Abraham Ortelius presents a book


Inscribed at foot of titlepage: Pietate & humanitate venerabli D[omi]no, D[omino] Francisco Superantio Abraham Ortelius dono mittebat. [Abraham Ortelius has sent forth this gift to Lord Francesco Soranzo, venerable master in devotion and in cultured learning.]

❧ Francesco Soranzo (1557-1607) was a Venetian noble who served as ambassador to Spain from 1598 to 1600. • In 1597 in a letter to his nephew, Ortelius described his friend Soranzo: “At Venice, I doubt if I have, among the many friends there, any greater than Francisus Superantius (his venancular name is ‘de la Soranzo’), for I have felt myself to have had his benefits very often.” [Hessels, Epistulae Ortelianae (1887), 303: Venetiis magnum inter ceteros amicum Franciscum Superantium (vulgo de la Soranzo) habeam subdubito, at habuisse me saepius sensi suis beneficiis.] • Not only had Soranzo provided hospitality in Venice to Ortelius, he more notably provided him with books coming from the Venetian publishers. [See Hessels, Epistulae Ortelianae (1887), 85 and 141]. In return Ortelius sent him books. Books marked their friendship and the regularity of exchange was clearly noted. In the same 1597 letter to his nephew, Ortelius remarked further that it had been a while since he had received books from Soranzo and he just didn’t know why – perhaps ‘lost in transit’ he speculated. • This book clearly survived the trip between northern Europe and Italy as well as much between, eventually and arriving in Princeton in the late 1940s as part of the Grenville Kane Collection.
❧ Ptolemy. Geographiae libri octo. Cologne: Gottfried von Kempen, 1584. The first edition of Ptolemy’s Geography with maps by Mercator. Call number: EXKA Ptolemy 1584. Cf. Wilberforce Eames, A List of Editions of Ptolemy’s Geography 1475-1730, (New York, 1886), p. 25-26.
❧ For more on Soranzo see Barozzi, Nicolò, ed. Relazioni degli stati Europei lette al Senato dagli ambasciatori Veneti nel secolo decimosettimo (Venice, 1856) ser.1, v.1, p. 27 ff.