MERIAN, Matthaeus (1593-1650) and Martin ZEILER (1589-1661). Topographia Hassiae et Regionum Vicinarum. Frankfurt: Matthias Merian, [1655]

$ 8,500.00

MERIAN, Matthaeus (1593-1650) and Martin ZEILER (1589-1661). Topographia Hassiae et regionum vicinarum, das ist, Beschreibung der vornembsten Stätte und Plätze in Hessen, und den benachbahrten Landtschaften, als Buchen, Nassau, Wetteraw, Westerwaldt, Wittgenstein, Lohngaw, und Andern. Frankfurt: Matthias Merian, [1655].

2 parts in one volume. Folio (12 2/8 x 7 7/8 inches). Engraved title-page (laid down), sectional title-page. 3 fine engraved double-page maps of Hassia Superior, Hassia Landgraviatus, and Wetteravia, 22 fine double-page engraved plates of views and plans, extra-illustrated with a double-page view of Frauensee in Hessen. Modern vellum backed 16th-century red and black letterpress paper boards, vellum corners.

Provenance: with the near contemporary engraved bookplate of a Marquis with the monogramme D.S.H. on the verso of the title-page.

Third edition. On his death in 1567, Philip the Magnanimous divided Hesse between his four legitimate sons, but, as "two of these died without heirs in 1583 and 1604 respectively, his family was split into two chief lines — that of Hesse-Darmstadt, represented by George I, and that of Hesse-Kassel, represented by William IV. From these two lines sprang in the course of time some collateral lines, but no member of the family at present occupies a throne. In contrast to his father, the first Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, George I (1567-96) espoused the cause of the Hapsburgs. He increased his family possessions considerably, and in this his example was followed by his eldest son Louis V (1596-1626), who for his attachment to the emperor was called "the Faithful". He founded the University of Giessen in 1607. George II (1628-61) acquired a portion of Upper Hesse in 1648; his brother Frederick returned to the Catholic Faith, became Cardinal and Prince-Bishop of Breslau, and died in 1682. Although three sons of Louis VI (1661-78) also returned to Catholicism, there was no mitigation in the stern Lutheranism of the land... In Hesse-Kassel William IV (1567-92) was succeeded by Moritz "the Learned" (1592-1627), during whose reign the Thirty Years' War broke out. His son, William V (1627-37), allied himself with Gustavus Adolphus and was forced to retire into exile. Under William VI (1637-63) the foundation of Hersfeld and a portion of Upper Hesse were acquired by Hesse-Kassel" (Catholic Encyclopedia)

During the American War of Independence Hessian soldiers were famously contracted for military service by the British government. Brunet 1529; Graesse VII 509; Wuthrich IV, 36. Catalogued by Kate Hunter