Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 065

Text (translated from the 1570L, 1571L, 1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580/1589G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F & 1588S edition)

65.1. {1570L{BRABANT

65.2. The Dukedom of Brabant is surrounded by the rivers Maese, Scheld, Sambre and Dender, as it nowhere exceeds them, nor does it in all places extend that far. For on this side of the Maes lies a great part of the Province of Liege. But (so that we may describe its borders more perfectly), it has to the North {1580/1589G only{Dukedom of}1580/1589G only} Holland and Guelders (1588 has instead{Zeeland}1588S instead}; East the Bishopric of Liege; South the counties of Namurand Henault; and West it is separated from Flanders by the river Scheld. {1584L{It is a noble and plentiful region}1584L}. The people are so carefree that they hardly seem to experience the inconveniences of old age. This carefree disposition of them has given occasion to their neighbours to use this jest: The longer the Brabander lives, the more of a fool he becomes.
65.3. {1571L{The air is extremely healthy, for when the plague was most vehement in all adjacent regions, Brabant has most wonderfully remained free <of it>}1571L}.
65.4. This region contains the Marquisette of the sacred Empire (the chief city of which is Antwerp) as also the Marquisette of Bergis, the Dukedom of Aerschot, the Earldoms of Hochstraten and Megen &c. It also has woods and forests, abounding with wild beasts of various kinds. The most important cities are Grootenhout, {only in 1571L, 1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580/1589G & 1588S{Grootenheyst}only in 1571L, 1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L, 1580/1589G & 1588S}, Meerdael, Zauenterloo and Soenien, the largest of all, containing within a circle of seven miles various villages and monasteries.
65.5. Hunting and hawking (except in those five woods which are reserved for the Prince's own game) is allowed to all men. {not in 1571L{This region is very rich in all kinds of corn and fruits, especially towards the South across the river Dema, but towards the North, which the inhabitants call Kempen it is rather barren and sandy. Yet it is not altogether without produce. For it provides sufficient pasture for sheep. and enough food for cattle. Through the industry of the farmers and their tireless labour, they have worked so hard that one hardly sees any sandy and uncultivated areas any more, but their lands are nowadays turned into fruitful lands, yielding great profit to their inhabitants.
65.6. This Dukedom of Brabant has twenty-six cities surrounded by walls and ditches {1571L has instead{as its largest cities}1571L instead}. And these are the following: ANTWERPE situated on the Scheld, the most famous market not only of Germany but of all of Europe, and one of the strongest cities in the world, much beautified by the steeple of St. Mary's, built to an incredible height with marble. The City Hall lately built <there> is hardly to be matched in all of Europe. <Then> BRVSSEL, abounding with sweet fountains. It is here that the Prince mostly resides, and therefore this town is much frequented by Noblemen and Courtiers. <Then> LOVAIN, a large city, containing Gardens, Vineyards, and Pastures within its walls. You may well call it The home of the Muses, for which purpose in the year 1426 Ioannes the fourth, Duke of Brabant, established here a University which flourishes with all kinds of learning. The territory of this city makes Brabant to take pride in its history. {1580/1589G has instead{Because of the suitability of its soil, all of Brabant has the honour that it can boast about its own wine}1580/1589G instead}.
65.7. Then follows MACHELEN, famous for the court of Parliament there instituted by Duke Charles of Burgundy in the year 1473. <Then> HERTOGENBOSCH, a town of no small importance, containing an excellent Grammar school, and inhabited in the past by most warlike people. {1573L{<Then> TIENEN on the river Ghette, from where great amounts of cheese come. Here stands the church of St Germans, to which a college of Canons belongs. <Then> LEUWE, where noble ale is brewed. <Then> NIVELLE. In this city there is a cloister of Nuns, to which only ladies of great Nobility can be admitted. The Governess of this cloister is chosen by the Nuns themselves through voting, but with the consent of the Prince, and the approbation of the Bishop. And she is called the lady of Nivella. The worldly and ecclesiastical jurisdiction also belong solely to her.
