Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 123


Text, one version only, translated from the 1590 Latin 4 Add, 1591 German 4 Add., 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612 Latin editions:

123.1. {1590L4Add{The area}{1606E has instead{liberties}1606E instead} of BRESCIA.

123.2. The liberties of Brescia now include part of that coast which formerly was inhabited by {1591G4Add & 1602G only{the tribes of Lombardy called}1591G4Add & 1602G only} the Cenomanes. It extends in length [for] 800 furlongs or 100 miles, in breadth [for] 400 furlongs or 50 miles, as Helias Capriolus says. It is situated between lakes Garda and Iseo {1590L4Add, 1602G & 1609/1612/1641S have instead Sebinum}1590L4Add, 1602G & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, the Alps and the river Oglio. These fields, as Ioannes Planerius writes, are worthily considered to be the most delightful ones of Lombardy. For it has, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{as Baptist Nazarius says}not in 1609/1612/1641S}, Gold, Silver, Brass, Lead, Iron, Alume, Marble, both Porphyry and Serpentine as they call it, nicely coloured black and green. Plinius calls it Ophitis, and other stones of great worth, as also Marchasite, which anciently was called Pyritis {1606E only{or The fire stone}1606E only}.
123.3. The city of Brixia from which this territory took its name as yet retains its ancient name, for the inhabitants call it Brescia which for its riches and beauty they call in that common proverb of theirs The Bride of the city of Venice. None of the old writers, whether Historians or Geographers, omits to mention this city. Trogus Pompeius writes that it was built by the Galli Senones. {not in 1606E{It is the main city of the Cenomani, says Livius}not in 1606E}. Plinius in his Epistles writes about it to Iunius Mauricus as follows: Brixia is a city which continues to retain as yet much of that grave modesty and old frugality of our ancient Italians.
123.4. {1595L, not in 1602G{It has been graced with the title of a Duchy, for that is what I find written in Diaconus' 5th book of Lombardy, in the 16th/36th Chapter}1595L, not in 1602G}. But since none of the modern writers (to say nothing of the more ancient ones) have described this city more learnedly or elegantly than Pighius in his Hercules Prodicius [a journey through Italy], you shall hear him speak in his own words: Brescia which is situated at the foot of the mountains may contend with most of the cities of Italy for [its] antiquity and stateliness of buildings.
123.5. Iulius Cęsar Scaliger, a famous Poet of our time, has described it like this in his Epigram: {1591G4Add & 1602G present original Latin text first, then the translation:] Thou great Brixia which proudly overlooks the horns and lowly plain, by due desert now justly may the Sovereign Empire claim. Thy healthy seat, thy pleasant fertile soil, thy people wise and stout, If civil discord had not crossed, long since had brought about That where long time thou hast been a thrall, and stoop'st to others love, Thou mightest have lorded over those, to whom thou servd'st before.
123.6. For this city, through civil discord and dissention, being subdued under the yoke of the French and their near neighbours {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{the Insubres or}not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} the Millaners, has endured much misery. But now, finally, under the peaceful government of the Venetians, it has grown very wealthy, [and into] a great market, well provided with all things necessary, very populous and inhabited by a wise and discrete people.
123.7. The shire is very fertile for [olive] oil, wine, corn and most excellent fruits of all sorts. It also has some rich veins of Metals, especially Iron and Copper, which bring great profits and commodity to this city. Titus Livius and other good authors report That Brescia was built by the Galli Cenomanes at the time of the Roman kings, whom the Romans, after having subdued all that part of the country of the Gauls which lies beyond the river Po {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{in Lombardy}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, brought under their jurisdiction.
123.8. It is clear from Livius how loyal it was with the Romans, especially in those most dangerous wars they had with Hannibal. Some claim that it was made into a Colony right after the end of the League war, when Cneius Pompeius Strabo, the father of Pompeius the Great, established colonies [of the Romans] in Verona and other cities beyond the river Po.
123.9. Not long after that, through a favour of C. Cęsar, together with other cities in that area, it obtained freedom from the city of Rome and after that it is wonderful [to see] how it flourished under the Roman Emperors, as long as the greatness of that Empire persisted unshaken. This is testified fully by its various monuments from Antiquity which as yet remain in this city and its liberties, such as many excellent inscriptions in marble, statues, pillars and Epitaphs of famous men, from which the former greatness of this city may easily be understood. So far Pighius.
