Byzantium Nunc Constantinopolis


Franz Hogenberg (1535 - 1590)

Second state of this famous engraved view of Istanbul, from the greatest series of town views ever made. This edition is identified by the inclusion of the portrait of Sultan Murad III in the last roundel at lower right which in … Read Full Description


S/N: BCOTW-MI-TUR-1191572–232896
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Full Title:

Byzantium Nunc Constantinopolis




Franz Hogenberg (1535 - 1590)


In good condition, with centre fold as issued.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 304mm
Byzantium Nunc Constantinopolis - Antique View from 1572

Genuine antique



Second state of this famous engraved view of Istanbul, from the greatest series of town views ever made.
This edition is identified by the inclusion of the portrait of Sultan Murad III in the last roundel at lower right which in the first state is left blank. With Latin text on verso.

The view shows the Golden Horn, the original Genoese district of Galata and the Bosphorus, from the village of Scutari. It shows the city during the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent and the extensive building fortifications surrounding the city during its Golden Era. Seen are the Eski Saray, Hagia Irene, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome,  Suleymaniye Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. In the foreground are numerous ships and the the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent  escorted by a group of his Janissaries, the elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan’s household troops and bodyguards.

Suleiman the Magnificent ruled from 1520-1560 and was regarded as the most significant ruler in the world, by both Muslims and Europeans. His military empire expanded greatly both to the east and west, and he threatened to overrun the heart of Europe itself. In Constantinople, he embarked on vast cultural and architectural projects. Istanbul in the middle of the sixteenth century was architecturally the most energetic and innovative city in the world. While he was a brilliant military strategist and canny politician, he was also a cultivator of the arts. Suleiman’s poetry is among the best poetry in Islam, and he sponsored an army of artists, religious thinkers, and philosophers that outshone the most educated courts of Europe.

Suleiman is remembered for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire’s military, political and economic power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed most of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large swathes of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation, and criminal law. His canonical law (or the Kanuns) fixed the form of the empire for centuries after his death. Not only was Suleiman a distinguished poet and goldsmith in his own right; he also became a great patron of culture, overseeing the golden age of the Ottoman Empire’s artistic, literary and architectural development. He spoke five languages: Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Chagatai (a dialect of Turkic languages and related to Uyghur), Persian and Serbian.



National Library of Australia (facsimile copy)


From, George Braun and Frans Hogenberg, Civitates orbis terrarium
Fussell, Civitates Orbis Terrarum, p.119 , ill. p.119


Georg Braun (1541-1622) 

Braun was the principal editor of Civitates orbis terrarium, he acquired the tables, hired the artists, and wrote the texts.

Franz Hogenberg (1535–1590)

Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker, born in Mechelen a. In 1568 he was banned from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne.  He is best known for his work on the monumental series of town views, Civitates orbis terrarium.

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