Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 190


Text, translated from the 1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L & 1602 German edition. First we will give the translation of 1591G4Add & 1602G, then that of 1590L4Add and 1592L, which are rather different from the German text, but identical among themselves, except for a page number.

190.1. {1591G4Add{The English Isles.

190.2. Aristoteles writes to Alexander that these islands are to be preferred to others in width and size. Tacitus testifies that these are the largest islands of all as reported by Roman historians. Appianus reports that these islands are so large that they seem to be another world. Hegesippus names them as coming from another world as well. Cęsar, Diodorus, Strabo and Mela attribute to them a triangular form. Tacitus, as well as Livius and Fabius Rusticus compare it to a long, rounded shape, somewhat like a cob-web or halbert. Iornandes says that they resemble a nut. These islands were first discovered by the Roman Empire under emperor Julius [Cęsar], who as the first of all people, (meaning Romans), has attacked it with a thousand ships, as Athenęus reports in his sixth book.
190.3. Since before this time, as Dion writes in his 39th book, it had been fully unknown. Later writers have been in doubt whether this was a New World or just an island. And many writings have appeared defending either point of view, not much based on experience, (since they had not seen them personally, nor have heard about their location and situation from their inhabitants), but were only based on conjectures based on efforts or some other kind of understanding. In the course of time, particularly under Agricola Proprętor, in the time of Vespasianus, as I understand from Tacitus, and in our time under emperor Severus, it has become evident that it is an island.
190.4. Diodorus informs us that before the arrival of the Romans, this island has never been subjected to any foreigners. It belongs to many kings. But the common people mostly hold the policy responsible, a matter which is supported by Cęsar, Strabo, Xiphilinus and Tacitus, that these islands were appropriated by rulers under fraud and trickery. Also, that no common council had been held, but that every ruler fought for himself, resulting in loss for all. The settlements of these isles are larger than in Gallia, but also less cold, says Cęsar. And Tacitus confirms that one does not experience there the harshness of the cold as much, and Strabo says that the air is more subjected to clouds than to snow. Herodianus says that the sky itself is more darkish and overcast, and claims this to be the cause for its relative heat and darkness, resulting in many pools and puddles.
190.5. The same Strabo reports that most parts of these islands are plain, and surrounded by forests, and that many elevations are uncultivated and without water, as Xiphilinus confirms, having deserted fields full of pools, a condition also reported by Herodianus when he says that as a result of this water seeking its way to the sea, it is very marshy and humid. In his Panegyricus he reports that the fields are abundant with corn and fertile, but more suitable to feed cattle than people, as confirmed by Mela. Hence, there is an uncountable amount of cattle, as Cęsar has put on record.
190.6. But that it also produces corn is reported by Strabo, who attributes it to the marl in the soil, which according to Plinius leads to a marvellous growth in Englands regions. Its fertility, according to Marcellinus, book 18, was so abundant in the time of emperor Julianus that they also exported produce to France and Germany, as confirmed by Zosimus. They grow a variety of things as in France, (except for beeches and firs), as well as hares, chickens and geese is testimony of their fertility, says Cęsar. Xiphilinus as well as Dion praise the incredible amount of fish of these islands. Solinus recommends the abundant presence of all kinds of metals. The ancients have always wondered why so much white and black lead is found in countries in the middle of the land, as Cęsar says. This is somewhat contradicted by Diodorus who says that the same is dug in the promontory of Bolerio, and iron as well, but not much, and this is found at the edge of the sea.
190.7. If we believe Tacitus and Strabo, these islands also produce gold and silver. The prophecies of Sibylla also report them to be rich in gold, perhaps guided by Cicero, who writes to Trebatius that not a single grain of gold or silver is to be found on these islands, and therefore nothing of it is exported, and nothing is to be expected of robbery, except slaves. Plinius and Mela report that there is a large river here in which precious stones and pearls can be found, Ęlianus considers these pearls to be equal to those from the Indies. What expectations emperor Julius Cęsar entertained when he captured these islands is reported by Suetonius in his biography of Julius Cęsar. There are also very elegant hot springs, built for the use and pleasure of human beings, these springs being under the patronage of the goddess Minerva, as I read in Solinus.
190.8. Heliodorus writes that on these islands the precious stone amethyst can be found. The same Solinus says that the best agats are found here. The English sea snails are not unknown to Plinius, because he praises them, saying Rutupinoue edita fundo, Ostrea callebat primo deprehendere morsu, that is: he could immediately take a first bite from the sea snails which were cast away from the promontory of Rutupini. Here you also find the Chenerotes, a bird somewhat smaller than a wild goose, the only tasteful bird for the inhabitants of these islands, as also confirmed by Plinius. Its dogs, as they call them, are praised by the poet Gratius, about which Strabo writes that they are very good hounds for hunting, which is confirmed by Nemesianus, when he says: Divisa Britannia mittit, Veloces nostrique; orbis Venatibus aptos, that is, divided England sends us swift dogs, trained to hunt in our lands.
