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Autun and Nevers, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1599

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Augustodunum [on sheet with] Noviodunum.

€220  ($257.4 / £187)
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Item Number:  24024
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map with two bird's-eye plans by Braun and Hogenberg: Autun and Nevers.

AUTUN

CARTOUCHE: Augustodunum, the Flavia of the Aedui, in French Autun, town in Burgundy.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Autun lies at the foot of several mountains, it is a town in Burgundy with only a few buildings, except for the spot where the castle and the church of Saint-Lazare stand. This Lazarus was the brother of Mary Magdalene, who, after being resurrected from the dead by Christ, came to France to spread the Gospel after Christ's Ascension. His body was buried in this church and reverently preserved as a relic. [...] The other, separate part of the town, now called Marchaux in French, was formerly the champ de mars."

The bird's-eye view from the west depicts a spacious tract of land bordered by city walls on the far side of the small Arroux River. Only two areas show higher-density development. The first is the oval district of Marchaux in the centre, whose exits are marked by two Roman gateways. Autun, which originally lay on the long-distance Via Agrippa trade route, was founded by Emperor Augustus following the suppression of the Gauls in 10 BC. Its Roman remains include the Temple of Janus (bottom right) and the pyramidal de Couhard tomb (top edge). The second, more densely settled quarter is the upper, or episcopal, town with the cathedral of Saint-Lazare. During the Middle Ages the relics of St Lazarus attracted flocks of lepers, who made the pelgrimage to Autun in the hope of a rapid cure.

Made after a woodcut from Belleforest, La Cosmographie universelle, Paris, 1575.

NEVERS

CARTOUCHE: Noviodunum, according to Vigenerus in the seventh book of Caesar's Bellum Gallico the city of the Aedui, locally called Nevers.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Noviodum, an important city in the Duchy of Nevers, lies on the Loire and takes its name from its location, since donum once meant mountain or hill in Old French. For it lies on a hill where the Nièvre flows into the Loire. All the buildings are well protected by a secure ring wall, commanding towers and a very deep moat."

This bird's-eye view shows the Burgundian city situated at the confluence of the Nièvre with the Loire and featuring numerous narrow alleys that wind through the elongated Old Town. Archaeological finds allow the city to be traced back to a settlement in Gallo-Roman times. Nevers was made a bishopric in the late 5th century AD; in the Middle Ages it became the capital of the County and in 1538 of the Duchy of Nivernais. The Palais Ducale in the city centre is one of the most important feudal edifices in central France. Situated beneath the Ducal Palace is the cathedral of Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Juliette, which features two choirs. Through the marriage of Henrietta of Cleves to Luigi Gonzaga in the second half of the 16th century, the Duchy of Nevers passed to the Italian Gonzaga family. During this period the city lay on an important trade route and was known for its cattle breeding and craft industries. Nevers would also owe the subsequent development of its prestigious faience industry to the Gonzaga family: since the 17th century it has been regarded as the ceramics capital of France. (Taschen)

Made after a woodcut from Belleforest, La Cosmographie universelle, Paris, 1575.

Date of the first edition: 1581
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 42cm (13.3 x 16.4 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A

References: Van der Krogt 4, 319; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.215

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. . Liber tertius. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Koeman, B&H3)