Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 057


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

57.1. {1602G{GERMANY.

57.2. 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 Don {1603L and later instead{Tanais}1603L and later instead; 1609/1612/1641S has both names}, 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.
57.3. But Germany as it is now understood we confine by the German or Dutch tongue, which the learned Goropius Becanus in his volume on the origin of languages {1603L and later except 1609/1612/1641S have instead{antiquities of nations}1603L and later except 1609/1612/1641S instead} most wittily and scholarly demonstrates to be the oldest language in the world. On this basis we consider all those countries which at this day use the same language to belong to Germany. And the largest width of it stretches from Calais on the West to the river Vistula or Wixel Eastwards. And its largest length is from the German and Baltic seas to the Alps.
57.4. 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, Westphalia, Gelders, Cleveland, Iuliers, the Bishoprics of Colen, Hessen, Türingen, Misnia, Lusatia, Silesia, Moravia, Bohemia, Franconia, the Bishopricks of Mentz, Lutzenburg, the Bishoprick of Triers, the County Palatine, Elsas, Wirtenberg, Svevia, Bavaria, Austria, Stiria, Carinthia, Tirol and Switzerland next to France.
57.5. 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 it is situated in the middle of Germany, and the King of it is one of the Prince Electors, it is also counted under the German provinces.
56.6. This country of Germany which at present is adorned with the title of the <Holy> Roman Empire is so filled with beautiful and strong cities, castles, villages and inhabitants as to be in no way inferior to Italy, nor to France nor to 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.
57.7. 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 unaccessible woods, or drowned in bogs (as Cornelius Tacitus asserts). {1603L{Such changes succeeding times can afford, as the Poet says}1603L}.
57.8. It has been described with diligence by modern writers such as Beatus Rhenanus, Münster in his Cosmography, by Franciscus Irenicus, Iohannes Aventius in his Chronicle of Bavaria {1603L and later have instead{Lyonnois}1603L and later instead}{1609/1612/1641S has instead{Bohemia}1509/1612/1641S instead}, briefly by Bilibaldus Pirkeimerus, Iohannes Bohemus Aubanus, Gerardus Noviomagus, Conrades Peutingerus, Conradus Celtes the Poet, Iacobus Wimphelingius of Sletstade, by Aimon in the beginning of his French history, and by Henry 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.
57.9. The river Rhine has been described by Bernard Mollerus in verse, and by Magnus Gruberus in prose. Ioannes 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 on the shore of Rhætia. 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 {1603L{and lately Iustus Lipsius}1603L} have written most learned commentaries.
57.10. Various other Writers on Germany of which we have not yet seen the works are accounted for by Francis Irenicus, in the first book and second chapter of his Exposition of Germany and others}1602G ends here}. {1603L{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 {1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609L/1612L only{as presented by Clauserus}1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609L/1612L only}:
57.11. '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 Pope of Rome. The most famous and well-governed cities in upper and lower Germany are Norimberg, a rich city, Strasburg, Hamburg &c. 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'. This much and more concerning this people and country you may read in this author, if you want to}1603L} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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