190.9. This is also discussed by Symmachus in the writings to his brother Flavianus, saying that the Romans were very astonished. Strabo informs us that the French tended to take dogs with them when they went to war. Some further references can be found, as in Agassęos, reported on by Oppianus in his book on hunting. Whether this island produced wine (for Tacitus says that it yields olives and vines) I cannot confirm, but I find in Vopiscus that emperor Aurelianus permitted the English to plant vines and produce wine.
190.10. And in a Panegyricus, a splendid eulogy to the mighty emperor Constantine the Great, it is said that these islands are so fertile that specific references to Cereris [concerning corn] and Bacchus [concerning wine] would be superfluous. Plinius reports that Sotacus is of the opinion that amber dripped from the trees, which we call Electridę [amber], in an ancient piece of poetry, perhaps meant to be the same as what Clemens in the sixth book of his Stromaton describes as Herveti.
190.11. Historiographers write that in England there is a big cave under a mountain, with a fissure in its top. As soon as the wind blows into this fissure, and hits upon a bend in this cave, one hears the sound of cymbals which are struck a number of times. This is similar to what Solinus reports about an altar in the area of Caledonia, which has Greek letters signifying that Ulysses has been there as he intended to. Whether this island was once subjected to some ruler, as Servius thinks, is something I leave to others. Now we will say something about its inhabitants.
190.12. Cęsar and Diodorus report that it has an incredible number of inhabitants. From where they came, or which people lived there right from the beginning, whether they were islanders or were shipped there, as Tacitus discusses, is something we do not know about for certain. But the inner parts are inhabited by those who have been born on this island. However, those regions which are close to the sea are inhabited by those who came there from the Low Countries, who seemed to have taken the city with them from where they had come. Cęsar discusses this, (those from the Netherlands agreeing to this, as well as the Atrebates, supported by Ptolemęus in this view), and Tacitus proposes that the Caledonians find their origin in the Germans, since they have red hair and tall limbs.
190.13. The paintings on their faces and the way they have their hair done, and their location opposite Spain suggests that the old inhabitants who lived at the river Ebro in Spain have sailed the sea and took these places for themselves. But it is also a possibility that the French took some of the neighbouring lands as their old documents indicate, their convictions and it appears from their language, which is very similar [to English]. Zosimus reports in the first book of his Histories that emperor Probus ordered all Burgundians and Wandals whom he wanted to subdue without killing them, to be shipped to these islands to inhabit them.
190.14. As concerns the Saxons and other peoples who later invaded these islands, they came from the middle world [age] and the new world [present], whereas we intend to discuss the ancient world, we will refrain from discussing them. For the inhabitants, a number of these islands are fully uninhabitable, depending on how far they are from the inhabited world, and on their experiences. We learn from Tacitus that they are much more uncivilized than the French, and as Strabo informs us, in height and stature much exceed them. Their hair is long and grows all over their body, but plucked out except for their head and upper lip.
190.15. The same Strabo reports that their knowledge is in some respects limited, and that they do not know how to make cheese in spite of their abundance of milk. Others are ignorant about how to plant their garden, and how to till their fields. They are unreliable, and simple in their customs, (listen what Diodorus writes), and in terms of courage, wit and ingenuity much inferior to our own people. Their food is simple and scarce, as a result of their poverty. And as Mela writes about them, their only affluence consists of cattle and fields, for to eat hares, chickens and geese they consider inappropriate, as Cęsar testifies, restricting themselves to milk and meat. They put their corn into their barns unthreshed, and thresh each day whatever they need.
190.16. Concerning their patience in adversities, you will find more in Dion in his life of Nero. Dioscorides informs us that they brew their drink from barley, calling it Curm. Herodianus writes the same. They do no know how to dress themselves, and when they gird on a sword, they put it around their neck, thinking it to be an adornment and a sign of wealth, in the same way as other barbarian peoples regard gold. Cęsar tells us that they use skins and hides as clothing. In groups of ten or twelve, they have their wives in common, particularly brothers among each other, and also parents with children, but those children that are born from this they consider to be virgins that should be educated as such. So far Cęsar. Eusebius reports in Book 6 of his Pręp. that many have only one wife, which is confirmed by Clemens in his Recognitions, Book 9.
190.17. Plutarchus informs us that they may live to an age of 120 years. They use copper coins or iron rings, which should be of a certain weight. Plinius writes that they also wear a ring around their middle finger. I find in Cęsar that they often industriously rebuild their houses, and Strabo reports that these are usually made of reeds and wood. Instead of building cities, they remain in the countryside. What they call a city is a place in the woods with a ditch or a wall to which they retreat when hiding from the enemy. And as both Cęsar and Strabo inform us, they build huts and stables for their cattle, not intended for permanent use.
