Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 14


Text:

First, scholarly text version, translated from the 1579/1580L2Add., 1579(AB) Latin, 1580 German, 1584 Latin, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641S and 1609/1612 Latin edition:

14.1. {1579/1580L2Add{The Province of CVLIACANA.

14.2. This province of Culiacana is part of the kingdom of New Galicia. It was discovered during the government led by Charles the Fifth, in the year 1530. In this region there is only one colony of the Spaniards, called the town of St. Michael {1588S, 1602G & 1609/1612/1641S instead{S. Miguel}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. There are very many villages here, built by the inhabitants, who all had their own freedom before the arrival of the Spaniards, yielding obedience to no king or governor.
14.3. In this region one can find plenty of various necessary things. A great abundance of silver is dug from the mountains. The inhabitants are addicted to war and robbery. Those who dwell on the coast employ their time fishing, but the people who live more towards the interior live by hunting. They go naked, and only cover their private parts with a piece of cotton. They have many different languages. They sleep for the most part in the open air, {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only{having no houses}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only}. They are a most beggarly nation.

14.4. {1580G, 1602G & 1608/1612I only{About the islands of}1580G, 1602G & 1608/1612I only} CVBA and HISPANIOLA.

14.5. This island of Cuba is so called by the local inhabitants, but by the Spaniards Fernandina and Juana, and (if we may believe Peter Martyr) Alpha and O[mega]. In length it extends from West to East for about 300 {not in 1606E{leagues or rather}not in 1606E} Spanish miles, in breadth {not in 1608/1612I{fifteen and in some places}not in 1608/1612I} twenty of those leagues. The land is very mountainous, but rich in gold and excellent copper {1580G, 1602G & 1608/1612I have instead{other metals}1580G, 1602G & 1608/1612I instead}.
14.6. They have dye which the apothecaries call animal dye because it is very suitable for dying wool and leather, which is found here in great abundance {1608/1612I only{in Italia called granas [grains] or Guada}1608/1612I only}. It is in all places beautified by dense forests, with rivers and pools of delicious sweet water, albeit that there are lakes which are naturally salty.
14.7. The woods breed hogs and cows in great numbers. The rivers sometimes yield grains of gold. It contains six colonies of the Spaniards settling here, the most important of which is called Saint Iacobus {1588S, 1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Santiago}1588S, 1602S, 1606E & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, which is the seat of a bishop. But Havana is the chief market and harbour of the whole island {1580G & 1602G only{where they make ships}1580G & 1602G only}.
14.8. Two wonderful things about this island are described by Gonsalvo de Oviedo: one, a valley extending between two mountains for some two or three Spanish miles (the ancients would have called it, as in Gallia Narbonensis, {1606E only{now called Provence}1606E only} {1608/1612I only{or Crau, at the source of the river Rh˘ne}1608/1612I only}, the Stony Field) which produces round stones in such a great abundance that one might load whole ships full of them [for stability]. Nature makes them so exactly round that no sculptor can improve on them.
14.9. The other is a mountain, not far from the sea, from which issues a kind of bitumen or tar in such quantities that it runs into the sea, and there continues to float far and wide, as it is carried by the waves and the wind. This tar, they say, is very useful for braying ships.
14.10. HISPANIOLA lies to the {1579/1580L2Add, 1579L(A) & 1580G only{West [which is wrong]}1579L2Add, 1579L(A) & 1580G only} {1579L(B){East}1579L(B)} {1608/1612I instead{in the vicinity}1608/1612I instead}{1580G, 1602G & 1606E only{of Cuba}1580G, 1602G & 1606E only}. This island was called QuisquŠia by its first inhabitants, later Haiti, and also Cipanga. But the Spaniards call it Hispaniola, and (after the principal city) Santo Domingo. It measures 350 {1580G & 1602G only{Italian}1580G & 1602G only} leagues in circumference. It is an island rich in [cane] sugar, and it has many gold mines. A marvellous strange thing is reported concerning a small fly very common on this island, called cucuio by the inhabitants, which is almost as big as one of the joints of a man's finger.
14.11. It has four wings, two very thin, and the other two larger and stronger, which cover the thin ones. This insect shines in the night as glow worms {1580G & 1602G only{or Johans birdies}1580G & 1602G only} do in our regions. The source of this light is not only its eyes, which sparkle like fire, but also its sides, so that by lifting its wings, it shines more during its flight than when it sits, motionless. Through the natural assistance of this little creature, all their rooms, so they say, are so well lit, even at the darkest nights, that one may read and write easily without the help of any other light.
14.12. {not in 1606E{Also, if you take one of them into your hand, it will light your way because others will follow it}not in 1606E}. This light of these creatures increases because of their great abundance in numbers, so that many of them will give more light than a few would. Whoever desires a more elaborate description of these islands should read {1592L, not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{the history of the New World written by Girolamo Benzoni}1592L, not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}, Peter Martyr {1595L, not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{his Decades}1595L, not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} of islands lately discovered and other writers about America}1579/1580L2Add, 1579L(AB), 1580G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Second, vernacular text version, translated from the 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions:

14.13. {1581F{CVLIACANA.

