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Jerusalem, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.


Hierosolyma, Clarissima Totius Orientis Civitas Iudaee Metropolis ..., 1599.

€650  ($760.5 / £585)
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Item Number:  23948
Category:  Antique maps > Asia > Holy Land

Antique map with two bird's-eye view plans of Jerusalem by Braun and Hogenberg: Old and modern Jerusalem. With a vignette of Moses receiving the Commandments. Key to locations.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Jerusalem, most famous city in the whole Orient and capital of Judaea, lay on two hills that rise above all the other surrounding elevations. These two hills were separated by a densely populated valley. (Josephus calls it Tyropoeon in Book 6 of his Jewish War. ) The higher of the two hills is called Sion and is itself subdivided into three lesser elevations. In Chapter 5 of the Second Book of Kings, the first of these is called Mello, beside Mount Gion; here was built the ancient stronghold of Siloe that was occupied by the Jebusites and conquered by David, who also brought the Ark of the Covenant here and chose this site as his burial place. The Franciscan monastery, called Sion, was constructed on this very spot. Another elevation on the east side of Sion is called the Lower Town, where David's palace lay. He also resided here in person before he had conquered the Jebusite camp on the Mello. On another hill to the north lay Herod's palace. These three hills were surrounded by a common wall and are called the city of David. The other main hill has two parts, the first of which is called Solomon's palace, on the south side of the same mountain. Because the Temple stood on this hill, it was also surrounded by a wall and thereby connected to the city of David. The other part of this second main hill, opposite Mount Moriah and lying to its east, was called Acra. Its middle part was called Bezetha, which means "New Town". It, too, was surrounded by walls. Another middle part of Acra, opposite the Cedron Stream, includes the palace of the Assyrians; this was a suburb enclosed by walls. Thus the five hills of Jerusalem described here were surrounded by altogether four different circumference walls. Jerusalem is at the present time called Cuzumoharech by the Turks.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "That Jerusalem is the centre of the whole world and lies on high mountains in the middle of the land of the Jews is attested not just by geographers but by all historians and the Holy Bible. Thus saith the Lord God: This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her (Ezek.5). [...] It is divided by many valleys, possesses a fertile soil and also many cisterns with clear water; it is surrounded by a triple wall [...]."

This plate presents two bird's-eye plans of Jerusalem, on the left as it was in biblical times and on the right as it appeared in the 16th century. The information provided in the cartouches makes it possible to compare the city of the past with that of Braun's day. Inset within the lower right-hand corner is an illustration of Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law, together with the figure of a high priest; the priest's vestments are described in detail in the accompanying cartouche. According to the Bible, at the time of the conquest of Canaan by the tribes of Israel the city was ruled by the Jebusites; they were driven out by King David in 997 BC. The First Temple was built under Solomon in the middle of the 10th century, and Jerusalem subsequently became the centre of Judaism. Solomon's temple was destroyed in 586 BC by the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. The Second Temple was built after the end of Babylonian rule in 537 BC. The Romans conquered Jerusalem in 37 BC and installed Herod the Great as a client king. In the course of the Jewish War in AD 66-70, the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans and the city was razed to the ground. After the Bar-Kokhba Revolt in AD 132-135, Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitilina, a temple to Jupiter was erected on the Temple Mount, and Jews were forbidden to enter the city on penalty of death. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built under Emperor Constantine and consecrated in AD 335. In 638 the Byzantine city was conquered by the Arabs, who erected the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. During the time of the Crusades, Jerusalem was subject alternately to Christian and Muslim rulers. In the High Middle Ages, the city represented the centre of the world for Christianity. Up to this day Jerusalem is of great symbolic importance to Jews, Christians and Muslims. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 49cm (13.3 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 1961, State 2 (with privilege); Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.128.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)