190.18. Herodianus calls them a warlike and bloodthirsty sort of people. They do not only fight on horseback and on foot, but also in charriots and waggons, armed in the French manner. They use carved axes, as Mela tells us. They also use a lot of waggons, as Cęsar, Strabo and Diodorus write. Tacitus says that they tend to fight with long spears. Such lances, as Herodianus testifies, they hang on their naked bodies, only protected by a small leather sheath. They do not know how to protect themselves with helmets and harnesses, but consider them a hindrance when crossing their marshes. When they swim across waters, and have reached the end of the marshes, climbing out of the water, and show their privy parts, they scorn the advice to protect themselves with helmets, harnasses and boots, as we find in the oration Bundvica in Dion.
190.19. Whenever they fight their enemies, they make a tremendous noise, as the same Dion writes, a threatening kind of song. Reasons for making war are purely emotional, and to harm someone else, and to rule over someone else, exerting themselves to enlarge their possessions. Tacitus provides information that they make war at the instigation of their wives, and he refers for proof of this to Bondicea and her daughters in his Annals Book 34, and also in Dion writing the life of Nero, where she is called Bundvica. They endanger their own lives for an ornament of uncertain significance. We find the same in Mela and in Iornandes. They are terrible to behold in battle, as Cęsar says who adds that that they sprinkle themselves with paint, which they glue to themselves.
190.20. I read in Herodianus that they do not only adorn their bodies with paint, but also that they draw all kinds of paintings of wild animals on their bodies, and go about naked and unprotected because they do not want to cover these paintings. The same can be found in Solinus. This land is partly inhabited by barbarian peoples, who paint art-like animal pictures from their youth onwards onto their bodies, and once they are truly engraved into these bodies, they grow as the people who wear these paintings as they have applied them grow. And they endure in great patience that horse-flies and bumble-bees from their fresh wounds suck blood. Among other gods, they worship in particular, as I find in Dion, the goddess Andate, and this is also what they call their victory, sanctified in their churches and woods, in which they made sacrifices and to whom they did worship in devotion and earnestness. Next to this, they worship to the goddess named Adrasten, maybe the same that the old Greeks and Romans called Adrastia. Whether this is the same as Nemsin is for others to decide.
190.21. Cęsar describes that in former times they had living among them those wise and spiritual Gallę that are called Druids, and he says that there teachings and lores have been invented by themselves there, and from there took it to Gallia. It becomes apparent from Tacitus in the 14th Book of his Annals that on the isle of Mona they settled in the time of Vespasianus. It is supposed that the immortality of the soul, (which is what the Druids believed in), has been taught by them to these people. But we discuss the Druids in greater detail on the map of ancient Gallia. That the English also practiced the science of natural matters and exerted themselves in fear with this impressively, and also practiced ceremonies, and have transferred this knowledge to the Persians, is something for which we have Plinius as a reliable witness.
190.22. This is also proven by Bundvica, who, after having saved the field army, put a hare into her lap, in order to obtain an omen, and as soon as it had jumped off in the right direction, the entire army had cried out in merriment. They consider it a normal thing to sacrifice using the blood of their captives on the altar, resulting in help from the gods, as Tacitus says. So far concerning Albion. Now we turn to Hibernia.

190.23. HIBERNIA.

190.24. In their various writings, the old writers have called this area Hibernia, Iuverna and Ierna. Eusthatius, quoted by Dionysius calls it Vernia. But by Diodorus it is called Iris. By Avienus it is called Sacra as regards its coasts, and he claims it to be inhabited by the Hierni. Isacius in Lycophron honours them with the name England which lies to the East. I notice that by the writers of the middle world [age] they are called Scotland. And Orosius writes that the Scots live there.
190.25. It is thought that by Plutarchus in a booklet The Face of the Moon they were named Ogygia. As Tacitus writes, there is little difference between these islands and England as concerns the temperature of the air. Here you find no snakes, few birds, and no bees, is what Solinus writes, so that earth, or even a small piece of stone, taken from this place and distributed under a bee-hive will result in their departure from this hive. Pomponius writes about them that the air is unsuitable for seeds to sprout, but that it is so abundant in its plants of all kinds, the nice ones as well as the sweet ones, that their cattle in just a part of the day fatten themselves to such an extent that, if they are not kept away from their pastures, they will burst asunder. The same is reported by Solinus whom we mentioned before, but more succinctly.
190.26. He also calls them an inhuman people, because of the barbaric habits of the inhabitants. Pomponius also calls the people of these isles simple and foolish, and not characterised by any virtues, only partly inclined towards religion but largely ignorant about devotion. Strabo thinks that they are more rustic and less civilized than the English. Solinus thinks they are inhospitable, fickle and belligerent. To return to Strabo, he says that they are gluttonous, and eat in great quantities. Diodorus reports that they also eat human flesh, which is conformed by Solinus. He says that those who are victorious in battle will first drink the blood of those they have slain, and then besmear their faces with it.
