Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 131

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1595L5Add, 1595 Latin, 1597 German Fifth Add., 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin & 1609/1612/1641 Spanish edition. Translations of and comments on the 1608/1612 Italian edition by Minne de Boer are gratefully acknowledged.

131.1. {1595L5Add{The signiory of FLORENCE.

131.2. About the city of Florence hear Flavius Blondus, who in his Illustrated Italy reports about it in these words: there is general agreement, he says, that this city was first founded by Sylla's soldiers, to whom this part of the country was assigned by Sylla. And because they first settled ad Arna fluenta, around the river Arno, they first called it by the name of FLUENTIA. And indeed Plinius, who of all ancient writers first mentions this place, says that the Fluentini had settled opposite the river Arno.
131.3. These soldiers came here around the year 667 after the building of Rome, which seems to mean that it was founded about 83 {1597G5Add & 1602G have instead{82}1597G5Add & 1602G instead} years before the birth of Christ {1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{our Saviour and God}1602S, 1608/1612I & 1641S only}. This city suffered much damage in the time of the wars with the Goths. Yet, it was never utterly destroyed or spoilt either by Totilas or by any other of those raging tyrants. And therefore I can in no way confirm what some write about the rebuilding of Florence by Charles the Great.
131.4. [I say this because] the histories of Charles written by Alcuinus his teacher only mention his celebration of Easter here at two occasions, as he passed on his way towards Rome. It was saved from the great hazard of total destruction which was likely to happen to it by the courage of a certain Farinata Ubertini when the people from Pisa, Siena and those Etruscians, meeting at a market place in a gathering held by them, having generally decided to raze Florence to the ground, said bravely that although he had been banned while he lived, he would never tolerate that his dear fatherland, where he had grown up, should be destroyed by them. {1608/1612I only{Pigafetta says that Dante, who himself was also a Florentine and senator, and exile of this republic, has celebrated this famous deed shortly afterwards splendidly in the tenth canto of his Hell.
But when they made agreement, everyone,
To wipe out Florence, and I stood to plead
Boldly for her - ay, there I was alone. [translated from Italian by Dorothy Sayers]}1608/1612I only}.
131.5. Therefore Florence took the Fesulanes partly by force, and partly by other means, convinced them to become allies, [and] was much enlarged in wealth and authority around the year of Christ 1024. At this time also Henricus the first, emperor of Rome, built the excellent church of St. Miniatus {1608/1612I only{on a hill}1608/1612I only} near the walls of Florence. Within a short time span this city was twice miserably damaged in the year 1176 by fire.
131.6. From this time onwards the city began to be governed, as it is now, by the Priori {1606E only{(the masters of the twelve companies)}1606E only} and by a standard bearer, {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{Vexilliferi {1606E & 1608/1612I have instead{Gonfalonerio}1606E & 1608/1612I instead} is what they call him}not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}. One of the first {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{Vexilliferi {1606E & 1608/1612I have instead{Gonfalonieri}1606E & 1608/1612I instead}not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} was a certain Stroza, a nobleman born of a great house. The excellent [building of] the church which in our time, by the ingenious direction of Philippo Brunalitio {1608/1612I has instead{Bruneleschi}1608/1612I instead}, a Florentine, was most stately arched and dedicated to our Lady, was begun in the year of our Lord 1294 {1597G5Add & 1602G have instead{1094}1597G5Add & 1602G instead}.
131.7. Four years after that the gorgeous palace where the Priori or aldermen now reside, was first founded. And five years after that {not in 1597G5Add, 1602G, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S{the Pomœrium {1606E only{(the prospect or waste ground around the city)}1606E only} was levelled, and}not in 1597G5Add, 1602G, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S} the walls of the city were extended as they are today. {not in 1597G5Add, 1602G & 1606E{So far Blondus}not in 1597G5Add, 1602G & 1606E}. {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{Pistorio{1608/1612I has instead{Pistoia}1608/1612I instead, not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} was the first city that the Florentines subdued under their command, as Leander in his description of Italy states [basing himself] {not in 1608/1612I{on the testimony of Aretinus}not in 1608/1612I}, where he also has these words about the various forms and different manners of its government.
