Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 117

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580G & 1588S editions:

117.1. {1570L(AC){ITALIA {1580G only{or Welschlandt}1580G only}.

117.2. Italy, the chief province of the world as it is now named, has often changed its name according to the alteration of matters. For it was called Œnotria, Ausonia, Hesperia, Saturnia &c. Similarly, its bounds and borders have been described differently by different authors. In spite of this, it is thus bound in recent times: first, by the river Var; then by a straight line passing by the Alps Coctiæ; by mount Adula; the Alps of Rhætia and adjoining hills; then by the river Arsia, the utmost border of Istria.
117.3. Thus it is bounded on one side. The other sides are [all] bounded by the sea. Ptolemæus describes it in the form of a peninsula, which the sea encloses on three sides, the other being walled by the Alps. The ancient writers compare it to an oak leaf. Others more recently not inconveviently note the resemblance to a man's leg, from the hip to the sole of the foot. Italy has the mountain range Apennine, as it were as a ridge or back passing along from one end of it to the other, as we also see in fish, where the ridge bone runs from the head to the tail.
117.4. This mountain range which originates in the Alps, diminishing in height towards the lower or Mediterranean sea, first goes in an almost straight course towards Ancona, and there turns towards the Higher sea, and there it seems to end. Yet, from there turning away from the sea, it goes on through the middle of Italy towards the Brutij people and the Sicilian straights.
117.5. Ælianus asserts that in former times there were in this country 1166 cities. Guido, a priest of Ravenna, on authority of Iginus, who wrote about the cities of Italy six hundred years ago, writes that in his time there were only about seven hundred {1580G has instead{70}1580G instead} [cities]. Blondius divides Italy into 18 provinces. Leander into 19, and their {1588S only{old and new}1588S only} names are these: [1580G only has two columns of old names, then two columns of new names]
117.6. The old names The new names
117.7. LIGVRIA Riviera de Genua
117.8. HETRVRIA Toscana.
117.9. VMBRIA Ducato di Spoleto.
117.10. LATIVM Campagna di Roma.
117.11. CAMPANIA FELIX Terra di Lavoro.
117.12. LVCANIA Basilicata.
117.13. BRVTII Calabria inferiore.
117.14. MAGNA GRAECIA Calabria superiore.
117.15. SALENTINI Terra d'Otranto.
117.16. APVLIA PEVCETIA Terra di Barri.//
{1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580G, 1588S{[second pair of columns]}1573L, 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580G & 1588S}
117.17. APVLIA DAVNIA Puglia Piana.
117.18. SAMNITES Abruzzo.
117.19. PICENVM Marca Anconitana.
117.20. FLAMINIA Romagna.
117.21. ÆMILIA Lombardia di qua dal Po.
117.22. GALLIA TRANSPADANA Lombardia di la dal Po.
117.23. VENETI Marca Trevingiana.
117.24. FORVM IVLII Friuli, & Patria.
117.25. HISTRIA Istria.

117.26. Plinius, according to Varro, declares lake Velinum {1573L(A) and later instead{Cutilicum}1573L(A) and later instead} in the territory of Reatino to be the centre of all of Italy. Near to this lake is the territory of Rosella {not in 1588S{(by Vergilius called Rosæa rura Velini)}not in 1588S}, the most fertile region of all of Italy. This fertility was such, as Varro witnesses, that a rod being left in it [in the soil] overnight, may the next morning not be seen amidst the grass [that has grown around it] and therefore it is called Sumen Italiæ [the breast of Italy].
117.27. In former ages they have reported that the plain of Stellate was the worthiest and best soil of all of Italy. But now, as Blondus says, the places around Bologna and Modena far surpass the rest. Sabellicus according to common knowledge of the common people, attributes these qualities to the chief cities of Italy: Venice the rich, Milan the great, Genua the proud, Florentia the fair, Bologna the fertile, Ravenna the old, Rome the Holy, and Naples the noble.
117.28. {1573L(A){But the recommendation of this country provided by Plinius, with as great and majestic [words] as this country excels above other countries of the world, I cannot [omit] but must, before I pass on, write down here by way of digression, for this is how he speaks about it in his third book, and fifth chapter:
117.29. ITALY, [is] the nurse and parent of all nations, chosen by the providence of God to add lustre to the very heavens themselves, to unite dispersed kingdoms, to temper and mollify their rude and uncivil manners, to draw the dissonant, barbarous and savage languages of so many diverse peoples, by the intercourse of one refined speech to a parley, to teach civility to men, and briefly to make this country common to all the nations of the world. But what shall I say more?
117.30. Such is the excellence of all places, that any man shall [want to] come to it, such is the gloriousness of all things, and of all people who possess it. The city of Rome, which seems to excel within it, and to be a worthy face for so glorious a neck, with what words of eloquence may I express it! How beautiful is the countenance of Campania by itself! How great and numerous are the glorious pleasures and delights of it! [I trust] that it is evident that in this very place nature has shown all its skills in a work meant to provide delight.
117.31. And indeed, such is the vital and continuous wholesomeness of the temperate air, such fertile plains and excellent grounds, such sunny banks, such harmless forests, such cool and shady groves, such fruitful and bountiful kinds of woods, such fertility in corn, vines and olives, such excellent flocks of sheep, such fat cows, so many lakes, such a store of rivers and springs everywhere watering and drenching it, so many seas, harbours and ports, as it were bosoms of the land everywhere, open and ready to entertain and receive traffic from all lands, and itself extending into the sea as if it were willing to offer itself in desire to help, and support mortal men.
117.32. I do omit here to speak of the fine wits, nature and manners of these people. The Greeks themselves, a nation exceeding wonderfully in their praise and glory have made this judgment, calling a large part of it Magna Græcia, Great Greece}1573L(A)}.
117.33. Of the ancient writers Caius Sempronius, Marcus Cato, and Polybius in his second book, but particularly Strabo have described this country. Of the more recent historians, Blondus, Ioannes Annius Viterbiensis in his Comments on Berosus and other authors printed together with it. Volaterranus, Sabellicus, {1579L(A){Bernardus Saccus}1579L(A)}, and Dominicus Niger, but most particularly Leander}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L end here}.{1579L(A){Gallia Cisalpina which does not occupy the least part of Italy has been described beautifully by Gaudentius Merula}1579L(AB), 1580G & 1588S end here}.