190.27. They even consider it very honourable and glorious, as Strabo says, to take the dead bodies of their parents, after they have died, and to eat them. In public, they do not only have intercourse with their wife, but also with their mother and their sisters. All this indicates that they make no difference between justice and injustice, as Polyhistor writes about them. He continues as follows: when a pregnant woman has brought a boy into the world, she will put the first food on the sword-blade of her husband, and brings the top of the sword cautiously into the mouth of the child, to bring good luck with this food, and in pagan belief, she expresses the hope that he will only die through arms in battle. Whoever is in war and goes to battle, will adorn the handles of their swords with the teeth of wild sea animals, similar in whiteness to ivory, because the splendour and honour of the men resides in the adornment of their weapons.}1591G4Add & 1602G end here}.

Now follows the text of the 1590L4Add and 1592L which is quite different from the one given above, but these two Latin versions are identical in typesetting except for page number. This text is almost identical to the text for Ort192:

190.28. {1590L4Add{The BRITISH ISLES.

Plinius says that in the Atlantic ocean there are many islands named BRITANNICĘ INSULĘ, The British islands, but [only] the two larger [ones] are mentioned in particular: ALBION and HIBERNIA. Of these ALBION, since it is both the largest and as it were commander of the rest, is most properly called BRITANNIA, and I might easily be convinced that all these islands were mentioned in the ancient records of the Greeks before they were named or known by the Romans, and to have been generally called the CASSITERIDES, or as we say the Stannaries, and as the main one CASSITERA, which the Romans call Britannia. And although I am not ignorant [about the fact] that Cassitera is considered by Dionysius and Stephanus to be Indica Insula, an Indian island, yet, this does not influence my opinion a whit.
190.29. For I truly think that this was advanced by them out of ignorance, and not founded on knowledge or skill in geography. For we all know that this is also a common error in these days, [viz.] to call all countries or islands that are unknown or far remote and distant from us Indian isles, by which name, not without manifest ignorance of the truth, they call the whole continent of the New world, together with the islands around it which were first discovered and found in the days of our grandfathers, and such as are daily being discovered now, [also] by that name. I find Pomponius Mela to be on my side, who calls them CELTICAS, Celtic isles, as if they were near neighbours to the Celtę.
190.30. I know that these Cassiterides are by others described differently, as [for instance] by Diodorus Siculus [as being located] a little above Lusitania, by Plinius as opposite Celtiberia, [and] near Artabrum promontorium by Strabo and Ptolemęus. Since there are no islands at all in this area, nor were there ever any, it becomes apparent that these islands were known to the ancients only by name, and not by their true location. Now everyone recommends these islands for the great abundance of tin and lead which they yearly produce. Strabo also claims these islands [to be] rich in hides. Is it not true that these three [products], whose abundance has made ENGLAND famous all over the world, prove clearly that they all referred to and aimed at Britain? For what [other] country or province is there on the whole globe of the earth that is so rich in leather? Or that has such plenty of fine wool as ENGLAND?
190.31. The same Strabo confirms that on the Cassiterides there is no need to dig deeply to find metals. Plinius says that they are found at very surface of the earth. Who would not realise that they are both speaking of the same thing? From this I conclude that in former times the Phœnicians, and the Spanish, for trade sailed through the straights of Gibraltar and brought brass and salt in exchange for tin, lead and pelts, like the Romans later used to do, after Cęsar had subdued it, [partly] over land via France. Therefore it was then first known to the Romans by the name of Britannia, which centuries earlier was very famous among the Phœnicians by the name Cassitera. Appianus, a respected author who lived at the time of Hadrianus the emperor writes that the Spaniards avoided to travel on the Western and Northern ocean, but were forced into Britain by the violence of the tide. That here he calls Britain Cassitera is without question, but then that name fell into disuse and the [use of] the name of Britain, as I consider to be very likely, became more common, and better known. Let the learned investigate, and at their leisure consider whether [or not] this is true.
190.32. Sextus Rufus Avienus describes these islands under the name of OESTRYMNIDVM. Surely I am of the opinion that he does. For he says that these Œstrymniades are very rich in lead and tin, and that the country people make ships of leather, in which they sail on the main sea. In what sense does this differ from what Plinius reports, [when he says] that the Britans go to sea in ships made of reeds and covered with raw hides?
