Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 008

Texts 2 (translated from editions 1570 Latin, 1571 Latin, 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1573 Latin, 1572/1574 French, 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin, 1580/1589 German, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 French, 1598 Dutch, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish, and 1609/1612 Latin; we first present all editions except 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and 1598 Dutch, which will be presented after the first translation.)

8.1. {1570L{AFRICA

8.2. The Ancients have divided this part of the world {1574F only{which we now call Æthiopia}1574F only} in various ways; but at this moment it is divided {1574L{as Ioannes Leo reports{not in 1579L, 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L{about Africa}1574L, but not in 1579L, 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L} into four main parts: Barbaria, Numidia, Libya and the Land of Negros. BARBARIA, which has been described most extensively, is washed by the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, with Mount Atlas and with the region of Barcha bordering on Ægypt. NVMIDIA, {1571L{called Biledulgerid by its inhabitants, abounding with dates (for which reason the Arabs call it by no other name than the Date-bearing region)}1571L} is bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean; northwards by mount Atlas; it stretches eastwards as far as the city Eloacat, which is one hundred miles from Ægypt; and the sandy Deserts of Libya embrace it at the South. LIBYA, the third part, is in the Arab language named Sarra, which means Desert. It begins East of the Nilus and from there extends to the West as far as the Atlantic sea. Numidia lies to the North of it, and the Land of the Negros to the South. Now we get to the fourth part, which they call NIGRITARVM terra <= land of the black people>, either because of the inhabitants, who are of a black colour, or because of the river Niger <= black>, which flows through the Region. It is confined in the North by Libya, South by the Æthiopian Ocean, West by Gualata and East by the Kingdom of Goaga.
8.3. We are to note here that according to this division of these writers all of Africa is bound within the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Æthiopian seas and the river Nilus; thus Ægypt and Æthiopia have been accounted for as parts of Asia. {1571L, not in 1573L{Notwithstanding this, we think that they belong more properly to Africa}1571L, not in 1573L}. {not in 1571L & 1573L{For Æthiopia really contains at this day Presbyter Ioannis Empire, which is attributed to Africa by all modern writers}not in 1571L & 1573L}. We therefore agree with Ptolemæus that it ought to be bound by the Mediterranean and the Oceans, rather than by any river whatsoever. And so it has the form of a Peninsula being joined to Asia by an Isthmos or small stretch of land which lies between the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Arabia.
8.4. The Southern part of this was not known to our ancestors until the year 1497, when Vasco da Gama first rounded the Cape de bueno speranza or of good hope, and, sailing around Africa, came to Calicut {not in 1573L, 1579L, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S & 1603L{in East India}not in 1573L, 1579L, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S & 1603L}. This part is called Zanzibar by the Persians and Arabs.
8.5. At the Cape of Good Hope just mentioned the inhabitants are exceedingly black, which we think is not wise to omit, because everyone supposes the cause of blackness to be the heat, and the closeness of the Sun; while the Sun here is not more scorching than it is at the Straight of Magellan {1601L & 1606E only{if we measure the heat of the place}1601L only} according to the position of the heavens and the distance from the Equinoctial line}1606E only}, yet, the people there are reported to be truly white.
8.6. But if we persist in ascribing this blackness to the scorching heat of the Sun, let us consider what makes the Spaniards and Italians look so white, while they are both equally distant from the Equinoctial line as are the inhabitants of the Cape just mentioned, that is, the one to the North, the other to the South.
8.7. Presbyter Ioannis <East African> people are of a brown colour; in Zeilan and Malabar the inhabitants are black as coal, yet, they all live at one and the same distance from the Equator, and under the very same parallel of the heavens.
