Abraham Ortelius 1527-1598 Began working as a map illuminator; later established himself as a mapseller. In partnership with his two sisters, Ortelius started the family business in Antwerp. In 1570 he published his greatest work, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. An immediate commercial success, this atlas was reprinted four times in its first year. Thereafter, the work was frequently reprinted, with many of the maps re-engraved and updated and new maps added. By 1612 more than forty editions had been printed in several languages.