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Ostia, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1617

TRANSLATION OF CAPTION: Description of both harbours in Ostia, from the little book on the seas by Horatius Tigrinus.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The two ports situated near Ostia and shown here in plan view from an elevated position are believed to have been built by two different Emperors: namely that the larger egg-shaped one was built by Emperor Claudius; the adjacent, smaller hexgonal one, however, by the Emperor Trajan [...]. The arm of the Tiber, which was dug by the ancient Romans for unloading goods brought into and sent out of the port, is approximately eight or ten ells across. The Tiber, on the other hand, measures 40 ells at its mouth, where the city of Ostia was built by Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of the Romans. So esteemed was it by the ancient Romans, although its climate is unhealthy, that it was exempt from usual taxes and duties."

This is a bird's-eye view from the north across the port of Portus, whose structure with the two basins, the mole in front and the colossal statue known from visual and literary sources has been reconstructed with astonishing accuracy. The spolia on the upper margin of the illustration refer to ancient Ostia. The first basin, the outer harbour, was laid out about 3 km north of what was the the mouth of the Tiber and a canal was dug to the Tiber. Construction work continued in the reign of Nero until AD 54. The city of Ostia, once the port of Rome and made much of in ancient sources as the place where Aeneas landed, was by this time almost 1 km inland because the Tiber had silted up. A second, hexagonal basin was added under Trajan. These measures were adopted primarily to secure grain supplies for Rome.


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 of 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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Ostia.

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Item Number:  16432
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #3225; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p. 335; Fauser - #10445

Old, antique bird’s-eye view plan of Ostia, by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg.

Title: Ostia.

Date of the first edition: 1588.
Date of this map: 1617.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 295 x 495mm (11.61 x 19.49 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Excellent, superb old colour.
Condition Rating: A+.
References: Van der Krogt 4, #3225; Taschen, br. Hog., p.335; Fauser, #10445

From: Liber Quartus Urbium Praecipuarum Totius Mundi. Cologne, Petrus von Brachel, 1617. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4(1617))

TRANSLATION OF CAPTION: Description of both harbours in Ostia, from the little book on the seas by Horatius Tigrinus.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The two ports situated near Ostia and shown here in plan view from an elevated position are believed to have been built by two different Emperors: namely that the larger egg-shaped one was built by Emperor Claudius; the adjacent, smaller hexgonal one, however, by the Emperor Trajan [...]. The arm of the Tiber, which was dug by the ancient Romans for unloading goods brought into and sent out of the port, is approximately eight or ten ells across. The Tiber, on the other hand, measures 40 ells at its mouth, where the city of Ostia was built by Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of the Romans. So esteemed was it by the ancient Romans, although its climate is unhealthy, that it was exempt from usual taxes and duties."

This is a bird's-eye view from the north across the port of Portus, whose structure with the two basins, the mole in front and the colossal statue known from visual and literary sources has been reconstructed with astonishing accuracy. The spolia on the upper margin of the illustration refer to ancient Ostia. The first basin, the outer harbour, was laid out about 3 km north of what was the the mouth of the Tiber and a canal was dug to the Tiber. Construction work continued in the reign of Nero until AD 54. The city of Ostia, once the port of Rome and made much of in ancient sources as the place where Aeneas landed, was by this time almost 1 km inland because the Tiber had silted up. A second, hexagonal basin was added under Trajan. These measures were adopted primarily to secure grain supplies for Rome.


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 of 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.