Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 133

Text, scholarly version only, translated from the 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and the 1609/1612/1641 Spanish edition:

133.1. {1608/1612I{The duchy of Ferrara.

133.2. The duchy of Ferrara has as its borders in the East the Hadriatic sea, in the West Mantua, Mirandola and Modena, in the South the land of Bologna and Imola, and also Faventino, and Ravenna, and in the North the area of {not in 1609/1612/1641S{Venice}not in 1609/1612/1641S}, {not in 1609/1612L{Polesine, Rovigo and Verona}not in 1609/1612L}; it receives within its borders the entire river Po, as far as Figarolo, where the river branches into two rivers, one touching the right side of the city of Ferrara while the other flows at a distance of three miles from the first.
133.3. {1608/1612I only{About the branches or horns see Ariosto in Canto 43 verse 32 and verse 53 & 54}1608/1612I only}. It branches again into two rivers where it reaches the monastery of Saint Giorgio. The first branch, which goes towards Primarium, lies on the right side, the other, which turns towards Poiana, on the left side. {1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{About which Ariostus says}1609/1612/1641S only} in verse 63, {1609/1612/1641S only{Of the right river, take the right branch, and from there hides walls and roofs}1608/1612I only}. The left branch, also called the Venetian Po, again branches into two when it reaches Papozze. The first branch is towards the right and descends to Porto di Goro. The other, towards the left, descends to the harbour of Fornace, and each of them, as it approaches the sea, has further branches {not in 1609/1612L{as you can see on the map}not in 1609/1612L}. By these various branches of the river Po the duchy of Ferrara is separated into five main areas of land.
133.4. The first area is bound by the Goro river branch, the sea, and the Fornace branch and is called the peninsula of Ariano, after the city there with that name. The second area comprises all the lands which extend Northwards beyond the Venetian Po and reaches from Papozze to the border of the Mantuans. The third area lies between the sea, the Goro river branch, the Volana branch, the Venetian Po and the Ferrara Po. It is called the Ferrara peninsula after the city that is situated here. The fourth area lies between the sea, the Vola river branch, and Primarium. It is called the peninsula of Saint Giorgio after the sanctuary built there for that saint.
133.5. The {not in 1609/1612L{fifth and}not in 1609/1612L} last area comprises the entire region which faces the South beyond the right river branch and the branch of Primaro. This is the place where, according to writers, ancient Val de Padusa is supposed to have been situated, which differs from the rest by its valleys. The entire region, which used to be unattractive because of its marshy vallies and sea inlets, has now largely been turned into fertile fields by its inhabitants as a result of their efforts, and they are now so rich in wine and corn, that these products yield high taxes for the benefit of the nobility.
133.6. The peninsula of Saint Giorgio in particular yields such an abundance that it is both called the granary of Ferrara because of its rich crops, and Paradise of Italy because of its loveliness apart from the fact that since some years it even has begun to produce {not in 1608/1612I{linen and}not in 1608/1612I} silk. The city of Ferrara first originated on the other side of the Po, where you now find the sanctuary of Saint Giorgio, (which name it has assumed as its protector and patron). This is what can be found in the writings of Boccacio {not in 1609/1612L{in his On Rivers}not in 1609/1612L}, Priscianus, {not in 1609/1612L{the two}not in 1609/1612L} Giraldus, Sardus, {not in 1609/1612L{Pigna in his history on Ferrara}not in 1609/1612L}, & Leander {not in 1609/1612L{in his Italia, and the inhabitants themselves unanimously agree that all its citizens have a tradition going back to the ancients}not in 1609/1612L}. As regards its founder and builder, there is a difference of opinion between these authors. There are some who believe that it was founded by Ferrarus, a descendant of Noach {not in 1609/1612L{and that the name of the city of Ferrara came from him}not in 1609/1612L}.
