Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 137

Text, first the scholarly text version, translated from the 1573 Latin 1st Add/1573 Latin (AB), 1573 German 1st Add/1573 German [usually included in the vernacular version], 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:

137.1. {1573L1Add{The territories of the city of SIENA.

137.2. Cæsar Orlandius, a famous lawyer of Siena sent me this map from Rome, together with a brief history of the city, taken from a larger work he wrote (as he tells in his private letters to me), copied from the original, to be inserted into this Theatre of the World of ours.
137.3. The city of Siena, he says, is so old that of its first beginnings nothing is to be found in any of the approved old writers. That some report that it has been built by the Galli Senones {1573G1Add/1573G, 1580/1589G & 1602G have instead{Italian Senones}1573G1Add/1573G, 1580/1589G & 1602G instead} under the guidance of Brennus, their general, about 363 years after the building of Rome, who, in a period of seven months {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{years}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}(as Polybius and Plutarchus have recorded), won the city, cannot be proved with the help of any good author.
137.4. For John of Salisbury, who first put forward this opinion in the seventeenth chapter of his sixth book,([and] who, because he gave the title Polycraticon to this history, was therefore called Polycrates, and by others Polycarpus), adduces no authority for this assertion. And he himself confesses in the twenty-third {1606E instead{24th}1606E instead} chapter of his eighth book that he was {1606E only{not}1606E only} familiarly known to pope Adrianus the fourth. Now, it is clear to all the world that Adrianus the fourth occupied the papal seat only from the year of Christ 1154 to the year 1159 has occupied the papal seat, and therefore the testimony of John of Salisbury concerning the building of Siena so many years before he was born has no validity at all.
137.5. Cornelius Tacitus in the twentieth book of his Annals calls this city Colonia Senensis, which words of his can by no means refer to the other Siena (which now is also in the country of Piceno, and is commonly called Senegallia), as some have imagined. For in the time of Tacitus and Plinius that city of Piceno was not at all called Siena, but Senogallia or Senagallica or Senagallia, as is very clear from the words of Plinius and Claudius Ptolemæus.
137.6. For Plinius locates Colonia Senensis in the midland colonies of Hetruria {1608/1612I has instead{Toscane}1608/1612I instead} but not many lines further on he puts Senegallia in the sixth region of Italy. Ptolemæus places Sena, not only in the Latin copies printed, but also in [the] most ancient manuscript copies in Greek, among the midland cities of Hetruria {1608/1612I has instead{Toscana}1608/1612I instead}, but [he puts] Sena Gallica (for that is what he calls it) among the other cities of the Senones, near Ancona and the Temple of Fortune {1608/1612I only{which are on the sea coast}1608/1612I only}.
137.7. When this city was first made into a bishop's see is not certainly known, but this is certain that among the 46 bishops or so, all of them neighbours to the city of Rome (who in the first Roman synod at the time of St. Hilarus, pope of Rome and the first with that name, assembled together in the year of Christ 465) there was one of them [who was called] Eusebius Episcopus Senensis. Again, at the second council of Lateranensis under pope Martinus the first, in the year of Grace 652, among the participants, about 125 bishops, the following are mentioned by name:
137.8. Mauris Cæsenatis Ecclesia episcopus, {not in 1606E{Mauris episcopus S. Senogalliensis Ecclesiæ,}not in 1606E} Mauris episcopus S. Senatis ecclesiæ in the same manner and form as the bishops Clusinus, Roxellanus and Faventius call their churches Clusinatis, Roxellanatis and Faventinatis. In a similar manner, among the 125 bishops who assembled regarding the epistle of Agatho, bishop of Rome, which the legate sent to the sixth general council in Constantinople, {not in 1580/1589G & 1602G{held in the year 673}not in 1580/1589G & 1602G} {1606E instead{573}1606E} [in fact 680-681], this statement is found: Vitalianus episcopus S. ecclesiæ Senensis. For which reason it is clear that no man may beyond doubt say that Episcopus Senensis is the same as Episcopus Senogalliensis or that Episcopatus Senatis should be written and read as Episcopus Cæsenatis. And also that from Plinius and Ptolemæus, mentioned before, it is clear that even in their days, Sena of Picenum was not called Sena but Senogallia.
137.9. [This also becomes clear] because in the forenamed council of Lateranus, not only Episcopus Senatis but also Cæsenatis and Senogalliensis, called by one and the same name, participated individually. Finally, Venantius Episcopus Senogalliensis participated also in the second and fourth synod of Rome, summoned by pope Cælius Symmachus around the year of Christ 498.
137.10. Furthermore, pope Pius the second, born in Siena in the year 1459 (which was the year of his appointment) promoted the church of Siena from a bishops see to the dignity of an archbishopric, and assigned the bishops of Suano, Clusino, Crassetano and Massano {not in 1575L but included in 1580/1589G & 1602G only{and after that also those of Pientinum and Ilcinensis, ordained by the Pius just mentioned}not in 1575L but included in 1580/1589G & 1602G only} as suffragans to the archbishops of Siena, and [made] their churches subject to that See.
137.11. This is what Cæsar Orlandius has written about the origins and antiquity of Siena, his native country, to be published for no other reason, as he says, than that the opinion of Blondus and others who have written about it differently than what is the plain truth, {1606E only{may wholly be erased}1606E only} (if that were possible) {1606E only{from the minds of everyone}1606E only}.
137.12. {not in 1608/1612I{Claudius Ptolemæus in {not in 1580/1589G & 1602G{the sixth book of}not in 1580/1589G & 1602G} his epistles to Gabriel Cæsano has most elegantly described [the mountain] Monte Argentario}not in 1608/1612I}.


