London: George Sandys.
Miniature map. Colored engraving. Sheet measures 10.25" x 6.75".
This lovely map (circa 1615) depicts the Grand Harbor of Malta. The map shows a birds-eye view of the harbor with the City of Valetta and its vicinity during the Siege of Malta in 1565. Fortifications are noted throughout, including Fort Saint Angelo, Fort Saint Michael and Fort Saint Elmo. Ships can be seen in the harbor.
Known as one of the bloodiest battles ever fought, the Great Siege of Malta was fought between the Knights of Malta and the Ottoman Empire. Although being heavily outnumbered by the Ottoman fleet, the Knights under the command of Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valetta eventually gained victory after the battle moved from Fort Saint Elmo to Fort Saint Angelo.
Perhaps the most gruesome point of the battle was when, following the capture of Fort Saint Elmo, the Ottomans decapitated the bodies of the Knights and floated the corpses across the Grand Harbor. As a response, Valetta ordered that the Ottoman prisoners be executed and their heads used as cannonballs that were fired into the Turkish camp. According to the famous philosopher Voltaire, "Nothing is better known as the Siege of Malta".
The capital city of Valetta was founded and named after Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valetta, hailed a hero following the Siege. He was later buried there. This map appeared in "Relation of a Journey Begun An: Dom: 1610" by George Sandys. Includes descriptive text about the battle above and below the map as well as on verso. In good condition with some foxing and minor edge wear.