65.8. <Then> ARSCHOT, situated on the river Demer, earlier bearing the title of a Marquisette, but since then promoted by Charles the fifth to a Dukedom. <Then> BERGEN op Zoom, so named after a small river that runs through it, a town formerly with good trade, but now, because Antwerpe is so near, no longer visited so much by foreign merchants. <Then> MEGHEN, situated on the Maese. <Then> BREDA, a town most fairly built. Here stands the Palace of the Earls of Nassau, so elegantly begun by a most skilful architect that, once it has been finished, it may (I think) be preferred above all of the Princes' houses in the region.
65.9. <Then> MAESTRICHT {1580/1589G & 1588S only{on the river Maes}1580/1589G & 1588S only}, a large, populous and rich city, which, though it seems to lie outside the bounds of Brabant, acknowledges the Duke of Brabant as its sovereign Lord. <Then> STEENBERGEN on the sea shore. In former times it was a flourishing market, but now it is next to nothing. <Then> LIERE, so beautiful and pleasant a town, that many noblemen decide to choose it as a place of leisure and solace.
65.10. <Then> VILVORDEN. Here is a strong fortress, and the castle of the Duke. <Then> GEMBLOVRS or Gemblacum. The Abbot of this town bears the greatest responsibility in ecclesiastical and worldly matters. <Then> IOVDOGNE, formerly the nursery of young Princes from this region because of its healthy air. <Then> HANVT, earlier reported to have been an Earldom, situated in a most fertile place. <Then> LANDEN, judged by some to be the most ancient town of all Brabant. <Then> HALEN, almost entirely destroyed by wars. <Then> DIEST, built on both sides of the river Demer, a spacious city, whose inhabitants live on producing clothing.
65.11. <Then> SIGENEN, a town of significance on the same river. <Then> HERENTALS, which also maintains itself through the clothing industry. <Then> EINDHOVEN in the midst of Kempenland on the river Dommel. <Finally> HELMONT, which has a castle.
65.12. There are also some {1573L, 1580/1589G & 1588S have instead{18}1573L, 1580/1589G & 1588S instead} places which in Dutch we call VRYHEDEN, or Free towns, although they are not fortified by walls and ditches. Yet, because they enjoy the privileges and immunities from the Princes, we thought it not altogether wrong to name them: Oosterwijck, Orschot, Turnhout, Hoochstraten, Duffel, Walen, Merchten, Asche, Wernen, Duisbosch, Hulpen, Waure, Braine, Genappe, Gheel, Arendonc and Dormal. There are here <= in Brabant> 70 {1573L, 1580/1589G & 1588S have instead{700}1573L, 1580/1589G & 1588S instead} villages with parish churches that have steeples and bells, a great many of which are adorned with titles of dignities. Also under the government and jurisdiction of Brabant are certain regions beyond the Maese, such as the Duchy of Limburg, the county of Dalem, the estate of Valkenburg &c}1573L}.
65.13. Next to all these, it has other places of importance, but it is not our purpose here to mention them all. {1571L, 1573L & 1588S only{But in the description of the Low Countries by Ludouicus Guicciardini you can read all you want, and see it with your eyes, as it is described so diligently by him}1571L, 1573L & 1588S only}.
65.14. The ancient inhabitants of this region were called Advatici, about whom you can read in Becceselanis by Ioannis Goropius Becanus}1588S ends here}. {1579L, but not in 1580/1589G{Melchior Barlæus has also written about Brabant}1579L but not in 1580/1589}. {1571L{About the province of Liege which is almost entirely displayed on this map, see a booklet by Hubertus of Liege, about the Tungri and Eburones}1571L; 1580/1589 ends here}. Iacobus Lessabæus of Hannonia (of which you see the borders on this map) has discussed it in his Commentaries}1570L}.