190.33. The Romans divided this island, as Dion and Xiphilinus testify, into the HIGHER, containing all that part which is towards the South, and the LOWER towards the North. In the Almagest of Ptolemęus, the one is called MINOR, the Lesser, the other MAIOR, the Greater, which happened at the time of Severus, emperor of Rome. But during the reign of Valentinianus the emperor, I find in Sextus Rufus that it was distinguished by these names[:] BRITANNIA PRIMA, the First, BRITANNIA SECVNDA, the Second, BRITANNIA MAXIMA CĘSARIENSIS, the Greater, and FLAVIA. The book of Remembrances (Notiar.) and Ammianus add VALENTIA, which others, such as Orosius, Claudianus and Hegesippus call SCOTIA, Scotland.
190.34. Xiphilinus in Severus attributes the people in general to the following two nations: MĘATAS and CALEDONII, for the names of the rest may well be reduced to these two. He who wants to know the various people of this island as it was being inhabited, let him have recourse to Ptolemęus or to our map here, onto which we have summarised those things we have collected here and there, dispersed over Cęsars Commentaries, Tacitus, Pausanias and Ammianus, and he shall be fully satisfied. So far about the names of these islands. Now let us in a similar manner speak about the islands themselves, and first about the largest of them, which we said was called Britannia.
190.35. Aristoteles writes to Alexander the Great that this island in size exceeds the rest. Tacitus testifies that it is the largest of all the islands that the Romans ever knew. It is so large, as Appianus writes, that it might seem to be another continent. And Hegesippus calls it another world. Cęsar, Diodorus, Strabo and Mela claim it to be three-cornered. Tacitus, based on Livius and Fabius Rusticus says it resembles a flail. Iornandes says [that] it is formed like a cone.
190.36. This island was first discovered and made known to the Roman empire in the time of Julius Cęsar who first of all men (as I understand the Romans) entered it with one thousand sailing ships, as Athenęus in his sixth book has left on record. For previously, as Dion says in his 39th book, it was uncertain whether there was such an island or not. The later writers were doubtful whether it used to be part of the mainland, or [that it always has been] a separate island by itself, and about this question they have written much for both points of view, since indeed they knew nothing for certain about it (not having seen it, nor being informed about it by its inhabitants), but had only written about it by guessing and conjecturing, each after his own opportunities or learning.
190.37. In the course of time, first when Agricola was vice-prętor, (which I understand from Tacitus was [the case] under Vespasianus) then again, in our days, under Severus, it was clearly found to be only an island. Before the arrival of these men, the island had never born the yoke of any foreign prince, as Diodorus Siculus informs us. It was governed by many princes. Its own people mostly ruled it, and they had a kind of sovereignty, as we read in Cęsar, Strabo, Xiphilinus and Tacitus, who also adds that by their princes they are drawn to various factions, taking opposing sides, and that they do not have any common counsel, so that they fight in different groups, and were conquered as such.
190.38. The temperature of the air, says Cęsar, is milder than in France, [and] its frosts and cold are not so biting. Tacitus states that there is never any bitter, cold weather. Strabo writes that the air is more subject [to have] clouds than snow. Herodianus informs us that the air is thick and foggy, and he thinks the reason [for that] to be the heat and vapours which ascend from its fens and marshes.
190.39. The same Strabo mentioned before says that most of the island is plain and flat, [and] covered with woods and groves. There are also some earth hills, but very craggy and dry without water, as Xiphilinus writes, and in addition some plains, deserts, and lots of fens and bogs. This Herodianus declares to be true, who [also] says that because of the frequent overflowing of the sea, it is fenny and marshy in various places. Yet in a Panegyricus he claims it to have a very fertile soil for corn, but it is [even] better for grass than for corn, and is kinder to beast than to man, as Mela confirms, and therefore there is an infinite amount of cattle here, as Cęsar records.
190.40. Yet it [also] produces wheat and rye, as Strabo writes. And by means of their great store of marl for this, Plinius says, the [soil of the] Britans has great fertility, which in the time of emperor Julianus was so luxurious and super-abundant that, as Marcellinus writes in his eighteenth book, they exported corn and [such] provisions to France and Germany. The same story is confirmed by Zozimus. It yields all kinds of commodities and other things like France does, (except beech and fir trees), such as hares, hens and geese, as Cęsar just mentioned confirms. Xiliphinus, based on Dion, highly recommends it for its wonderful abundance of all sorts of fish.
190.41. Solinus [praises it] as much for the great variety and richness in metals. All the world has continually admired it for its infinite abundance of tin and lead, especially higher up in the country, as Cęsar claims. This opinion is confirmed, to some extent, by Diodorus Siculus, who says that metals are plentifully found near the promontory Bolerium. Next to these metals the same author says that it also yields iron, but not in any great quantities, and that in the same manner towards the sea coast. It also has some veins of gold and silver, if we are to believe Tacitus and Strabo. Also, the prophecies of Sibylla claim it to be rich in gold, though perhaps imported.
