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Tanger, Safi, Ceuta, Arzilla and Sale, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)

The maker of the 'first atlas,' the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570), was born on 4 April 1527 into an old Antwerp family. He learned Latin and studied Greek and mathematics.
Abraham and his sisters Anne and Elizabeth, took up map colouring. He was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke as an "illuminator of maps." Besides colouring maps, Ortelius was a dealer in antiques, coins, maps, and books, with the book and map trade gradually becoming his primary occupation.
Business went well because his means permitted him to start an extensive collection of medals, coins, and antiques, as well as a library of many volumes. He traveled a lot and visited Italy and France, made contacts everywhere with scholars and editors, and maintained an extensive correspondence with them.

In 1564 he published his first map, a large and ambitious wall map of the world. The inspiration for this map may well have been Gastaldi's large world map. In 1565 he published a map of Egypt and a map of the Holy Land, a large map of Asia followed.
In 1568 the production of individual maps for his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was already in full swing. The atlas was completed in the year 1569, and in May of 1570, the Theatrum was available for sale. It was one of the most expensive books ever published.
This first edition contained seventy maps on fifty-three sheets.The maps were engraved by Franciscus Hogenberg.
Later editions included Additamenta (additions) that later resulted in Ortelius' historical atlas, the Parergon, mostly bound together with the atlas. The Parergon can be called a truly original work of Ortelius, who drew the maps based on his own research.

The importance of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum for geographical knowledge in the last quarter of the sixteenth century is difficult to overemphasize. There was nothing else like it until Mercator's atlas appeared twenty-five years later. Demand for the Theatrum was remarkable. Altogether some 24 editions appeared during Ortelius's lifetime and another 10 after his death in 1598. Editions had been published in Dutch, German, French, Spanish, English, and Italian. The number of map sheets grew from 53 in 1570 to 167 in 1612, in the last edition.

In 1577, engraver Philip Galle and poet-translator Pieter Heyns published the first pocket-sized edition of the Theatrum, the Epitome. The work was very popular. Over thirty editions of this Epitome were published in different languages.

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Tingis Lusitanis Tangiara [on sheet with] Tzaffin [and] Septa [and] Arzilla [and] Sala - Abraham Ortelius, 1582.

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Item Number:  24693
Category:  Antique maps > Africa

Antique map with five bird's-eye views by Braun and Hogenberg: Tangier, Safi, Ceuta, Arzilla and Sale.

TANGIER (TANJA)

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Tingis, which the Portuguese call Tanigara, is a large and ancient city, situated not far from the western Mediterranean. At the time when the Goths ruled over Granada it was under the rule of the chief of the city of Septa [Ceuta], until Arzilla [Asilah] was brought under the rule of the Muslims; it has always been beautifully adorned, noble and very well built with many splendid works of architecture."

The engraving shows a fortified town, whereby only half the area within the walls is built up. The large building in the background may be the governor's residence. In 1471 the Portuguese attacked Asilah, whose inhabitants fled to Tangier. But that same year Tangier, too, was conquered, and remained in Potuguese hands until 1580. Tangier today belongs to Morocco and has a population of 670,000.

SAFI

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Tzaffin is a small town in Africa that is surrounded by mountains and a wall. It possesses a castle fortified with numerous turrets, many handsome houses and an extremely tall tower. This town was taken from the Moors in 1508 by King Manuel's commander-in-chief."

CEUTA

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Ceuta, called Seupta by the Portuguese, was built by the Romans on the shores of the Sea of Hercules and was formerly the capital of Mauretania, which is why the Romans regarded it so highly. It was later taken by the Goths and a prince was installed, under whose rule it remained until the Muslims came to Mauretania and subjugated this city too."

The engraving shows that only a small promontory in the north of the peninsula was inhabited. Ceuta, which measures 18 sq. km, lies on a peninsula on the coast of North Africa, near the Strait of Gibraltar. There were three reasons for its conquest by Portugal in 1415: firstly, the peninsula had become a threat due to its location on the Strait of Gibraltar, where it could potentially provide the Muslims with a stepping-stone to Europe. Secondly, Ceuta was an important trading port via which goods from Africa, in particular gold, were brought to Europe. Thirdly, the peninsula offered Portugal a gateway to the unknown continent of Africa. Part of Spain since 1668, the autonomous city of Ceuta is today home to 4,000 inhabitants.

