Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 016

Text, translated from the 1570 Latin, 1571 Latin, 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1573 Latin, 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin, 1580 German, 1581 French, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 Dutch, 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612 Latin edition. Note that this text is perhaps the most unstable one of any map over the various Theatrum editions.

16.1. {1570L only{ANGLIA}1570L only}{1572/1574F onlt{Angleterre}1572/1574F only}{1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L have instead:{The BRITISH Isles}1573L, 1575L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580G, 1581F, 1587F, 1588S, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L instead}.

16.2. {1606E{The Empire of}1606E} {1570L{Great Britain, {1606E only{included within the parallels 49 and 63, and the Meridians or longitudes 9 and 26, bound on the South by France, on the East by Germany, and on the North and West by the Vast Ocean,}1606E only} is that Island which at this day contains the two kingdoms of England & Scotland, {1573L{together with Ireland over to the West, the surrounding isles the Orchades, {1606E only{Hebrides,}1606E only} Man, {1606E only{Anglesey,}1606E only} Wight {1606E only{and the Sorlings,}1606E only} and many others of less importance}1573L}.
16.3. The old writers generally agreed to call them BRITTANICĘ INSULĘ, the British Islands, which took their name, as it seems, from the greatest of them, and commander of the rest, {1573L{which is indeed properly called BRITTANNIA, Britain. It was so named {1606E only{(not after that treacherous Brutus, the bloody father killer, as the fabulous historian Geoffrey of Monmouth has till now tried to make the world believe, against all reason, authority and historical truth; nor}1606E only} from the Welsh word Prydain {1606E only{or Prydcain}1606E only} as the learned British Humfrey Lhoyd thought) <but> {1606E only{after Brit, a Celtish word which signifies Painted}1606E only}.
16.4.{1606E only{For these people, as Cęsar and other old writers report, used to paint their bodies, and therefore were called BRITONES by the French, their nearest neighbours. Similarly, those people from the same nation who, to avoid slavery and serfdom to the Romans, withdrew to the Northern parts (from where they continually attacked their colonies here) were, for the same reason, in their language called PICTI.
16.55. The Greek called it}1606E only} also ALBION, {1606E{not}1606E} after Albion, son of Neptune, who once swayed his sceptre here, {1606E only{as some have most fabulously told us, after Alphion,}1606E only} or the white cliffs at the sea coast}1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S and 1609/1612L stop here. 1580G, 1587F, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S and 1609/1612L are resumed in the middle of § 11}, {1606E{which are the first to offer themselves to the eye of those who sail to this country from France. And indeed, the Welsh poets call it Inis win, that is, as Orpheus, the most ancient poet of the Greek interprets it, Ilesos leucęssa, and Leucaios Chersos, The white Isle, or The white land}1606E}.
16.5a. {only in 1570L, 1571L, 1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1602S, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L; 1606E instead has the text starting at § 6{It presently has two names, namely England and Scotland, which are both Kingdoms, {not in 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1602S, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S and 1609/1612L{and it is the biggest island of the whole world}not in 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L}{1573L, 1588S & 1601L only{as Solinus writes}1573L, 1588S & 1601L only}, {1571L{separated by the rivers Tuede}1571L, {1573L{& Solvay, and by Mount Cheuiota, and has been divided since then into Lhœgria, Cambria and Albania. But later, when it came under the rule of the Roman Empire, as Rufus testifies, it was divided into three Provinces called Maxima Cęsariensis, Flauia Prima and Flauia Secunda. Ammianus also mentions the name of Valentia. Galfridus Monumethensis writes that it is inhabited by five groups of people, namely the Britans, the Romans, the Picts, the Scots and the Saxons.
16.5b. But since we will later give maps of the various islands mentioned and their parts, and will discuss them there more elaborately, we will refrain from saying much about them here. Yet we want to mention what has been written about this Isle of Britanny by a Greek author, namely Laonicus Chalcondylas, born in Athens, who, residing in Athens, wrote this history about it one hundred years ago. Whether it is truthful or not, is something we leave to the judgment of the reader. And as far as what he has written is according to reality, we have wondered about the diligence of an author writing so long ago and <observing matters> from such a distance. And where he deviates from the truth (because he has evidently written down some absurdities, contrary to the nature of this region), we understand that whatever any author writes on any country cannot always be according to the facts. Here then his narration, {1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580L, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S and 1609/1612L only{as interpreted by Conradus Clauserus}1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only}.
16.5c. Britannia consists of three Isles opposite Flanders, which occupy a large part of the Ocean sea. One is situated where the sea causes a flood or tide. The others are situated where the waters of the sea make a vortex and recede. By way of speaking, one might say that these three islands are in fact but one. Because they are connected and stretch from one to the other, they are subjected to the same forces of nature and characterised by the same manners; and they are under the same Magistrate, surveying the necessities of this society.
16.5d. The circumference of this Island is over 5000 stadia {1580G & 1608/1612I only{which amounts to 625 Italian miles}1580G & 1608/1612I only}. It is a very populous island, and its inhabitants are very strong. There are cities which are very large, flourishing and rich, and similarly villages in great numbers. These people are under the ruling of a King. London is the capital city of this Kingdom. In this region there are various Principalities and Counties which obey their King, as we said before about France. There is no king who can take this kingdom away from its King, nor are there those who are not obliged to be obedient to their Prince, except as regards statutes and customs.
16.5e. This island has suffered various calamities, conflicts with various Kings, and their own King to such an extent that they have been tormented with secessions and domestic and foreign wars}1573L}. {1570L and 1571L only, not in later editions{The Ocean, <and> the German and French seas surround it. The largest part of it, in the South, is now called Anglia by the Angles who live in it. They have a King. It is divided into 30 parts called Counties. These Counties are each divided into 17 Church parishes, which the Greek would call Dioceses. Anglia is in the South and the East bordered by the Ocean, in the West by Wallia and Cornubia, in the North by the river Tueda, which separates it from Scotland}1570L and 1571L only}.
16.5f. {1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1580G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L{This region has no wine, and is not very fertile as regards other sorts of fruits}1573L}. But there is a great abundance of wheat, {what follows only in 1570L & 1571L{and abounds with cattle, to such an extent that the inhabitants are cattle breeders rather than agrarians, concentrating on pastures rather than other forms of agriculture, resulting in about one third of the land being unfit for cattle. The region is in all seasons of the year very temperate, with no heaviness in the air, so that you find few diseases, and the art of Medicine is less developed than elsewhere. Earthquakes do not occur here. Lightning is very rare in this area. The soil is fertile. But it does not produce wine, and they drink beer instead. There are hills everywhere, not covered with trees nor watered by springs which produce simple short grass, which nevertheless provide ample food for sheep. Over these hills flocks of white sheeps will roam, producing the finest kind of soft wool as compared with other regions, either because of the good air, or because of the excellent soil. This wool is really like gold, providing the basis for the wealth of the inhabitants of this island: for an abundance of gold and silver is yearly brought to the island to buy other commodities everywhere. {1571L only{Their dogs are excellent}1571L only}. {not in 1571L{There are no venomenous animals here}not in 1571L}. It has an abundance of fish of all sorts. Oysters are no better than elsewhere, nor more numerous. Gold, silver, tin, lead and iron is mined here, but not in great quantities}1570L and 1571L only}.{1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L{They have no wine here, but it is reasonably fertile for other fruits. But there is barley, honey, and linen, such that in this produce it surpasses other regions, and it has nice draperies. They have a peculiar language, totally different from the language of the French, Germans, and other neighbouring people. They are in no way different from the French except in their daily conversations, habits, and way of life.