131.8. After it had been repaired, he says, by Charles the Great, they yearly chose two consuls {1606E only{or sheriffs}1606E only} who, with the assistance of 100 senators or aldermen, should govern the city. This form of government was altered into a kind of republic [and] they created the Decemviri, {1606E{the ten,}1606E} {not in 1597G5Add, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{called Antiani by them}not in 1597G5Add, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}, around the year of Grace 1220, {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{as Volaterranus states}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, or, as Blondus says, in the year 1254.
131.9. After that, {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{in the year 1287}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, having redeemed their freedom from emperor Rudolph for 60,000 {1597G5Add & 1602G have instead{16,000}1597G5Add & 1602G instead}{1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{6,000)1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S instead} crowns, as Platina writes, the Decemviri {1606E & 1608/1612I only{(the ten)}1606E & 1608/1612I only} were reduced to Octoviri (eight) and were [now] called the Priori {1606E only{(the masters of the companies)}1606E only}, as whose head was appointed the standard-bearer, called by them Gonfaloniere di Giustizia, {1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only{the chief lord of justice,}1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S only} which office they were to hold [for] only two months, and then others were to be elected.
131.10. This form of policy, as I can gather from historiographers, has since that time been altered three times. First in the year 1343, when the Florentines bought the city of Lucca from Mastino Scaligero {1608/1612I has instead{della Scala}1608/1612I instead} for 50,000 {1606E has instead{5000}1606E instead} crowns, their forces having been overthrown by the enemy, they were forced to demand help from Robert [d'Anjou] {1606E only{king of Naples,}1606E only} and received Gualtiero Gallo {not in 1606E{of Athens}not in 1606E} as their general, who obtained the command of the city by great subtlety and cunning, went to the court, and there removed the Priori and other magistrates from their offices.
131.11. Yet he did not enjoy his usurped authority for long, for the people, at the instigation of Angelo Acciavolo, bishop of the see [and] friar preacher, revolted, taking up arms, and ousting the tyrant, restored the Priori and Confaloniere to their places again. The second change in this commonwealth happened in the time of Alexander, the sixth pope of Rome, when his son Cĉsar Borgia, also named duke Valentino (who never tried to bring back home Pietro, Joannes and Julianus De' Medici, the sons of Laurentius Medices who had recently been banished) finally arranged matters such that the office of Gonfalonieri should be given to Pietro Soderini as a permanent and standing office.
131.12. He, together with the Priori, chosen every two months after the ancient custom, behaved most wisely and orderly governed that commonwealth, until he was finally expelled by Raimondo Cordona, embassador of Ferdinand, the king of Arragon and Naples (who was to restore [to office] Ioannes Cardinal De' Medici and his brother Giuliano) in the year of Grace 1512 {1606E instead{1412}1606E instead}, who re-established the ancient way of governing until the year 1530.
131.13. In the mean time, although the city was commanded at the discretion and direction of the popes Leo the tenth (who was earlier called Giovanni De' Medici) and Clement the seventh (who used to be Giulio De'Medici), [it happened that] the bastard son of Julian, the first cardinal of Cortona obtained the wardship and became the guardian to Hippolytus, the son of Giuliano the second, & of Alexandro, the bastard son of Lorenzino, the nephew of Pietro the second.
131.14. In spite of all this, the ancient magistrates continued to be chosen after the custom formerly used. In that same year, when, like three years before the emperors soldiers besieged Clemens the seventh in Hadrian's castle {1597G5Add & 1602G have instead{Rome}1597G5Add & 1602G instead}, the city shook off its yoke of bondage, obtained freedom, and endeavoured by all means to retain it, Philip, the Prince of Aurange [in fact Philibert de Châlons] leading the army of emperor Charles the fifth.
131.15. Clemens, requesting that Alexandro his nephew, whom he had before appointed duke of Penna, be brought back to the city, {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{forced it through famine}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G} to yield to the obedience of the emperor. Charles the emperor at the request of Clemens the pope immediately appointed Alexandro as the permanent Prior, and thus the offices of the Priori and Gonfaloniere were utterly taken away.
131.16. Then emperor Charles appointed Alexander as duke of Florence, and gave him for marriage his bastard daughter Margaretha in the year of our Saviour 1535. And two years after that, on the seventh day of January, Lorenzo De' Medici, the son of Pietro Francesco, intending to liberate his native country as he wanted, killed him miserably. Cosimo De' Medici, the son of Giovanni De' Medici was appointed duke in his place.