137.14. In former times this region was called Picenum. Now they call it Marca Ancona after its main city. At some stage it was called Marca Firmiana, after a town in this province, as Blondus has written. It lies between the rivers Isaurus {1606E & 1608/1612I only{(now called Foglia)}1606E & 1608/1612I only} and Tronto, and between the Adriatic sea and [the] mount[ain range] Apennine. It is clear from ancient records that the Piceni, Umbri and Senones have for a long time been living in this area. The country has a fertile soil, yielding all kinds of commodities in great quantities.
137.15. Especially in wood and fruit trees {1573G1Add/1573G, 1580/1589G, 1588S, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only{rather than corn}1q573G1Add/1573G, 1580/1589G, 1588S, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only} {1606E only{and corn}1606E only} it far exceeds other places. Silius Italicus highly recommends it, especially for olives. The main city, as we have said, is Ancona, so called because of its location, for it is located on the promontory Cimini extending into Hadriatic sea {1606E instead{the gulf of Venice}1606E instead} like an arm or elbow. Therefore, the ancient coins from this city (which are often found in the earth here) display an arm holding a pen in its hand. The harbour of this most ancient city was built by Traianus the emperor, as an inscription in marble informs us.
137.16. Here is also Ælia Ricina, also called more recently Ricinetum and now Recanati, a town situated on the top of a hill, where we saw the market or fair (which is kept there at certain times of the year) to which people come from all quarters of the world. Not far from there is the church of St. Maria Lauretana with a hamlet {1602S, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{Loreto}1602S, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only} enclosed by a very strong wall. The gorgeousness of this church and the holiness of the place is such that as soon as one sets foot within its doors, one will be struck with great admiration.
137.17. This church is well furnished with all kinds of weapons and equipment, both for attack and defence against assaults of pirates. The village is almost only inhabited by cooks, hostlers, shoemakers and such people, which are here to do some kind of business with those who come here almost all year long in great numbers for devotion, to provide and serve them with the things they may want. Here is also the town and castle called Fabriano, whose inhabitants live almost entirely on making paper, which for that reason is called Fabriana paper.
137.18. There are also many other outstanding towns in this province, which are excellently described in Leander. {1579L(B) but not in 1580/1589G & 1602G{Franciscus Pamphilus has also written a description of this area in verse}1579L(B) but not in 1580/1589G & 1602G}.
137.19. The mountain [range] Apennine here looms over the country with exceedingly high cragged tops, in which one finds that huge cave called Sibyllas cave, (in their language Grotta de la Sibylla) and which the poets pretend to be the Elysian Fields. For the common people dream about a certain Sibylla [supposed] to be in this cave, who [is claimed to] possess a large kingdom full of gorgeous buildings and princely palaces, covered with pleasant gardens, abounding with many fine lecherous wenches and all kinds of pleasures and delights. All of these she will bestow on those who through this cave (which is always open) will come to her.
137.20. And after they have been there for the period of one whole year, they have the freedom and liberty given to them by Sibylla to depart (if they please) and from that moment, having returned to us, they state that they live a most blessed and happy life ever after. This cave is also known to our countrymen by the name of VROU VENUS BERGH, that is, the Lady Venus mount. For which reason they vulgarly sing certain {not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{German}not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}{1606E instead{Dutch}1606E instead} verses about a little Daniel (for that is what the ballad calls him) who, after he had lived in that cave for a whole year, at last repented this kind of life.
137.21. Therefore, leaving his love, [he] departs, goes to Rome, comes to the pope, confesses his sins, and desires to be absolved. The pope, not considering his sin to be pardonable, sticks the staff (withered and dry) which he happened to have in his hand into the ground, and says that his sins shall be pardoned only then, when this staff shall bear roses. Daniel, by this answer despairing about the outcome of this meeting, went away, very moody and dissatisfied, and immediately taking two of his nephews, his sisters sons, with him, went back to his mistress.
137.22. Within three days after [this happened], the staff was seen to put forth blossoms. Daniel was looked for everywhere, but could nowhere be found, for they truly believed that he spent the rest of his life in this cave. {1573G1Add/1573G only{This is the history. Whoever wants to believes it}1573G1Add/1573G only}. {not in 1573G1Add/1573G{But the story [told] in this ballad is worthy a poetical imagination [only], concerning this Sibilla, or Venus and should be considered as true as the rest of their fiction}not in 1573G1Add/1573G}.