133.7. Others say that its foundation dates back to the Trojans, and that it was founded at the same time as Mantua, Verona, Cremona, Vicenza and other neighbouring cities. Others attribute its rise to those people {not in 1609/1612/1641S{who, trying to escape from the cruelties of Attila {not in 1609/1612L{and the Huns passing through Italy, and their seizure of Aquileya}not in 1609/1612L}, found safety in the Venetian swamps and the surrounding area. They}not in 1609/1612/1641S} seem to be supported by Ariosto when he says the following {not in 1609/1612/1641S{in the 43rd verse, line 32 {not in 1609/1612L{of his Furioso}not in 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L}:
The remains of Troy have been rebuilt
Having fled from Attila's fury
133.8. Pigna, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{in his third book}not in 1609/1612/1641S} estimates the beginnings of Ferrara to date from the time that the Senonian and Boiïan Gauls were evacuated by the Romans from their borders, which means in the year 566 after the foundation of Rome [187 B.C.], but other writers attribute different dates of foundation to it. {not in 1609/1612L{Which of these views is right is hard to find out, ma quella del Pigna al giuditio di colore che la vogliono piu antica pare che si possi seguitare per quel Nome che hebbe alcuna volta di Foro Alieno, come appresso si dira, il qual nome non ha dubbio che discende da vn Console Romano, come il Foro di Giulio, di Lepido, di Sempronio & d'altre simili}not in 1609/1612L}. According to Boccacio, Ferrara was called Forum Allieni in ancient times. Priscianus agrees with this, but confirms that he has seen this name, written on the edge of an old document which Jacobus Zeno, bishop of Padua, showed at the Council of Basel. Pigna confirms this, and adds that it received this name from Alienus, consul and prefect of the banks of the river Po at the time of the civil war between Vitellius and Vespasianus, who founded a market and a law court there, {not in 1608/1612I{and he also writes that the expression Forum Allieni in the course of time was corrupted to Ferrarula, (a name it has had for a long time), after the example of Forum Julium, Sempronium etc. which now are pronounced in a corrupted form as well}not in 1608/1612I}.{not in 1609/1612L{che hauesse quiui il suo Foro, doue rendesse ragione alli soldati; Come erano soliti di hauere in altri luogli li suoi Fori tutti li Consoli & Capitani de gli esserciti. Dopo fu chiamata Ferraruola , mentre pure era posta di la dal Po, come affirmano li due Giraldi, Fra Leandro & il Pigna. Volendo questo, che tal nome diriui dal nome di foro Alieno corrotto, so come hora vediamo esser corrotto il vocabulo del foro di Giulio, di Sempronio, & di Liuio chiamandosi il primo Friuoli, il secondo Fossombruno, & il terzo Forli}not in 1609/1612L}.
133.9. In the year of our Lord 425, as Leander {not in 1609/1612L{and Pigna}not in 1609/1612L} record(s), the city has been transferred to the other side of the river, where there were relatively few buildings, and its name changed to Ferrara, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{as it were an improvement on the former diminutive name, although others derive its name from iron (ferrum) which they paid by way of taxes to the church of Ravenna, while still others attribute it to a certain river Ferrarulus which used to be in that vicinity, but which is now no longer extant}not in 1609/1612/1641S}. It is an established fact that in the year of our Lord 454 this city expanded rapidly as a result of immigration of people from Padua, Verona and others in the neighbourhood, who under the leadership of Acarinus Atestinus or d'Este fled for the fury of Attila to these regions, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{so that many writers, as mentioned above, regard this moment as the year the city was founded}not in 1609/1612/1641S}. {not in 1609/1612L{in particular our Ariosto who says that this was the moment that the greatness of the city began}not in 1609/1612L}.
133.10. In the year of our Lord 656 pope Vitalianus, during the reign of Constant the second, son of Constantinus {not in 1609/1612/1641S{the fourth}not in 1609/1612/1641S}, conferred a bishop's honour to the city by transferring the see to it from Voghera (which is still situated at a distance of 8 miles from Ferrara) {not in 1609/1612L{& the first bishop of Marinus, a Roman nobleman of great prudence and a good life, and not Maurelius, as some others think}not in 1609/1612L}. For a very long time, it was ruled by the Lords of d'Este {not in 1609/1612/1641S{(also called Atestinus)}not in 1609/1612/1641S} who were already in possession of the duchy and who ruled Hercules (Ercole) the first, on behalf of the highest popes, under the title of general vicariate of the apostolic see. In the year 1501, pope Alexander the sixth elevated this region to the rank of duchy, {1608/1612I only{as his bulls show}1608/1612I only}. He bestowed all ducal privileges on the city, added Massa Baniacaballi and some other towns and villages of the province of Romagna to it {1608/1612I only{in the region of it which is now called Romagnuola}not in 1608/1612I only}.
