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Istanbul (Constantinople), by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

The city view include monuments of Saint Sophia, Topkapi Palace. Twelve vignettes of Ottoman sultans line the bottom margin, including portraits of Soliman the Magnificent and Selim. Numerous ships in Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Mounted Sultan with entourage at bottom center.

CAPTION: Byzanz, now Constantinople.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Byzantium is a central place, because no one can travel to Asia or Europe without the city's consent, since for one part of the world the city is like a bridge or a gate. It is bound by the sea on three sides: to the north the arm of the Bosporus, which belongs to Europe and is called Cornus (Horn). To the east the Bosporus Strait, to the south the Sea of Marmara."

Constantinople is shown in bird's-eye perspective from the east. The view looks directly down upon the new palace within its 200-acre park that was built by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, immediately after the conquest of the city; since the 18th century it has been called the Topkapi palace. Beside it on the left stands Hagia Sofia, the coronation church of the Byzantine emperors. It was turned into a mosque on the day that Constantinople fell and subsequently given four minarets, still visible on the plate. Further left again are Roman ruins including obelisks and an amphitheatre. The city was founded in 668 BC under the name of Byzantion (Byzantium) by the Greeks, for whom the Bosporus Strait was already of strategic importance. Incorporated into the Roman Empire under Vespasian, in AD 324 the city was made the capital of the Eastern Empire by Emperor Constantine and renamed Constantinople. The 11 medallions along the lower edge contain the portraits of all the sultans, from the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I, up to the current ruler of the day, Selim II. The name Istanbul was already in colloquial use in Ottoman times, but would replace Constantinople as the city's official name only in 1930. With a population of some ten million, Istanbul is today the biggest city in Turkey. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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Byzantium nunc Constantinopolis., 1575.

€3200  ($3744 / £2880)
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Item Number:  25693
Category:  Antique maps > Asia > Turkey - Cyprus

Old map - bird's-eye view plan of Constantinople (Istanbul) by Braun and Hogenberg.

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

Copper engraving
Size (not including margins): 33 x 48.5cm (12.9 x 18.8 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, margins stained.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 1912, State 1; Fauser, 6824; 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)

The city view include monuments of Saint Sophia, Topkapi Palace. Twelve vignettes of Ottoman sultans line the bottom margin, including portraits of Soliman the Magnificent and Selim. Numerous ships in Bosphorus and Golden Horn. Mounted Sultan with entourage at bottom center.

CAPTION: Byzanz, now Constantinople.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Byzantium is a central place, because no one can travel to Asia or Europe without the city's consent, since for one part of the world the city is like a bridge or a gate. It is bound by the sea on three sides: to the north the arm of the Bosporus, which belongs to Europe and is called Cornus (Horn). To the east the Bosporus Strait, to the south the Sea of Marmara."

Constantinople is shown in bird's-eye perspective from the east. The view looks directly down upon the new palace within its 200-acre park that was built by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453, immediately after the conquest of the city; since the 18th century it has been called the Topkapi palace. Beside it on the left stands Hagia Sofia, the coronation church of the Byzantine emperors. It was turned into a mosque on the day that Constantinople fell and subsequently given four minarets, still visible on the plate. Further left again are Roman ruins including obelisks and an amphitheatre. The city was founded in 668 BC under the name of Byzantion (Byzantium) by the Greeks, for whom the Bosporus Strait was already of strategic importance. Incorporated into the Roman Empire under Vespasian, in AD 324 the city was made the capital of the Eastern Empire by Emperor Constantine and renamed Constantinople. The 11 medallions along the lower edge contain the portraits of all the sultans, from the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I, up to the current ruler of the day, Selim II. The name Istanbul was already in colloquial use in Ottoman times, but would replace Constantinople as the city's official name only in 1930. With a population of some ten million, Istanbul is today the biggest city in Turkey. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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