first person to conceive that the continents were originally joined together before drifting to their present positions.