131.17. {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{So far Leander, to which I may add these words of my kind friend Mr. Giovanni Pinadello: When it was known to Pius, the fifth pope of Rome, he says, that Cosimo De' Medici, duke of Florence, had at that time exerted himself greatly to maintain the church and religion, and that he spared no costs in the wars against the heretics, [then,]}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G} in the year 1570, in the month of February, coming to the city {1608/1612I only{of Rome}1608/1612I only}, he crowned him {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{in Aula regia, {1606E{the kings hall}1606E} (a place in the Vatican so named) and gave him and his successors the title of the great duke {1608/1612I only{of Tuscany}1608/1612I only}.
131.18. In his crown the pope ordered the following words to be engraved: PIVS QVINTVS Pont. Max. ob eximiam dilectionem & Catholicĉ religionis zelum, prĉcipuumque iustitiĉ studium donavit}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{that is, Pius the fifth, bishop of Rome, in token of great love, earnest zeal of catholic religion and constant maintenance of true justice gave this crown}1606E & 1608/1612I only}. {not in 1608/1612I{So far a few words on the offices, policy and jurisdiction of this city}not in 1608/1612I}.
131.19. I do not think it out of place to add another short story, because it is rarely [known] and not altogether without purpose. It goes like this, as Syffridus the priest reports in George Fabricius' history of Misnia. Otho the third, emperor of Rome, was residing at Mutina with his wife, when the empress wanted to commit adultery {1606E instead{fell in love}1606E instead} with a certain count. But since he wanted by no means to have anything to do with her, she spoke so badly about him to her husband the emperor, that he commanded him to be beheaded before ever examining the matter [any further].
131.20. This [count], before he was beheaded, entreated his wife that after his death by the trial of the hot iron she was to expose to the view of the world how wrongly he was put to death. The day came when the emperor used to hear the cases and complaints of widows and orphans. Together with them came the late countess, bringing in her hand the counts head, and she asked which death the judge should die who had wrongfully ordered her husband to be killed.
131.21. The emperor answered: he deserves to lose his head. She said: you are that person, who at the false suggestion of your wife most unjustly ordered my husband to be beheaded. When this was confirmed by the trial of the hot iron, the emperor yielded himself into the hands of the widow, willing to undergo the punishment he deserved. But through mediation by the bishop and nobility, he obtained from the countess delay for ten days, then for eight, then for seven, and finally for six [days].
131.22. After the end of these days, the emperor having examined the matter and being assured of its truth, spoke sentence against his wife that she should be burned at the stake, and [by] giving four castles to the widow, redeemed his life. These castles are in the bishopric of Luna in Etruria, and they are called after the names of the days of reprieve: the tenth, the eighth, the seventh, and the sixth. {not in 1597G5Add & 1602G{So far Syffridus, which I thought it good to record in this place, for to my knowledge no one else has left any record of these castles}not in 1597G5Add & 1602G}, nor are they mentioned on this map by our author}1597G5Add & 1602G end here}, although he has depicted this country most accurately}1595L5Add/1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Text, vernacular version, translated from the 1598 French edition:

131.23. {1598F only{The signiory of FLORENCE.

131.24. The magnificence and grandeur of this rich city causes it to be deservedly considered as the main city of all Tuscany. Concerning its location, it is situated not only in the heart of Tuscany, but also truly in the heart of all of Italy. Regarding its magnificence, it easily comprises 44 parishes, 76 monasteries, both for men and women, without counting its hospitals and various other small churches and chapels. It also has such extended and important suburbs, that together they are no less than the city itself. As regards the citadel which duke Alexander de Medici, nephew of pope Clement VII built there, it is such that it is considered to be one of the strongest fortifications of Italy.
131.25. Authors disagree when it was first founded. For Leonard Aretinus says in his Chronicle on Florence that this city was first founded by the soldiers of Lucius Sylla, a Roman dictator. Raphael Volaterranus asserts that this city has been founded by certain groups of settlers which were sent there to colonize it by the Roman triumvirate [consisting of] Caius Cĉsar, Marcus Antonius & Marcus Lepidus, so that Florence may be considered as a Roman settlement. Laurent Valle claims that people from Fiesoli were its founders, gradually leaving the mountains and entering its valley. Annius in his seventh book of Commentaries states, on the authority of Cato, that Ianus Sublime (called Ianus Arin by Cato) founded Fiesoli and Florence, calling Florence by the name Florence Arin-Iani. He thinks that the first founding of Florence was at Pont Arignano. As regards the name of Florence, it must be very ancient. For Cornelius Tacitus, Procopius & Agathias never call it by any other name.
