Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 155

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1595 Latin, 1598/1610/1613 Dutch, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612Latin and 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:

155.1. {1595L{The kingdom of POLAND.

155.2. Polonia or Poland, so named after its flat plains (which they still vulgarly in their Windisch {1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{native}1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}{1608/1612I has instead{Polish}1608/1612I instead} language call Pole), a vast and wide country, in the West borders on Silesia, on the other sides on Hungaria, Lithuania and Prussia. It is divided into greater and lesser [Poland]. Greater Poland is what lies towards the North, and contains the excellent cities Guesna [Giezmo] and Posnania [Poznan]. Lesser Poland lies towards the South and contains the famous city of Cracow, situated at the head of the river Vistula [Weichsel], {1606E only{(the Germans call it De Wixel, the Poles Drwencza)}1606E only}, which runs through the middle of the country.
155.3. The other cities are not very large or beautiful. Their houses are mostly built of stone, and some are plastered with clay. The country is very marshy, and full of woods. The common drink the people use is beer. Wine they drink only seldom, and they do not know how to grow grapevines. They are regarded as excellent horsemen for service in war. The soil is fertile, they have many herds of cattle, [and] much game {1606E only{pastime for the noblemen}1606E only}.
155.4. There is plenty of honey. Salt is here dug from the earth in great abundance. In the mountains which in their language they call Tatri [Tatra] they have mines of brass and brimstone. Cromerus writes that the Hungarians call the Poles Lengel after Leech, the captain of the nation.
155.5. The kingdom of Polonia comprises Lithuania, Samogitia, Masovia, Volhinia, Podolia and Russia, which is called South-Russia, and by some Ruthenia, and also all of Prussia, except for that part which has its own duke by whom it is governed. Lewenclavius writes that in the year 1570 {1608/1612I has instead{1270}1608/1612I instead} the king of Poland took the prince of Moldavia under his protection.
155.6. The greatest part of Lithuania is marshy, for the most part woody and therefore not easily entered or reached because of all the water. It is better to trade with the Lithuanians in winter than at other times, for since the lakes are [then] covered either with ice or snow, merchants may then pass from place to place more easily. In Lithuania there are few towns, and the villages are only sparsely inhabited. The chief wealth of the country people consists of cattle, and rich furs of various sorts of wild animals, which you find abundantly all over the country. They have plenty of wax and honey.{1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only{They do not know about money}1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only}.
155.7. This region breeds the bison, a kind of animal which they call Suber, the Germans Ur-ochs, such as we saw in Antwerp in the year 1570. From here also comes that kind of animal which {not in 1598/1610/1613D{the Romans call Alces, and}not in 1598/1610/1613D the Dutch call Eland [elk]. The people speak the Slavonic tongue, as the Poles do. Their chief city is Vilna, a bishop's see, which is as big as Cracow. But the houses in it do not stand closely together, but, like in the countryside, there are gardens and orchards between the houses.
155.8. All the oak timber which we call Wagenschott which almost all the carpenters use who make buildings {1598/1610/1613D only{houses, bunks, benches and crates}1598/1610/1613D only} in the harbour parts of Low countries {not in 1598/1610/1613D{and Belgium, public as well as private, and also most of their furniture and household stuff is felled here}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, and then transported through the East sea, called Mare balticum, {1606E only{in Dutch Oostsee, the Russians say Wareczkovie morie)}1606E only} and the German ocean to these countries.
155.9. In Samogitia (which in their language means Low-land) the people are tall and of excellent stature. But they are rude and barbarous in their manner and behaviour, using modest and homely food. The Russians call this province Samotz-kasembla. There are no fair buildings here at all, but their houses are like sheds only, made of wood, and covered with straw or reed. From the bottom upwards, their buildings gradually become smaller and smaller, like the keel of a ship {1602G only{or a hood against the wind}1602G only}{1606E instead{like a helmet}1606E instead}. In the top it has one window, letting light in from above, under which there is the fire where they cook their food. In that house they hide themselves, their wives, children, servants, maids, sheep, cattle, corn and furniture altogether.
155.10. Sichardus in his history of Germany writes that the people of Samogitia have descended from the Saxons, and therefore ought to be subject to the kingdom of Polonia, yet, although the Saxons deny it to be a part of their jurisdiction, they confirm it to belong to the precinct of Saxony.
155.11. Masovia [Mazowse] is an area held in homage by the king of Poland. The chief or metropolitan city of this province is Warsovia [Warsawa] where they make an excellent kind of mead, a drink made of honey.
155.12. Volhina is a region abounding with all kinds of things, a very fertile soil, full of towns and castles.
155.13. Podolia has such a fertile soil that grass in three days will cover a stick that has been cast into it. It is so heavy, and grows so fast that a plough, being left in it on grassy places of the fields will quickly be covered. Here is also and abundance of honey. Its main city is Camyenetz [Kamenetz].
155.14. Russia yields plenty of horses, oxen, and sheep with very fine wool. Their drink is mead, which they make of honey. Wine is brought here from Pannonia {1608/1612I instead{Hungary}1608/1612I instead}{1602G instead{Oesterreich}1602G instead}, Moldavia and Walachia. The chief city of this province is Leunpurg [Leumburg], which the Romans call Leopolis, {1606E only{[that is] Lion-city}1606E only}.
155.15. Moldavia is a part of Walachia. Its metropolitan city is Sossovia, commonly called Sotchen [Suceava]. The inhabitants of this country are a fierce and cruel people, but very good soldiers, and therefore they are continually in animosity with the Transilvanians. As it was the custom of the Thracians in old times to mark the noblemen's children with a hot iron, in the same way it is reported that the lords of Moldavia to this very day mark their children as soon as they are born, with some kind of mark, so that no question need arise whether they are the rightful heirs or not, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{and that strangers may be excluded from inheritance among them}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, as Reinerus Reineckius has written}1598/1610/1613D ends here} in his text on noble families.
155.16. You can read about many other things in these countries in Mathias of Michou in his discourse on the Sarmatians, in Albert Crantzius' description of Wandalia, Bonfinius in his history of Hungary, {not in 1602G{and Laonicus Chalcondylas in his first and third book}not in 1602G}. But of all Martinus Cromer in his chronicle of Poland has most excellently described these countries, as has Sigismund of Herberstein in his commentaries of Moscovia. See also Sebastian Münster, {1601L, not in 1602G{Pius Secundus, pope of Rome,}1601L} and David Chytræus in his Chronicle of Saxony}not in 1602G}.
155.17. Iohannes Duglossus, a most prolific historian of the Poles, is cited by Ioachimus Cureus, but not yet published, as he states}1602G ends here}. Georgius of Reichendorff has most elaborately described Moldavia. Laonicus Chalcondylas has also in his second book various things worth knowing about this country}1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Vernacular text version, translated from the 1598 French edition (the 1598/1610/1613 Dutch text unexpectedly sides with the scholarly text given above):