ASILAH

TRANSLATION OF CAPTION: Asilah, formerly the largest city in Africa, is today confined within the narrowest bounds by the Christians.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The city was rebuilt at the time of Bishop Cardova, who then reigned over Mauretania; it grew in prosperity and became stronger. The inhabitants were rich, educated and well-armed people. The land around the city is fertile and all sorts of cereals and vegetables can be easily cultivated."

The entry on Asilah contains accurate information about the city's history and illustrates, for example, the difficult entrance to its harbour. Founded by the Romans under the name of Zilias, in the Middle Ages the town provided an important strategic base for the Portuguese, who wanted to penetrate deeper into the continent from here. They held the city between 1471 and 1541 and occupied it from 1577 to 1589.

SALÉ

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Two towns are called Sala, one New Sala, the other Old Sala: they are separated by a river. They lie not far from the Sea of Hercules and Septa [Ceuta]. In 1514 Old Sala expanded substantially with many buildings and in trade. It has a large castle and tower of great height, called Summatesse [Hasan tower], which the Saracens built solely so that they could see across to Granada."

The two settlements are depicted on either side of the river overlooking the sea. There are strikingly few houses within either city wall and no harbour facilities. Higher up the hillside rises the 44-m-high Hasan tower. Salé in Morocco is separated from its twin city of Rabat by the Bou-Regreg River. The New Sala (Sala nova) mentioned in Braun's text refers to modern-day Salé, and the Old Sala (Sala vetus) to Rabat, the political capital of Morocco. (Taschen)

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

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 48cm (12.9 x 18.7 inches)
Verso text: German
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, age-toned, stained, offsetting.
Condition Rating: B
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4253; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.123.

From: Beschreibung und Contrafactur der vornembster Stät der Welt. [Part 1] Cologne, Gottfried von Kempen, 1582. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:2.1)

Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)

The maker of the 'first atlas,' the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570), was born on 4 April 1527 into an old Antwerp family. He learned Latin and studied Greek and mathematics.
Abraham and his sisters Anne and Elizabeth, took up map colouring. He was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke as an "illuminator of maps." Besides colouring maps, Ortelius was a dealer in antiques, coins, maps, and books, with the book and map trade gradually becoming his primary occupation.
Business went well because his means permitted him to start an extensive collection of medals, coins, and antiques, as well as a library of many volumes. He traveled a lot and visited Italy and France, made contacts everywhere with scholars and editors, and maintained an extensive correspondence with them.

In 1564 he published his first map, a large and ambitious wall map of the world. The inspiration for this map may well have been Gastaldi's large world map. In 1565 he published a map of Egypt and a map of the Holy Land, a large map of Asia followed.
In 1568 the production of individual maps for his atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was already in full swing. The atlas was completed in the year 1569, and in May of 1570, the Theatrum was available for sale. It was one of the most expensive books ever published.
This first edition contained seventy maps on fifty-three sheets.The maps were engraved by Franciscus Hogenberg.
Later editions included Additamenta (additions) that later resulted in Ortelius' historical atlas, the Parergon, mostly bound together with the atlas. The Parergon can be called a truly original work of Ortelius, who drew the maps based on his own research.

The importance of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum for geographical knowledge in the last quarter of the sixteenth century is difficult to overemphasize. There was nothing else like it until Mercator's atlas appeared twenty-five years later. Demand for the Theatrum was remarkable. Altogether some 24 editions appeared during Ortelius's lifetime and another 10 after his death in 1598. Editions had been published in Dutch, German, French, Spanish, English, and Italian. The number of map sheets grew from 53 in 1570 to 167 in 1612, in the last edition.

In 1577, engraver Philip Galle and poet-translator Pieter Heyns published the first pocket-sized edition of the Theatrum, the Epitome. The work was very popular. Over thirty editions of this Epitome were published in different languages.