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Old, antique map of Sicily - Messina by Braun & Hogenberg

Item number:05497
Category:Antique maps > europe > Italy - Cities
Price: 350 Euro ($367.5 / £294)
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Messana, Urbs est Sicilie maxima, situ, opulentia, & tuta navium statione, ... - Braun & Hogenberg, 1575.


Old map - bird's-eye view of Messina in Sicily by Braun and Hogenberg, with key to locations.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Messina, the largest city in Sicily, famed for its position, wealth and natural harbour. Separated from Italy by the wild Charybdis. Known for its well-kept public and private buildings, a perennial spring, the remains of ancient statues and the weaving of silk cloth.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Messina is a splendid and wealthy city that is separated from Italy by a stormy sea and which possesses a harbour that was not built by human hands but was carefully contrived by nature. Along the coast, which is shaped like a bow, the sea between Messina and Reggio di Calabria is very tempestuous, raging and extremely dangerous for seafarers. Very little wheat grows here, for the city is surrounded by mountains and the sea, but there are many bushes and trees, whose best harvest is obtained from the mulberry leaves, because the silkwormes are fed from these. For the best silk in Europe is made in this city."

Messina is shown from the east, in a view looking down upon the crescent -shaped natural harbour and the city with its geometric plan. The image of Messina is dominated by the busy shipping in the harbour and the huge warehouses in the foreground. The city is well fortified and protected by citadels, in particular on its landward side. In the city stands the 12th-century cathedral of Maria Santissima Assunta (17), with in front of it the fountain of Orion (29) by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli. The Strait of Messina remains treacherous for shipping today. According to Greek mythology, its narrow channel held two sea monsters both deadly to seafarers: Scylla, who dwelt in a rock on one side, and Charybdis with his gaping whirlpool mouth on the other side. Since a tectonic fault runs through the Strait, Messina has regularly experienced seismic activity. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1575

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 48.5cm (13.3 x 18.9 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2698, state 2 (with privilege); Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.119

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Antwerp, Gilles van den Rade, 1575. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

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