Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 012

Text (translated from the 1590 Latin 4 Add., 1591 German 4 Add., 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 edition)

12.1. {1590L4Add{The peaceful {1606E only{or the South}1606E only} Sea, called {1606E only{by the Spaniards}1606E only} MAR DEL ZVR.

12.2. Although this sea was unknown to the ancients, it was not without a name. For Plinius calls it Eoum, and Orosius <calls it> Orientale, that is, The East sea. Ptolemæus incorrectly calls it SINVM MAGNVM, the great bay, whereas he should have called it MARE MAGNVM, the great sea. For of all the seas in the world, this is the greatest and the widest. In Paulus Venetus <Marco Polo> it is described under the name Mare Cin, {1606E only{(that is, as I interpret the Nubian Arabs, Bahci'Itzni vel alkini, Mare Sinarum, The Sea of China),}1606E only} and in Haithon Armenus {not in 1598F{(whom we elsewhere more truthfully call Antonius Curchinum)}not in 1598F} by the name of Mare Cathay. Therefore, it might well have been mentioned by the ancient and medieval writers, but it was never fully known and discovered until Ferdinando Magellan of Portugal explored it. It was seen indeed, and as it were greeted in the year 1513 {1598D has instead{1571}1598D} by Vasco Nunnez, from the coast of Peru.
12.3. But Magellan, in the year of our salutation 1520, having found and passed the straights named after him, (which name has been retained ever since, as every common Mariner calls it The Straight of Magellan) with a heroic and Herculian courage entered this sea of which it is uncertain whether any ship before him had ever sailed it. Intending a voyage to the isles of the Moluccos, which the Portuguese usually reached by sailing from the West to the East, and aiming to make a shortcut by sailing from the East to the West, he finally reached this destination via this sea.
12.4. On one of these islands, {1595L, not in 1602G{{called Machian}1595L, not in 1602G} he was killed in a skirmish. The course of his voyage was as follows: departing {1598D, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L only{from Sivïl <Sevilla>}1598D, 1602S, 1608/1612I, 1608/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only}{1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L have instead{Hispala}1590L4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L instead}, a city in Spain}1591G4Add instead} with five ships, including one of his own, called in good foreknowledge Victoria <Victory>, he first came to the fortunate or Canary-isles, then to the Gorgones or Hesperides, now termed the isles of Cap verde, and from there to the Straights just mentioned. After he had found these and passed through them, he entered into this sea.
12.5. He sailed with a fresh and fortunate wind for 40 days altogether, seeing nothing but sea everywhere, and sea again. When he crossed the southern tropic {1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only have instead{Tropicum Capricorni}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only}, he discovered two small barren and uninhabited islands. In spite of this, because they found it was a good fishing area there, they stayed for two days and then left, calling these islands the Unfortunate isles. They are now known by the name Tuberones and the isles of St. Peter. He then continued his voyage, and in the course of 3 months and 20 days, after having covered over this vast Ocean no less than 2400 leagues <sea miles> {1590L4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1602S, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L have instead{24,000<which is much closer to the truth, but too large>}1590L4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L instead}{1591G4Add & 1602G have instead{4000 miles}1591G4Add & 1602G instead}, he finally reached the Equinoctial, and then the desired Moluccos.
12.6. And because (as we have said) he mostly had a fortunate and calm wind, he named this sea Mare Pacificum or The peaceful Sea, now by common sailors called The South Sea, or Mar del Zur. Those who have written about the New world say that the sea around the unfortunate isles is exceedingly deep, and that near the coast of Peru it yields pearls.
12.7. There are 7449 {1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1602G, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{7440}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S instead} islands in it, so that some in our times have appropriately called the Western part of it Archipelagus or sea densely covered with islands. This sea, like the Ægæan sea (which is covered with{not in 1598D{the Cyclades, the Sporades and}not in 1598D} many other islands, and is called Archipelago in Italian) is full of islands.
12.8. Francis Vlloa and Antonius Pigafetta {1608/1612I only{who sailed with Magellan}1608/1612I only} report that at the bottom of the sea weeds grow 14 or 15 fathoms high in the water, and rise above the water to a height of another 4 or 5 fathom. Sometimes it seems that you are not sailing through the sea but rather through a green meadow.
12.9. {1606E, just before paragraph 10 in 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only{This is also reported by Iornandes at the beginning of his Getish history, where he writes that no one could sail the Ocean since it was unpassable because of weeds and turf, of which the cause is unknown}1606E}. {1591G4Add{Plinius and Antigonus from Megasthenes have left records that all over the Eastern ocean there are plenty of trees}1591G4Add; just before paragraph 10 in 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only}. The position Aristoteles takes in his book De Admirandis &c. does not disagree with this, where he writes about the Phœnicians {1591G4Add & 1602G only{of Syria}1591G4Add & 1602G only} who inhabited Gadyra {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Isla de Cales Malis}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, he tells that they sailed for a while outside the pillars of Hercules <Gibraltar>, and arrived at certain regions which abounded with weeds and slime, covered by the tides of the sea. {1595L, not in 1598D & 1602G{And that the sea near Portugal is supposed to have oaks full of acorns is reported by Polybius in Athenæus' book 7}1595L, not in 1598D}.
