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Fine example of Claudio Duchetti's view of the Siege of Tripoli, first published in about 1559.

The image is in fact imaginary, reflecting the aspirations King Philip II of Spain's desire to take back Tripoli from Ottoman control.  The image shows a besieged Ottoman fortress, surrounded at sea by Phillip's Navy and on land by an invading force including cavalry, artillery and groups of soldiers with long pikes.

Following the Ottoman conquest of Tripoli in 1551, King Philip II of Spain organized a naval expedition in 1559. However, the campaign ended in disaster, as the Christian fleet was intercepted and surprised near the island of Djerba in May 1560 by the forces of Admiral Piyale Paşa, and about half of the ships were sunk or captured. The battle took place at the height of the Ottoman domination in Mediterranean waters.  King Phillip's fleet never made it to Tripoli, having been soundly defeated at Djerba.

The view was engraved prior to 1560. The first state of the map includes a text note that the fort of St. Peter was built by Darghut Pascià in 1559.  

There are 5 states of this map.

  • The first state was published without editorial data, but is attributed to Antonio Lafreri’s typology, because in the Index of 1571 there is a “Tripoli citta di Barbaria.”
  • The second state, without the text in the lower margin, shows the title: TRIPOLI CITTA DI BARBARIA.
  • The third state bears the imprint Claudij Duchetti formis;
  • The fourth state bears the imprint is added Giovanni Orlandi formis romae 1602
  • The fifth state removes the name of Orlandi replaced by Henricus van Schoel formis romae 1602.