16.5g. They do not care much about their wives and children. For all over the island they maintain the custom that when one is invited by a friend, and enters his house, one first makes intimate acquaintance with the wife of this friend, in order to be treated better afterwards. And going on their way to some place or other, they share the wives of their friends. And the same conduct is also observed in the region of the Phrantales {1573L, 1579L, 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only, <mostly in the margin>{(or maybe Phlandroys)}1573L, 1579L, 1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1603L, 1601L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only}, a maritime people, found in High Germany. And it is not deemed dishonest when women or young girls are found pregnant as a result of what we described. {1580G has instead{They do not consider it shameful to make strange women or their own daughters pregnant}1580G instead}.
16.5h. The capital city of this island surpasses all other cities in multitude of people and in richness, and even all cities that you find in the Western part. These people are considered to be the strongest and most well-versed in warfare as compared to the neighbouring people and those living towards the West. Their weapons derive from Italy, and their swords are similar to those used by the Greeks. They also use darts or javelins which are so long that when they are upright, they stick them into the ground.
16.5i. Through this city <of London> runs a pretty large river, which flows fairly impetuously and ends in the French sea, about two hundred and ten stadia {1580G only{which makes a little over 26 miles}1580G only} from the city. And its course from there is such that the ships can enter it all the way to the city. And the water of the river has difficulty to return because of the city, and resumes its course through a depth called Gegeutia. But after the water on this isle retreats into a vortex at ebb tide, it is certain that ships will find themselves stranded, waiting for the water to return as usual.
16.5j. And this high tide increases the water level often to a height of 15 ells or more, or if less, then to 11 {1579L has instead{12}1579L} ells. The waters thus flow and recede every day and every night. When the moon stands above the horizon, high in the sky or in the Southern part, the waters increase to their highest level, and if the moon is entirely at the opposite side, the waters are lowest.
16.5k. This is what Laonicus has seen through his spectacles of the past. Read concerning this island other ancient authors, such as Tacitus and Cęsar, {1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L only{Henry of Huntingdon}1601L, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L only}, the writings of Polydorus, Ioannes Maior, Iouius, Gregorius Lilius, Robertus Cœnalis' second chapter, third volume of De Re Gallica, Antonius Sabellicus' Enn. Chapter 10, Book 5 {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{15}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, Guillaume Paradinus, Galfridus Monomuthensis, Ponticus Virunius, {1574L, 1575L, 1581F, 1587F and 1598F only{Ioannes Prisęus}1574L, 1575L, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F only} & Beda}1573L, 1575L, 1580G, 1587F & 1588S end here}. {1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only{But first of all in Camden's Brittania for what you read you have the impression to see}1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only, which end here}.
<Now there follows an alternative and different text as found in the 1606 English edition.>
16.6. {1606E only{The first Inhabitants which settled here not long after the universal Flood and the Confusion of Babel came here from France, considering its Proximity, Similarity of language, Manners, Government, Customs and Name, as is stated by the learned Clarencieux Camden, the only light shining on our histories, as demonstrated in his treatise called Britannia. For to this day the ancient Britans, the Welshmen, call themselves CUMRI, (not Cambri), derived from Gomer, the son of Iaphet (called by the Romans Cimber) from whom the Celtę or Gauls are descended.
16.7. The Romanes, a second nation, entered Brittaine under the command of Iulius Cęsar around the year 54 before the birth of CHRIST, and established their settlements in various and sundry places on this Island. The Scottes, noticing that the Roman legions grew weak and that their empire was declining, made use of the occasion to seize Ireland.
16.8. Then, around the year of CHRIST 446, great trouble arose in France, the Emperors were forced to totally withdraw their forces from there, and to leave the Britains naked, and open to the fury of the Picts, their enemies. Then, double mischief arose: for first, the restless and turbulent Picts, thinking that they now had the singular opportunity was offered to them to accomplish their desires, expected to accomplish this with certainty by calling in the Scottes from Ireland and these combined their forces against the poor, disarmed Britans.
16.9. After which the Britans felt forced, to safeguard their lives and liberty, to call for help, around the year of CHRIST 440, from the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, warlike people living along the sea coast of Germany from the river Rhein up to Denmarke, to assist them against their violent enemies.
16.10. The Normanes, lead by William the Bastard <the Conqueror>, their Duke, took possession of Great Brittaine in the year 1066. The Vandals, Norwegians and Danes, who through their piracies and robberies for a long time and often in a terrible manner vexed these isles, never established settlements here, and therefore I pass them over in silence.
16.11. The form of Brittaine is triangular, resembling the figure which Geometers call Scalenum, or as the Arabs say Nubiensis, to the head and neck of Alnaama, the ostrich, and for that reason it may as well as Sicilia be called TRINACRIA, The three-cornered Isle. The ancient geographers took it, deservedly, to be the greatest Island of the Main Ocean}1606E only}. {1580G, 1584L, 1587F, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{For this reason, as Solinus states, it may well deserve the name of ANOTHER WORLD}1598F; the text for all editions just mentioned continues in paragraph 5a}. {here 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L resume{And Matthew Parisius for the same reason calls it THE QUEEN or Empress of the Isles of the Ocean}1595L, 1601L & 1609/1612/1641S stop here and resume at paragraph 5a}. {1606E only{Because of its large size, it has in former times been divided into several jurisdictions and kingdoms.
16.12. In the time of the Saxons, England and the South East part was divided into seven parts, and Wales into three. The great Egbert in the year 800 reduced the Saxon heptarchy into a monarchy. The Irish Princes, Noblemen and Commoners, after the incarnation of 1172, united their Pentarchy to the crown of Egbert, and swore allegiance to Henry, the second King of England.
16.13. Edward the first, knit to these in the year after the birth of Christ 1282 the triple crown of the Petty Kings of Wales. In our days now, the eternal wisdom of the Great King of Heaven and Earth has cast all of these, together with the crown of Scotland, into one massive Imperial Diadem, and has placed it on the head of our dreaded sovereign IAMES, directly descended from those mighty monarchs and he shall (we do not doubt) in time add to these whatsoever from them belongs to his Highness.

