Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) was born in Antwerp. At the age of 20 he joined the Guild of St. Lukes as illuminator of maps, while also dealing maps he imported from other countries. He traveled widely and was well-known throughout Europe, even becoming geographer to King Phillip II of Spain in 1573. He was responsible for a large number of important cartographic texts and especially for one of the earliest and most comprehensive atlases, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, first issued in 1570. The Theatrum was subsequently published in at least 26 editions in the author’s lifetime, each time with a different number of maps since Ortelius was in constant contact with cartographers, navigators, and geographers, who suggested corrections and additions. He died in Antwerp in 1598.