back to search results place the mouse over an image to zoom

Mediterranean Ports: Cagliari, Malta, Rhodes & Famagusta.

Braun & Hogenberg. Cagler. Malte. Rodes. Famagosse. Calaris, Sardiniæ; Malta, olim Melita; Rhodus; Famagusta, civitas Cÿpri. Cologne G. von Kempen 1575
Black and white, copper engraved bird's eye views of Cagliari, Malta, Rhodes & Famagusta, 4 views on 1 plate, from the first volume of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum. French text to verso.
Set of four city plans, printed on a single sheet. Malta, Rhodes, Cagliari and Famagusta were all key strategic ports in the Mediterranean and in the cases of most of these, crucial sites in long conflict between Turkish and western forces. Famagusta, the principal port of Cyprus, had in 1571 just fallen to the Turkish Empire; Rhodes had been an important Hospitaller fortress, but had been held by the Turks since 1522. The remnants of the defenders retired to Malta, which is described as "the best known island of the Mediterranean Sea, which has a strongly fortified town of the same name, where in the year of 1565 the largest Turkish fleet was destroyed and the famous name was made immortal." , the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia, was an important Spanish stronghold in the Western Mediterranean.

The bird's-eye view of Cagliari clearly shows the division of the city into four parts: the Castello district within the inner city wall, representing the original core, and the three partially walled suburbs of Stampax (Stampace) on the left, Gliapola facing the harbour and Nova Villa, the New Town on the right. Identified within Castello are the Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria di Castello (Bischoflich Kirch), the viceroy's palace (Kunigs Pallast) and the town hall (Rath Hauss). Founded in the 7th century BC, the city served as a major centre of commerce in antiquity. Later ravaged by pirates, in the 11th century Cagliari became part of the Kingdom of Aragon and the capital of the viceroyalty of Sardinia.

A schematic drawing shows Malta with a strongly fortified harbour. Fort St Elmo can be seen on the left, with Fort Sant'Angelo across the water to its right and the star-shaped Fort St Michael further right again. The town - indicated in the present plate - that grew up around Fort St Elmo is called Valetta: it was founded in 1566 by Jean Parisot de la Valette, Grand Master of the Order of St John. From 1530 until its conquest by Napoleontic troops in 1789, the island lay under the rule of the Knights Hospitaller, who hence also took the name of the Knights of Malta. Today Valletta is the capital of the Republic of Malta, which comprises the three islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino.

Rhodes is presented as a circular town with a well-fortifies harbour entrance. The town is surrounded by three impressive walls. The windmills just outside the harbour on the left are typical of Greek Islands. The city of Rhodes was designed c.408 BC by Hippodamus of miletus. The Colossus of Rhodes, which represented the Greek god Helios, patron saint of Rhodes, was erected between 292 and 280 BC and numbered amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. Following the division of the Roman Empire, Rhodes formed part of the Eastern Empire and came under the varying rule of Arab occupying forces and Crusaders. From the 16th century until 1912 it belonged to the Ottoman Empire.

The bird's-eye view shows the city of Famagusta surrounded by a double set of city walls and containing private houses and the church of St Nicholas. Famagusta was founded in antiquity under the name of Arsinoe (after Arsinoe II of Egypt) and in the Middle Ages developed into an important centre of trade, where business was transacted above all between Asia, Venice and Genoa. Its geographical location made the city an important strategic base for the Crusaders. In 1374 the Genoese occupied Famagusta and held it until 1571, when it was conquered by the Ottomans.
[Taschen]. Good impression; light toning and soiling; light stain near title cartouche of Malta and near R of Rhodus and A of Famagusta.

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 2; B&H 13, [plate 42]. 325 by 475mm (12¾ by 18¾ inches). Each plan 160x230mm   ref: 3225  €900

Company: Bryan, Mary Louise. Address: Ag. Andrianoy 92 , 21 100 Nafplio, Greece.
Vat No: EL 119092581