(ANGLIA, England
BRITANNI- (BRITTANNIA (Superior, the Higher, containing
CAE INSULAS (Greater and (divided by the (CVMBRIA, Wales
or the empire (often ment- (Romans into (Inferior, the Neather, now SCOTIA, Scotland
of Great Brit (tioned in (HIBERNIA, Ireland, west of Britain
taine contains(histories
the islands (close to the shore of Brittain VECTA, Wight
(Lesser, yet (South( (CAESAREA, Jersey
(famous, (on the coast of France(SARNIA, Gernsey
(belonging (England (and many smaller ones
(to (near Cornwall SILLINAE, Silly anno 145
(West (between England, Ireland & Scotland MONOEDA, Man
(Wales MONA called by the English Anglesey by the Welsh
(near Scot(West, HEBRIDES, West Isles 44 in number
land (North, ORCHADES, Orkney isles about 30
(North, THVLE, Schetland

16.14. Of these British islands, (next to the ancient writers Tacitus and Cęsar) read Henry Huntingdon, Polydore Virgill, Iohn Mayor, Paulus Iovius, Gregory Conall in the second summa of his third book de re Gallica, Antony Sabellicus Enne, 10th lib. 5, William Paradine, Ieffrey of Monmouth, Ponticus Verumius, and Beda, but especially Brittania by Mr. William Camden Clarenceux. When you have diligently read this, I do not doubt that you will have a specific survey of the whole isle}1606E only}.

16.15. {1570L and 1571L only{SCOTIA
16.16. On the remaining part of the island, Scotland presents itself. It has harbours everywhere accessible for all kinds of ships. Also lakes, pastures, and long rivers full of fish. They have their language in common with the Angles. And since woods are rare here, they make fire with coal which they dig from the earth. They differ from the Angles in their Laws and Institutions because they apply civil law, whereas the others have municipal law.

16.18. HIBERNIA, the neighbour of the British Isles in the West, is not much different as regards its air and soil, except that it is more mountainous, and has more abundant waters, because even on the highest mountains you find swamps and pools everywhere. Dublinum is the capital of the entire island. The Eastern part of the island facing Anglia belongs to the same kingdom. The remainder, facing West, is full of woods and remains uncultivated, and belongs to various petty kings. This we have learned from Polydorus Virgilius, who has very learnedly described these islands, as also Paulus Iovius, Ioannes Maior from Scotland, Robertus Conalis in his {1571L only{second book}1571L only} About French Matters; Gregorius Lilius, Sylvester Giraldus Cambrensis, Guilielmus Paradinus, Ant. Sabellicus' Enn. 10 bk.5. and Beda the Priest. {1571L only{We possess a part of Humfred Llhuyd's History of Britain in which he describes this island of Britain (now comprising England and Scotland) with such singular diligence, that all other writers seem to be dreaming in their descriptions. About the customs and laws of the ancient Britains a Commentary has been written by Daniel Rogerius whom we know well, but which has not yet been published}1571L only}. I remain silent about ancient sources such as Cęsar, Tacitus and others. Scotia has been described separately by Hector Boethius in a large book.
About MONA, the island of the Druids, restoring its ancient history, one has to take into account the most learned letter by Humfred Llhuid <appended to each edition of the Theatrum>}1570}.

<The 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French and 1598 Dutch edition have a text which differs so much from the two types of texts given above that a separate translation is provided here.>

16.19. {1571/1573D{England.

16.20. The island once called Albion is nowadays divided into two separate Kingdoms, of which one, lying towards the South, is called England and the other, towards the North is called Scotland. They are separated from each other, (as Humphred Lhuyd writes), by the river Tueda in the East, by the mountain Cheuiota inland, and by some brooks originating from the mountain just mentioned which empty themselves into the sea at Solway.
16.21. England is the largest part, and also the most fruitful one. It is the best island of all of Europe. It has a miraculously fertile soil, abounding with meat and all sorts of nutrition, so that life is better here than overseas. It is wonderfully full of sheep, which always remain in the meadows, (not having to fear wolves since they do not occur here), producing the best wool ever, of which the inhabitants make such amounts of cloth that they provide almost the whole World with it, and truly enrich themselves in this manner, because they have very extensive trade with it.
16.22. Thus, only those cloths, (including Carsay), which they transport to Antwerp, (according to Lodewyck Guicciardyn), amount to over 4 million, {not in 1572/1574F{or 40 tons of gold}not in 1572/1574F} each year. And the wool, (which used to be traded at Calais but has now been transferred to Brugge), exceeds 5 tons {1572/1574F has instead{500,000 florins}1572/1574F instead} of gold each year. This country has the finest Tin and the largest and most ferocious dogs.
16.23. And the sea closeby provides the most delicious oysters. To this England belong some small islands such as Mon, which the English call Anglesey, Man, Wight, Sorlingen and Guernsey and Iarsey &c. although the latter two should naturally belong to France, being much nearer to it. Yet, they belong to the crown of England.

