Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 056

Text (translated from the 1570L, 1571L, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580/1589G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1598F, 1601 Latin and 1602S editions)

56.1. {1570L{GERMANY

56.2. GERMANY, the greatest and largest country of Europe is distinguished by many names. Its borders, according to many Authors at different times, have been described so variously that, if we apply them according to the specific times in which they were written, they describe three different forms of Germany, namely the Ancient, that of the Middle Ages, and Germany as it is now understood. The Ancient is that of Berosus, which he describes as being confined by the Rhine, the Ocean, the river Tanais, the Euxine <= Black> sea, and the river Danubius. That of the Middle Ages is the same which Tacitus, Ptolemæus and Plinius all at one time acknowledged. This is sufficiently known from these authors themselves, and therefore it seems needless here to give any description of it.
56.3. But Germany as it is now understood {1574L{we confine by the German or Flemish tongue, which the learned Goropius Becanus in his volume on the antiquities of nations {not in 1588S{most wittily and scholarly demonstrates to be the oldest language in the world <viz. Duits comes from Douts which means de oudste, the oldest>. On this basis we consider all those countries which at this day use the same language to belong to Germany}1574L}. Germany <then>, {1571L & 1573L but not in 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1602S{beyond the Rhine extends so far that it contains the Belgians and the Alps Tridentinas. It also extends towards the East to the Alani Schytas,nowadays called the Lithuanians}not in 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1602S}. Thus, in its maximal width it extends from the port Iccius, now called Calais}1571L & 1573L}, all the way to the river Vistula {1571L & 1573L have instead{Lithuania}1571L & 1573L instead} Eastwards. And its largest length is from the German and Baltic seas to the Alps. {1574L{The names of the various regions are these: Flanders (the most Western), Brabant, Zeland, Holland, Frisland, Denmark, Meckleburgh, Pomerland, Prussia, which extends beyond the river Vistula towards the Baltic sea, as also the ancient and modern marquisettes Saxony, VVestphalia, Gelders, Cliuia, Iuliers, the Bishopricks of Colen, Hessen, Turingen, Misnia, Lusatia, Silesia, Morauia, Bohemia, Franconia, the Bishoprics of Mentz, Lutzenburg, the Bishopric of Triers, the County Palatine Elsaß, VVirtenberg, Sueuia, Bauaria, Austria, Stiria, Carinthia, Tirolis and Switzerland, next to France.
56.4. There are also names of smaller regions, but as such they are either of little importance, or included under the former. And although Bohemia does not speak the German, but the Slavonic tongue, yet, because they are not that large and are situated in the middle of Germany, and their King is one of the Prince Electors, it is also counted under the German provinces}1574L}.
56.5. This country of Germany {1574L{which at present is adorned with the title of the Roman Empire}1574L} is so filled with beautiful and strong cities, castles, villages and inhabitants as to be in no way inferior to Italy, France or Spain. As regards corn, wine and rivers abounding with fish, it may be compared to the most fruitful regions. Here are springs, hot baths, and salt mines in abundance. And for various metals such as gold, silver, lead, tin, copper and iron, it shall not be surpassed by any country.
56.6. Moreover, you shall nowhere find more courteous and civil behaviour, more honest and decent attire, more skill and better tools for war, no greater store of nobility. This is the place that once was either darkened by <thick> woods, or drowned in bogs (as Cornelius Tacitus asserts). {1595L{Such changes succeeding times can afford, as the Poet says}1595L}.
56.7. It has been described with diligence by modern {1580/1589G incorrectly has instead{ancient}1580/1589G instead} writers such as Beatus Rhenanus, Münster in his Cosmography, by Franciscus Irenicus, Iohannes Auentinus in his Chronicle About Bavaria {1588S & 1602S have instead{Bohemia}1588S & 1602S instead}, briefly by Bilibaldus Pirckeimerus, {1573L{Iohannes Bohemus Aubanus}1573L}, Gerardus Noviomagus, Conradus Peutingerus, Conradus Celtes the Poet, Iacobus Wimfelingius of Sletstade, by Aimonus in the beginning of his history of the Franks, and by Henricus Pantaleon at the beginning of his first book of Prosopographia. Sebastian Brandt has recorded many journeys, distances between places, and courses of rivers in this country.
56.8. {1571L{The river Rhine has been described by Bernard Mollerus in verse}1571L}, {1573L{and by Magnus Gruberus in prose}1573L}. Iohannes Herold has written two short Treatises on this region: one about the oldest Roman camps in former Germany, the other about certain settlements of them {not in 1573L{on the shore of Rhætia}not in 1573L}. Gaspar Bruschius published a volume on the monasteries of Germany. Of the ancient writers Cornelius Tacitus has most exactly described it in a specific Treatise, on which Andreas Althamerus, Iodocus Willichius {1592L{and lately Iustus Lipsius}1592L} have written most learned commentaries.
56.9. Various other Writers on Germany of which we have not yet seen the works are accounted for by Franciscus Irenicus, in the first book and second chapter of his Exposition of Germany}1570L}. {1592L{But I do not think it to be amiss here to engage the testimony of Laonicus Chalcocondylas, a foreigner, namely from Athens, concerning this country and its inhabitants. This is what he writes in his second book {1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1602S only{according to Clauserus}1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1602S only}:
56.10. 'This nation is governed by better laws than any other of those regions and peoples that live towards the North or West. It has many noble and flourishing cities which use their own laws, most agreeable to justice. It is divided into various principalities and is subject to Priests and Bishops who adhere to the Bishop of Rome. The most famous and well-governed cities in upper and lower Germany are Norimberg, a rich city, Strasburg, Hamburg &c.
56.11. The nation is very populous and mighty, and rules far and wide, all over the world. And in greatness it is second to the Scythians or Tartars <only>. If they were in unity and under one Prince, then they might well be deemed invincible, and the most powerful of nations. As regards their bodies, they are very healthy and lack nothing. Nor is there any nation I know of that is governed by better laws'.
56.12. This much and more concerning this people and country you may read in this author, if you want to}1592L}.

