Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 176


Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570 Latin (ABC), 1571 Latin, 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1573 Latin (AB), 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin (AB), 1580/1589 German, 1581 French, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588S, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 French, 1598/1610/1613 Dutch, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and the 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:

176.1. {1570L(ABC){BARBARIA, {1574L{and BILEDVLGERID}1574L}.

176.2. The modern writers who have divided Africa into four parts call this Barbaria the chief [part], {1606E only{and they define its borders as follows:}1606E only} on its East it has the deserts of Marmorica (nowadays called Barcha) as far as that part of the mountain range Atlantis [Atlas] which is now commonly called Meies, which part happens to have been described by Strabo under the name of Aspis. This mountain [range] Atlas (which extends along its side from East to West all the way to the main sea which after it is called the Atlantic sea) forms its border on the South.
176.3. On the West it ends at the Atlantic sea just mentioned. On its North beats the Mediterranean sea. {1573L(AB){Thus the entire area of Africa formerly containing both Mauretanies, Africa proper so to say, and Cyrene are generally comprised under one name, [viz.] BARBARIA,}1573L(AB)} {1601L, not in 1602G{all of it being, as Suidas records, under the command of king Masinissa}1601L, not in 1602G}.
176.4. This now is considered to be the most famous part of all Africa, and is divided into four kingdoms, or if you like that term better, four provinces, namely Marocco, Fez, Telesine and Tunis. In general, the people in all of this country are of a brownish complexion. Those who dwell in cities are very ingenious in architecture and related mathematical inventions, which is easy to see in the cunning workmanship displayed in their buildings. They are (if we may believe Ioannes Leo Africanus) men without any deceit, not only showing straightforwardness and true dealings, but also confirming this in their actions which come from their heart.
176.5. They are very brave and strong men, but especially those that dwell in the mountains. {not in 1580/1589G, 1588S, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{They all observe their religion}not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}. There is no nation that is more fanatical, so that they would rather die than put up with any wrongdoing or disgrace from their wives. They are very keen to acquire wealth and honour, and therefore they trade and deal with almost all quarters of the world. Those who dwell in tents, that is, those who follow their grazing cattle and live on them, are very kind men, courageous, patient, courteous, good housekeepers and as great lovers of honesty as anyone anywhere in the world.
176.6. But recognising that the state of the world is such that there is no person altogether blessed [only], but that everyone has his faults, these [people] too are not without their vices [either]. For the city dwellers we just spoke of are exceedingly haughty and proud, hasty and short-tempered, so that even the least offence that they perceive is, as the saying goes, engraved in marble by them, {1606E only{and they will never forget it}1606E only}. The people from the inland country are so simple and of such rude behaviour, and this has been fixed so strongly in their minds, that they will not be persuaded to acquaint themselves with any stranger, who will hardly ever win their sympathy.
176.7. They are so plain and simple-minded that they are easily inclined to believe [anything] told to them, although [it may be] almost incredible. {not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{About natural philosophy {not in 1606E{and physics}not in 1606E} they are so ignorant that they consider everything brought about by the natural forces to be wholly divine}not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}. They are so hasty and short-tempered that you can hardly in the day time walk in their streets or you shall see two or three {1588S, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{three or four}1588S, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S instead} of them quarrelling or fighting.
176.8. They only speak quickly and so loud {1608/1612I only{and in such a Homeric loud voice, as the saying goes}1608/1612I only} [that] it seems they would like to devour one another. So far about the characteristics and behaviour of these people. Now what remains is that we should say something about the nature of the country.
176.9. That part of the country that faces the Mediterranean sea is full of hills and mountains. Between these mountains and the famous Atlas range it is a flat country, yet here and there rising up with small hills. There are many good springs here, and therefore it is well watered by various pleasant brooks and rivers. It yields large quantities of dates and red pomegranates. It is not very fertile for grain, but of figs, olives and such fruits it produces a lot each year. The mountain [range] Atlas is very cold and barren, on all sides full of woods and covered with snow. It is the origin of almost all the rivers of Africa. Yet the cold here is never so bitter that one wants to sit close to a fire.
176.10. The later part of autumn, all winter and a great part of spring have many raging storms. And often they are in this area much vexed and threatened by terrible hail, thunder and lightning. In some places they have long and persistent snow storms &c. Joannes Leo Africanus has described these countries and people very elaborately, {1606E only{and will fully satisfy you}1606E only}. To whom, if you like, you may add what {1595L, not in 1602G{Ludovicus Marmolius and}1595L, not in 1602G} Fazellus in the first chapter of his sixth book on the later stages of the history of Sicily have written about this area.
176.11. CŠlius Augustinus Curio has published a description about the kingdom of Marocco in a specific treatise for consultation}1570L(ABC), 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L & 1602G end here} {1595L{to whom, if you like, you may add Diego de Turribus, who in Spanish has written a book about the Origin and Succession of the Xariffes}1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Vernacular text version of this map, translated from the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French & 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions:

