Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 157

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1595 Latin, 1598 French, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612/1641 Spanish and 1609/1612 Latin edition. Note that the 1598 French version here sides with the other scholarly texts and not with the 1598/1610/1613 Dutch text:

157.1. {1595L{PRVSSIA.

157.2. Cromer is his description of Poland describes this country in the following manner: Among many other nations of Sarmatia in Europe, the Borussi are by Ptolemæus placed very far North on that coast where now in my opinion the Livonians and Moscovites dwell, beyond the river Chernish, neighbouring on the Ryphæans. I agree with Erasmus Stella in thinking that these [Prussians] passed further South and West, and took in their possession a great part of Sarmatia, which on the East is bordered by the Russians and Moscovites, and on the South is enclosed by woods and the Hercynian forest, and along that coast {1606E only{by Pautzkerwicke or Frisch-haff, [has], as some think, (Ptolemæus calls it}1606E only} Sinus Venedicus, {1606E only{Plinius [calls it] Clylipenus)}1606E only}, the Baltic and East seas, even up to the rivers Vistula {1606E only{(Wixel or Weissel)}1606E only} {1602G{and Ossa}1602G}, to be called Borussi or Prussi, names that are not very different [from one another].
157.3. In this area now live the Livonians, Lithuanians, Samagites and the Prussians, who still retain their ancient name, nations which are distinguished from each other in the sense that they are subject to various different states and are governed by different laws and policies, but use the same vernacular language, wholly different from the Slavonic ones, yet having various Latin words mixed and intermingled with their own, but mostly corrupted, and with Italian and Spanish word endings rather than Latin ones.
157.4. The Dutch and Germans have recently conquered that part which lies close to the sea and is called Prussia and Livonia, and established settlements there. This is the reason why the German language is more familiar and customary to these people than their ancient and vulgar language, especially in cities and towns. This is also usual among the Lithuanians, who because of their being in the neighbourhood of and because of their contacts with the Russians and the settlements supported from there, speak Russian reasonably well.
157.5. The statement by Duglossus, who derives the name and origin of this nation from Prusias, the king of Bithynia must be considered a mere fable, not worth refuting. Some think that the Borussi where called like that in German because they lived near to the Russi but whether this is true or false I do not want to discuss here. When and how the Latin tongue got mixed up with the vulgar language of the Borussians, Lithuanians and Livonians we do not dare to say for certain.
157.6. Erasmus Stella says that Borussia {1606E only{(Prussia or Spruse)}1606E only} was assaulted by the Romans, [and then] conquered [by them], taking Plinius as his source. From which it becomes clear that together with [the spreading of] the Roman Empire the Latin language cannot have spread and rooted here. But Duglossus tells us that in those civil wars between Cæsar and Pompeius a certain group or company of Romans left Italy, their native country, in those troublesome times, settled down on these coasts, and built a city here called ROMOVE after the name of their mother [city of] Rome, which city for a long time was the metropole of that country.
157.7. If this opinion of Duglossus is true, we have reason to think (with some reservations, since there may always be a reason to doubt the truth in history), that this group of Romans, lead by some captain named Libo, came to the Venedian sea coast, towards the East, bordering on the Russians, driven to land there as they were either by tempestuous weather, or, being pursued by the conquerors, to have withdrawn themselves into these quarters for shelter against the raging tyranny of Cæsar's soldiers. And thus the Libones, Livones or Livonians have received their name and way of being called after that Libo.
157.8. Finally, extending their bounds further and spreading themselves in all directions, some were named Lithuanians by a name derived from the same [Libo], but much altered and corrupted, while others have still retained their ancient name of Prussi. Yet, also a great part of Pommerland, and Culmischland and the outskirts of Michelaw, after they came under the jurisdiction of Spruse and under the command of the knights of the Holy Cross (Teutones Crucigeri){1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Commendadores Teutonicos}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead} began to be called by the one name Spruse.
157.9. Yet indeed, [only] that part is properly and truly called Spruse which is contained within the rivers Weichsel (Vistulo), the Dribentz, the Ossa, the Nemen and the bay about which we spoke before and it is divided from Lithuania and Massovia by thick woods full of moors and bogs. So far Cromer. I do not think it amiss also to write down here the ancient division of this country of Spruse into specific shires, as Caspar Henneberg has listed this, whose words are the following:
157.10. VIDIVVTO or, as it is called by some, VIDINITVS, king of Borussia, in the year of Christ 573, when he was 116 years old, before he cast himself into a fire together with his brother {not in 1606E{BRVTENOCRIBE}not in 1606E} as a sacrifice to his Gods, divided his possessions among his sons as follows. He had, as is reported, 12 sons. The first was LITHPO, or as others called him LITALAN, to whom he gave Lithuania the Lower, and made him king and sovereign of the rest, but he was rejected by his brothers because of his murder of CRIBE, a bishop of them by that name.
