Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 130

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570 Latin (ABC), 1571 Latin, 1573 Latin (AB), 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin (AB), 1580/1589 German, 1584 Latin, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:

130.1. {1570L(AC){Tuscany.

130.2. The bounds of Tuscany (which in former times was called Hetruria) are in the East the river Tiber, in the West the river Macra, in the South the Inferum Mare [the Thyrrenean sea] {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead{the Tuscan sea}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}{1606E & 1608/1612I instead{Mediterranean sea}1606E & 1608/1612I instead} [and] in the North the Apennine mountains. It is a most excellent, beautiful and pleasant country. Its people are very ingenious and of a subtle wit, fit for peace as well as war, and for the study of all kinds of literature as well as for trades and merchandise.
130.3. This nation has always been fond of ceremonies, and much inclined to devotion in religion, as becomes apparent from ancient writers. Its sea coast towards the Tyrrhen {1606E only{or Mediterranean sea}1606E only}{1608/1612I instead{or Tuscan sea}1608/1612I instead} is for the most part in this time full of forests, as it also was in the time of Eutropius {1606E & 1608/1612I instead{Vopiscus}1606E & 1608/1612I instead} as he writes in the life of Aurelianus, particularly a little beyond the river Arno, when one comes beyond Plumbino. The inner part of the country is very mountainous.
130.4. In it, these cities are more famous than the rest: Florence, Siena, Lucca, Perugia, Pisa, Viterbo {1608/1612I only{and the city Leonina of Rome, now called Trastevere}1608/1612I only} &c. Florence {1606E only{or as they call it Firenze}1606E only} is situated on both sides of the river Arno, connected by four fair stone bridges. It is a most excellent and beautiful city, which is why they commonly call it Fiorenza la bella, {1580/1589G, 1602G & 1606E only{Florence the fair one,}1580/1589G, 1602G & 1606E only} as indeed it seems to be the flower of all of Italy. For it is adorned with stately buildings as there are churches and religious houses as well as those of private citizens. Amongst all others the best one is the church of St. Maria Florida, wholly inlaid with marble inside.
130.5. It has an arched roof of admirable workmanship, near to which an excellent steeple for the bells has been built, all of fine marble. Not far from it stands the ancient temple of Mars, round in form, very ingeniously built, with cunning workmanship, now dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The doors of this church are [made] of brass, a very rare and interesting piece of work. Especially those [buildings] which are next to the church of St. Maria Florida are such that all men with [good] judgment and experience must admit that in all of the rest of Europe the like are nowhere to be seen.
130.6. But to give all the worthy buildings of this city, sacred as well as profane, cannot be done here. Therefore, who wants to know more details, let him read Leander.
130.7. Siena lies on top of a hill, surrounded by high rocks of tophus stone {1580/1589G, 1588S, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{sandstone}1580/1589G, 1588S, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, gorgeously covered with many noblemen's houses amongst which there is the great and large church of our Virgin Lady, equal to the most stately and sumptuous churches of all of Europe, both with respect to the worth of the marble of which it has been built, and to the excellence of the work and workmanship of him that made it.
130.8. Besides that, there is a most stately house of square bricks, built by pope Pius II, with many other excellent houses. Worthy of praise and record is the large and beautiful market place with Branda, a pleasant fountain always full of the clearest water.
130.9. Perugia is situated in the mountain [range] Apennine, most of its countryside covered with pleasant hills. It is fertile for strong wines, [olive] oils, figs, fruits and other sorts of most excellent produce. Beneath the city at Assisi and also towards Tuder near [the river] Tiber, the pleasant excellent fields spread out, yielding plenty of wheat and other kinds of grain. The city is very strong because of the nature of the place, [and] adorned with gorgeous buildings both representing religious houses and churches and also [those] of private citizens.
130.10. It also has a famous and large fountain in the middle of the city. It is very populous and its citizens are very ingenious (1606E only{and have courageous stomachs}1606E only}. They are equally fit for any kind of study as they are for wielding weapons {1606E has instead{work in the fields}1606E instead}.
130.11. Pisa has been a famous city for a long time, richly blessed in many ways, not only before the period of the flourishing of the Roman empire, but also when it was at its full height, and also many years after that. Many famous naval conquests which it achieved and by which the isle of Sardinia was subjected to their command provide evidence of the truth of this. Panormo {1608/1612I has instead{Palermo}1608/1612I instead}, a fair city in Sicilia was taken from the Saracens, and [financed] by the spoils taken in that war, they began to build the great church which they call Domus, and also the beautiful palace of the bishop. It has a university or school for all kinds of liberal arts and sciences of which the foundation was laid in the year of Christ 1309.
130.12. Viterbo lies in a pleasant and spacious plain having the Cyminian hills {1606E only{(now after the city called Mont Viterbo)}1606E only} at its backside, stately because of its many fair buildings and works of rare art, among which there is a famous fountain from which water flows in such abundance that it is wonderful to see.
130.13. Lucca is located in a plain, not far from the foot of the hills, [and is] a city with excellent buildings. Its people are neat, wise and inventive. They have most discretely retained and kept their liberty for a long time in their own hands, although they have often been assaulted by their neighbours. See for more details about this Leander. {1608/1612I only{And Lucca is now fortified by some large and well conceived bulwarks, so that it may be counted among the best fortresses of Italy}1608/1612I only}. This province has been described by Myrsilus from Lesbos, by Marcus Cato in his Origines, and by their commentator Ioannes Annius Viterbiensis (who also wrote a specific treatise on the antiquities of Hetruria), by Guillaume Postellus, Volaterranus, {1595L but not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{Laonicus Chalcocondylas {1606E only{a Greek}1606E only} in his sixth book {not in 1606E & 1608/1612I{of his Peregrinations}not in 1606E & 1608/1612I}, and others}1595L but not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} &c. Ioannes Campanus has written most elegantly about lake Trasumeno}{1606E instead{Perugia}1606E instead; 1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here} {1608/1612I only{or lake Perugia, printed in a book.
Finally, Filippo Pigafetta described at length the situation of Florence in his comments on the song of Alcyone, which he dictated at the wedding of the present queen of France. The prior of the Innocenti also explored with sovereign skill and zeal the old name of that city in a book printed in Florence, how it became a Roman colony, the ancient history of the county, and related ancient matters}1608/1612I only which ends here}.

