Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 037


Text (translated from the 1595 Latin 5 Add, 1595 Latin, 1597 German 5 Add., 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612 Latin edition)

37.1. {1595LAdd5{BRETAIGNE and NORMANDY.

37.2. This Map represents that part of Gallia once called Lugdunensis {1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{a small water}1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only} {not in 1602G{which stretches <out> towards the Western Ocean. {1601L{The ancients named it Armorica}1601L}. {not in 1597G5Add{Here lies Neustria, a recent corruption of Vestria or rather Westria (according to some Westrasia) which means Western region. The reason for this error both in pronunciation and in writing was that the French, lacking a double V, instead of it always write a single V, and because u in its small form does not differ much from n, it is likely that Westria was prodigiously changed into Neustria. This Neustria}not in 1602G} now contains the regions of Bretagne and Normandy which on this Map we present to your view}not in 1597G5Add}.
37.3. NORMANDIA, so called after the Northern people that invaded it {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{(for Nord in Dutch means North, and mannen <means> men)}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}. These Northern people were Danes and Norwegians who, having by force subdued this region, settled here during the time of Lotharius the Emperor. {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{Concerning the situation and nature of this place, these are the words of Gaguinus in his seventh book:}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G} Normandy is adorned and fortified with one Metropolitan <city>, six <regular> cities and ninety-four strong towns and castles. Most of their villages are also built like a city, through which Province a speedy traveller shall hardly pass in six days.
37.4. It is in all places full of fish and cattle, and so full of pears and apples that the people make all their drinks from them, and also send them in great quantities to other countries. They make linen clothing, {not in 1602G{and are notable consumers of cider {1595L5Add, 1595L & 1601L only{which they call cider}1595L5Add, 1595L & 1601L only, not in 1602G}}{1608/1612I instead{beer}1608/1612I instead}. They are by nature a cunning people, subject to no foreign laws, living after their own fashions and customs, which they most obstinately maintain. They are also cunning in sleights and suits of law, for which reason strangers are hesitant to have any dealings with them. Further, they are well addicted to learning and religion.
37.5. Moreover, they are very apt and valiant in wars, <and> many worthy deeds against strangers have been recorded. {not in 1597G5Add, 1602G & 1608/1612I{So far for Gaguinus}not in 1597G5Add, 1602G & 1608/1612I}. {1602S{About the qualities of this region you may more elaborately inform yourself by reading the fifth book of the life of St. German by Henricus Altissiodorensis}1602S}. It abounds, {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{as Cúnalis reports}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, with all things necessary for a mans life, wine only excepted which the soil does not yield. The chief city is Rouen (vulgarly called Roan) which has a most learned Senate, or Court of Parliament, which deals out justice, and decides on controversies of the whole Province.
37.6. Here are also great Merchants, by means of whose trade the city is known far and near. In this city there is a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, beautified with a most lofty steeple, in which hangs the largest bell of all of France, weighing {1602G only{400 hundredweights or}1602G only} forty thousand pounds, as these verses, engraved upon it, testify:

37.7. Je suis nommťe George d'Amboise
Qui plus que trente six mil liures poise: <next column:>
Et si qui bien me poysera
Quarante mil y trouvera

37.8. {1606E only{In English:

37.9. George de Amboise my name rightly sounds,
I weigh no more than thirty six thousand pounds:
Whoso poiseth me well
Fortie thousand may tell}1606E only}.

37.10. This George {1606E only{after whose name the bell is called,}1606E only} was Archbishop of Roan around the year 1500 who, in view of the fact that in his Diocese lacked oil, (such was the scarcity of oil, {not in 1602G & 1603L{which would hardly be sufficient to last till <next> spring)}not in 1602G & 1603L} he granted to his Diocesans butter instead on the condition that they should pay six Tournois halfpence a piece <for it>, with which money he ordered the steeple just mentioned to be built, which for this reason is still called La tour de beurre, that is, The steeple of butter. {1601L{The antiquities and other memorable matters of this city have been described in a specific treatise by F. Noel Taillepied in French}1601L}. So much about Normandy.

