De Bello Belgico. Decas prima & Decas secunda (..) – Leo Belgicus (2x) ; F. Strada & J. Janssonius – 1648

Famiana Strada (1572-1649) / Johannes Janssonius (1588 – 1664).

Twee antieke Leo Belgicus kaarten in twee fraai gebonden delen van Famiano Strada’s verslag van de Nederlandse Opstand vanuit Spanje. Bijzonder aan deze edities zijn de kleingedrukte notities in de marges. Inclusief 11 portretten.

Two little Leo Belgicus maps in two handsomely bound volumes of Famiano Strada’s account of the Dutch Revolt from Spain. The beautiful tiny type that Janssonius used for the marginal notes makes this edition very attractive. Including 11 portraits.


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Handsomely bound two volumes of Famiano Strada’s (1572-1649) account of the Dutch Revolt from Spain. The book evocatively describes the scents and colours of the battle between the Spanish troops led by the Duke of Parma and the Dutch troops led by the Staten-Generaal van Willem van Oranje. The vols are exceptional for their many exquisite full page engravings and the two Leo Belgicus maps. They are based on the original 1583 Eytzinger form with the lion standing facing right with a paw raised and holding a shield. The lion features heavily on the coats of arms of both Netherlands and Belgium and the depiction was a powerful byword for patriotism during the war in the Low Countries. The portraits are excellent likenesses of important figures from both sides.


  • Type: history book, two volumes, 520 (126) & 642 (88) pages; volume 1: with engraved frontispice, engraved and folded Leo Belgicus map (18.5 x 13.5 cm) and 13 engraved portraits; volume 2: engraved Leo Belgicus map (13 x 7.5 cm) and 11 engraved portraits, contemporay uniform overlapping vellum, 12mo.
  • Title: Famiani Stradae Romani e Sociatate Jesu De Bello Belgico. Decas prima / Decas secunda (..)
  • Publisher: Hermannum Scheus (prima)* / Francisci Corbelletti (secunda)*
  • Rome*
  • Date of publication: 1648
  • Prints: Copper engraved
  • Illustrator: unknown
  • Carthographer: unknown
  • Text: Latin
  • M0340Bk
  • Source: Van der Heijden, Leo Belgicus: 12.1 c (prima) / 13 (secunda)

* attributed to Johannes Janssonius by Van der Heijden, printed in Amsterdam

Condition: B

Good, given age. Complete examples. Bookblock of volume 2 almost loose. Both volumes show age-related toning and/or occasional minor defects from handling. The larger Leo Belgicus map has a small tear near the binding, reinforced on the verso, without image loss. More info on request.

Goed, gegeven de leeftijd. Complete exemplaren. Het boekblok van volume 2 is bijna los. Beide volumes vertonen ouderdomsverschijnselen. De grote Leo Belgicus kaart heeft een kleine scheur bij de binding, verstevigd op het verso, zonder beeldverlies.


Famiana Strada (1572-1649)

Famiana Strada was an Italian Jesuit and historian of wars in the low countries (Belgium and Netherlands) during the early part of the Eighty Years’ War. Strada was assigned the task of writing this history in 1617, at the demand of Ranuccio I Farnese, Duke of Parma. In order to write this history, Strada was given access to the (now destroyed) private archives of the House of Farnese. He consulted a broad range of sources such as letters written by princes, instructions to ambassadors, notes by spies and so forth. Throughout his history he reminded his readers of this access to ‘state secrets’ by citing and copying reports and letters. Strada’s history was divided in two ‘decades’: the first decade described the period from 1559 to 1579 and the second decade from 1579 to 1589.

Leo Belgicus

The earliest Leo Belgicus was drawn by the Austrian cartographer Michaël Eytzinger in 1583, when the Netherlands were fighting the Eighty Years’ War for independence. The motif was inspired by the heraldic figure of the lion, occurring in the coats of arms of several of the Netherlands.

Eytzinger’s map was the first of many. There were three different designs. In the most common one, the lion’s head was located in the northeast of the country and the tail in the southeast. The most famous version is that of Claes Jans Visscher, which was published in 1609 on the occasion of the Twelve Years’ Truce.

Johannes Janssonius (1588 – 1664)

Johannes Janssonius was a famous Dutch cartographer, printer and publisher. In 1612 he married Elisabeth Hondius, daughter of Jodocus Hondius. Under the leadership of Janssonius the publishing house was expanded into one of the largest of that time with branches in Berlin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lyon and Stockholm, among others. Under Janssonius’ leadership, the Mercator-Hondius Atlas was expanded and published as Atlas Novus (1636-1658). Initially consisting of one volume, this edition soon became an atlas consisting of several volumes, supplemented on request with nautical and/or sky charts. At the end of the seventeenth century, the publishing house of Petrus Schenk and Gerard Valk took over the publishing house from Nicolaes Visscher II and also bought a large number of copper plates from the Janssonius publishing house.

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