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A 1581 bird's-eye etching of Zürich, published by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Georg Braun (also Brunus, Bruin; 1541 – 10 March 1622) was a topo-geographer.[1] From 1572 to 1617, he edited the Civitates orbis terrarum, which contains 546 prospects, bird's-eye views and maps of cities from all around the world.[2] He was the principal editor of the work, he acquired the tables, hired the artists, and wrote the texts. He died as an octogenarian in 1622, as the only survivor of the original team to witness the publication of volume VI in 1617.


Historical view of Trier, Germany, published in Civitates Orbis Terrarum with Frans Hogenberg

Braun was born and died in Cologne. His principal profession was as a Catholic cleric. He spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church, St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. His six-volume work was inspired by Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia. In form and layout it resembles the 1570 Theatrum orbis terrarum by Abraham Ortelius, as Ortelius was interested in a complementary companion for the Theatrum.

The Braun publication set new standards in cartography for over 100 years. Frans Hogenberg (1535–1590, from Mechelen) created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were Joris Hoefnagel, Jacob Hoefnagel, cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Primarily European cities are depicted in the publication; however, Cairo[3] Casablanca[4] and Mexico City as well as Cuzco on one sheet[5] are also included in volume I, whereas Tunis is featured in volume II.[6]




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