190.42. Perhaps this is the case because so much is brought here, for Cicero writes to Trebatius that the isle by itself does not produce one dram of gold or silver, and that nothing is to be exported from here, nor is any kind of booty to be expected other than one would obtain from slaves. Plinius and Mela write that there are many great rivers here which yield pearls and precious stones. These pearls are the best in value and worth, next to those from India, in the judgement of Ęlianus. The expectation of profit from these says Suetonius in his life [of Cęsar] first prompted Cęsar to assault this island.
190.43. I read in Solinus that there are hot baths here, which are marvellously carved and trimmed for the use of man. These fountains, he says, are consecrated to Minerva, who presides over them. Heliodorus too ascribes the amethyst, a precious stone, to this country. Here also is the agath, the best of its kind, as Solinus states.
190.44. It seems that Plinius, many years ago, had heard of English oysters, which one of them recommended who wrote about them like this: --Rutupinoque edita fundo, Ostrea callebat primo deprehendere morsu. [that is:] he could immediately take a first bite from the sea snails which were cast away from the promontory of Rutupini. Here are little geese, or young ones, that form part of the dish unknowingly, as Plinius writes. The poet Gratius highly praises the English dogs, which are exported from here, as Strabo writes, for their natural excellence in sure hunting, about which Nemesianus was not ignorant either, when he wrote about them like this: --Divisa Britannia mittit Veloces, nostriq. Orbis venatibus aptos. {[that is: Britain, that other world has always borne the name, for swiftest hounds, and best for hunters game]. Symmachus writes to Flavianus, his brother, that in former times the Romans greatly admired the English dogs, and Strabo states that the Gauls used their help in their wars against France. There is a kind of them which is smaller than the common kind, which I find described in Oppianus' book of hunting. He calls it Agasseus. Whether in former times it had wine or not, (for Tacitus flatly denies that it will produce vines or olive trees) I dare not confirm.
190.45. Yet I understand from Vopiscus that Aurelianus the emperor allowed the Britans to plant vines, and to make wine. Also, the panegyricus, an oration addressed to Constantine the Great, attributes to this island such a great fertility for corn and all sorts of grain that it has enough both of corn for bread and corn for brewing to be self-sufficient. Plinius writes that Sotacus truly believed that amber (Electrum) dropped from certain trees here, which they therefore called Electrides, amber trees, a fabricated story invented by the old writers, as may also be the case for what Clemens, in the sixth book of his Stromaton writes about the story of Hervetus:
190.46. They who write histories report that in Britannia ([in Greek lettering] Brittanike, the Greek copy has), there is a certain cave underneath a hill in the top of which there is a chink or rift. When the wind blows into the cave, and beats against its sides, a sound is heard resembling cymbals making a melodious harmony. Similarly, [there is a fable] by Solinus too, who writes that there is an altar (ara) in a by-place or odd corner in Caledonia, where an inscription written in Greek letters clearly shows that Ulysses landed here. And whether this isle was ever part of the main continent or not, as Servius claims, I dare not confirm. Now what remains is that we in the same manner say something about its people.
190.47. Cęsar and Diodorus Siculus report that it is marvellously populous. But from where the people and first inhabitants came, whether they were indigenous or came from other countries, is not known, as Tacitus has written. The inner parts, higher inland, are inhabited by those who as they say were born and bred there. The sea coasts are inhabited by those who came there from Belgium [and] almost all of them take their name from those cities and provinces from where they came, and where they were born, as Cęsar reports. This opinion of his is confirmed by Ptolemęus, who on this island also mentions and describes the Belgę and Atrebates.
190.48. Tacitus claims that the Caledonij have red hair and large limbs, which is a clear argument that they derive from the Germans. Their well-coloured complexion, curly head and their location opposite the Spanish coast prove that the ancient Iberi had in former times crossed the sea and had settled here. That the Galli or Gauls entered these coasts, close to their country, is very probable on the basis of their ceremonies, superstitious opinions and similitude of language. Zozimus in his first book of Historiarum writes that the emperor Probus sent to this island all the Burgundians and Vandals that he conquered and captured alive, so that here they might live and settle.
190.49. The Saxons and other people that entered this land I omit on purpose, because these belong to later times, and [came] only recently, [whereas] we only intended to touch on those things that were of greater antiquity. Generally, the inhabitants of this isle, in those days, were all uncivil and rude. And being further remote from the main continent, they had less knowledge about foreign wealth. That the Britans were more valiant and brave [than the Gauls] we learn from Tacitus.
190.50. That they were much taller of stature [than the French], we can read in Strabo. They wear their hair long, all their bodies everywhere being shaven except for their head and upper lip.
The same author says that as regards their nature and qualities they are mostly all alike, yet some are more plain and simple minded, others more rude and barbarous. Thus, although they have plenty of milk, yet they do not know how to make cheese. Others are fully ignorant about sowing, planting, grafting and other such farming activities. In their behaviour and conversations, they are, as Diodorus says about them, plain, simple and sincere, and far remote from the wily subtleties and crafty devices of our people.