16.24. Schotlandt.

16.25. This is the Northern part of this island, which does not have such a fertile soil, but has more fish in its rivers and the adjacent sea, for it has numerous Lakes and Ponds. It is very mountainous, with woods on them, and with many inlets from the sea, so that there is no house in this country, or the salty sea water is no further than twenty miles from it, (as Johannes Major writes).
16.26. Its capital is Edinburg, where the Kings keep court. After that St. Andries, where you find the main University or High School. The inhabitants have difficulty to get along with the English, and prefer friendship with the French. This Crown also rules over numerous small islands, mainly on its West side, such as Argyl, Ila, Lewis, Fust &c., formerly called the Hebrides. On the North side are the Orchades islands, twenty in number, (as Major, mentioned before, has recorded). They export much butter to Scotland. On the Orcades the Gothic language is spoken, and they constitute a Dukedom of their own.

16.27. Irlandt.

16.28. Although this is a large, separate island West of England, yet the Kings of England rule over it, mainly its Eastern part, which looks towards England. But more inland, and on its West coast, these are rough people, not subjected to anyone except to some of their own Lords.
It is a very fertile country, and the animals must sometimes be taken from their meadows, or they would burst from over-eating. There are no obnoxious animals in this country, and those brought in from elsewhere will die immediately, so they say. Its capital is Dublin. The inhabitants of this Island are called Erin}1571/1573D}.

<The German 1602 edition contains a text which differs from those already provided, but which instead follows the Parergon Great Britain maps Ort 190 (North) with almost identical text, but different typesetting, the text of which returns in Ort 192 rather closely. It is given below.>

16.29. {1602G only{The English Isles.

