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A Lafreri School Thematic Map

Rare thematic map of the area between the environs of Rome and the harbor at Ostia, by Hendrik Van Schoel.

While Lafreri School Battle Plans occasionally show roads, this map is quite exceptional as a regional map which shows both roads and Roman Aqueducts.

The map illustrates the theater of war during the siege of Spanish-held Ostia by General Pietro Strozzi, Superintendent of the Papal army, resulting in the capitulation of the fortress on January 24, 1557. Oriented with east at the top, the map is intended to illustrate the roads, rivers and Roman Aqueducts between Rome and the port of Ostia.

The map shows the medieval walled town of Ostia, nestling against a meander in the Tiber which, later that year, was cut off from the main stream by a flood which crossed the neck of the meander leaving an ox-bow lake which was still present on topographical maps in the late nineteenth century (Arnoldu-Huyzendveld). The rounded walls of the town contrast sharply with the later star-shaped, angle-bastioned trace Italienne forts of the Papal and Imperial forces.

The present example is the second state of the map, re-issued by Hendrik Van Schoel. The first state has been attributed to Antonio Salamanca.