176.12. {1571/1573D{Barbaria.

176.13. It is about 40 or 50 years ago, under pope Leo the tenth, that there has been a Moor, born in Granada, who fled with all he had to Barbarien, and who studied the Arab language and science in the city of Fez. From there he travelled all through the land of Barbaria, the land of the Black [people], Egypt, and Arabia and Syria, and was in contact everywhere with kings and frequented the courts of lords. This one has described in the Arabic language all these lands and the remarkable things he saw there, and made a book of it. Then he was captured on the island of Zerbi by the Christians, carried to Rome, and was donated to pope Leo.
176.14. The pope, who discerned in him some aptitude, having been able to write such a book pardoned him, and convinced him to be converted to Christianity, and then baptised him Ioannes Leo after both of his own names as he had before becoming the pope, and as he had now. For whoever becomes the pope usually changes his name. This man stayed so long after that in Rome that he learned the Italian language and he translated his book from Arabic into Italian. From his book we have collected the following about Barbaria.
176.15. Nowadays Barbaria is considered the best and foremost part of Africa. This Barabaria between its North and South border extends along the Mediterranean sea and the mountain [range] Atlas. In the West it borders on the sea where one finds the Canary islands, and in the East it extends to Egypt. This Barbaria is divided into four kingdoms or provinces, [namely] Marocco, Fes, Telesin and Tunis. It is very mountainous along the sea. Next to these mountains, up to the mountain range Atlas it has large fields and a few hills. It is watered and refreshed by numerous springs and brooks. It is very fertile in dates, oranges, olives, figs and all sorts of other fruits, but it does not yield much corn.
176.16. The mountain range Atlas is very cold, dry and infertile, shrubby and covered with snow. But below in the fields it is hardly ever so cold that one would like to sit near a fire.
The people are white or yellow Moors. They have strong bodies. Those who live in cities are well versed in architecture and other arts {1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{and sciences}1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F only}, which shows easily from their buildings and houses. They are straighforward, good people, truth-loving, in words as well as deeds, of a faithful disposition. But no people are vexed by jealousy more than they are, so that they would rather die than being put to shame by their wives.
176.17. They are keen on honour and money, and thus travel all over the world with their merchandise. But since no one is without fault, they are also haughty and irascible. You will hardly go through their streets without seeing two or three of them beating each other with their fists, and they do not lightly forget any kind of injustice committed to them. This applies to those living in cities. Those who live in the country side, concerned with agriculture and cattle, are more straightforward, more friendly, tolerant and religious, and they have an easier life style. But they are so simple minded that they will believe almost anything one tells them, however impossible. They have so little understanding of natural matters that they consider almost every natural phenomenon, such as lightning, thunder etc. to be a miracle. Altogether they are very blunt but good people}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F and 1598/1610/1613D end here}.

Bibliographical sources


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