133.11. He saw to it that from then onwards (after the title of vicariate had been abolished) it was always named by its title of a duchy and he appointed Hercules (the first of that name) in his position, and after that his male descendants, legal and natural, thus establishing the right of primogeniture. Thus, Alfonsus the first succeeded Hercules the first, and next there was Hercules the second, and after him Alfonsus the second, all these being direct, first-born descendants. After Alphonsus the second had died on October 28, 1597, the high lord of Modena called Cæsar (Cesare), sole heir of Alphonse d'Este who was keen to possess Ferrara, decided to claim the city, acting as if he could succeed its former rulers.
133.12. Then pope Clemens the eighth, seeing that the line of descendents from Alphonsus had come to an end and that therefore the possession of the city reverted to the Holy See, sent a member of his own family there. It was Petrus Aldobrandinus, Cardinal S.R.E. and commander of the army, with 30,000 soldiers. In less than three months, using his weapons not for violence but as a threat, he achieved so much through zeal and diligence, that the Cæsar we just mentioned surrendered the city by striking a deal with the negotiaters. As a result, pope Clemens obtained possession of the city and the duchy.
133.13. It now flourishes under the happy rule of his papal representatives and enjoys various privileges and favours in peace. One of the various benefices of pope Clemens towards the duchy deserves to be mentioned: because the river Rhenus, which empties into the river Po three miles before reaching the city, represented a constant threat [of inundation] to the city and could destroy it, Clemens by means of a special order commanded that the Rhenus should be changed as regards its course to the valley of Saint Martina, and have it empty itself at a much lower place in the primarian branch {not in 1609/1612I{towards Argenta}not in 1609/1612L}.
133.14. This is by everyone considered as a great benefice, particularly when one realises that the dukes d'Este, however much they pleaded, and tried by cunning en perseverance and favours to obtain permission for this feat [of rearranging the course of this threatening river] from popes before, as early as Paul III, they had never, when they ruled the city, been able to achieve this. {1608/1612I only{Onde la Citta, oltre la memoria publica fatra per altre cause, la quale si pone quini nel fine, per questa sola ha decretato di erigerli vna statua di bronzo, accioche li Posteri suoi habbino continuamente auanti gl'occhi la grandezza di tal beneficio. Gl'oratori sono stati Monsignor Leccioli Arciprete della Catedrale, & Dottore in leggi, il Conte Luigi Montecuccoli mandati a Roma per quest'effetto, & il Conte Girolamo Gilioli Ambasciatore residente, tutti stimati di molto valore, & de quali il Duca Alfonso 2 s'evaluto sempre ne suoi maggiori affari presso gl'altri Principi}1608/1612I only}.
133.15. The circumference of the city measures about seven miles, and it has been fortified all around by towers, walls and bulwarks to such an extent that it is considered invincible, and therefore it is called by those who are knowledgable in these matters the most reliable bulwark of the church state. Inside, one can see so many churches, palaces, and other public and private buildings, and such straight streets and such wide squares that this city may truly, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{according to Leander}not in 1609/1612/1641S}, be counted among the most prominent cities of Italy {1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{beyond the river Pothere is the stronghold called Saint Lucia, which has so many houses that it looks like a separate city. This field and its fortifications are now deserted}1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
133.16. As its navel or centre rises the castle, or stronghold, once the residence of the lords d'Este, a seat worthy of a king, crowned with moats and protected by drawing bridges. Inside and outside the city there are various places ornated elegantly for the noble leasure of these lords. {not in 1609/1612/1641S{Inside, there are Castellina [small castle], Belliflorum [beautiful flower], Montaniola [small mountain], and outside Belvederium [beautiful view], Belrigardium [pretty view], Cassandola, Casettæ, Mesela and Copparium. Belvederium has been admired by Ariosto in his verses, and the others too were of such an excellent nature that they will never yield to the most exquisite enjoyments of other Italian regions}not in 1609/1612/1641S}. {1608/1612I only{Gl'altri erano tali, che pochi se ne veggono di simili a Roma o in Napoli o in altra parte. Hora vanno a male}1608/1612I only}.
133.17. This city has an academy where unique minds, well versed in all kinds of arts and sciences have flourished. It brought forth Ariosto, who for his poetry has acquired the qualification of being divine {1608/1612I only{ne fanno anco sede l'infrascritti}1608/1612I only}. It gave us Lilius Gregorius Giraldus, a man who {1608/1612I only{according to Leander}1608/1612I only} was a match for the greatest scholars in Greek and Latin, with such an astute memory that it seems he never forgot what he once had read. It brought forth father Franciscus Silvester, general lord of the order of Prædictors, about whom, in laudatory terms, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{Franciscus Leander}not in 1609/1612/1641S} says that he believed that nature itself had exerted great efforts to surpass all others, well versed in Greek and Latin, and other men educated in other sciences.