190.51. They eat simple, plain food, and have nothing to do with wealth and a gorgeous life style. And as Mela says about them, they are only rich in land, cattle, large plots of land and area of ground. And they do not consider it lawful to eat hares, hens or geese. Yet, they keep them, as Cęsar writes, but only for game and pleasure.
190.52. They feed themselves with milk and meat, as Plinius says. They put their corn up into their barns in ears of sheaves unthreshed, from where they fetch and thresh as much as they need from day to day. About their temperate and modest diet, as well as their patience in adversity and affliction, Dion in his life of Nero will inform you.
Dioscorides recorded that they made their own drink, which they call Curmi from barley. About the same Britons Herodianus writes like this. They wear no kind of garment, but only clasp a piece of iron around their neck, thinking that to be a great ornament and a sign of wealth, as other barbarous nations do with gold. Cęsar says that they are clad in skins and leather.
190.53. They used to have ten or twelve wives common to a certain group of them. Especially brothers with brothers and fathers with their sons were thus co-partners. But if any of these women got a child, whoever got it was considered to have obtained it from the man who first married her when she was a maiden. Thus Cęsar wrote about them in his time. [But] Eusebius in the sixth book of his de Prępar. evangel. has given us to understand that many of them had but one wife only, which is confirmed by Clemens Alexandrinus in the 9th book of his Recognitium. Plutarchus says that they usually live to be one hundred and twenty years old.
190.54. They use brass money or iron rings, made of a certain weight, instead of gold or silver coins. Plinius says that they used to wear rings on their middle finger. In Cęsar I read that their houses stand thronged and close together, but as Strabo writes, these were mostly made of reed or timber. They dwell in woods like we do in cities. What they call a town is whatever has a bank or ditch around it, or is fortified with sturdy wood, to which they may flock or resort to avoid an invasion or attack by their enemies, as Cęsar gives us to understand. And there, as Strabo says, they make cabins or cottages for themselves, and stables for cattle, as may serve them for their present needs.
190.55. Herodianus calls them a very warlike and bloody nation. They fight not only on horseback and on foot, but also with coaches and waggons, armed in the manner of the Gauls. Covinos they call them, whose axle-trees or axles were armed with hooks, as Mela states. They also use in their wars a great multitude of carriages, as Cęsar, Strabo and Diodorus inform us. They fight with long, huge swords, as Tacitus tells. These swords, says Herodianus, hang down close to their bare skin, and are only sheathed in a straight piece of leather.
190.56. They do not know the meaning of a brigantine, sack or headpiece. They never use these pieces of armour, considering them to be only a troubling hindrance when they are to cross any bogs or fens. For they are used to swim, run through those fens and marshes or to wade through them, [the water coming] up to their waist, and often being bare legged, they go through thick and thin. Yet later, we learn from Dion's oration to Bundvica, that they used to arm themselves for defence with helmets, habergeons and grieves. When they attacked their enemies, the same author informs us, they used to make an awful noise, and to sing terrible and threatening songs.
190.57. They often make war for petty reasons and on purpose, and very often they are determined to attack and annoy one another, especially out of a desire to increase their reign and enlarge the area they rule over. Tacitus adds that they also go into the [battle]fields under the leadership and command of women, for a clear proof of which he includes (in the fourteenth book of his Annals) Bundvicea. Dion says the same in his book on Nero. On purpose they stain and paint their bodies.
190.58. Mela and Iornandes think that they did this as an ornament, to beautify themselves, or to appear more terrible to their enemies when they fled, as Cęsar said, who adds that they paint their bodies in such a way with wood [Luteum] that they appear blue or sky-coloured. Others here for Luteum read Glastum, on whose side Plinius seems to speak, but he says this only about women, when he writes that the wives and women of the Britans used to smear their whole body with glastum, and to go to certain solemnities stark naked, to perform some rites and ceremonies there, in this, imitating the colour of the Ęthiopians. (But why should I not retain the ancient reading which in Cęsar was glasto, where others would like to have luteo, for which I see no reason, seeing that from a passage of a description written by my good friend Mr. Humfrey Lhuyd I [am given] to understand that among the West Britons in the ancient British tongue which they still speak to this very day, by the word glas they mean blue or sky-coloured, whereas they also by the same word designate the herb Isatis, which resembles the plantain.
190.59. And I read in Herodianus that the men did not only stain their bodies with some kind of colour, but also marked themselves with various kinds of pictures, and images of various sorts of living creatures, and to go naked, so as not to hide their paintings. Listen, you shall hear Solinus speak the same words: The country is partly occupied by a barbarous and wild people, who, from childhood onwards, have certain artists, men skilled in these things, who make various images and pictures of living creatures, drawn and pictured upon their skins, and so imprinted into their flesh that, as they grow up to be a man, these pictures, together with the painted stains, grow bigger and bigger. Nor do these wild people endure anything more patiently and willingly than that their limbs, by means of those deep cuts and slashes, may so deeply absorb these colours that they will display them for a long time.
