Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 082

Text (translated from the 1579/1580L2Add, 1579 Latin, 1580/1589 German, 1581 French, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588 Spanish & (2 copies of the) 1602G edition}

82.1. {1579/1580L2Add{EAST FRIESLAND

82.2. Nobody, I think, doubts that the Cauchi, and not the Frisij inhabited this region in former times {1580/1589G only{in the area of the Duchy Lünenburg and the Bishopric of Bremen}1580/1589G only}. Next to Strabo, Dion, Suetonius, Paterculus, and Ælianus Spartianus, you will also find this in Ptolemæus (who distinguishes between The Greater and The Lesser {1580/1589G only{Cauchi}1580/1589G only}), as also in Plinius. Ptolemæus puts the Greater Gauchi between the rivers Weser and Elbe, the Lesser between the rivers Eems and Weser where now these Frieslanders which we call East-Frieslanders dwell. Of the Cauchi, Plinius in the first Chapter of his sixteenth book speaks like this: in the North we have seen, he says, the country of the Cauchi, the Greater and the Lesser, (as they are termed).
82.3. For through a huge inlet there, twice every day and night by the tides, the sea runs in, confusedly covering whatever the earth in general brings forth, leaving it unclear what is sea and what is land. There, the innocent, distressed people get themselves to the tops of high hills, or mounds they have raised, by the labour and industry of man {not in 1580/1589G{(according to the height of the highest tide, as they find out by experience)}not in 1580/1589G} and on those they build their poor cottages, where they dwell like sailors floating on the water when the flowing ocean surrounds them. Or like those who have suffered shipwreck, when the waters, ebbing, retreat again. And then they come out, to fish around their cabins, observing that the fish follow the tide.
82.4. They have no cattle, and do not live on milk, and dairy products as their neighbours do. They hunt no wild animals, being far from any shrubs or bushes where they might hide their heads. Of Reike, a kind of seaweed, and reeds growing in the washes and boggy places they twist ropes, of which they make their fishing nets. And taking up a kind of muddy earth with their hands, drying it with the wind, and then with the sun, they use it for fuel to cook their food, and to heat their houses, stiff as they are with the cold blasts of the Northern winds.
82.5. They have no other drink than rain water, which they collect and keep in ditches in the porches of their houses. If these nations today would be conquered by the Romans, they would consider that as slavery or bondage. That is the way it is, fortune is favourable to some to their own detriment and hindrance. Thus Plinius writes about these people.
82.6. Nobody would be surprised that they prefer freedom above the tyrannous rule of the Romans. I would rather think that he envies them that they remained free of their yoke. For it is not such a wonderful thing as he makes it out to be, for a free nation, to maintain their freedom, which is such an excellent thing in his judgement.
82.7. Oh Plinius, you who yourself highly recommend it above anything else, you who persuade us to preserve it with the utmost efforts of our life, and affirm it worthy to be desired and preferred not only in man, but even for wild animals, above anything the world.
82.8. This country was in former times divided into many Signiories, which were each governed by their own specific Princes, even up to the time of Fredericus the third, Emperor of Rome, who gave this whole country to a certain Ulrich and appointed him Earl of it, in the year after Christ's birth 1465.
82.9. The soil of this land is so rich in all it needs, that it seems to be in no great need of help from neighbouring countries. It abounds plentifully with various things, as Horses, Oxen, Cattle, Hogs, Wool, Butter, Cheese, Barley, Oats, Wheat, Beans, Peas and Salt, commodities that from here they every year send in great quantities to foreign countries. This County has only two walled cities, namely Eemden and Awricke. Of these, EEMDEN, situated at the mouth of the river Eems, the general market town of the whole province for Merchants to gather, is particularly famous because of its accessibility and its harbour, which thrusts itself so far into the heart of the city, so wide and deep, that it easily receives and accommodates big ships, fully loaded, in full sail, into it very centre.
82.10. The city is highly beautified by the sumptuous palace of the Prince, a splendid Church, the Guild hall, and the splendid houses of the private citizens. AVRICK, because of the woods and groves which surround it, is inhabited mostly by Gentlemen and Noblemen. Here they recreate and enjoy Hawking and Hunting.
82.11. In this area there are also various castles, villages and farms. Of hamlets and settlements there are so many that often one touches the other.
82.12. Most of these are so excellent, both as regards the beauty of their houses and streets, as also for the multitude of inhabitants and foreigners, that they may in honour and greatness contend with other cities of Germany.
82.13. The people occupy themselves with trade as Merchants, or make a living by jobs and handicraft, or by being farmers and tilling the soil. With their neighbours and foreigners they speak in the German language, whereas among themselves they use a peculiar language, belonging to that nation and not understood by foreigners. They are nicely dressed, even the simplest country people, so that one would take them to be citizens. The women wear a kind of clothing which differs much from that of other nations. They tie all the hair on their head into one strain, which they allow to hang free on their back, embellishing it with various silver objects and guilded spangles and buttons.
82.14. They cover their head in Summer with a cloth of silk of a red colour, so that you can hardly see their eyes. This kind of attire they call a Hatte. The upper garment which they wear outside is from the top to the bottom equipped with many small plaits, and stands so stiff with silver and guilded wire or plates that when it is taken off, it will stand upright <by itself>. This is sometimes made of red cloth, sometimes of green cloth. In this country of East-Friesland there are also two other counties, one called Esens, the other Ieveren, after the name of their chief towns}1579/1580L2Add} © Marcel van den Broecke ©.

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