16.30. Aristoteles writes to Alexander the Great That this island in size exceeds the rest. Tacitus testifies That it is the largest of all the islands that the Romans ever knew. It is so large, as Appianus writes, that it might seem to be ANOTHER CONTINENT. And Hegesippus calls it ANOTHER WORLD. Cęsar, Diodorus, Strabo and Mela claim it to be Three cornered. Tacitus, based on Livius and Fabius Rusticus says it resembles spiderweb or a flail. Iornandes says <that> it is formed like a Conus.
16.31. This island was first discovered and made known to the Roman Empire in the time of Iulius Cęsar who first of all men (I mean the Romans) entered it with one thousand sailing ships, as Athenęus in his sixth book has left on record. For previously, as Dion says in his 39th book, it was uncertain whether there was such an island or not. The later writers were doubtful whether it used to be new world or a separate island by itself, and about this question they have written much for both points of view, since indeed they knew nothing for certain about it (not having seen it, nor being informed about it by its inhabitants), but had only written about it by guessing and conjecturing, each after his own opportunities or learning.
16.32. In the course of time, first when Agricola was vice-prętor, (which I understand from Tacitus was <the case> under Vespasianus) then again, in our days, under Severus, it was clearly found to be only an island. Before the arrival of these men, the island had never born the yoke of any foreign Prince, as Diodorus Siculus informs us. It was governed by many princes. Its own people mostly ruled it, and they had a kind of sovereignty, as we read in Cęsar, Strabo, Xiphilinus and Tacitus, who also adds that by their princes they are drawn to various factions, taking opposing sides, and that they do not have any common counsel, so that they fight in different groups, and were conquered as such.
16.33. The temperature of the air, says Cęsar, is milder than in France, <and> its frosts and cold are not so biting. Tacitus states That there is never any bitter, cold weather. Strabo writes that the air is more subject <to have> clouds than snow. Herodianus informs us that the air is thick and foggy, and he thinks the reason <for that> to be the heat and vapours which ascend from its fens and marshes.
16.34. The same Strabo mentioned before says that most of the island is plain and flat, <and> covered with woods and groves. There are also some earth hills, but very craggy and dry without water, as Xiphilinus writes, and in addition some plains, deserts, and lots of fens and bogs. This Herodianus declares to be true, who <also> says that because of the frequent overflowing of the sea, it is fenny and marshy in various places. Yet Panegyricus claims it to have a very fertile soil for Corn, but it is <even> better for grass than for corn, and is kinder to beast than to man, as Mela confirms, and therefore there is an infinite amount of cattle here, as Cęsar records.
16.35. Yet it <also> produces Wheat and Rye, as Strabo writes. And by means of their great store of marl for this, Plinius says, the <soil of the> Britons has great fertility, which in the time of Emperor Iulianus was so luxurious and super-abundant that, as Marcellinus writes in his eighteenth book, they exported corn and <such> provisions to France and Germany. The same story is confirmed by Zozimus. It yields all kinds of commodities and other things like France does, (except beech and fir trees), such as Hares, Hens and Geese, as Cęsar just mentioned confirms. Xiliphinus, based on Dion, highly recommends it for its wonderful abundance of all sorts of Fish.
16.36. Solinus <praises it> as much for the great variety and richness in Metals. All the world has continually admired it for its infinite abundance of Tin and Lead, white and black, especially higher up in the country, as Cęsar claims. This opinion is confirmed, to some extent, by Diodorus Siculus, who says that metals are plentifully found near the promontory Bolerium. Next to these metals the same author says that it also yields Iron, but not in any great quantities, and that in the same manner towards the sea coast. It also has some veins of Silver and Gold, if we are to believe Tacitus and Strabo. Also, the prophecies of Sibylla claim it to be rich in Gold.
16.37. Perhaps this is the case because so much is brought here, for Cicero writes to Trebatius that the isle by itself does not produce one dram of Gold or Silver, but that nothing is to be exported from here, nor is any kind of booty to be expected other than one would obtain from slaves. Plinius and Mela write that there are many great rivers here which yield pearls and precious stones. These pearls are the best in value and worth, next to those from India, in the judgement of Ęlianus. The expectation of profit from these, says Suetonius in his life <of Cęsar> first prompted Cęsar to assault this island.
16.38. I read in Solinus that there are hot baths here which are marvellously carved and trimmed for the use of man. These fountains, he says, are consecrated to Minerva, who presides over them. Heliodorus too ascribes the Amethyst, a precious stone, to this country. Here also is the Agath, the best of its kind, as Solinus states.