<The 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and 1598 Dutch edition differ so much from the text above that a separate translation of the merged texts of these editions is given below>.

56.13. {1571/1573D{Germany
56.14. There is no larger or more extended country in Christianity, comprised under one name, than Germany. In width, it extends from the Alps or the Italian mountain range in the South to the German or Eastern sea in the North. Its length cannot be described so elegantly, because it is not marked off by a well known mountain range or water from its neighbouring countries.
56.15. Therefore, it has always been separated differently by different writers into various parts. Thus, it seems best and most suitable to define it by means of its own language, so that we call that area Germany where the German language is spoken. The following countries will be included in it on this basis, beginning in the West along the sea all the way to the East, and from there towards the land back to the West and turning so often as needed to reach the mountain range.
56.16. Then, we first have Flanders, after that Brabant, Zeelandt, Hollandt, Vrieslandt, Denemercken, Meckelenborg, Pomeren, Pruyssen, Oude en Nieu-Marck, Sassen, Westvalen, Geldre, Cleue, Gulick, the Archbishopric of Coelen, Hessen, Duringen, Myssen, Lausnitz, Slesi, Merhern, Bohemen, Francken-landt, the Archbishopric of Mentz, Lutzenborch, the Archbishopric of Trier, Palts-Graven landt, Elsaten, Wirtenberg, Swauen, Bayerlandt, Oosten-Rijck, Stiermarck, Kernten, Tirol, Switserlandt, &c.
56.17. And although no German is spoken in Bohemen, it must still rightly be reckoned to it, because it is surrounded by <people speaking> the German language. And its King is one of the most important German Lords, since he is one of the {1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{seven}1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F} Electors.
This German language (as Doctor Ioannes Becanus proves) is the first and oldest language spoken in the world. This country is honoured by the name of Holy Catholic Empire. It is excellent, and fertile in all manner of things, watered by many famous rivers {not in 1598D{ such as the Rhijn, Elbe and Donauwe, etc., which are the main rivers of Europe, and}not in 1598D} {1598D only{with numerous ships}1598D only}, and it has many splendid and populous cities.
56.18. No country in Europe has more mines with all kinds of metals such as Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron and Lead. {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F only{This country provides all others with Amber}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F only}. The city of Neurenbergh is considered to be the most central city, and the highest in altitude.
56.19. Its inhabitants are large in stature, excellent physically, honest, of a steady mind, artful craftsmen, so that they are also inventors of various arts such as book printing, cannons, watches and clocks etc. They are worthy soldiers, both on foot and on horseback. They are hospitable, and eager to receive guests, although the opposite is also said about them. And if other countries receive more praise without reason concerning their hospitality, this is the result, as we think, (having visited other countries), of their avarice, and their intention to gain money from strangers, and nothing else.
56.20. And looking into our heart, we are of the opinion (in our view) that we find more helpfulness towards strangers in Germany than elsewhere. But as no one is without faults, the Germans are prone to indulge in drinking, and although some other peoples also suffer of this, like the Greek and the Romans, having histories of great drunkards, yet, they are all surpassed in this respect by the Germans, and it would be better for them if they would abstain from this behaviour.
56.21. But since they suffer headaches as a result, and cannot easily be healed of this affliction, we want to salve this wound out of pity, which is the following: among all the nicknames which are attributed to various peoples, (which we do not want to list here, because we do not have the ambition to blame anyone), this <tendency towards drunkenness> seems to be the most insignificant one, which causes least damage to them}1571/1573D} {1572/1574F & 1581F only{next day}1572/1574F & 1581F only. © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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