Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 191

Text translated from the 1590 Latin 4th Add, 1591 German 4th Add, & 1592 Latin edition:

191.1. {1590L4Add{The other isles of Britain. Orcades, Æbudæ &c.
191.2. I agree with Ptolemæus and Pomponius that these islands, {1591G4Add{located towards the North}1591G4Add} and called Orcades are thirty in number, although Plinius and Martianus count forty of them, and Iornandus thirty-four. But Isidorus, not without making mistakes counts 83, and Solinus only three, which we must perhaps take to be thirty. As most people say, some are deserted whereas some others are built up and densely populated. That they are close to each other has been recorded by Plinius and Mela.
191.3.If we are to believe Solinus, there are very few people, since it has no woods, but only plants, which are of some use, but further only sand and craggy rocks. One of them is by Solinus called Pomona, as scholars think. Ptolemæus mentions Dumna and Ocetis, so it seems. Eutropius and Orosius write that emperor Claudius brought these islands under Roman rule. But Tacitus has left in writing that they were first discovered and explored by Agricola.
191.4. The Æbudæ, as Stephanus calls them from the Periplus of Marcianus, Solinus calls them Hebudes, are five in number, as Ptolemæus also observes. Plinius calls them Hæbudes and counts thirty of them, but wrongly. The two main ones are by Ptolemæus called Ebudæ. Other cities are Epidium, Maleos and Ricina, which is probably what Plinius calls Ricnea. More about them I hear in Solinus:
191.5. Its inhabitants do not know any fruits, and feed themselves on fish and milk. Together they have one king, and regardless how many there are, they are separated from each other by water by narrow straits through which water flows swiftly. Their king has no property of his own, because everything is common property. Certain laws keep his expenses limited, and to prevent him by avarice to stray from the right path, he learns to live in poverty to achieve justice, and since nobody has any property of his own, they support each other. They are not allowed to have wives of their own, but in constant change, they take whoever they find pleasant and exciting, and thus they cannot choose nor hope that they may have children of their own.
191.6. Although it is supposed that there are many islands together called Silures, yet in the old writings we only find Silura. Listen what Solinus tells us about this: the impetuous sea separates the island Silura from the borders which the English peoples call Dumnani (or rather Damnoni) of which the inhabitants even to this day maintain the old custom that they scorn the weekly fair, and money in general. They do business by exchanging goods, and they see to their needs through exchange, rather than through money. They adore pagan gods. The men and women try to see into the future. I think that these islands by Sulpitius Severus are called Silinae.
191.7. But whether these Hesperides peoples are from Africa {1591G4Add has instead{Spain}1591G4Add} or not, as Dionysius calls them, rich in tin, is something I confirm nor deny. In his 5th book of the Gallici, Cæsar describes Mona, which is situated between England and Ireland. Dion in his address to Nero says that it is close to England, yes, very close to it, so that the soldiers from the continent could wade through, as Agricola tells in support, by walking on the bottom of the sea, as Tacitus confirms in his biography on Cæsar. The same Tacitus writes in Book 14 of his Annals that Suetonius suggests that Paulinus' footmen and horsemen waded through the fjord who were sufficiently above the waves to be forced to swim, and thus reached it.
191.8. It seems that there are two islands with the same name, as seems to be true till the present day, which differ in one letter only. Because according to Tacitus this island was called Mon, whereas Cæsar calls it Man. The island Mona was once inhabited by the sage Druids, about which matter Tacitus reports that the woods, as well as the paganism and superstition have been eradicated by the Romans. Next to this, the island Mona is also mentioned by Plinius and Xiphilinus. I seems that Iornandes erroneously calls it Memma.
191.9. The island Victetis is called like that by Ptolemæus, but by Plinius and by Suetonius in his Life of Vespasianus called Vectis, and has been the subject of a Panegyricus, a laudatory address to emperor Maximilianus by Eutropius, who says that this emperor of the Roman Empire called it Vecta, whereas Diodorus calls it Icta, also saying that tin which came from the countryside of this island was carried off [to the mainland] in waggons.
191.10. For he says that islands situated between England and Europe meet with unexpected events, because when the sea fills, it seems that there are islands, but when the sea retreats, and the place between islands is robbed of its waters, it seems to be a continent. Let the authors find out the truth.
191.11. About the island of Thanatos, known to Solinus, read more about it in his writings. Then you have the impetuous straits of Gallia. It is only a small distance from there to England. It happily has fertile fields and ample produce around it, and is not only a blessing for its own people, but also for other places, because when a place is infected by serpents, then some earth carried from here to such a land will expell and exterminate these snakes.
191.12. There is also mention in Ptolemæus about Toliapis and Counos, located near the Trenobantes, about which more in our Thesaurus. You can also find in Ptolemæus the islands of Hedros and Limnos, called Silimnus by Plinius, by others perhaps called Andros. So much about these islands as represented on the present maps}1591G4Add [and some 1602G] end here}. Yet, there are some more, mentioned by classical authors. Plutarchus in his life of Demetrius writes that there are many islands near Britain which are waste and deserted, some of which are dedicated to gods and famous dignitaries.
191.13. Among these there is one on which he reports that they kept Saturnus taken captive in chains, lulled to sleep [as he was] by Briareus. He is bound, I would say, by sleep rather than chains, and has many angels and half-gods as servants to wait and attend on him. Whether this is what Avienus calls Pelagia, and says to be consacrated to Saturnus, I neither dare to confirm strongly, nor to deny peremptorily. Moreover, you may read something worth your while about all this which is not altogether unpleasant, though without doubt merely fabricated, in the same book of Plutarchus entitled De defectu Oraculorum, about the ceasing of oracles, as also in Isacius Tzetzes [work] on Lycophron.
191.14. Artemidorus says in Strabo that there is an island near Britain where they offer sacrifices to Ceres and Proserpina, in exactly the same manner and with similar ceremonies as they do in Samothracia. Apollonius in his History of strange and wonderful things says on [the authority of] Scytinus Chius that there is a certain British isle, 400 furlongs in circumference, where fruits grow that are without stones or kernels, where you shall neither find a stone in an olive, nor a kernel in a grape, which is not [just] the case for these two fruits, but also for all other kinds. But this is more like a fantasy tale than a true story.
191.15. Moreover, Dionysius Afer includes the NESIADES, the seat and living place of the Ammitæ among the number of the British isles, but I would prefer to call them islands on the coast of France rather than British isles, and that on the authority of Strabo. So far about the British isles from the ancient writers. If anyone desires to know more about this, let him resort to the learned William Camden, my singular good friend, who has so learnedly and diligently written down and described their ancient shape, customs, manners, places and cities, together with those of more recent times, and of our own days, that they rather seem to be painted for the eye [of the beholder] in their true colours, than written by the pen}1590L4Add & 1592L which end here}.

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