16.39. It seems that Plinius, many years ago, had heard of the English Oysters, which someone recommended who wrote about them like this: he knew that an oyster from Rutupinum would bite at the first occasion. Here one finds Chenerotes, birds somewhat smaller than white geese, for the inhabitants of this island the most exquisite dish, as Plinius reports. The Poet Gratius highly praises the English Dogs, as Strabo writes, also exported for their natural excellence in sure hunting, about which Nemesianus was not ignorant either, when he wrote about them like this: --Divisa Britannia mittit Veloces, nostriq. Orbis venatibus aptos, :that is: Britain, that Other World has always borne the name, For swiftest hounds, and best for hunters game. Symmachus writes to Flavianus, his brother, that in former times the Romans greatly admired the English dogs, and Strabo states that the Gauls used their help in their wars against France. There is a kind of them which is smaller than the common kind, which I find described in Oppianus' book of hunting. He calls it Agassei. Whether in former times it had wine or not, (for Tacitus flatly denies that it will produce vines or olive trees) I dare not confirm.
16.40. Yet I understand from Vopiscus that Aurelianus the Emperor allowed the Britans to plant vines, and to make wine. Also, the Panegyricus, an oration addressed to Constantine the Great, attributes to this island such a great fertility for corn and all sorts of grain that it has enough both of corn for bread and corn for brewing to be self-sufficient. Plinius writes that Sotacus truly believed that Amber (Electrum) dropped from certain trees here, which they therefore called Electrides, amber trees, a fabricated story invented by the old writers, as may also be the case for what Clemens, in the sixth book of his Stromaton writes about the story of Hervetus:
16.41. They who write histories report that in Britannia there is a certain cave underneath a hill in the top of which there is a chink or rift. When the wind blows into the cave, and beats against its sides, a sound is heard resembling cymbals. Similarly, <there is a fable> by Solinus too, who writes that there is an altar (ara) in a by-place or odd corner in Caledonia, where an inscription written in Greek letters clearly shows that Ulysses landed here. And whether this isle was ever part of the main continent or not, as Servius claims, I dare not confirm. Now what remains is that we in the same manner say something about its people.
16.42. Cęsar and Diodorus Siculus report that it is marvellously populous. But from where the people and first inhabitants came, whether they were indigenous or came from other countries, is not known, as Tacitus has written. The inner parts, higher inland, are inhabited by those who as they say were born and bred there. The sea coasts are inhabited by those who came there from the Low countries <and> almost all of them take their name from those cities and provinces from where they came, and where they were born, as Cęsar reports. This opinion of his is confirmed by Ptolemęus, who on this island also mentions and describes the Dutch and the Atrebates.
16.43. Tacitus claims that the Caledonij, have red hair and large limbs, which is a clear argument that they derive from the Germans. Their well coloured complexion, curly head and their location opposite the Spanish coast prove that the ancient Iberi had in former times crossed the sea and had settled here. That the Galli or Gauls entered these coasts, close to their country, is very probable on the basis of their ceremonies, superstitious opinions and similitude of language. Zozimus in his first book writes that the Emperor Probus sent to this island all the Burgundians and Vandals that he conquered and captured alive, so that here they might live and settle.
16.44. The Saxons and other people that entered this land I omit on purpose, because these belong to later times, and <came> only recently, <whereas> we only intended to touch on those things that were of greater antiquity. Generally, the inhabitants of this isle, in those days, were all uncivil and rude. And being further remote from the main continent, they had less knowledge about foreign wealth. That the Britans were more valiant and brave than the Gauls we learn from Tacitus.
16.45. That they were much taller of stature <than the French>, we can read in Strabo. They wear their hair long, all their bodies everywhere being shaven except for their head and upper lip.
The same author says that as regards their nature and qualities they are mostly all alike, yet some are more plain and simple minded, others more rude and barbarous. Thus, although they have plenty of milk, yet they do not know how to make cheese. Others are fully ignorant about sowing, planting, grafting and other such farming activities. In their behaviour and conversations, they are, as Diodorus says about them, plain, simple and sincere, and far remote from the wily subtleties and crafty devices of our people.
16.46. They eat simple, eat plain food, and have nothing to do with wealth and a gorgeous life style. And as Mela says about them, they are only rich in land, cattle, large plots of land and area of ground. And they do not consider it lawful to eat hares, hens or geese. Yet, they keep them, as Cęsar writes, but only for game and pleasure. They feed themselves with milk and meat, as Cęsar says. They put their corn up into their barns in ears of sheaves unthreshed, from where they fetch and thresh as much as they need from day to day. About their temperate and modest diet, as well as their patience in adversity and affliction, Dion in his life of Nero will inform you.
16.47. Dioscorides recorded that they made their own drink, which they call Curmi from barley. About the same Britons Herodianus writes like this. They wear no kind of garment, but only clasp a piece of iron around their neck, thinking that to be a great ornament and a sign of wealth, as other barbarous nations do with gold. Cęsar says that they are clad in skins and leather. They used to have ten or twelve wives common to a certain group of them. Especially brothers with brothers and fathers with their sons were thus co-partners. But if any of these women got a child, whoever got it was considered to have obtained it from the man who first married her when she was a maiden. Thus Cęsar wrote about them in his time. <But> Eusebius in the sixth book of his de Prępar. evangel. has given us to understand that many of them had but one wife only, which is confirmed by Clemens Alexandrinus in the 9th book of his Recognitium. Plutarchus says that they usually live to be one hundred and twenty years old.