37.11. BRETAIGNE, bordering on the coast of Normandy {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{is the utmost province of France towards the Ocean. Some think that this was formerly called Aremorica. I am certain that Cśsar describes cities on this coast which he calls Armoricas. But Plinius and Sidonius call the inhabitants Britannos and place them on the river Loire. Writers from the Middle Ages call them Bretones, a name they still retain. Plinius most aptly calls this region The {1606E only{godliest}1606E only} Peninsula of Gallia Lugdunensis. {not in 1606E{I read somewhere in a fragment of the History of the Franks that it was called the Horn of France, I suppose because of its shape}not in 1606E}. Robert Cúnalis is of the opinion that since the Brittons were <also> named Hermiones, they used the occasion by way of reference to this name to choose the <coat of> arms which they still have, commonly called Ermines, showing weasels tails, and the native colour of black in an argent field, &c}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}.
37.12. This region, he says, is somewhat dry, and not very fruitful, <and> more suitable for millet than for wheat. {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{Their fields (he says) they call lands. It seems more proper to name it Eremorica than Aremorica}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}. For they use larger leagues between one town and the next, namely of three miles, which is no slight indication of their soil being barren. Of all the conjectures it seems probable here that it was called Brutannia after their nourishing or feeding of brute beasts. Many of their towns {not in 1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L & 1608/1612I{(as antiquity reports)}not in 1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L & 1608/1612I} are named after flocks and herds, {not in 1597G5Add{as for example Pulliniacum, a pullis equinis, after colt horses; Filicierś, now called Fulgeriś or Foulgeres after brackish grounds:}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G} also Rhedones, {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{a Rhedis, that is to say carts which carry commodities on long and tedious journeys, which I prefer to believe <rather> than <thinking> that it borrowed its name from Brutus. So far for Cúnalis. Let the truth about this stand or fall on his credit.
37.13. More concerning these countries you may read in the same author, and in Belleforest}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, {1602S{but especially in Bertrand Argentrť who has published a large volume on it in French. Read also Elias Vinetus after Ausonius' poem about Cupid crucified}1602S}.

37.14. LA MANS, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{the inhabitants of which were in old times called {1595L5Add, 1595L, 1597G5Add, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L only{CENOMANI}1595L5Add, 1595L, 1597G5Add, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L, 1606E & 1608/1612I only}.
37.15. {not in 1597G5Add& 1602G{Plinius in his third book, ninth chapter puts the Cenomani among the Vosci near Massilia. Ptolemśus and Strabo place them near Brixia in Italia Transalpina which is on this side of the Padus {1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L & 1603L have instead{Transpadana}1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L & 1603L instead}. Other Cenomani <are supposed to> be found in Gallia Lugdunensi according to Ptolemśus and Plinius, lib.4, cap.15 {1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1608/1612I have instead{18}1595L5Add, 1601L, 1595L, 1603L & 1609/1612I instead} or by Cśsar in his seventh book <of> De bello Gallico. Whatever may be the case, the latter two also call them by the surname Aulericos. And it is they whose region we show in this Map. The inhabitants now call it La Mans. <About> the situation of this country and about several of <its> towns you may read in Thevet, Belleforest and Cúnalis from whom I thought it good to borrow this single special note concerning a certain river and lake. His words are these [speaking about Sarte, a river in this province]:
37.16. Sarte having reached the bridge commonly called Noien as far as the town of Malicorne, how plentifully and miraculously it abounds with fish may become clear by this single example, that not many years past, contrary to people's usual expectation, a carp was caught here of an ell and a hand long. Its tongue (if we may believe the common report) weighed six pounds, which is also confirmed by an inscription written on a monument at the Bishops palace. They say that not far from here in the area of Sagona there is an exceedingly deep lake {1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1608/1612I only{named Vadum Stratense, for the <river> Strata encloses Vada or commonly Gay Chaucy}1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1608/1612I only} {1606E has instead(it is named The causey-foord for it ends at a place commonly called Gay Chaucy)}1606E instead} from which lake carps are caught of such a huge size that one of them will suffice for an average family for an entire week, an experience which, following the Court, I personally heard {1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L & 1609/1612/1641S only{at a banquet}1595L5Add, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L & 1609/1612/1641S only} in the town of Blois. See Robert Cúnalis in his story on France}1595L5Add & 1595L, but not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}.

<The 1598 French edition has a text which differs considerably from the one given above. Therefore, I provide a separate translation below.>

37.17. {1598F{Bretaigne.

