Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 005


Texts: 2 (th befirst text has been translated from the 1584 Latin, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612 Latin edition; tghe second text comes from the 1598 Dutch and the 1598 French editions)

5.1. {1584L{EUROPA

5.2. Why Europe should be called as it is, and who was the first Author of this Name, nobody has yet found out; unless (says Herodotus in his fourth book) we should think that the whole region borrowed its name from Europa Tyria {1606E instead, 1602G additionally:{daughter to the king of Epyrus}1606E instead, 1602G additionally}. Plinius calls her the Nurse of the victorious people who conquer all other nations of the world, most beautiful and far surpassing the rest; and thus it is sometimes compared to Asia and Africa, not for its size and extension, but for its mighty power. It is certain that this part of the world, most plentifully inhabited, is for its multitude of nations inferior to neither of the other continents.
5.3. The Northern and the Western shores of this continent are washed by the ocean; the South coast is separated from Africa by the Mediterranean Sea. Then Eastwards, its shores are washed by the gan sea (now called Archipelago) by the Black Sea (named at this time Mar Maggiore), by the lake Motis Paludis (now termed Mar della Zabacche), by the river Tanais (commonly called Don) and by the Isthmus {1606E only{or straights of the main land,}1606E only} which is from the head or source of this river directly to the Northern Ocean; thus it is separated from Asia, according to the opinion of Glareanus. Therefore, it has the shape of a Peninsula {1606E only{(which means a place on earth almost separated and cut off from the mainland, and almost entirely surrounded by water)}1606E only} as is manifest from the map itself. Its head Rome was once the conqueror of the earth.
5.4. The regions of this continent (as they are now called) consist of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Slavonia, Greece, Hungary, Poland with Lithuania, Moscovia, or rather Russia, and that Peninsula which contains Norway, Sweden and Gotland. Among the isles of this continent, the first place is due to {1606E only{Brittany containing}1606E only} England {1606E only {and Scotland;}1606E only} then follow Ireland, Greenland, Friesland {1606E only{and Iceland,}1606E only} all situated in the main Ocean. In the Mediterranean sea we find Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Candia, Maiorca, Minorca, Corfu, Negroponte {1608/1612I only{Metelino}1608/1612I only} and others of less importance, the specific names and locations of which you can see on the Map.
5.5. This Europe of us, besides the Roman Empire which is held in reverence all over the world, has all in all more than twenty-eight Christian Kingdoms (including those fourteen which Damianus Goes already counts in Spain alone). This will allow you to estimate the worthiness of this region. It is a place extraordinary fruitful, and the natural disposition of the weather is very temperate. In all sorts of Grain, Wines, and in its abundance of Wood, it is inferior to none, but comparable to the best of others.
5.6. It is so pleasant, so beautified with stately Cities, Towns and Villages that for the courage and valour of its people and nations, although it may be less in quantity and size than other continents, yet it might well be considered, as has indeed been done by all ancient writers, as superior to all other parts of the world. Most renowned has it also become because of the Greek Empire, and the great dominance and power of the Romans. The praise of that Empire you may read in Strabo, who in his third book, and seven following books, has described it in the most excellent and learned manner. Also consult other ancient geographers.
5.7. More recently, Writers, amongst whom Volaterranus, Sebastian Mnster, Dominicus Niger, and Georgius Rithaimerus, in their Geographies have also endeavoured to paint Europe out in its colours. But Pius the second, Christopher Cella and Anselmus, his brother, have described it as a part by itself.
5.8. Various annotations about Europe concerning manners, as well as distances, have appeared in book form written by Cherubin Stella, Ioannes Herbaceus, and Georgius Meyerus. Something similar has been done by William Gratarolus in the end of his book, which is entitled De regimine iter agentium,}1584L} {1602G & 1606E only{or A guide for travellers}1602G & 1606E only}.

<Since the text of the 1598 Dutch and 1598 French edition is rather different from the text above, I provide a translation of the text from these editions below>

5.9. {1598D & 1598F{Europe.

5.10. This is the part of the world which we now call <that of> Christianity, although the Christian religion there in some places has been eradicated by the Tyranny of the Turks. Among the parts of the World it is the least extended one, yet it has been considered the best.
Next to the Holy Catholic Empire, (which Empire is still the first of all in dignity and formerly used to be the first in power and reputation), it now has 28 Christian Kingdoms. The main and most important Regions of this Europe (starting in the West, passing the South and East and ending in the North) are Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Slavonia, Greece, Hungary, Poland with Lithuania, Moscovia or Russia, and the Northern part, once called Scandia, in which you find Norway, Sweden and a part of Denmark.
5.11. The islands belonging to Europe are in the first place the island once called Albion, which is now England and Scotland, Ireland, Friesland, Iceland and Greenland, all located in the large Northern sea. The islands in the Mediterranean are Sicily, Candia, Corsica, Sardinia, Maiorca, and Minorca, Negroponte, Malta, Corfu, Stalimene, Metelin, Sio and some smaller islands in the Archipelago and other waters.
5.12. On the whole it is a temperate and therefore fertile continent, everywhere more densely populated than the other parts of the world, and beset with wonderful Cities. Its capital is (and always has been) Rome, known in all times and places.
5.13. Its inhabitants are always, more than all other peoples, of sharp wit and sturdy body, which has caused them to have subjected almost the whole World, at least as far as it was known to them, as became clear for the first time in the Macedonian Empire through Alexander the Great, but after that mainly through the Roman Empire.
5.14. And nowadays <it is prominent> through the King of Spain, {not in 1598F{Philippus}not in 1598F}, our formidable Lord, and the King of Portugal, who together rule the four continents of the World. Thus it seems that the inhabitants of this part of the World are born with the natural gift to govern the others}1598D & 1598F} Marcel van den Broecke .

Bibliographical sources


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