16.48. They use brass money or iron rings, made of a certain weight as coins. Plinius says that they used to wear rings on their middle finger. In Cęsar I read that their houses stand thronged and close together, but as Strabo writes, these were mostly made of reed or timber. They dwell in woods like we do in cities. What they call a town is whatever has a bank or ditch around it, or is fortified with sturdy wood, to which they may flock or resort to avoid an invasion or attack by their enemies, as Cęsar gives us to understand. And there, as Strabo says, they make cabins or cottages for themselves, and stables for cattle, as may serve them for their present needs.
16.49. Herodianus calls them a very warlike and bloody nation. They fight not only on horseback and on foot, but also with coaches and waggons, armed in the manner of the Gauls. Charriots they call them, whose axle-trees or axles were armed with hooks, as Pomponius Mela states. They also use in their wars a great multitude of carriages, as Cęsar, Strabo and Diodorus inform us. They fight with long, huge swords, as Tacitus tells. These swords, says Herodianus, hang down close to their bare skin, and are only sheathed in a straight piece of leather.
16.50. They never use pieces of armour, considering them to be only a troubling hindrance when they are to cross any bogs or fens. For they are used to swim, run through those fens and marshes or to wade through them, <the water coming> up to their waist, and often being bare legged, they go through thick and thin. Yet later, we learn from Dion's oration to Bunduica that they used to arm themselves for defence with helmets, habergeons and grieves. When they attacked their enemies, the same author informs us, they used to make an awful noise, and to sing terrible and threatening songs.
16.51. They often make war for petty reasons and on purpose, and very often they are determined to attack and annoy one another, especially out of a desire to increase their reign and enlarge the area they rule over. Tacitus adds that they also go into the <battle>fields under the leadership and command of women, for a clear proof of which he includes (in the 34th book of his Annals) Bunduica and her daughters. Dion says the same in his book on Nero, but he calls her Bunduica. On purpose they stain and paint their bodies.
16.52. Mela and Iornandes think that they did this as an ornament, to beautify themselves, or to appear more terrible to their enemies when they fled, as Cęsar said, who adds that they paint their bodies with a lind of glue which produces a colour. And I read in Herodianus that the men did not only stain their bodies with some kind of colour, but also marked themselves with various kinds of pictures, and images of various sorts of living creatures, and to go naked, so as not to hide their paintings. You shall hear Solinus speak the same words: The country is partly occupied by a barbarous and wild people, who, from childhood onwards, have certain artists, men skilled in these things, who make various images and pictures of living creatures, drawn and pictured upon their skins, and so imprinted into their flesh that, as they grow up to be a man, these pictures, together with the painted stains, grow bigger and bigger. Nor do these wild people endure anything more patiently and willingly than that their limbs, by means of those deep cuts and slashes, may so deeply absorb these colours that they will display them for a long time.
16.53. Among their Goddesses, as I learn from Dion, they worshipped Andates (for that is what they call victory), who had a temple and a sacred wood, where they used to do sacrifices and perform their religious service<s> and worship her. Next to her they had another <goddess> who was called Adraste. Whether this was the same as Adrastia (who some take to be Nemesis) who was worshipped by the ancient Greeks and Romans, I leave to others to determine. Cęsar says that in former times the Druids, also dwelt among these people. He claims that their discipline was first invented here, and then carried beyond the sea into France. That they continued <their practices> until the time of Vespasianus in Mona becomes clear from the 14th book of Tacitus' Annals. From them, without doubt, this nation obtained its knowledge about the state & immortality of the soul after this life, for this was the opinion of those Druids. But about the Druids, we will speak more in <our discussion on> Old Gallia.
16.54. Plinius strongly convinces me that the Britons so highly esteemed and wonderfully extolled the art of Magic, and practised it with such strange ceremonies that it is thought that the Persians took it over from them. The Bunduica just mentioned also seems to support this view, who, as soon as she had finished her oration to her army, cast away a hare she took out of her lap to guess what the outcome of that venture would be. After she was seen to lead the way, the whole group together shouted joyfully in acclamation. These people held it to be a very sensible thing to sacrifice their captives and apply their blood to their altars, to seek and find out about the intention and pleasure of their Gods by <examining> their entrails. So far Tacitus and so much about Albion. Now it remains that we in a similar manner say something about Ireland.

