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Peter H. Meurer:

The world map with the imperial eagle by Petrus ab Aggere: on the tracks of a lost icon of political cartography

Cartographica Helvetica 43 (2011) 29–41


In 1574 a world map (6 sheets, 100 x 88 cm) appeared in Cologne. In the background an eagle is shown as the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire. The map was edited by Frans Hogenberg and Georg Braun. However, it is certain that the map was printed from older copper plates. The geographic original was the world map by Caspar Vopelius from 1545. In South America the map image is supplemented with primary data, but no source is mentioned after 1555. The interpretation of the eagle as the coat of arms coincides with the accession to power by King Philip II. of Spain as the new sovereign ruler of the Netherlands in 1556, who also claimed imperial honors. The line of arguments indicates that this print from Cologne is a new edition of the presumably lost wall map Orbis terrarum typus, aquila comprehensam by Petrus ab Aggere. It appeared in 1556 in Mechelen by Hendrik Terbruggen, Hogenberg's father-in-law.

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