157.11. Among the other eleven he divided the country of Spruse. Of these the first [son], called ZAMO, obtained that region which after him to this day is called Sambia {1606E only{(Samland)}1606E only} which has on its West and North the salt sea, on the East lake Curisch-haff (Curonensis lacus) and the river Deme, and on the South the river Pregel. It is an accepted view among them that he lived on mount GALTAGARB. The second [son] SUDO got as his portion that part of the country where you now find Oletzko, Stradaun, Lick, part of the precincts or liberties of Iohansburg, Letzen, Angerburg and Isterburg.
157.12. It has on its East Lituania, on its South Masovia and Galindia, on its North-West Barthonia (Barthenerland), [and] on its North Slavonia. This country they called, after his name, Sudavia. This name was utterly lost when this whole area was spoilt and laid waste by the Crucigeri {1606E only{(the knights of the Holy Cross)}1606E only} {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Commendadores Teutonicos}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, {not in 1598F{and therefore the later writers are totally ignorant whether this area was called Sudavia or not.
157.13. They do think it to have been in Sambia, where there is now a canton called DER SUDAWISCHE WINKEL ODER DER BRUSTER ORT, but they are wrong. For because of their treachery they were driven there by the Crucigeri}not in 1598F}{1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Commendadores}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. The third [son], NADROO, settled between Sambia, Slavonia and Barthonia, where there are many rivers, forests and vast wildernesses, called Nadraw (NADRAVIA). In this province you find Tapiaw, Taplaucken, Salaw, Georgenburg &c, strong and defensible castles. The fourth [son], SCALAVONI, had those places given to him which are on both sides of the river Memel (the old writers call it Cronon), and therefore his portion was called Scalavonia after his own name.
157.14. The fifth [son], NATANGO, got that part which he called Natangen. It has on its North side the river Pregel, and on its East Alla. The sixth [son], BARTHO, enjoyed Barthonia, BARTHENERLAND. It was divided into the Greater and the Lesser, {not in 1608/1612I{and PLICK BARTHEN}not in 1608/1612I}, but now those divisions have been forgotten and are no longer used. The seventh [son], GALINDO, [obtained] that area [extending] from Masovia to the river Alla and lake Spirding, which was named Galindia after him, and which contains many huge deserted areas. A large part of it belongs to the bishop of Varmia and is now considered to be part of Ermeland.
157.15. The eighth [son], VARMONI, received as his portion VARMIA, lying between the countries Galindia, Natangia and Pogesamia. But since he did not continue to live long after his father['s death], this province soon lost that name again, and was named by the German name of {not in 1606E{his wife}not in 1606E} ERMELAND. The ninth [son], HOGGO, [received] a lordship which was separated from Ermeland by the river Passerg [and] from Pomesania by the river Weseck and lake Drausen. It is now by the Germans called HOCKERLAND, but by the Romans it is called Pogesania after POGIA, his daughter.
157.16. The tenth [son], POMESO, got into the possession of Pomesania, named after him, bounded by the rivers Weissel, Weseck, [and] Ossa or Mocra. The eleventh [son], CHELMO, received as his portion Culmigeria or Hulmigeria {1606E only{(they call it Colmishland)}1606E only}, a province lying between the rivers Weissel, {not in 1602G{Mockra or}not in 1602G} Osso and Dreventza, well furnished with castles and cities. Here is another shire worth remembering which they call Sossaw. Also another, called LOBOVIA {1606E only{(Lobaw)}1606E only}, belonging to the bishop of Culm. [Then there is] HUNTAW, also a very small province, but well inhabited.
157.17. There is also an island near Margeburg (or Marienburg), enclosed by a bank or wall [made] by the Crucigeri, {1606E only{the knight[s] of the Holy Cross}1606E only}{1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{Commendadores}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead} [to protect it] against inundations and the breaking in of the rivers Weissel and Nogot, and it is called The greater isle GROS WERDER. The Lesser isle DAS KLEINE WERDER, is in Pomerellia near Dantzk. Finally, [there is] MARIANA near Marienwerder, an island by that name, which is not inhabited but reserved for pasture and meadows, yearly yielding a great profit.
157.18. This author promises a specific treatise on Prussia with a further discussion on this map. {not in 1598F & 1602G{But you may read more about this in Guaginus Veronensis' history of Sarmatia. David Chytræus has also excellently described this place in his Saxon Chronicle}not in 1598F & 1602G}.
157.19. Amber, {not in 1598F & 1602G{(the Romans call it Succinum and Electrum, the Germans BERNSTEIN, AGSTEIN [or] AMMEREN)}not in 1598F & 1602G} {1608/1612I only{in Italian Ambra}1608/1612I only} is found plentifully on the coast of this country, but nowhere else in the world, to the great gain and enrichment of this nation. Various authors have written about the nature and properties of this common stuff, but no one better, in my judgement, than Andreas Aurifaber Vratislaviensis, in a specific publication written in Latin as well as in German}1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}{1598F only{which surpasses all others}1598F only which ends here}.