16.55. HIBERNIA.

16.56. All ancient writers have generally called this island by one and the same name, although they have never written it in the same way. For some call it HIBERNIA <or> IERNA, or IVVERNA. Eusthatius in his Commentaries on Dionysius Afer <calls it> VERNIA. It is called IRIS by Diodorus. In Festus Avenius, Ireland is named INSULA SACRA, The Holy Island. He moreover adds that it is inhabited by the Hierni. Isacius in his commantaries on Lycrophon calls it WEST BRITAIN. It was called SCOTIA by the medieval writers and its inhabitants, says P. Orosius, where the Scots live. Plutarchus in the book which he wrote About the face on the globe of the Moon calls it OGYGIA. Its soil and temperature, as Tacitus says, is not much unlike that of England. It breeds no snakes or serpents, nor any <other> venomous creatures. Fowls and birds are not very plentiful here, and as regards bees, nobody ever saw one in the whole country, and if one throws some dust or stones that do not come from here among the hives, the swarms will immediately leave their honeycombs, as Solinus writes.
16.57. The temperature of the air, (says Pomponius Mela) is very unkind and unfit for corn and grain to ripen, but the soil is so good for grass, not only high and rank, but also sweet and wholesome, that their herds and cattle fill themselves so quickly that, if they are not driven out of the pasture, they will eat till they burst. Solinus says the same, but in fewer words. Further, he calls it an inhuman and uncivil country because of the rude and harsh manners of its inhabitants. And Pomponius Mela calls the people a disordered and ill-mannered nation, less acquainted with any sort of virtue than any other people whatsoever. Yet, they may in some respects be regarded as lovers of virtue, in the sense that they are very religious and devout.
16.58. Strabo says that they are more rustic and uncivil than the English. Solinus calls them a merciless and warlike people. Strabo writes that they are great eaters. Diodorus says that they used to eat human flesh, and Solinus adds that those who were victorious in war first used to drink the blood of those who were slain, and them to smear their faces with it. Yet they consider it to be a recommendable thing, as Strabo writes, to eat the bodies of their parents when they have died, and men and women will lie openly with one another, and that not only with other women, but also even with their mothers and their own sisters, considering this to be an indifferent custom, neither good nor bad, as Iulius Solinus Polyhistor writes.
16.59. Moreover he says that if a <formerly> great-bellied woman is brought to the bed of her <newborn> son, she orders the first food which he eats to be laid on his fathers sword, and so on the point of this sword she gently puts it into her son's mouth, and with certain heathenish vows and prayers, she wishes that he may never die but in wars, on his enemies sword. Whoever wants to be more refined and elegant than the rest, will ornate the handle and pommel of his sword with the teeth of certain sea fish, for these are as white as ivory, and the chief delight of the men resides in the bravery of their weapons}1602G only} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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 21:34:58 2006.