8.8.{1601L & 1606E only{And in contrast to this, why did Herodotus and Pindarus describe those who have the same climate, namely Colchis, to be of a black colour and to have curly hair? Herodotus in his Thalia claims the Indians to be black like the Aethiopians, which is confirmed by what we know at this time. I know that Herodotus claims the cause for this to be the seed of the parents, which he says is not white, like that of other people, but black. Which is what Postellus confirms, who attributes the cause of this blackness to be Chams curse. Which is an opinion that I do not challenge. Let the truth of the matter rest on the credibility of the authors}1601L & 1606E only}.
8.9. But this you may think even stranger: that no black people were to be found all over America except for a few, and only in one place which they called Quareca. What then is really the cause of a black skin? Is it {1601L & 1602G only{the heat of the sun? or}1601L & 1602G only} the dryness of the air, or of the earth? Is it perhaps some hidden property of the soil? Or a kind of quality inherent and inborn in the nature of man?
8.10. Or is it all of these united into one? But let us leave these things to be further considered by those who are more curious in their search into the secrets of nature.
8.11. This portion of the world is called Libya by the Greeks and by the Romans Africa, because it is not afflicted by extreme cold. Or, (if we may believe Iosephus) the name comes from Afer, one of Abraham's descendants. Another derivation of the name has been recorded by Iohannes Leo {1606E only{in the beginning of his first book on the description of Africa, who derives it from the Arabic concept of Faraka, meaning to disjoin or separate, because it is separated from Europe by the Mediterranean sea, from Asia as he says by the river Nile or rather, as the best authors have taught, by the Arabian gulf called by the Greeks <in Greek lettering> eruthraia thalassa, Mare Rubrum, the red sea, and by the Jews <in Hebrew lettering> iam-suff, mare alcosum vel iuncosum, the sedgy <= with plants> sea, and by the Arabs living close to it Bahci 'Ikulzom the alkulzom sea.
8.12. For the same reason Iulius Cæsar Scaliger thinks that Sicilia received its name from Seco which means to cut because this island was thought by the ancients to have been cut off from the mainland and to have been connected to Italy in earlier times. Others, in their own way, nullo digno autore, nullo solido & certo argumento <= without mentioning a serious author, nor with solid and certain arguments> derive the name of Africa from Africus, a king of blessed Arabia, about whom they claim that he founded settlements here and was the first to inhabit it}1606E only}.
8.13. {1574L{The principal islands of this part of the world, (to mention them all here seems to us to be unnecessary, because they are to be seen on the Table <= map>) are Madagascar, the Canaries, the isles of Cap Verde and St. Thomas island situated under the equinoctial, which abounds with sugar}1574L}.
8.14. Among the old authors, there are none that have written about this region in particular. But read on the subject {1592L, not in 1602G{Bellum Iugurthinum by Salustius}1592L, not in 1602G}; <About> Hanno and his navigation in Africa you can read in Arrianus; and about {1592L, not in 1601L{the voyage of}1592L, not in 1602L} Iambolus in Diodorus Siculus; {1574F and later, but not in 1574L & 1575L{ and also Melpone by Herodotus }1574F and later, but not in 1574L & 1575L}. {1592L, but not 1602G{Barlaam's narration of inner Æthiopia or India is still extant in the Augustan Library}1592L, not in 1602G}.
8.15. Of recent writers, read Aloysius Cadamostus, Vasco de Game, and Franciscus Aluarez, who travelled in Æthiopia. But of all writers Ioannes Leo has most exactly described it, {1574F and later, but not in 1574L & 1575L{and Ludouicus Marmolius,}1574F and later, but not 1574L & 1575L} {1592L, not in 1602G{and Livius Sanutus}1592L}. Iohannes Barrius also promises to publish a volume on Africa}not in 1602G}. Concerning the river Nilus, the greatest in the whole World, you have the letters {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{maps}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead} of Ioannis Baptista Ramusius and Hieronymus Fracastorius}1570L}. {1606E only{You may also read about Africa in the second volume of Mr. Richard Hakluyts English Voyage}1606E only}. {1608/1612I only{and finally all from Philip Pigafetta Vicentino's travels through Egypt with its floodings by the Nile, and about Mounts Sinai, based on his personal observations}1608/1612I only).