155.18. {1598F{Poland.

155.19. Pole means in the Windisch [Slavonic] language flat, and this is why this country is called Polen, and hence in Latin Polonia, for it is all flat and level. This kingdom of Poland is situated between the area of Prussia in the North, Lithuania in the East, Hungary in the South and Silesia in the West. It is divided into greater and lesser Poland. In greater Poland you find the famous cities Guesna [Giezno] and Posnauia [Poznan]. Lesser Poland has Cracow on the river Wyxel [Weichsel](which traverses this kingdom), a big city where the king keeps court. The other cities are of less importance. Their houses are made or wood, mud and straw.
155.20. The land is wooded and full of rivers. It produces no wine, but its fields are fertile for corn. They drink beer. They have much cattle and game. It is full of honey and wax. They also dig much salt from the earth. In the mountains between this country and Hungary, called Tatri [Tatra] by its inhabitants, there are also copper and sulphur mines.
155.21. To this kingdom also belong Littau or Lithuania, Samogitia, Masovia, Volhinia, Podolia and Russia or Rutenia (since they are also called Red Russians) and all of Prussia, (except for the duchy there which has its own duke). Thus this king rules far and wide, namely from the East Sea to the sea Euxinus, which the Italians call Mar Maggiore [Black Sea].
155.22. Lithuania is very marshy and wooded, so that it is difficult to reach in summer because of all the water, but in winter, when all the pools and moats have been frozen, and are covered with snow all over, one can easily travel by sleigh, and thus there is much trade. It does not have many cities and villages, and it is not well populated. The wealth of the inhabitants consists of cattle and furs of wild animals, of which there are plenty. Also wax and honey. They do not know money. They speak the Windisch language.
155.23. The capital here is Vilna, a bishopric, not very well built because the houses are scattered all around, with gardens and orchards in between. In this land there are wild oxen, like there was one here in Antwerp in the year 1570, with a high back, long manes around its neck and shoulders, a beard under its chin, and bulging eyes. In High German it is called Urochs, in Lithuanian Suber, in Latin Bisontes. From Lithuania comes a quadruped which we call {not in 1598F{Eland in High German Elend, and in Lithuanian Loß}not in 1598F}.
155.24. Samogitia (which means low lands in their language) has no walled or established castles, for they live in huts. The inhabitants are tall, which is hard to understand (as Sigismundus Herberstein says) for the parents have very tall sons or very small ones, but nothing in between. They are a poor people. Their huts are made of wood and straw, and are bell-shaped, with a hole at the top where the smoke escapes of the fire they make. Around this fire sit the husband, wife, children, lads and maidens and also their cattle and all their furniture is all around.
155.25. Masovia is a fief of the kingdom of Poland, and its capital is Varsovia [Warsawa]. Here they make the best mede, served as a drink. Volhinia is a wonderfully fertile land with many cities and castles. Luczko is its capital. Podolia has such a fertile soil that a plough left in the field will be covered with grass within three days, and is hard to find back. There is also much honey here. The main city is Camyenetz [Kamenetz].
155.26. Russia has many horses, oxen and sheep, and precious furs. They usually drink mede. Wine is imported from Hungary, Moldavia and Walachia. About Prussia we have written on its own map}1598F ends here}.

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