133.18. It also bought forth Cælius Calcagninus, an orator and an excellent poet, and also Peregrinus Priscianus, a scholar with a great name and reputation {1609/1612/1641S only{in Greek}1609/1612/1641S only}, who described the history of this city in nine books. Also Alexander Guarinus the Orator {1608/1612I only{with his learned comments in the Greek language, and also Alexander Guarini, an elegant orator}1608/1612I only}; {not in 1609/1612/1641S{then Felinus Sandeus the judge Rotæ Romæ, further Ioannes Maria, Hippolitus Riminaldis, Ioannes Ceffalus, Ludovicus Cattus, Zuchardinus {1608/1612I only{il Ronchegalli, & altri molti, che per breuita tralascio,}1608/1612I only} and other excellent lawyers}not in 1609/1612/1641S} {1608/1612I only{come dell'opere loro chiaramente si vede}1608/1612I only}. Still others, famous in philosophy and medecine, {1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{as Antonio Musa, Brasaccoli & Mainardi}1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}, then philosophy and oratory, particularly concerning theology and the art of rhetoric, such as father Hieronymus Savonarola {1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{and Franceschini Visdomini}1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}. But even today it counts quite a few [excellent people] who will be remembered by posterity among whom the first seems to be Giovanni Battista Guarinus, prince of all Italian poets, {1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{& Sig. Luzzascho Luzzaschi, che pur anco egli, se non è primo, va fra li primi ne componimenti musicali}1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
133.19. The city has an abundance of noblemen and illustrious families, men with titles {1608/1612I only{such as marquises, counts and knights}1608/1612I only}, whose specialty is their study of martial arts and the humanities, while they have renounced trade as despicable, and the mistress of greed. To stimulate these liberal arts and render them more fruitful, there are next to education in the public grammar school also private academies, and at this day they have one such academy which is very flourishing because of the numerous great minds there, which they call the academy of the intrepids, also open for extraneous people, now formidable {not in 1609/1612/1641S{because of two equally famous poets, count Guidobaldus Bonarellus, and Giovanni Battista Marinus, {1608/1612I only{Poeti ambedui, oltre l'altre doti, famosi à nostri tempi}1608/1612I only}. Who wants to know more should consult Blondus, Sabellicus, Munster {1608/1612I only{& il Encomio, che ne fa l'}1608/1612I only} Ariostus, verse 43, line 55}not in 1609/1612/1641S}.
133.20. I consider a memorial stone worthy to be described here, on which the benefices for the city have been engraved in a marble plate in golden characters for the benefit of the pious remembrances of pope Clemens {not in 1608/1612I{the eighth}not in 1608/1612I}, together with a bronze statue of the same pope, {not in 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S{dedicated in the front gable of the cathedral of Ferrara}not in 1609/1612/1641S}. This is what it says}not in 1608/1612I}:
133.21. To Clemens the eighth, pope and supreme prince,
Father of the fatherland, most benevolent lord,
Who honoured Ferrara, regained by the courage of cardinal Petrus Aldobrandinus
the son of his brother, and general of the papal army
honoured it by his arrival and the arrival of
the Holy Senate
The taxes imposed by the dukes were by him abolished
or he has alleviated them
The council of a hundred men, and the magistrate of ten men
have been instituted by him, with a yearly census to increase their reputation
and to allow for public expenditure
A tribunal of five men, to resolve disputes
quickly and justly with fixed fines was instituted by him
He built a new gate to protect the city
He united after a gracious reception in marriage Margaretha of Austria
With Philip the third, the Catholic king
By reconciling two kings in the highest council
he has established the peace so desired by the Christian world
Then returning to the city [of Rome] he left the citizens
of Ferrara, where in private and public matters
he gained great merits, with a great longing for him.
In the hope that the memories of these numerous
good deeds towards the city will not fall into oblivion,
Franciscus, one of the magistrates of Blandrata
of the Holy Giorgio and cardinal of the Holy Clemens
Legate of Flaminia and colleague of the same cardinal
Aldrobandinus of Ferraria
has ordered this to be put into place [anno] 1602}1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

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