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Tunis, AL-MAHDIYA & PEÑON DE VÉLEZ, north Africa.

Braun & Hogenberg. Frans Hogenberg & Simon Novellanus` Tunes; Apphrodisium, vulgo Africa; PEÑON DE VÉLEZ "Tunes, Oppidum Barbarie & Regia sedes; Anno 1535 cum a Carolo V Imp. expugnareteur, A ioanne Maio euis Maies Fatis pictore ad Vinum delineatum; Africa olim Aphrodisium & PEÑON DE VÉLEZ" Cologne G von Kempen 1575
3 copper engraved views of Tunis, MAHDIA (AL-MAHDIYA) & PEÑON DE VÉLEZ DE LA GOMERA from the second volume of Braun & Hogenberg's "Civitas Orbis Terrarum. " Latin text to verso.

The bird's-eye view depicts the Peninsula of Mahdia, Aphrodisium or Africa in the throes of deadly battle on the water and on land. In 1546 the pirate Turgut Reis, following the death of Admiral Khair ad-Din, called Barbarossa, became the new commander-in-chief of the Ottoman naval forces. He besieged and plundered such places as Sicily and Calabria and attacked the Spanish bases in North Africa. In 1549 he captured the town of Mahdia, supremely protected by defensive labyrinthine walls. The plate depicts the massive recapture at sea and on land by the Spanish Admiral Andrea Doria and the Maltese Claude de la Sengle in September 1550. Mahdia, or the Horn of Africa, is located on an ancient site, which in the 16th century was thought to be Ptolemy's Aphrodisium.

PEÑON DE VÉLEZ DE LA GOMERA The plate depicts a small rocky island under siege cannon fire from the land as well as from the sea. Fortifications with towers, walls and planted flags can be identified on the sheer cliffs of the island. The Spanish, battling the resident pirates there, initially captured the island in 1508. Afterwards it fell under Moroccan rule for 42 years until the Spanish won it back 1564. after an engraving by Giovanni Francesco Camocio, c 1570. Good impression; a few light spots to margins.

The "Civitas Orbis Terrarum" of Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg was the first systemstic city atlas, possible intended to compliment the "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum "of Abraham Ortelius published in 1570.

There is strong evidence that Braun, Hogenberg and Ortelius discussed the planned work, although some scholars believe it was influenced by Sabastien Munster's "Cosmographia"
R A Skelton in his introduction to the facsimile edition [ 1965] puts the case f for the "Theatrum " of Ortelius being the model for the work ( "(it) is made abundantly clear by the similarity between the two works in title, in format and in the layout and serial order of the plates and text"
First publishe in 1572 in Cologne just two years after Ortelius' " Theatrum" it was published in six volumes in the years between 1572 and 1617.
Georg Braun [1541-1622], Canon of Cologne Cathedral wrote the preface for all but the last volume and also the text accompanying each plan or view on the verso.
The plates were engraved by Frans Hogenberg and Simon Novellanus after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel[1542-1600] who travelled with Ortelius through Italy and also made extensive travels through France Spain and England
Following the death of Frans Hogenberg the plates were engraved by Abraham Hogenberg, believed to be his son.
Jacob Hoefnagel continued the work of his father following his death, particularly the Austrian and Hungarian cities. Other notable contributers were Heinrich Rantzau with maps and plans of northern Europe, especially Denmark and Jacob van Deventer's plans of cities in the Netherlands. .

Braun corresponded with mapsellers and scholars throughout the world and it was his idea to include the figures of local inhabitants in the foreground of the plans and views, This was not just to add "Local colour" but believing the work could be of refence for Military use, particularly by the Turks. the insertion of images of the human form. specifically forbidden by Islam, was intended to prevent this.
Keoman vol2; B&H2/57 335 by 477mm (13¼ by 18¾ inches).   ref: 2025  €450

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