Sunday, February 24, 2008

Transylvania, 1566

Another solid map today.


The contributor describes the map as follows:

This is an Ortelius map. For an excellent explanation on these maps, see the website of Marcel van den Broecke, http://www.orteliusmaps.com/index.html

The translations of the text on this map are reproduced from his website with his approval:

This is the map entitled TRANSILVANIA (cartouche bottom left:) HANC VLTRA VEL TRAN/SILVANIAM, QVÆ ET PANNO/DACIA, ET DACIA RIPENSIS, VVL:/GO SIBEMBVRGEN DICITVR,/ edidit Vienne Ao 1566 Nobiliss. atque Doctiss. Ioannes Sambucus Pannonius.

The translation is: “This is Transilvania and beyond Transylvania, also called Panno-Dacia and Dacia Ripens, vulgarly called Siebenbergen, drawn in Vienna in the year 1566 by the very noble and learned Ioannes Sambucus from Pannonia”.

Centre bottom: Vallis Hatzag Vbi olim ciuitas Sarmisgethusa. Translation is: “The valley of Hatzag, where once the Sarmisgethusa lived.” If you google that name up, you get a reference to Sarmizegethusa (King's Seat) of Gradistea Munselului, in southern Rumania, this was the royal capital of the Dacian State. It is situated at a height of 3.940 feet (1.200 m) on terraced slopes deep among the southern Carpathian Mountains.

Cartouche lower middle right with four lines of text: "H..Litera in hac tabula/nonnullis vocabulis/adiuncta significat/ea esse Hungarica. Translation: “The letter H added to some names on this map means that these are Hungarian.”

Plate size: 326 x 451 mm
Scale: 1 : 500,000
Identification number: Van den Broecke Ort 153

The map occurred in various Theatrum editions, from 1575 through 1609.

Approximate number of copies printed: 6500.
Cartographic sources: Sambucus 1566, itself based on Honter 1532

28 comments:

Zsolt G. Török said...

Readers of the map should note the work is actually based on the map of Johannes Honter, a Saxon of the city of Kronstadt (today Brasov, Romania) in Transylvania in the Kingdom of Hungary.
The map does not show the whole region, its focus is Siebenbuergen, the part inhabited by Transylvanian Saxons. Hungarian/Secler names are mentioned for the major cities and the Rumanian population is indicated by generic names like 'Blechisdoerfer'.
Honter cut his map in 1532 while he stayed in Basle, Switzerland, where he worked for the Petri printing workshop. However, the work was apparently not published there, the unique copy preserved in Budapest, Hungary is most probably a later proof copy (c. 1542). Honter wanted to published a revised edition of the map around 1546, of which only fragments remained. Sambucus copied Honter's map in 1566 in Vienna and sent it to his humanist friend Ortelius.
By the time Ortelius published the map in his atlas Transylvania became a political reality, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire.
For more details interested readers should consult the Renaissance volume of The History of Cartography Series.

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