12.10. {1601L{The same authors confirm on the credit of Pythagoras}not in 1602G} {1601L, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only{book four}1601L, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only} that there are bay trees growing in the Red sea}1601L}. {1595L, not in 1598D & 1602G{To these testimonies we may add those of Theophrastus in his 4th book on the history of Plants, cap. <chapter> 7, 8 and 9, and the testimony of Ælianus, lib. <book> 13, de Animal <about animals> cap. 3, {1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L{& Arrianus in his De Indicis,}1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L} and Strabo, lib. 16 and Plinius, lib. 2, cap. 103, lib. 6, cap. 22, and lib. 13, cap. 25, and in Plutarchus in his physical investigations and his work concerning the face on the Moon globe}1595L, not in 1598D & 1602G}.
12.11. {1591G4Add{All these are in some form confirmed in Platoes fables or histories in his Timæus concerning the island Atlantis. He confirms that the sea there is unnavigable because of slime or green remaining after the island went under. But concerning the ship called La Victoria, please note the following: quite rightly it has been said that simple names often resemble the things they refer to. This becomes manifest for this ship with its lucky name, because it was the first ship ever that on its very first voyage {1591G4Add, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I only{in hundreds of years}1591G4Add, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I only} carried away the victory of sailing all the way over the main Ocean.
12.12. It departed from Spain, via the Straight of Magellan to the Moluccos, from there it rounded the Cape of Buona Esperanza and returned to where it started. Thus it was the first of all ships in all times that ever went around the whole earth. The same ship departed from Spain for a second voyage as far as St. Domingo and back home again.
12.13. From there a third voyage was undertaken, but on the way back the ship was lost and it was never known what became of it. In antiquity it would have been claimed that it went up into the skies, to be placed among stellar Constellations, like another Argo. Nor had this prophetic verse of the peerless poet {1591G4Add & 1602G only{Vergilius}1591G4Add & 1602G only} been unfittingly recommended. Then comes another Tiphys, another gold-fleeced Argo.
12.14. Let Plinius now cease to marvel that out of a small hemp seed should grow that which it was forced to carry up and down the globe of [his] earth. We have, in our age, seen the very same thing that this world [of ours, much greater than his] has been circumnavigated. OUR world, I say {1602G only{so that our beloved reader will better understand, and let him turn to the first of the ancient maps <Ort186, Aevi Veteris> to see the difference}1602G only, which ends here}.
12.15. {not in 1598D{For a more perfect understanding of it, compare the first table <map> of our Theatre with the first of our Parergon, or accessory work, and you shall see the difference}1591G4Add ends here; not in 1598D}.
12.16. {1590L4Add, 1592L & later{And here, I hope, I shall not spend all my efforts in vain by adding certain details, not commonly known, concerning its first discovery {1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{of the New World}1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}, which, by all our modern writers is correctly ascribed to Christopher Columbus.
12.17. For in the year 1492, he was the first man that laid it open and made it known, and communicated its use and benefits to the Christian world. Anyway, I find that the Northern part of America (which lies closest to Europe and to some European islands, namely Groenland, Iceland, and Frisland, and is called Estotiland) was long before that discovered by certain Frisian fishermen, driven to that coast by a storm. And later, around the year 1390, it was revisited once more by Antonius Zeno, a gentleman of Venice. This is reported on the authority of Zichmus, then king of the island of Frisland just mentioned, a prince who at that time was very brave and famous all over that sea for his wars and victories. Concerning this expedition of his, certain Collections or brief extracts drawn up in Italian by Franciscus Marcolino out of the letters of Nicolaus and Antonius Zeno, noblemen from Venice who lived in these parts, still survive. {1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1609/1612/1641S only, in right margin here{In order to understand this better, also consult in this Theatrum the maps of Scandia <Ort160> and America <Ort9,10,11>}1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
12.18. From these Collections I relate here the following, which deals with the description of the region: Estotiland (he says) abounds with all things necessary for mankind. In the middle, there stands an extremely high mountain, from which four rivers spring that provide water to the whole country. The inhabitants are clever, and highly skilled in all kinds of handicraft. They have their own language and alphabet. In the kings Library there are even certain books in Latin, which they cannot understand, that may in previous times have been left by some of their European merchants that were in commercial contact with them. They have all kinds of metal, but especially gold, which they have in great abundance. They exercise trade of merchandise with the people of Groenland, from where they obtain hides, tar and brimstone.