137.23. CORSICA.

137.24. CORSICA, {1573L1Add, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1584L, 1592L, 1595L & 1601L have italic font from here on{an island in the Midland sea, was in ancient times inhabited by various people. At this day, it is divided into two parts. The East part they call the Inner side {1606E only{Banda di dentro}1606E only}; the West part opposite to this {1606E only{Banda di fuori,}1606E only} they call the outer side; the end which is next to Italy, {1606E only{Di qua das Monti,}1606E only} On this side of the mountains; [and] that next to Sardinia, {1606E only{Di la da di Monti,}1606E only} [they call] beyond the mountains. Yet, the people of whatever part with respect to the mountains call {1606E only{each other Transmontanesse, but}1606E only} themselves Cismontanum. The island is very difficult to enter or come to, as it is on all sides enclosed by steep and high hills.
137.25. The inner part is similarly almost wholly mountainous, and therefore is not very good corn ground. But it is highly recommended for rich wine, which is transported to Rome and is called Vinum Corsicum [Corsican wine] after its origin. It breeds horses of great courage, and hounds of extraordinary size. Here lives, as Plinius says, the beast Musino, a kind of ram which instead of wool has a hairy fur like a goat. They now call it Mofoli. Strabo speaks about this beast [in connection with] Sardinia {1606E only{as if it were proper to that island}1606E only}.
137.26. The Italians consider the inhabitants of this island as valiant and stout soldiers. Ancient writers have claimed that here is found a bitter kind of honey. The Tyrrheni were the first to possess this island, and after that the Carthagenians. The Romans took it from them, and had it until the time that the Saracens drove them out. These were [in turn] expelled by the Genoese {1580/1589G & 1602G instead{the people from Geneva}1580/1589G & 1602G instead}. Then, being occupied by the citizens of Pisa, it became subject to the bishops. Finally, it was brought under the obedience of the Genoese {1580/1589 & 1602G instead{people of Geneva}1580/1589G & 1602G instead} again, to whom it belongs to the present day. Leander Albertus has described this island so exactly on the basis of the Commentaries of Augustinus Iustinianus that no one might think of anything that could [further] be added or desired}1573L1Add, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L & 1601L end here in italic font; also ending here: 1573G1Add/1573G [normal], 1580/1589G [Gothic}, 1588S [normal], 1602G [Gothic], 1602S [normal], 1603L [normal], 1606E [normal], 1608/1612I [normal], 1609/1612L [normal] & 1609/1612/1641S [normal]}.

Text, vernacular version, translated from the 1573Dutch 1st Add/1573 Dutch, 1574 French 1st Add/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions:

137.27. {1573D1Add/1573D{Siena and the area surrounding it.

137.28. This city lies in Tuscany in a fertile and comfortable area which grows much wheat, wine and other produce. Towards the sea, where it is called Maremme by its inhabitants, the soil is good, but only sparsely inhabited because of the foul air there in summer and autumn.
137.29. The city of Siena is ancient, and is large and beautiful, situated upon a hill, and well constructed. It has the most beautiful church {not in 1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{I ever saw}not in 1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}, acknowledged as such far and wide. {not in 1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{It has been consacrated to the Holy Virgin}not in 1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}.
137.30. It has been erected fully in marble, and is wondrously decorated on the inside. There is also a gorgeous palace of Pius II, the pope, as well as a large, pleasant market, with a high fountain. Its jurisdiction once extended much wider, and it has waged wars many times with the inhabitants of Florence. It was independent for a long time, and only acknowledged the authority of the Holy Roman Empire. At this day they are also under the shelter of the title of the duke of Florence.
137.31. In the sea you will note a small island, (connected to the mainland by a small neck), called Monte Argentario. This is also under the governance of the city. On this island there is a mountain where silver is mined, which provided the name for the island, for Monte Argentario means in Dutch Silverbergh {French editions have instead{Montaigne d'argent}French editions instead} [Mount of Silver]. It is full of woods, has many marble quarries, and cool springs watering the island. At its banks, great multitudes of tuna fish are caught.