Vernacular text version, translated from the 1598/1610/1613 Dutch edition:

157.20. (1598/1610/1613D only{Pruyssen.

157.21. Ptolemæus describes in the North some peoples whom he calls Borussos where the people from Livonia and the Moscovites live now. They moved at some time from the South and West and have now occupied a large part of Sarmatia, which on its East borders on the Russians and Moscovites, and on its Southern border has fields and the Hercynian forest, and further all those regions which from the East sea and the Sont extend to the rivers Weichsel and Ossa.
157.22. These people are called the Borussi, and in the course of time as a result of abbreviation Prussi. Presently in the same area one finds Livonians, Lithuanians, Samagites, and Prussians who still retain their old names. These regions differ from each other in government and rulers, but they mostly use the same language, with many corrupted Latin words, but with even more Italian and Spanish features than Latin ones. Because the Germans have had many settlements in these countries, their language has also been introduced there, which is now used very much, particularly in cities.
157.23. Something similar happened to the Lithuanians, who now mostly use the Russian language, on account of their trade with the Russians and those from adjacent areas. Although a large part of Pommern and the regions of Colmis and Michelaw, after they had come under a government described under Prussia, yet true Prussia is that which lies confined between the rivers Weichsel, Ossa, Dervantia and Nemenum, and the above mentioned bay of the sea, but separated from Lithuania and Massovia by thick marshy forests. This is what Cromerus writes.
157.24. In the year of our Lord 573 there was a king in this land who was called Vidimtus, who, at the age of 116 years, wanted to throw himself together with his brother into the fire as a sacrifice to his gods. For this reason, he had divided all of Prussia among his twelve sons. This act has been described by Casparus Hennebergis.
157.25. The succinum or electrum which is also called barnstein [amber] or agstein is found on the beach of this province, and nowhere else. It brings great profit to the inhabitants. Its history has been written by many authors, but best by Aurifaber [Andreas Goudtsmit] of Breslaw in his specific treatise in Latin and German}1598/1610/1613D only}.

Bibliographical sources

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