Vernacular text version, deriving from the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and the 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions:

130.14. {1571/1573D{Tuscany.

130.15. This land used to be called Etruria, after that it was called Tuscany and now by its inhabitants Toscana. On its East side, this land has the well known river called Tiber, on its West side the river Macra, on its North the mountain range Apenninus and in the South it extends along the sea between the rivers just mentioned. This Tuscany is supposed to be the most noble part of Italy, where the best dialect is spoken.
130.16. Towards the interior it is mountainous, but full of woods along the coast. In former times its inhabitants were very devoted to idols, even to such an extent that the city of Rome has taken over all its deities and ceremonies from these noble Etruscans, (which is likely, when reading the old writers). They are still very inventive, in all kinds of commerce, well versed in peace and war, and also devoted to all sciences, arts and trade. As a consequence, this area has very many beautiful and pleasant cities, among which Florence is the prime one.
130.17. It is situated on both sides of the river Arno connected by four stone bridges. It is a city of great nobility, with wonderful palaces, and pompous buildings decorated all over, so that it appears to be the flower of Italy, and has been nicknamed the beautiful one, in Italian Fiorenza la bella. In the first place, you find here the church called St. Maria Floridę [del Fiore], all built up in marble, and arched. On top of that a round foot called Cupola, made in such an artful manner that I do not know whether to praise most highly this Cupola itself, or rather the architects who made it.
130.18. Truly, I have been on top of this building myself, climbing all the way to the Golden Apple which you find in its pinnacle, and I have been able to marvel at the wonderful view offered from there. Adjacent to this church you find the bell tower [campanile], also entirely made of marble, and of great beauty. A little further, there is a very old, round church, once dedicated to the God Mars, but now consacrated to St. John the Baptist. It has brass doors, so artfully cast, particularly those opposite St. Maria Florida, that those who are knowledgable about these matters say that something similar cannot be found all over Europe.
130.19. But for lack of space we cannot describe here all the ornaments of this city, so we will therefore continue. Siena is the second city of this area in beauty, ornated by many sumptuous buildings, among which there is the high church of our holy Lady Mary, which ranks among the most beautiful and ornate churches in Europe, both because of its beauty, and because of the costly marble from which it has been made.
130.20. Here is the palace of Pius II, Pope of Rome. Also a fair market with an attractive fountain. Then there is Perugia, pleasantly located in a fertile mountain area, a city by nature strong. Here is a university or high school, much frequented by numerous students. Pisa is a very ancient city that has always been famous. It was once very victorious at sea, so that the isle of Sardinia came under its rule, as well as Palermo in Sicily, which they took from the Saracens. Here there is also a university.
130.21. Then there is Viterbo, situated in a pleasant region, with a well known fountain, always spouting. Then Lucca, a city which for a long time and with wisdom has preserved its freedom. It would take too long to describe other cities and places here. One is advised to read the description of this land by Leander Albertus}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D end here}.

Bibliographical sources

For questions/comments concerning this page, please e-mail