Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 043


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

43.1. {1598F{BLAISOIS, {1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{or the territory of BLOIS}1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S instead}.

43.2. THis territory of Blois borders East on Orleans and part of Gastinois; West upon Tourain; South upon Salloigne and a part of Berry and North upon Vendosmois and Le Beaulse. That part of the city of Blois which looks towards Le Beaulse stands partly on hills and rocks, partly on plain ground, which uneven situation makes the roads and passages somewhat inconvenient. However, this inconvenience is no disgrace to the City, nor does it discourage Travellers to frequent it. For the fruitfulness and fair beauty of the whole Province make it beloved, and the excellent climate populous. It is in no way inferior to any Province as regards its abundance of Wheat, Wine {1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{fruits}1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}and other human necessities, for it is everywhere shady, and full of Woods, Vineyards, Rivers, Brooks, Pools and Fountains, so that Nature has infused a wonderful fecundity into this soil, and such a mild temperature on the hills near the city as causes their Vineyards to prosper exceedingly.
43.3. Comparing this Province with Le Beaulse and Salloigne, it surpasses both in their own commodities. For abounding with wheat no less than Le Beaulse, it far surpasses that city in Wines and other kinds of grain, and in its abundance of water. For pleasantness it matches Salloigne, <and> although only separated from it by the width of the river Loire, its fruitfulness is not impaired by that other city's sandy barrenness. Thus, that part of Le Beaulse where Blois is situated has a greater abundance of wood and water than the rest.
43.4. And its borders of Salloigne may ascribe their fruitfulness to the good neighbourhood of this territory. The old saying That it is best to dwell in Salloigne and best to inherit in Le Baulse cannot separately but can jointly be applied to Blois. That the air is most wholesome and temperate shows clearly from the multitudes of great and honourable people who, oppressed with most grievous diseases, come especially to this Province to recover their health. Yes, the Kings children are nursed & educated in the city of Blois for which reason it is called The king's city.
43.5. Among the rarities of this province, there is one that can hardly be found anywhere else in this Kingdom, namely a vein of that earth which is commonly called Terra Lemnia {not in 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L{or Sigillata}not in 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L}, which is of the same strength and properties as the true earth of Lemnos. All these descriptions we have taken from {1598F only{the Universal Cosmography of}1598F only} Belleforest.

43.6. LIMOSIN.

43.7. THe Province of Limosin consists of two Regions, the Higher and the Lower, both subject to one <and the same> government. They are divided by the castles of Massere, the rivers Bresdasque and Bezerre and those of the region called La Marche {not in 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L{de Lemosin}not in 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L}. The higher part extends from Puy, the first village on the road to Paris all the way to the river Bredasque, a distance of {not in 1602G{nineteen leagues or}not in 1602G} forty French leagues. It is at the very same distance from Varelle (which is a mile from Souterraine) to the same river.
43.8. It is plentifully watered by the river Vienne, which the inhabitants call Vignana, and Bezerre, abounding with rivers, crabs, and by other small Brooks, so that the whole country is very moist and fertile, and excellent pasture ground for large and small cattle, which mightily multiply here. The main city of the higher <part of the> province, called Limoges is considered one of the most famous and ancient cities of all France, situated partly in a valley towards the river Vienne {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{and the town and church of St. Stephen}not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}, and partly on a hill towards the suburb of St. Martial.
43.9. Its length from North to South far surpasses its breadth. It is strongly fortified with walls and ditches, and abounds with water obtained from a notable Fountain in the highest part of the city, which serves both to water their horses and to cleanse their streets. But the ruins of the ancient walls, still standing in the next Vineyards plainly show that the City in former times was much larger than at present. For first the Romans took it by surprise, and after that the Goths, as reported by Sidonius Apollinaris, when he lists all the cities of Aquitaigne sacked and destroyed by them. The Franks {1602G only{who came from Germany}1602G only} also afflicted it miserably. After them, Charles Martel destroyed it. And finally, the English sacked it.
43.10. Yet now, for its size, it is considered as one of the richest cities of the whole Kingdom, being very well organised and governed with regard to the Court of Parliament there, as also the authority of the Viscount, the King's Exchequer, and the assembly of the Consuls in Merchant affairs, which they commonly call The Burse. So much, and more concerning this region, writes Belleforest}1598F} Marcel van den Broecke .

Bibliographical sources


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