131.26. This city, built so superbly, was partly devastated by Totila, King of the Goths, who took revenge on the Florentines for the death of king Radagus, his predecessor, who was beaten near Fiesoli, and his army defeated. Christophorus Landinus also says that those from Fiesoli who for a long time were at war with the Florentines, finally devastated and sacked this city. After this, it became an easy prey for foreign nations which passed Italy again and again. So desolate was this city finally, that the Florentines were forced to leave their city in ruins and deserted, and to retire to strongholds and castles which were further off, in the mountains.
131.27. This calamity lasted until the year of our Lord 802, when emperor Charlemaigne, returning from his sacred crowning, passed through it. And finding the location of this city excellent, he rebuilt and enlarged it, and ordered all Florentines who (so to speak) were scattered here and there, to return to their homes. To describe here in detail the various pleasant features and beautiful gardens which you find here everywhere, would be impossible. Therefore, we terminate our description and turn to the ruling of this city since its foundation.
131.28. As we have mentioned above, this city was a settlement of the Romans, that is to say, it was a metropolitan city inhabited by Roman soldiers, and these lived according to the rights and laws of the Romans, and was always part of the Roman Empire, until the Florentines started to come back to their city, and began to live there again, no longer being a prey for those from Fiesoli. But since Charlemaigne rebuilt it, and after it adopted the status of a republic, every year two consuls and one hundred councillors were elected to govern it. These councillors were called fathers.
131.29. And the republic was maintained in this form until the year 1220, according to others until 1254, at which time this form of government was changed into a consulate of ten people who were called the ancients. Since the year 1287, when this city had procured its liberty from emperor Rodolphus, or according to others from Honorius the Fourth, for about six thousand gold florins, the ten ancients were replaced by eight councillors, now named Priors or Prevosts of the crafstmen. Above these there was a president whom they called Confalonier. After this structure had been established for the Florentins by the Luqois, king Robert sent prince Gauthier, duke of Athens there, to serve as their captain general.
131.30. But he seized power and became the ruler of the city, dismissed the Priors and Confalonier, and ruled all by himself. But this did not last long, for he was chased away from the city and thus Florence resumed its original state. This was changed again in the time of pope Alexander the sixth. When lord Borgia, duke of Valence and son of pope Alexander just mentioned, intended to return the lords Jean Pierre & Julien de Medici, children of lord Laurent de Medici to their places in the city, and found out that he could not achieve this goal, he finally found a way so that lord Pierre Soderin was appointed Confalier for life, to preside as long as he lived over the council of Prevosts of the craftsmen, who themselves were replaced every two months. This turned out to be a very wise state of affairs.
131.31. Nevertheless, in the year 1512 he was expelled from the city of Florence by lord Remond Cardona, captain of [the army of] don Fernando, king of Arragon. And he appointed in the city cardinal de Medici, called Jean, as well as lord Julien, his brother. Once this had happened, Florence returned to its original state of affairs. Although it was now entirely ruled by the house of the Medici, the ceremony of electing the Confalonier and the Priors continued to be observed. The Florentines intended to throw off this yoke, and at the time of the sacking of Rome, when pope Clement the seventh was taken prisoner, they acquired their liberty. Bothered by this, Philebert de Châlons, prince of Orange, besieged Florence to return it to the obedience of pope Clement just mentioned. But this prince died during the siege.
131.32. Yet, the Florentines, overcome by famine, surrendered to emperor Charles the fifth. To please pope Clement, Charles appointed lord Alexander de Medici, duke of Penne and nephew of Clement just mentioned, as Confalonier for life of this city. Charles gave him as his wife Marguerite, his oldest daughter. At this time both the Priors and the Confaloniers were abolished. For duke Alexander built this superior castle to maintain better control over the city. Yet, this did not last long. For in the year 1537, on the seventh of January, Alexander was killed by lord Laurent de Medici, son of lord Pierre François de Medici, under the pretext, as he said, of returning liberty to his native land. Subsequently, lord Cosme, his son, was appointed duke of Florence. This was the state of affairs of this splendid city up to the present time}1598F only, which ends here}.

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