Attractive early birds eye plan view of Alexandria from Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum, One of the earliest available plans of Alexandria

During its heyday the city was renowned in particular for both its culture and science: the library of Alexandria was the largest in the ancient world, and was affiliated with the Musaeum, a celebrated school of philology. The lighthouse at Alexandria, the Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is also identifiable on a peninsula to the left.

One of the most attractive views from the Civitates

Uncoloured as issued.

Very good condition

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 2. Köln, 1575-1612.

Ref: Van der Krogt 4, 66; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.187.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Alexandria , ancient Egyptian centre of trade, a huge town, founded by Alexander the Great; it was built in 320 BC with walls, towers and fortifications; once magnificent and even today well fortified, but inside its walls full of ruins and rubble, it is comparable in size to Paris.

code : M3855

Cartographer : BRAUN & HOGENBERG

Date : 1575c

Size : 3605*48.5 cms

availability : Available

Price : £495

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Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590) were co-publishers of the monumental Civitates Orbis Terrarum, “the earliest systematic city atlas” (Koeman), published from 1572 onwards. Designed as a companion to Ortelius’ world atlas the Theatrum, this enormous work, which was expanded to six volumes by 1617 incorporating over 500 plans and views, must be viewed as one of the most ambitious book producing ventures of all time, and certainly, with Ortelius’ Theatrum and Blaeu’s Atlas Maior among the greatest achievements in the history of cartography.

Braun compiled the accompanying text, printed on the reverse of the engraved sheets, while the plans were engraved by Hogenberg, who had also prepared some of the maps for Ortelius’ Theatrum. Hogenberg used generally up-to-date and accurate maps, surveys and reports from local sources to compile this collection of plans and bird’s-eye views of all the major towns of Europe, some African, Middle Eastern and Indian towns, and the New World cities of Mexico and Cusco. One of the major contributors was Georg (or Joris) Hoefnagel, who supplied some 63 manuscript drawings, the vast majority from personal observation.