14.14. This province of Culiacana is part of the kingdom of New Galicia. It was discovered by {not in 1598/1610/1613D{the lucky fortune of}not in 1598/1610/1613D} emperor Charles the fifth, in the year 1530. In this region there is only one colony of the Spaniards, called The town of St. Michael. There are very many villages here, built by the inhabitants, who all had their own freedom before the arrival of the Spaniards, yielding obedience to no king or governor.
14.15. In this region of great fertility one can find various necessary things for human life. A great abundance of silver is dug from the mountains. The inhabitants are addicted to war and robbery. They who dwell on the coast employ most of their time fishing, but the people who live more towards the interior live by hunting. They go naked, and only cover their private parts with a small piece of cotton. They have many different languages. They sleep for the most part in the open air. They are a most beggarly nation.

14.16. CVBA and HISPANIOLA.

14.17. This island of Cuba is so called by the local inhabitants, but by the Spaniards Fernandina, and Juana, and (as Peter Martyr reports) Alpha and O[mega]. In length it extends from West to East for about 300 {1598/1610/1613D only{miles or rather}1598/1610/1613D only} Spanish leagues, in breadth fifteen and in some places twenty of those leagues. The land is very mountainous, but rich in gold and other metals {1598/1610/1613D instead{copper}1598/1610/1613D instead}.
14.18. Dye grows here in great abundance {1598/1610/1613D only{to dye wool, linen and leather}1598/1610/1613D only}. It is in all places beautified by heavy forests, with pleasant rivers and pools of sweet water, albeit that there are lakes which are naturally salty.
14.19. The woods breed hogs and cows in great numbers. The rivers sometimes yield grains of gold. It contains six colonies or towns of the Spaniards, the most important of which is called Saint Iacob, which is the seat of a bishop. Havana is the chief market and harbour of the whole island.
14.20. Two wonderful things about this island are described by Gonsalvo de Oviedo: one, a valley extending between two mountains for some two or three Spanish miles, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{calling it The Stony Field, as in Narbonne {1598F instead{as in the province of La Crau}1598F instead, not in 1598/1610/1613D}, which produces round stones in such a great abundance that one might load whole ships full of them [for stability]. Nature makes them so exactly round that no sculptor can improve on them.
14.21. The other is a mountain, not far from the sea, from which issues tar in such quantities that it runs into the sea, and there continues to float far and wide, as it is carried by the waves and the wind. This tar, they say, is very useful for braying ships.
14.22. Hispaniola lies close to the East of the island just mentioned {1598/1610/1613D instead{Cuba}1598/1610/1613D instead}. This island was by its founders called QuisquŠia, later Haiti, and also Cipanga. But the Spaniards call it Hispaniola, and after its principal city Santo Domingo. It measures 350 leagues in circumference. It is an island rich in [cane] sugar, and it has many gold mines. A marvellous thing is reported concerning a small fly very common on this island, called Cucuio by the inhabitants, which is almost as big as one of the joints of a man's finger.
14.23. It has four wings, two very thin, and the other two larger and stronger, which cover the thin ones. This insect shines in the night as glow worms do in our regions. The source of this light is not only its eyes, which sparkle like fire, but also its sides, so that by lifting its wings, it shines more during its flight than when it sits, motionless. Through the natural assistance of this little creature, all their rooms, so they say, are so well lit, even at the darkest nights, that one may read and write very easily without the help of any other light.
14.24. Also, if you take one of them into your hand, it will light your way because others will follow it, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{regardless whether you carry a burning candle or another sort of light}not in 1598/1610/1613D}. This light of these creatures increases because of their great abundance, as many of them will give more light than a single one would. Whoever desires a more elaborate description of these islands should read {1598/1610/1613D only{Benzoni}1598/1610/1613D only}, Peter Martyr about islands lately discovered and other writers}1598/1610/1613D ends here} about the New World {1581F, 1587F & 1598F end here}.

Bibliographical sources


For questions/comments concerning this page, please e-mail info@orteliusmaps.com.