Vernacular text version, translated from the 1571/1573 Dutch, the 1572/1573 German, the 1572/1574 French & the 1581 French editions:

117.34. {1571/1573D{Italy.

117.35. Everyone praises his own, native country, but this country has also been praised by foreigners, and not without reason, because it is truly the queen of Christianity [Europe], and the princess of the world, which it has in former times subdued with its power and courage, and rules with its spirit and teachings and has provided with good manners and laws.
117.36. For this reason Italy has always been highly respected by all the learned. And whoever practices a study in literature, and has the impression to have acquired all sciences, such as the knowledge of languages, {1572/1573G{or skills such as}1572/1573G} medicine, law, astronomy or theology, will conclude that to finalise this knowledge, he will want to travel to this country to have a look for himself. He will be convinced that such a journey may not be missed to see what is still lacking to perfect his knowledge of the sciences or arts.
117.37. This country is by nature well situated and protected, mostly by the sea, and further by the mountain range which provides protection like a wall. Along the middle (beginning from above Genua from the Alps, to Apulia near the sea) it is divided by the Apennine mountain range. Originating from this mountain range, various rivers flow on both sides of it down into the sea. As a result, this country, along its length, has a pleasant mountain range, fertile fields and running fountains.
117.38. Where it is at its broadest, that is in Lombardy, it is no more than a flat plain, and traversed by the river Po with waters and brooks, as if it were a garden {not in 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F{planted by hand}not in 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F}, which is the reason why this Lombardy is so fertile, and therefore so fruitful, that you may in one and the same field see corn, vines, and fruits, without one impeding the other. The field is full of corn, in between the trees bear their fruits, and on the borders next to them are the vineyards, the trees being connected by the twigs of the vines as if they were ropes, and the grapes will hang above the corn to ripen, truly a pleasant sight.
117.39. This Italy is now governed by these rulers; in the first place the Pope of Rome, owning the lands belonging to the church, called the Patrimony of St. Peter. [Then] the king of Spain, who rules the kingdom of Naples and the dukedom of Milan, which together constitute about half of Italy. [Then] the king of Piemont. Further, five dukes, namely of Florence, Ferrara, Mantua, Urbino and Parma. Then two cities or republics, namely those of Venice and Genoa. Nowadays Italy is divided into these ten regions. If there are any above this number, then they are very small, or they are vassals under one of those just mentioned.
117.40. There is no country in Christianity [Europe] that has more splendid or better built cities, among which the following are the most renowned ones, and graced with the following titles or nicknames by writers and the common people: holy Rome, noble Naples, fair Florence, rich Venice, gracious Genoa, great Milan, fruitful Bologna, and ancient Ravenna.
117.41. Also, we think that who has not seen Italy does not now what is the significance of opulence, graciousness, costliness, or delights of the flesh and the eye. And in order to avoid the impression that the following should be lacking, it should be mentioned that among all countries in Christianity, it is the only one that has bread from heaven, called manna, for it rains from heaven in Calabria. But whoever want to know more about this country and all its cities and places without going there himself, should read Albertus Leander, who has described it with great diligence}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F end here}.

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