123.10. {not in 1608/1612I{Baptista Nazarius wrote a specific Treatise on this city, in which he published all the inscriptions on the ancient monuments of this country}not in 1608/1612I}. Helias Capriolus has collected the whole history of this city in 12 books. Gaudentius Merula in his work on the origins and antiquity of the Cisalpines says something about it, as also Chrysostomus Zanchus, writing about the origins of the Orobij or Cenomanes, as also Leander Albertus, {1601L{and lately Andrea Baccius in his sixth book on the Wines of Italie}1601L}. {1590L4Add, 1592L and later but not in 1602G{There is in this province a town called Quintianum [Quinzano], 20 miles South-East of Brescia, near the river Oglio, about which Ioannes Planerius, a citizen from it wrote a small Treatise, who in his Epistle to Paulus Manutius highly recommends it both for [its] learning and [its] chivalry. Whether this is the Quintianus [Quinzano] about which Optatus Afer speaks later, I leave it to the learned to determine.
123.11. The river Mela or Mella which Vergilius mentions runs through the middle of this shire, as is confirmed by Catullus in this verse: Brixia Cygnęa positus in specula, Flavus quam molli percurrit flumine Mella, {1606E only{[that is] Old Brixia placed amidst the brooks as a guardian of Swans, The river Mella kindly greets, and waters all its lands}1606E only}. This river has retained its name of Mella to this day. Yet, it no longer passes through it now, as you may see [on the map], but not far from there it passes through its liberties. The little river which presently runs by the city is now called Garza, but I think that in old times it was also called Mella.
123.12. And I think I am justified in saying that the river Mella, when it approaches the city, splits into two streams, both of them retaining the same name, thus creating a river island (like the Nilus makes Heracleopolites) and then reuniting itself into one stream still retains the name of Mella and thus, full of water, runs for many miles until it empties itself into the river Oglio}1590L4Add, 1592L and later, but not in 1602G}.
123.13. But before I finish the discussion on this Map, I have thought it helpful to say something about its Lakes. Lake Benacus [Garda](called Lydius by the poet Catullus) is thought by Capriolus to have been so named after the city of Benaco, once situated on its brink, a name which persists to this day in a village called Toscolano which you can see on its West side, situated on a brook of the same name. A memory of this city is preserved in an ancient monument of which the inscription has been published by Manutius in his Orthography. This lake is now called Garda after the castle Garda situated opposite Benaco on its East bank. This lake, as Alexius Ugonius writes in his letter to Cardinal Polo, abounds with lots of fish, which in quality far surpass all others.
123.14. It is enclosed on all sides by most pleasant hills, [and] from all quarters clear fountains flow into it. [It has] excellent meadows, vines, olives, beeches, laurels and cedars, besides towns furnished with all manner of necessary provisions, like a crown beset all around, so that nothing at all of those things may further be desired, which make it an excellent country, either beautiful to the eye or recommendable for profit and commodities &c.
123.15. While I was writing this, I was reminded of a discussion I once had about this Lake with that most learned good man Benedictus Arias Montanus (for we had both seen it, although not at the same time) in which we both convinced each other that never in all our lives had we seen a place more pleasant in location, or more delightful to the eye, so that it was no wonder that Catullus recommended it so strongly {1595L, not in 1601L & 1602G{in his Epigrams}1595L, not in 1601L & 1602G}, [in particular] its Sirmion {1591G4Add & 1602G only{located at the river Sauo}1591G4Add & 1602G only}, and the waters of this lake {1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{in Lydia, which have been praised so highly}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
123.16. The other lake on this Map is Sebinus or Sevinnus (for Plinius uses both [names]), made by the river Oglio. This they now call Iseo after a town of the same name situated on its bank. There is also another lake which they call Idro. By what name it was called by the ancients, or by anyone, I do not know for certain. I know that some learned man holds it to be Brigantinus Lacus, about which Plinius speaks, but I have given arguments in my Geographical Treasure {1609/1612/1641S has instead{Theatrum}1609/1612/1641S instead} why I do not share this opinion}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.
123.17. {1608/1612I only{Filippo Pigafetta who here translates into the vernacular [Italian language] the work at issue, viz.the Theatrum, points out to the reader that the Benaco or Lake Garda does not belong to the County of Brescia, as Ortelius seems to indicate, but to the area of Verona, as Plinius testifies in chapter xxii of his ninth book: the Italian lake Benacus lies in the territory of Verona. Incidentally, Plinius did not come from Verona but from Como.}1608/1612I only, which ends here}.

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