Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 069

Text (translated from the 1595 Latin edition)

69.1. {1595L{HENAULT.

69.2. Lessabæus writes (on what grounds I do not know) that this Province was formerly called Pannonia because the rustic god Pan was worshipped here, then Saltus carbonarius or The coal Forest, and after that The lower Picardy. But finally it was named Hannonia after the river Haysne which runs through the middle of it. The inhabitants call it Hainault and the Germans HENEGOW, which in the ancient language of the area means The field of Hainault, for GOW in Dutch means field. Another derivation of the name of this country is produced by Carolus Bouillus in his discourse about the variety of vernacular languages.
69.3. To the West this Province <is bordered> by Flanders and Artois, on the North <by> Brabant, and <by> Brabant with part of Namur and Liege on the East. South it is bounded by Champaigne, a Province of France. <It is> a country as pleasant, and as well stored with woods, lakes, springs, meadows and pastures as any other in this entire area. The inhabitants are warlike, and most loyal and obedient towards their Prince. They usually boast about their liberty or freedom in a common proverb, saying Pays de Hainault tenu de Dieu & du Soleil, <that is, The Province of Henault <only> holds <in high esteem> God and the sun>. Which proverb Nicolaus Brontius in a discourse of his published to recommend this region interprets in two Latin verses to this effect:
69.4. Star-guiding Iove and Phoebus bright
Of this place only challenge right.
69.5. In length it measures about twenty, and in breadth sixteen miles. In which space, (as Guicciardin reports) it comprises twenty-four towns and more than nine hundred and fifty villages or hamlets. Robert Cœnalis counts in this Province two thousand two hundred petty villages with Churches and steeples. At this moment it has the title of an Earldom, and it contains within it one Princedom, eight lower Earldoms, twelve Peers, twenty-two Baronies, twenty-six Abbeys as well as other titles of dignity, as can be seen in Guicciardine.
69.6. The main cities are Mons and Valenciennes, the latter one, situated on the river Scheld where it begins to be navigable for boats and barks, is a very large and strongly walled town. The townsmen mostly employ themselves in trade of merchandise, and reap very high profits by a kind of cloth they call Sayam, of which a great quantity is woven in this city, and transported from there to the furthest parts of the world. {not in 1595L{Mons lies on the little river Trouille, almost in the very middle of the region. <It is> a town very efficiently fortified against all hostile attacks. The citizens thrive by a kind of stuff commonly called Saye, which is made here in great abundance}not in 1595L}.
69.7. Next, here are the towns of Condet, Halle, Angie, Maubeuge, Avesne, Beaumont, Chimay, Quercy, the decaying place of Mary, sister of the Emperor Charles the fifth who built a most stately and sumptuous Palace there, which was then highly esteemed, but later by the French King Henry the second totally burnt and destroyed. Here is also Bavacum, commonly called Bavais which some think to be <the same as> Baganum or Bagacum mentioned by Ptolemæus. Others are of the opinion that Cæsar in his commentaries calls it Belgium. However, Hubert of Liege thinks that it was not so mighty in Cæsar's time, but has rather flourished most under Constantine the Emperor, which he concludes from ancient coins, daily dug up here in great quantities, with the image of the Emperor just referred to on them.
69.8. On the market place of this town stands a pillar of stone at whose foot the inhabitants say that all those roads start which with a high and direct passage extend from here to all parts of France. These roads (they say) were made by Brunehild. And to this very day they are called after his name. For the French commonly call them Chemins de Brune hault, and the high Dutch call them DE KASSIJE <=cobblestones>. To this day there are still in various places some broken remains of these roads. Bouillus notes certain miracles about them, namely, that they are higher than the fields on either side <of them>; that they lie most directly between the main towns of France and that they are paved with flint stones of which none is to be found in the adjacent fields, so that with admiration a man may imagine that these flint stones either sprang out of the earth or rained down from heaven, or by a greater force than mans hand were gathered from all over the world to provide paving for these roads.
69.9. Also, at the frontiers of this region towards the river Maese, on the way to France, you have Charlemont, Marieburg and Philippeville, very strong garrisons against attacks from the French, built and thus named by Emperor Charles the fifth, by his sister Mary and by K<ing> Philip his son.
69.10. This region abounds with iron and lead mines. Here are also found various kinds of marble, such as black, white and multi-coloured, very convenient for adorning palaces and sepulchres of Kings and great Noblemen. Similarly, very much lime is dug up here. Also a kind of stony and black coal, hardened like pitch, which the inhabitants use for fuel instead of wood. And here are also made those thin transparent panes of glass by means of which unpleasant winds and weather are repelled from houses and churches, and this glass excels above all others that are made anywhere else. You may read more in Guicciardine and in a specific treatise that Iacobus Lessabæus has written about this region. Also Hubert Thomas of Liege in his book de Tungris & Eburonibus writes many memorable things <about this province>}1595L} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

Bibliographical sources

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