1572. Lisbona. Olisipo ... vulgo Lisbona Florentissimum Portugalliae Emporiu. [with] Cascale Lusitaniae Opp

  • Lisbona. Olisipo ... vulgo Lisbona Florentissimum Portugalliae Emporiu. [with] Cascale Lusitaniae Opp

Lisbona. Olisipo ... vulgo Lisbona Florentissimum Portugalliae Emporiu. [with] Cascale Lusitaniae Opp information:

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Lisbona. Olisipo ... vulgo Lisbona Florentissimum Portugalliae Emporiu. [with] Cascale Lusitaniae Opp

A view of Lisbon and Cascale, which first appeared in Braun and Hogenburg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Lisbon is shown as a great port city, with many large ships in its harbor. In the city, castles, churches, port buildings, and citizens can all be seen. Few, if any, of the buildings shown in this map survive to the present day due to a 1755 earthquake leveling much of the city.

Further down the Tagus from Lisbon lie two smaller towns, Cascais and Belem, as they are now known, both pictured in the lower map. These were successful trading and fishing cities, who used their proximity to Lisbon to their advantage. Belem was also particularly popular with royals, and the building the town appears to be built around was likely a royal palace or monastery. The tower on an island in the Tagus predates that which was built by Peter II in the late 17th century. At present, almost all the region shown in this second map is occupied by the suburbs of Lisbon.

Civitates Orbis Terrarum: The Greatest City Book

Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg began the process of creating a comprehensive atlas of the cities of the world in 1572. Their book, Civitates Orbis Terrarum, was originally intended as a companion to Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first true atlas.

The great atlas was edited by Georg Braun, with Franz Hogenberg engraving many of the views. When the project was finished, the series would contain over 546 views (sometimes with multiple views on a single plate).

Civitates Orbis Terrarum includes the work of over 100 artists and topographers, perhaps most notable among them was the superlative talent of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). He provided original drawings of Spanish and Italian towns, as well as reworking and improving the town drawings of other artists. After Joris's death, his son Jakob continued the project.

The Civitates provides an incredibly comprehensive view of urban life in the late 16th century. Many of the views in these volumes are the earliest of their respective towns -- either absolutely, or they are predated only by impossible rarities, as in the case of London. Cities portrayed range from the great capitals of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas to small Swiss hamlets and other tiny villages. As such, this singular and indispensable source for understanding the early modern world.

The work was published in six volumes, each of which contained approximately sixty plates. The subject matter of each plate varied widely, it could provide a single view of a city, two views of the same city, or views of up to nine different cities. The range of designs is extensive, and it is interesting to compare the variety between views of the same city by two different authors.

Georg Braun (1541-1622) was born and died in Cologne. His primary vocation was as Catholic cleric; he spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates orbis terrarum, the greatest book of town views ever published.  His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text. In this role, he was assisted by Abraham Ortelius. Braun lived into his 80s, and he was the only member of the original team to witness the publication of the sixth volume in 1617.

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Georg Braun. Frans Hogenberg.

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