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Old antique plan of Napels (Napoli) by Braun & Hogenberg

Item number:25328
Category:Antique maps > europe > Italy - Cities
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Price: 900 Euro ($1062 / £801)
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Haec est Nobilis, & Florens Illa Neapolis ... - Braun & Hogenberg, 1582/88


Old map - bird's-eye view plan of Napels (Napoli) by Braun and Hogenberg, with key to 71 locations.

TRANSLATION CARTOUCHE: This is the notable and flourishing city of Naples in Campania, formerly called Parthenope, after Parthenope the siren, who was buried in this place. As legend relates, the sirens cast themselves into the sea in fury after they had been unable to seduce Odysseus and his companions with their song. Naples, today the residence of illustrious families and most learned men, is distinguished for the wonderful mildness of its air and its delightful location, the magnificence of its churches, private houses and palaces, beautiful tombs of kings, queens and high-ranking persons, and a university with all the faculties.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The fertile region around Naples [...] was the reason that the Romans liked to go to Naples after their work to rest and relax and to seek entertainment. This is where, amongst others, the most excellent poet Virgil lived, who wrote his Georgica book on agriculture here, so Servius says. Livy, Horace, Claudianus, Francesco Petrarch, Lorenzo Valla, Flavio Biondo and many others also lived here. [...] The streets are clean and straight. The strongest fortress in Naples is the Castel Nuovo, which may be rightly considered the safest castle in all Europe."

Naples is presented from a plan-like bird's-eye view. The dominant impression is of a bustling city and trading port with a well-designed layout and impregnable citadel. Naples saw its greatest flowering in the early modern era under Alfonso V of Aragon, who as Alfonso I was also king of Naples and Sicily. Between 1450 and 1550 it grew from 40,000 to 210,000 inhabitants and thereby became Europe's second-largest city after Paris. Noteworthy here are the three forts: the Castel Nuovo (10) lies directly on the seafront beside the large mole. On the rocky promontory on the left, the Castel dell'Ovo (12) in the Santa Lucia district is a harbour fort from the 9th century. Looking out over the bay from above the city, lastly, is the 14th-centuy Castle Sant'Elmo (Castel S. Martino, 11), next to the Certosa di San Martino (41). (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1582

Copper engraving
Size (not including margins): 33 x 48cm (12.9 x 18.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, lower centrefold split reinforced.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2988 State 2 (with privilege); Fauser, 9603; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.112.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Köln, Gottfried von Kempen, 1582. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1(1582))

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