137.32. The fields of Ancona.

137.33. Once this land was called Picenum, but now it is called The fields of Ancona, after the main city of this area. It has also been called Marca Firmiana after a different city in the neighbourhood, as Blondus writes. It extends from the river Foglia to the Tronto, between the Hadriatic sea and the mountain range Apenninus. From ancient writers it becomes clear that once the Piceni, Umbri and Senones lived here. This land has a fertile soil, produces all kinds of produce in abundance, but more fruits than corn. Silius praises it in particular for the olive trees that grow here.
137.34. The most important city here is Ancona, as we said providing the name for the entire area, whereas there is also a peninsula called Cimmerio like an elbow with a pen in the hand. This city has a very old harbour built by emperor Traianus, as appears from an inscription in marble still extant. Here is also Ælia Ricina, otherwise called Ricetum, and nowadays Recanati, situated upon a mountain where we (1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F instead{it can be}1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F instead} observed, during a market held at certain times of the year, that people were coming from aal sides in geat multitudes
137.35. Not far from here you find the temple of St. Maria de Loretto, surrounded by a strong wall, which includes a village as well. The magnificence and holiness of this temple is such, {1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{considering the healthiness of the place}1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F} that anyone entering it is truly astounded. This church is well provided with all kinds of ammunition to defend an guard itself, so that it will not be plundered by robbers. In the village one mostly finds merchants, inn-keepers, shoe makers, saddle makers and similar craftsmen who serve the pilgrims who come here throughout the year out of devotion from all countries on pilgrimage in whatever way they need. There is also a city with a castle called Fabriano.
137.36. Its inhabitants make a living by producing splendid paper which is called Fabrian paper. Next to these, there are many other beautiful cities in this area which have been described diligently by Leander Albertus. Where the mountain range Apenninus touches this land, there is a height with an impressive cave in it, which is named after a Sybil (called in Italian Grotta de la Sibylla), which is supposed to be impressive {1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F have instead{which they pretend to be like the Elysian Fields, that is, a place devoted to voluptuousness}1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F instead}. For the common people believe that it houses a Sibyl who has an extensive kingdom, with royal palaces, luscious courts, fair maidens and other luxuries and pleasures.
137.37. They share all things there and everyone can come and visit her in this cave, which is always accessible. And after they have lived there for a year, they obtain permission from this Sybil to leave again, if they want to, and once they have returned, they will live in happiness and prosperity to the end of their lives. This cave is known by our people under the name Vrou Venus Berg [Lady Venus Mountain], which features in a Dutch song, about a little Daniel who was supposed to have lived in this cave for a year, repented this kind of life, left this Venus, and went to the pope to confess his sins.
137.38. The pope, thinking that this sin was unpardonable, took a stick without any leaves on it which he happened to have at hand, and stuck it into the earth, saying to Daniel that his sins would be pardoned if this stick would bear roses. Daniel, despairing about his fate, left in a sad mood, and returned to his Venus (taking two of his sisters children with him). And three days later, the stick was seen to start blossoming, after which people went looking for Daniel, but he could not be found anywhere. And some believe that his life ended in that cave. The story told in this song was worth mentioning, in my opinion, in connection with this Sibyl or ornated Venus.

137.39. Corsica.

137.40. Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean sea, has in the past been inhabited by various peoples. Now it is divided into two parts in two different ways. The part facing the East is called the inside, the part on the other side the outside. [Alternatively], the part next to Italy is called the area on this side of the mountains, and that next to Sardinia is called on the other side of the mountains. But the inhabitants call themselves as belonging to this side or the other side of the mountains, depending on where they are.
137.41. This island is difficult to reach from any side, because its coast is covered with steep mountains all over. But inland, it is full of mountains as well, which is the reason that it does not produce much corn. Yet, its wine is praised, and exported to Rome, and it is called Corsica wine after its place of origin. This island has eager horses and big hounds for hunting. And the animal Musino, which they have here, according to Plinius, is a sort of ram, but with goat hair, rather than wool. They now call it Mofoli. But Strabo attributes it to Sardinia.
137.42. The Italians consider the inhabitants of this island as courageous soldiers. The ancients write that bitter honey is found here. This island was first inhabited by the Thyrrhens, after that by the Carthagians, and then by the Romans, who kept it until they were expelled by the Saracens. These in turn were expelled by the Genoese. Subsequently, it was taken by Pisa, and came under the rule of the pope. Finally, it came again under the rule of the Genoese, to whom they are still subjected today}1573D1Add/1573D, 1574F1Add/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F end here}.

Bibliographical sources

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