12.19. The inhabitants say that towards the South there are countries rich with gold and full of inhabitants. There are also numerous large forests, from which they obtain material for building ships and cities, of which, next to fortifications, they have plenty. They are utterly ignorant of the load stones <= compasses> used in navigation. They also mention Drogo, a region towards the South inhabited by cannibals who are delighted to eat man's flesh.
12.20. If they do not have that, they live on fish, which is in common use. Beyond this, there are large countries and another New world <South America>. But the inhabitants are barbarous, and go naked. They protect themselves against the cold of Winter with animal skins. These know no kind of metal. They live by hunting. For weapons they use long sharp arrows and bows. They make war with one another. They have governors and laws to which they obey. South{1598D instead has{West}1598D instead; 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{East}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}wards {1590L4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1603L have instead{facing Africa}1590L4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1603L instead) of this, people live in a more temperate climate, have cities and temples to worship idols, in which they sacrifice living people, whose flesh they devour afterwards.
12.21. These make use of gold and silver. So far for this region of land, based on the collections and abstracts mentioned. From these, it is also worth noting that even then our European Pilots with the help of the load stone <compass> sailed those seas. I think one cannot find in any history a more ancient reference touching upon the use of this stone. I was the more eager to attach these things to this Table <map> since I note that none of those that have written histories on the new world have not mentioned this matter so much as just once.
12.22. But concerning the load stone or sea compass, you are to understand that the person who first invented it was Ioannes Goia, a citizen of Amalfitane {1601L, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only{whom Alexander Sardus in his book De inventoribus rerum <about matters of inventions> calls Flavius Campanus}1601L, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only}. For that is what the Italians write, and so much has been confirmed by Antonius Panormitanus in his writing: First Amalfi sailors taught how to use the load stone, which was in the year of our Saviour 1300.
12.23. This Melfi, {not in 1598D{called Amalphis in Latin}not in 1598D}, is a town situated at the sea shore of Lucania {1598D, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{the Kingdom of Naples}1598D, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. Goropius attributes the discovery of this secret of the loadstone to our Danes or Dutchmen, which sounds probable since the 32 winds are described in Dutch, which is used by all sailors, be they French, Spanish or from other nations, they always pronounce them in Dutch.
12.24. This I concede to be true, except for the Italians. For they both write and speak of the 32 winds in their own native language. In view of the fact that all navigators of Europe, be they Spaniards, French, English or Dutch, express themselves in our language <=Dutch>, I am truly of the opinion that it was first found and used by the Amalfians or Italians, especially within their own Mediterranean sea. This knowledge was then borrowed from them by the Netherlands people, and most of all those from Bruges, a city which at that time (before trade was shifted to Antwerp) was a famous market town, visited by the Italians, especially those from Venice, as the Zeno just mentioned tells us. See also the testimony of Peter Quirinus, Christopher Fiorauanti and Nicolas Michaëlio, who in this, our Ocean, suffered a horrible shipwreck we can read about in the Italian volumes.
12.25. Witness also Aloysius Cadamosta, who in his Epistles, {1601L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{written in about 1454}1601L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}, confirms this city of Bruges to be a Market inferior to none in all the Northern parts of the world. This is how the citizens of Bruges adopted the use of sea compasses from the Italians, and translated from Italian the names of the winds into their own language. I do not see how it can be denied that the other nations just mentioned who live on the ocean shore borrowed this knowledge}1590L4Add & 1592L end here}. {1595L but not in 1598D{About the nature and admirable virtues of the loadstone you may read noteworthy things in Livius Sanutus' description of Africa, printed in Italian in Venice.
12.26. The isles of Salomon which you see depicted in this table <map> close to Nova Guinea, were discovered not long ago after Alvaro Mendanio had led his fleet out of the port Lima of Peru, & had sailed over this huge ocean, as I find recorded in Iosephus Acosta 1st book, 17th chapter De natura novi orbis <on the nature of the new world>}1595L, not in 1598D; 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S end here}. {not in 1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612L, but in 1595L & 1598F only{The same person, in the same book, expresses the opinion that America was first inhabited by the Indians, arguing that they were propelled across the South Sea by the power of the winds, (with some other explanations added to this). In the same manner, according to Zeno's history mentioned above, a multitude of Europeans have settled on the islands of Groenland, Iceland and Frisia many centuries ago. These, it must be conceded, are closer than is the case for the Indians, whose islands cannot be found on this map, because of the vastness of this Ocean}1595L & 1598F only, but not in 1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612L which end here} (c) Marcel van den Broecke (c).

Bibliographical sources

For questions/comments concerning this page, please e-mail
The software that generates this website is available for sale. For more information, contact Thomer M. Gil.
This page has been generated on Mon Jan 16 21:34:57 2006.