Johannes Pontanus, Rerum et urbis Amstelodamensium historia (Amsterdam: Jodocus Hondius, 1611).

By 1611, the date of publication of this volume, Amsterdam, a small town in the 16th century, was becoming the major mercantile and cultural centre of the Low Countries, and of Europe. From the late Middle Ages until 1585 this position had been held by Antwerp, but the recapture of this city by the Spanish Catholic forces during the wars of independence meant there was a large influx of Protestant refugees northwards, greatly expanding and enriching the population of Amsterdam. The bourse or stock exchange, pictured right, was being built as this volume was being published (1608-1613, and eventually demolished in 1838). The extent of the city's trading activities by this time is shown by illustrations of scenes from Indonesia and India to the Arctic, such as the dangers of seal hunting shown here.