Student Blog Posts

Posts authored by student researchers as part of their work on a 2020-2021 Duke Bass Connections team.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum as an Atlas

Comprised of six volumes published between 1572 and 1617, the Civitates orbis terrarum (“the Civitates”)portrayed itself as invitation to explore, as its name would suggest, the “cities of the world.” Originating as the collaborative effort of engraver Frans Hogenberg and Catholic cleric Georg Braun in Cologne (a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire in modern-day Germany), the atlas boasts 546 views of urban spaces from across the globe “in the form of prospects, bird’s-eye views, and maps.”

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The collection of Turin chorographies reveals how the style and focus of maps can be momentarily affected by events in a city’s history. Specifically, military conflict around Turin in the early 1700s changed period depictions of the city relative to the timeline of the entire collection (1682 to 1750).

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The 'Merian View'

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