<Since the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and the 1598 Dutch edition have a text which is fairly identical in these editions, but rather different from the text above and difficult and confusing to incorporate, a separate translation of these edition is given below>

8.16. {1571D{Africa.

8.17. Africa (which is nowadays called Land of the Moors {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F have instead{Æthiopie)1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F instead} has by the ancient authors been divided into many parts. In our times it is commonly divided into six main parts which are: Barbaria, Egypt, Biledulgerid, Sarra, the Land of the Black, and Prester Iohn's Land. And this is all that was once known, (though under different names), of Africa. Because from the lakes where the river Nile has its source, towards the South, it was unknown to the ancient writers, which part now is called Zanzibar by the Arabs and Persians. Its Southern cape in the South Sea has been named Cabo de bona sperança. In the year 1497 it was discovered by Portuguese ships.
8.18. Africa is entirely surrounded by the sea except for a narrow piece of land (namely between Egypt and the Holy Land), where it is joined to Asia. For it has in the North the Mediterranean sea, in the West {1572/1573G only{where the sun sets}1572/1573G only} the large Ocean which one crosses when sailing to Brasilia, in the South and South-East the sea which one crosses when going to Calicut and the Isles of the Moluccas, and {1572/1573G only{where the sun rises or}1572/1573G only} in the East the Red Sea.
8.19. To describe this Africa properly, it is to be understood that Barbary stretches out along the Mediterranean sea where you find the Canary Islands on its west side, and the mountain range Atlas Eastwards to Egypt. In this Land of Barbary one finds the kingdoms of Marocco, Fessa, Algier, Tunis &c. Egypt is located between this Barbary, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Land of Prester Iohn.
8.20. Biledulgerid is the land which used to be called Numidia, (this is where you find numerous date trees), and extends from Barbary Southwards to the Land of the Black, and Eastwards to the Land of Prester Iohn. Sarra, (which means wilderness in their language) is an arid and sandy region where on a journey of many days one will not see any houses or water except what the travellers took with them.
8.21. This Sarra in the South borders on the Land of the Black, and extends to the sea where one finds the Isle of St. Thomas. In this land one finds the Kingdom of Guinea and other lands.
8.22. Prester Iohns Land extends very far and wide, namely from Egypt to the Lakes where we said that the Nile has its source between the South and the North, in the East to the Red Sea and in the West to the Kingdom of Nubien and the river Niger. The inhabitants of this country are Christians. This is the part that has always been known {1598D has instead{was already known to the ancients}1598D instead}.
8.23. The new part, called Zanzibar contains the countries of Habascia and Gazacia, also mentioned in Girauas Geography, as also the Kingdoms of Mozambicque and Cefala &c. Here is also situated the Isle of St. Laurents, called Madagascar by its inhabitants, and its size is one hundred miles in circumference. Here you find plenty of Ivory, since there are many elephants here. The Isles of Canary and of Cabo Verde also belong to this part of Africa. {1572/1573G only{Also St. Thomas Isle, from which comes a lot of sugar, hence its name}1572/1573G only}.
But since we have now arrived at the Land of the Moors {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F have instead{Ethiopia}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F instead}, it seems worthwhile to me to write something about these Moors.
8.24. I have often wondered why it is, {not in 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F{(considering that it is commonly believed that the whiteness or blackness of the human skin is related to the closeness or distance of the sun above these countries, as also that wherever the sun is right above their heads, you will find the blackest people, and in contrast, wherever the sun is farthest away the whitest people)}not in 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F}, that in Africa around Guinea and in the Land of the Black, (which is located between the Equator and the Tropics), all the inhabitants are black Moors, whereas in Prester Iohns Land, right under the equator, you find yellow Moors, and along the Equator in America fully white Moors, because, on the basis of what has just been observed, it should have been different, {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F has instead{which is in contrast with the opinion generally held by people who say that the people are whiter, or more black, after the distance to the sun}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1598F instead}, that is to say, the nearer one is to the Equator, (or Middle Line as the sailors call it), the blacker the inhabitants.
8.25. But what is even harder to understand, at Cabo de bona sperança the inhabitants are totally black, and at Strecho de Magellano they are totally white, but both are equally far South of the Equator. Yes, in all of America there are no black people to be found anywhere. Why should it be, when sunburn causes blackness, that the Spanish and Italians are white, when they live as far from the Equator Northwards as those in Cabo de bona sperança live Southwards of it? That is, these live between 30 and 40 degrees South of the Equator and the others as much North of the Equator! What can be the reason for this difference in colour?
8.26. Some dryness of the sky? Or of the earth? Or of the stars? Or some unknown property of the Land? Or some innate characteristic in the Nature of Man? Or all of these together? But let us leave this to the researchers of the secrets of nature and continue our descriptions of our other lands}1571D} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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