Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 068


Text (translated from the 1579/1580 Latin 2nd Addit., 1579 Latin, 1580/1589 German, 1581 French, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 Dutch, 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612L edition).

68.1. {1579/1580L2Add{NAMVRE. {1580/1589G, 1598D & 1602G have instead{The Earldom of Namen}1580/1589G, 1598D & 1602G instead}{1608/1612I has instead{The Earldom of Namur}1608/1612I instead}.

68.2. The region of Namur is at present endowed with the title of an Earldom. Whether it was so named after its principal city, or whether the city took its name from the region is uncertain, as is the origin of the word itself. The inhabitants call it Namur and the high Dutch <speakers call it> NAMEN but they are utterly ignorant of the meaning of the word. For those who claim that an Idol called Nanus was formerly worshipped, {not in 1598D{which delivered answers and oracles}not in 1598D} on the same hill where now the castle of Namur is situated, and that afterwards, when the Christian religion began to shine, the Idol became mute or silent, {1580/1589G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I only{and that from Nain & Muet <= mute> came the name Namur}1580/1589G, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I only} are (I think) reporting fables, without the authority of any approved writers. {1579L, not in 1580/1589G & 1602G{Meierus reports that in ancient times it was called Neumur which means in Latin as much as Novus Murus, a new wall}1579L, not in 1580/1589G & 1602G}.
68.3. Upon this region border the provinces of Liege, Brabant, Henault and Lutzenburg. It is watered by the Maese and Sambre, two beautiful, navigable rivers. The country is neither mountainous nor plain, but raises here and there up to small hills and sinks down to valleys. The woods, of which the largest is called Marlaigne, yield plenty of game for Gentlemen. It abounds with things necessary for a man's life. Here are many iron mines. Here they also dig a kind of stony or mineral coal {not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{which in Dutch we call STEENKOLEN}not in 1587F & 1598F}. The inhabitants, {not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{as also the Liegeois (for they have them too)}not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}{1579/1580L2Add, 1579L, 1580/1589G, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L have instead{like the Eburones, where you also find a lot of it}1579/1580L2Add, 1579L, 1580/1589, 1601L, 1602G & 1603L instead} call them Houille. {not in 1598D{The learned call them <in Greek lettering> Lithanthrakes, {not in 1588S & 1602G{which means as much as Stone coals}not in 1588S, 1598D & 1602G}. The nature of these stones is most wonderful. For whereas oil increases the flames of all other fuel, these burn more vehemently by casting water <on them, whereas> they are quenched by oil. With these coals the inhabitants and bordering nations (for they are also transported from here to other countries) make lusty fires in their homes, and Blacksmiths soften their iron better with this than with any other kind of fire.
68.4. Here are quarries also, from which marble is hewn {1606E only{of exceeding hardness}1606E only}, both black, brown and multicoloured, with which the churches and houses of the adjacent regions are marvellously adorned. From these marbles the people of Namur reap no small benefits.
68.5. This country has four walled towns: Namur, Bovines, Charlemont and Vallencure. NAMVR, as has been said, is its principal city, and has lately become a Bishop's see. It is very conveniently located namely at the joining of the rivers Maes and Sambre. It has stone bridges to pass over both rivers. Here is the chief tribunal of justice for the whole region. BOVINES is on the Western bank of the Maes, a town in past times glorious for <its> buildings and populous in inhabitants, but now so deformed and ruined through frequent wars that it has lost most of its beauty.
68.6. CHARLEMONT is a most impregnable castle, {1579/1580L2Add, 1579L, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1598F, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I and 1609/1612L only{if such a thing is possible}1579L2Add, 1579L, 1581F, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598D, 1598F, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I and 1609/1612L only}, so named and built by Charles the fifth, near the bank of the Maes, on top of a hill, near a village called Givet. Nor is VALENCVRE a city of small importance, {1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{beautiful and fine}1581F, 1587F & 1598F only}. Also within this country, next to various Abbeys, there are 82 {1580/1589G & 1602G have instead{80}1580/1589G & 1602G instead} villages, of which Floreu, Vasseiges, Sanson and some others are so large and beautiful that they may well be compared to towns. This region formerly bore the title of a Marquisette, but around the year 1200 it was converted into an Earldom. The people are very warlike, and most loyal to their Prince. {not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{They speak French}not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}. This region {not in 1608/1612I{(as the rest of the Low countries)}not in 1608/1612I} has been described accurately by Guicciardinus}1579/1580L2Add} Marcel van den Broecke .

Bibliographical sources


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