37.18. The province which was once called Armorique and <also> Ores Bretaigne, has a width, in astronomical terms, of three and a half degrees, or more than four in longitude, and extends where it is largest, for twenty-six French leagues. It has in the the land of Maine and part of Anjou. In the north it has the sea of Bretaigne and part of the land of Constantin, in the west the Ocean, and in the South the lands of Poiteuines. In the middle it is divided into a coastal maritime part and firm ground or continent.
37.19. Here you find Dolois, Leonnois, BrioÁois, Triguier and St. Paul, which the ancients used to call Diablintres, all along the Northern sea, that is, Brittannique. The other places are on firm ground, so that we can look at them each in turn. Bretaigne has three languages, each of which has its own regions and bishoprics, of which there are three where the Breton people speak Breton, which one thinks to be the ancient language of the first inhabitants of this land, and their bishoprics are Cornoaille (the inhabitants of which are called Cornubiens), St. Paul & Treguirers. Then there are the Bretons from Galotz, who know how to speak French, and then there are those from Dol, Rhenes & St. Malo, who were formerly called Aleteens. The others speak a mixed language, mostly French, but when it pleases them they speak Breton. They have three bishoprics, namely Nantes, Vannes and Saint Brieu. Thus, altogether there are nine bishoprics in this Bretaigne, once presided over by the Metropole of Dole, but more through usurpation than through legal rights. So much for the specification of the regions of Armorique and the Breton country. And also, as regards geographical considerations.
37.20. Now, we must look briefly at the details of villages and cities, first of all of the city of Dol, once no more than a castle, close to which an Abbey was founded, situated on a mountain. Between this Abbey and the city there were swamps and marshes. Next to Dol is the territory of the Aleteens, who are those of Saint Malo, the capital of the land, which derives its name from the bishop who resided there. In the bishopric of Saint Malo there are the Abbeys of Beaulieu, Monfort, and Prťe, and passing through this, one comes to the harbour of Cancale, then to Combourg & Sambriard, where they catch fish called maquerel in the month of May. From there to Dinant, a beautiful city, and formerly the residence of the Dukes of Bretaigne. In this area is also the city of Chapays of the ancient Ambiliates.
37.21. After that one reaches (at one place, along the sea) the city of Treguier or Landriget. Then Kimpercorentin. Next the ancient and famous city of Vennes with its Venetes, Armorique people who were once so powerful both on sea and land, that they alone had the courage to attack the Romans, and wage war with them. These people of Vennes and its Senate are the most powerful and have most authority as compared to all neighbouring regions along the sea. This results from the fact that the Venetes are strong and capable, having the custom to sail and pass through all of Bretaigne, while exceeding all others in the art and science of navigation. They keep all others under control, and all others who want to go to sea pay homage and tribute to them.
37.22. There is also the city of Saint Brieu. Here is the church of St. Michel, built on a high rock, which serves as a safe haven for ships hiding for gales and storms. On this rock is also a fortress and a castle protecting the city. Here you can see the city of Iungon, once the abode of the Duke, now almost fully in ruins. Then follows Leon. But let us turn to the capital cities, namely Rhenes and Nantes. In Rhenes one finds the parliament and sovereign court of Bretaigne. This is one of the oldest cities of Gaul, and among the first bishoprics of Bretaigne. Nantes is the seat of the Duke &c.
37.23. But who asks for more information about this region should read Belleforest's Cosmography, from which we have taken all that we have said so far. About this same province see also the Cosmography by Thevet, from which we have taken the few remarks now following. The entire region is good and abounds with corn and cattle. The greatest riches of simple people consist of delicate linen, in which there is much trade with foreign countries, among which those from Laual take the prize as the best and the finest. But which I almost forgot to mention, Belleforest whom I just mentioned tells us that in the region of Lambalois in his Bretaigne there is the largest amount of parchment of the entire country of the Gauls.

37.24. The Land of Maine <= Le Mans>.

37.25. This region, (as Belleforest writes) is adorned with various splendid forests and woods, and with extensive fields most suitable for hunting as well as for feeding cattle, and for tilling the land. Thus, the area is a mixture of fat fertility and meagre sterility, so that the inhabitants of Maine in various places have a better chance to present you venison rather than corn or wine. This is not because the country does not have these products, for there are areas with corn and wine in abundance, as good as those of Anjou and Touraine in quality and quantity, but only in certain parts, which is the reason why the inhabitants of Maine are more given to work, and are industrious people, of subtle wit, not given to deception, good house keepers, and show more diligence than their neighbours.
37.26. Further, they are apt at anything they occupy themselves with, keep to their promises, so that some say (in jest) that one person from Maine is worth one and a half from Normandy.
The main city of Maine is Le Mans, as Theuet writes. It is a large an d populous city, and situated in one of the most beautiful places in France, watered by the rivers Haygne, Orne & Satre, which join each other near its walls. Then they flow towards the cities of Aluze, Nogen, Saint Ian of the qoods and to Malicorne, a very ancient place. There are other small and beautiful cities, such as Fronay, Mayette, Ch‚teau du Loire, Champenay, Saint Aignan, Benestable and other similar ones}1598F only}.

<The text in the 1597 German 5 Add. & 1602 German on Le Mans differs so much from the translations provided above that it is presented here separately>

37.27. {1597G5Add only{CENOMANI.

37.28. In the part mentioned above namely Galliś Lugdunensis tribes have lived called Cenomani. But nowadays the inhabitants call it La Mans. About this matter you may read more extensively in Thevetus, Belleforestius and Cúnalis. The one <last mentioned> writes a memorable story about the river Sarta which runs through this area. Namely, that this river from the city of Noion up to Malicorne is so full of fish that that once a carp has been caught in it of incredible size. The tongue of this fish, if we believe what has been said about it, is supposed to have weighed six pounds. Not far from this place and area, wonderfully similar carps are being caught, so that an average household can be fed with a single fish for an entire week, which Cúnalis just mentioned has seen and experienced himself in the city of Blois}1597G5Add & 1602G only} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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