190.60. Among their goddesses, as I learn from Dion, they worshipped Andates (for that is what they call Victoria, victory), who had a temple and a sacred wood, where they used to do sacrifices and perform their religious service[s] and worship her. Next to her they had another [goddess] who was called Adraste. Whether this was the same as Adrastia (who some take to be Nemesis, who was worshipped by the ancient Greek and Romans, I leave to others to determine.
190.61. Cęsar says that in former times the Druids, also dwelt among these people. He claims that their discipline was first invented here, and then carried beyond the sea into France. That they continued [their practices] until the time of Vespasianus in Mona becomes clear from the 14th book of Tacitus' Annals. From them, without doubt, this nation obtained its knowledge about the state & immortality of the soul after this life, for this was the opinion of those Druids, as Cęsar and others report about them. But about the Druids, we will speak more in [our discussion on] ancient France, or Gallia.
190.62. I have Plinius as my supporter, who strongly convinces me that the Britans so highly esteemed and wonderfully extolled the art of magic, and practised it with such strange ceremonies that it is thought that the Persians took it over from them. The Bundvica just mentioned also seems to support this view, who, as soon as she had finished her oration to her army, cast away a hare she took out of her lap to guess what the outcome of that venture would be. After she was seen to lead the way, the whole group together shouted joyfully in acclamation.
190.63. These people held it to be a very sensible thing to sacrifice their captives and apply their blood to their altars. So far Tacitus and so much about Albion. Now it remains that we in a similar manner say something about Ireland.

190.64. HIBERNIA.

190.65. Ancient writers have never written its name in the same way for some call it HIBERNIA IVVERNA, or IERNA. Eusthatius in his Commentaries on Dionysius Afer [calls it] VERNIA and Diodorus calls it IRIS. In Festus Avenius, it [Ireland] is named INSULA SACRA, the Holy Island. He moreover adds that it is inhabited by the Hierni. Isacius in his commentaries on Lycophron calls it BRITANNIA. It was called SCOTIA by the medieval writers, as I note, and by the Scots, says P. Orosius. Plutarchus in the book which he wrote About the face on the globe of the Moon calls it OGYGIA.
190.66. Its soil and temperature, as Tacitus says, is not much unlike that of England. It breeds no snakes, few birds, nor any bees. Yes, if it happens that anyone throws dust, gravel or small stones among the hives, the swarms will immediately leave their honeycombs, as Solinus writes.
190.67. The temperature of the air, (says Pomponius Mela) is very unkind and unfit for corn and grain to ripen, but the soil is so good for grass, not only high and rank, but also sweet and wholesome, that their herds and cattle fill themselves so quickly that, if they are not driven out of the pasture, they will eat till they burst. Solinus says the same, but in fewer words. Further, he calls it an inhuman and uncivil country because of the rude and harsh manners of its inhabitants. And Pomponius Mela calls the people a disordered and ill-mannered nation, less acquainted with any sort of virtue than any other people whatsoever. Yet, they may in some respects be regarded as lovers of virtue, in the sense that they are very religious and devout.
190.68. Strabo says that they are more rustic and uncivil than the Britans. Solinus calls them a merciless and warlike people. Strabo writes that they are great eaters. Diodorus says that they used to eat human flesh, and Solinus adds that those who were victorious in war first used to drink the blood of those who were slain, and that they used to smear their faces with it. Yet they consider it to be a recommendable thing, as Strabo writes, to eat the bodies of their parents when they have died, and men and women will lie openly with one another, and that not only with other women, but also even with their mothers and their own sisters, considering this to be an indifferent custom, neither good nor bad, as Iulius Solinus Polyhistor writes.
190.69. Moreover he says that if a great-bellied woman is brought to the bed of her son, she orders the first food which he eats to be laid on his fathers sword, and so on the point of this sword she gently puts it into her son's mouth, and with certain heathenish vows and prayers, she wishes that he may never die but in wars, on his enemies sword. Whoever wants to be more refined and elegant than the rest, will ornate the handle and pommel of his sword with the teeth of certain sea fish, for these are as white as ivory, and the chief delight of the men resides in the bravery of their weapons.
190.70. Eusebius says in his Chronicle that on this island Galba had himself proclaimed as the emperor, but this is a mistake of the author, who instead of Hiberia wrote Hibernia, because this happened in Spain, as appears from Suetonius. So far about these two larger islands, which were properly called Britannicę. Let us now go on with those which are smaller, and lie around their coasts}1590L4AddL & 1592L end here}.

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