Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 062


Text, translated from the 1579 Latin and 1592 Latin edition.

62.1. {1579L{GELDRIA

62.2. GELDRIA, the seat of the ancient Sicambri (as most Writers think) has to its North Friesland, together with an inlet of the German sea, commonly called Zuyderzee. To the East it is confined by the Duchy of Cleve. South by Gulick, and West it meets Brabant and Holland. It is a flat country, destitute of mountains, but all over replenished with woods and groves. It abounds with all necessities, especially with corn. And their green, rich meadows yield such a great amount of food for cattle that even from the furthest part of Denmark they bring here their starved cows here for rescue. It is watered by three famous rivers, namely the Rhine, Maese and Waele. It contains the county of Zutphen and the region called the de Veluwe.
62.3. The Veluwe is almost an island, which is situated between a branch of the Rhine that runs past Arnhem, and the river Yssel which stretches to the Suyder sea. It is mainly fruitful and not altogether without woods, mountains and hills. Some think that the inhabitants of this place were once called the Caninfates <= rabbit catchers>.
62.4. The Dukedom of Geldria has twenty-two cities surrounded by walls and ditches, and more than 300 villages. Noviomagum on the Waele is the main city, a place very populous and elegantly built, and famous because of the mint that is there. The greater part <of the inhabitants> trade merchandise, and are exceedingly rich. The territory of this city is adorned with the title of a Kingdom.
62.5. Next follows Ruremunda, situated where the river Roer empties into the Maese. It has in my memory been a Bishoprick. Zutphen <lies> at the mouth of the river Berkel, where it empties itself into the Yssel. It bears the title of an Earldom. It has a rich College of Canons, and is under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Munster. Arnhem lies on the bank of the Rhine. This is the seat of the high Court of Justice, and of the Chancery. The Clergy of this town are subject to the Bishop of Utrecht.
62.6. HATTEM <is> a town well fortified on the river Yssel. ELBURG <is> on the shore of the Zuyderzee. HARDERWIJK <is> on the same shore. Here you also have WAGENING, TIEL, BOMMEL, BRONCHORST, DOESBURG, DOEDECHEM, SHERENBERG, governed by a specific Prince under the name of an Earldom. <Then there are> LOCHEM, GROLL, BREDEVORD, GELRIA which perhaps gave its name to the whole region, STRALEN, VENLO, a town on the banks of the <river> Maese fortified both by cunning and nature, <and> WACHTENDUNCK, of ancient times the city of Hercules in the Dukedom of Iuliers.
62.7. Besides these there are other noteworthy small towns, but either through the fury of war or injuries of time, they are unwalled. yet they do enjoy the freedoms and privileges (as they are called), of cities. Their names are Keppel, Burg, Genderen, Bateburg, Monteford, Echt, Culemborg and Buren, both of which have a specific Lord, as does Bateburg. Under Earl Otto the third this region was mightily enlarged, for he surrounded with walls, and endowed with privileges the towns of Ruremond, Arnhem, Harderwijk, Bomel, Goch and Wagening, which until that time had remained villages. In the chronicle of Ioannes Reygersberg, written in Dutch, I find that this region in the time of Carolus Calvus was called by the name of Ponthis, and that by him it was in the year 878 elevated to a Signiory. Then, in the year 1079, this Signiory of Ponthis was by Henricus the third adorned with the title of an Earldom, and called the Earldom of Geldria, and the first Earl of it was Otto van Nassau.
62.8. It went under the name of an Earldom until Reinhaldus the second. But when Reinhold not only because of his valour and mightiness grew <to be> terrible to his neighbours, but <also> famous for his justice, his piety and fidelity towards the Roman Empire, he was at Frankford in a solemn and royal assembly consecrated Duke by Ludovicus the Emperor in the presence of the King of England, the French King, and the Elector Princes in the year of our Lord 1339.
62.9. Some say that in the time of the Emperor Carolus Calvus towards that place where the town of Geldria now is located, there was a strange and venomous beast, of huge size and monstrous cruelty, feared all over the country, which mostly lay under an tree. This monster wasted the fields, devoured cattle great and small, and did not abstain from humans either. The inhabitants, frightened by the novelty and unpleasantness of the matter, abandoned their habitations and hid themselves in deserted and solitary places.
62.10. A certain Lord of Ponth had two sons who, partly tending to their own estate, partly also through the distress of their neighbours, attacked the beast with unusual tactics and courage, and after a long combat, killed it. The Lord just mentioned, therefore built not far from the Maese on the bank of the Nersa a castle he called Gelre to the perpetual memory of his sons' exploit. This <name> was <given,> because when the beast was slain, it often roared with a dreadful, roaring noise Gelre, Gelre. From this, they say, comes the name of the Guelders, although some think that it came either from Gelduba or from Gerlaco, their second ruler, that they were called Guelders. So much from the Chronicle of Henricus Aquilius. More concerning this Province you may read in Francis Irenicus, but the most extensive description of it you find in Guicciardini in his Germanis Inferioris}1579L} Marcel van den Broecke .

Bibliographical sources


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