<Since the texts of the 1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598D edition are very different from the one above, except for the first few lines, I will present a separate translation of these editions below.>

65.15. {1571/1573D{BRABANT

65.16. Brabant is surrounded by the rivers Schelde, Maese, Sambre and Dendre, in such a way that it nowhere exceeds them, nor does it in all places extend that far. For on this side of the Maese lies a great part of the Province of Luyck. But (so that we may describe its borders more perfectly), it has to the North Holland and Guelders; East the land of Horn and the Bishopric of Luyck; South the county of Namen; and West it is separated from Flanders by the river Schelde {1572/1573G{and part of Zeeland}1572/1573G}. It is an excellent and pleasant country.
65.17. The people are so carefree that they hardly seem to experience the inconveniences of old age. This carefree disposition of them has given occasion to their neighbours to use this jest: The longer the Brabander lives, the more of a fool he becomes, {1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F only{as if to indicate that they are even peaceful in their graves}1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F only}.
65.18. The air is extremely healthy, for when the plague was most vehement in all adjacent regions and many people died, Brabant has most wonderfully remained free <of it>.
This Dukedom comprises the margraviate of the Sacred Emperor (of which Antwerp is the capital), the margraviate of Berghen, the Dukedom of Aerschot, the County of Hooghstraten and of Megem.
65.19. There are many forests and woods among which the following are the largest: Grooten-Heyst, Grooten-Hout, Meerdael, Zauenterloo and Soemen, which is the largest, and considered to be seven miles in circumference, and which has many villages and Monasteries. Except for these five forests, (which belong to the King as pasture ground and recreation), everyone in all of Brabant is allowed to go hunting and hawking.
65.20. The principal or main cities of this Province are Antwerp, our native city, situated on the river Schelde, a merchant city, not only of the Netherlands {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F have instead{Germany}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F instead}, but of all of Europe, yes, a market town of the whole world, as Christoffel Stella calls it in his book about the Voyage of the King which he wrote in Spanish. It is a city well respected by its enemies because of its strong walls, ramparts, ditches and bulwarks, and now invincible because of its new castle. Its main church, dedicated to Mary, has a steeple entirely made of white stone, so high and splendid that we do not know if anywhere there is a tower that is higher and more beautiful (although we have seen all towers of any significance, such as the tower of Straesborch, of Vienna, of Heilbrun in Germany, of London in England, of Paris in France, and of Cremona in Italy, about which there is the saying Vnus Petrus in Roma, Vnus Portus in Ancona, Vnus Turris in Cremona <= One St. Peter in Rome, One Harbour in Ancona, One Tower in Cremona>.
65.21. Here also has the new Town Hall been built, to which no other town has to offer something that is equal to it, so splendid, wonderful and elegant has it been constructed in Vitruvian Architecture. <Then there is> Brussels, where since ancient times there has always been the Duke's Court, which is still there. It is a joy to see how many lively fountains there are, at various places in the streets, and such throngs of Lords, Rulers and Noblemen who adorn this city with their presence.
65.22. Loeuen is very famous, on account of its ancient history as well as its University for all kinds of Arts and Languages which was founded by Duke Jan the Fourth in the year 1426. It is a large city, which has fields, meadows and vineyards within its walls.
Machelen has the Parliament, introduced to it by Charles, Duke of Bourgogne, in the year 1473. Here the St. Rombout Church is being constructed, with a tower in white stone, and those working on it are so high above the ground that they might in due time be able to see the tower of Antwerp.
65.23. 's Hertogenbosche, once renowned for its good soldiers, has its Church of the Holy Virgin {1581F & 1587F instead{of Saint Ian}1581F & 1587F instead}, with a wooden tower of such height and beauty that it is truly a miracle.
Breda is the seat of the Court of Nassou has such wonderful buildings that if they continue to beautify it in this way, it will put palaces of all these lands to shame. To describe other worthy cities in Brabant would take me too far. To this Dukedom belong some other regions on the other side of the river Maese such as the Dukedom of Lymborch, the Land of Valckenburg, Dalem etc}1571/1573D}. © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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