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Description:This large magnificent original copper-plate engraved antique map of The Lower Saxon Circle of Northern Germany, was engraved in 1778 - the date is engraved in the title cartouche - after Robert De Vaugondy and was published by Francois Santini (active 1776-84) in his 2 volume edition of Atlas Universal 1776-84. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - OriginalColors used: - Blue, pink, red, green, yellowGeneral color appearance: - AuthenticPaper size: - 30in x 21in (760mm x 535mm)Plate size: - 22in x 19 1/2in (560mm x 495mm)Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: The Lower Saxon Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire. It covered much of the territory of the medieval Duchy of Saxony (except for Westphalia), and was originally called the Saxon Circle (German: Sächsischer Kreis) before later being better differentiated from the Upper Saxon Circle by the more specific name.An unusual aspect of this circle was that, at various times, the kings of Denmark (in Holstein), Great Britain (in Hanover) and Sweden (in Bremen) were all Princes of a number of Imperial States.The Lower Saxon Circle included the easternmost part of current Lower Saxony, the northernmost part of Saxony-Anhalt (excluding the Altmark), Mecklenburg, Holstein (excluding Dithmarschen), Hamburg, Bremen, in addition to small areas in Brandenburg and Thuringia. For the most part it was a continuous territory with the exception of small enclaves like Halle and Jüterbog. Nordhausen and Mühlhausen were also areas outside the continuous portion of the imperial circle. Within the circle was the Archbishopric of Verden, which was in personal union with the Archbishopric of Bremen since 1502. The Counties of Schaumburg and Spiegelberg were also part of the personal union, but they were not a part of the Lower Saxon Circle.By the downfall of the Holy Roman Empire, the circle was 1 240 square miles large, with 2 120 000 inhabitants. With respect to religion, almost all the citizens were Protestant. The exception was the partially Catholic Bishopric of Hildesheim.During the Early Modern period the Holy Roman Empire was divided into Imperial Circles administrative groupings whose primary purposes were the organization of common defensive structure and the collection of imperial taxes. They were also used as a means of organization within the Imperial Diet and the Imperial Chamber Court. Each circle had a Circle Diet, although not every member of the Circle Diet would hold membership of the Imperial Diet as well.Six Imperial Circles were introduced at the Diet of Augsburg in 1500. In 1512, three more circles were added, and the large Saxon Circle was split into two, so that from 1512 until the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire in the Napoleonic era, there were ten Imperial Circles. The Crown of Bohemia, the Swiss Confederacy and Italy remained unencircled, as did various minor territories which held imperial immediacy.