Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 204

Text, translated from the 1584 Latin 3rd Add., 1584 Latin, 1584 German 3rd Add., 1585 French 3rd Add., 1587 French, 1592 Latin and 1595 Latin edition:

204.1. {1584L3Add{ITALY.

204.2. Those who compare the shape of a country to something else say that Italy resembles an oak leaf, as Plinius, Solinus {1592L{and Rutilius}1592L} have done, or an ivy leaf, as Eusthatius [does]. The later writers more truly compare it with a man's leg. One in our time [viz. Bünting] has depicted all of Europe in the form of a maiden, in whose right arm Italy is portrayed. And not without reason, in my opinion, if one considers the nature of the country exactly, and the famous deeds performed there. For even as the strength of the body is mostly shown in the force and ability of this member [that is, the arm,] so this area in the past declared to the world by this arm of what power all of Europe is likely to be.
204.3. That Italy has had various inhabitants, partly barbarians {1584G3Add has instead{foreigners}15843L instead}, partly Greeks, is clear from the ancient records in both the Roman and the Greek language. For at first it was inhabited by the aboriginals, Siculi, Pelasgi, Arcades, Epei, Troiani, Morgetes, Ausones and Oenotri. And therefore it was called by them called by various different names, such as AVSONIA, OENOTRIA, and the people and nations possessing it, IANVCILA after Ianus, SATVRNIA after Saturnus and finally ITALIA after Italus, their king, {1595L{or, as Varro testifies, after bulls or oxen, for the ancient Greeks in those days called bulls [in Greek lettering] italous. And because of that, this country bred and maintained many excellent bulls.
204.4. Or, (as other state, who indulge in poetical fables) because Hercules from Sicilia to this place followed a worthy bull named Italus}1595L}. By the Greeks it was also named HESPERIA, after Hesperus, the son of Atlantis. Or, which pleases others better, after Hesperus the evening star after which Spain in former times was also called Hesperia by the Romans. For by its very nature, it causes Italy to be called Hesperia by the Greeks, but Spain to be called Hesperia by the Italians. Yet, for the sake of distinction, Vergilius calls it Italy Hesperiam Magnam, Great Hesperia. But others also called it by other names. For I see that by {1595L{Macrobius}1595L} Isaac Tzetzes, Halicarnassæus, Marcus Cato &c. [it] was called APENINA, ARGESSA, CAMESENA, TYRSENIA, SALEVMBRONA and TAVRINA {1592L has instead{SAVRINA}1592L instead}. Stephanus writes that it was also called CHONIA and BRETTIA. A part of it was also {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{by classical writers}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F} called MAGNA GRÆCIA, Great Greece, after the Greeks who sometime dwelt there.
204.5. They report, as Ælianus writes, that so many and various nations have lived here (more than in any other country in the world) because particularly all times and seasons of the year are very mild and moderate. Again, the quality of the soil is excellent, well watered, and very fertile with all manners of fruits. It also has great pastures. [It was] also [praised] because it is traversed by many rivers, and since it has the sea very conveniently all around it, and the sea coast is on all sides open, serving very fittingly as the entertainment and harbour for excellent, tall ships.
204.6. Finally, the extraordinary kindness and humanity of its inhabitants has been an important factor to attract others to settle here. {1592L{The Italians were always, as Julius Firmicus confirms, very famous for their princely courtesy and gentleman-like behaviour}1592L}.
204.7. Æthicus calls this country {1592L{heavenly Italy, and}1592L} the queen of the world. {1592L{Rutilius [calls it] Rerum dominam, The mistress of all nations. Mamertius the ruler of the world}1592L}, Dion Prusæus {[calls it] The most blessed country of all of Europe. Halicarnassus says in his first book that for many reasons it is the best country of the whole world. Strabo says that no one may sufficiently express in words the due recommendations of the country, according to its value.
204.8. But I think it not amiss to record the praise of this country by the [following] recommendation of Plinius, with which he concludes that famous work of his which he wrote on the history of nature. In the whole world, he says, under the scope of heaven, Italy is the most beautiful country, and it possesses the sovereignty of all things. It is another nurse {1584G3Add has instead{queen}1584G3Add instead} and second mother of the world, for men, women, captains, soldiers, servants, famous arts and occupations, worthy wits and inventions, [it has] a commodious location, wholesomeness and pleasant temperature of the air, easy access to all nations, many safe harbours, kind winds, sufficient good water, pleasant and healthy woods, good hills and mountains, great amounts of deer and [other] harmless wild animals, fertility of its soil, and its multitude of people. Whatever is required and necessary for the maintenance of man and beast is here to be found, and [it is] nowhere better. [It yields] corn, wine, olives, wool, linen and wool, clothes and children. Nor did I ever see better horses, {1585F3Add, 1587F, 1592L & 1595L only{or [horses] more esteemed at running or [for] horse races, than those bred in our own country}1585F3Add, 1587F, 1592L & 1595L only}.
204.9. As regards metals such as gold, silver, copper and iron (as long as they are willing to search for them) it was inferior to none, all of which it still retains in her womb. It also yields all manner of liquors of various strength and virtue, together with all sorts of grain and pleasant, wholesome fruits. So far for Plinius. You may add to this, if you please, that which the same author writes in the fifth chapter of his third book. {1592L{Also, that of Polybius in his second book, and that of Varro in the second chapter of his first book on husbandry}1592L}. [See also] Vergilius in various places. {1595L{Si factum certa mundum ratione fatemur, Consiliumque Dei machina tanta fuit, [that is: if we confess that heaven by heavenly skill was raised, and in the same the massive globe by due proportion praised], as Rutilius speaks of Italy in his second book}1595L}.
204.10. Octavianus Augustus, emperor of Rome, according to Plinius, divided this country into eleven provinces. {1595L{Constantinus the Great, according to Rubeus in his second book on the history of Ravenna, [divided it] into seventeen [shires]. Or into eighteen, as I read in the twenty-first chapter of the second book of Diaconus' history of Lombardy}1595L}. Ælianus writes that in his time it was beautified by 1197 {1584G3Add, 1585F3Add & 1587F have instead{197}1584G3Add, 1585F3Add & 1587F instead} cities. This is the same country which, when word was brought of the uprising of the Gauls when L. Æmilius Paulus and Caius Attilius Regulus were consuls here, by itself, without any foreign aid, and even without the help of those living South of the Po, mustered 80,000 horsemen and 700,000 footmen}1585F3Add & 1587F end here}. {1592L{Polybius says that in the time of Hannibal the trained men of his country numbered 700,000 footmen and 70,000 horsemen}1592L}.
204.11. Plinius claims the following islands to belong to Italy: Sicilia, Sardinia, Corsica, Oglasa, Planaria, Urgon, Capraria, Ægilium, Dianium, Mænaria, Columbaria, Venaria, Æthalia, Planasia, Astura, Palmaria, Sinonia, Pontiæ, Pandataria, Prochyta, Ænaria, Megaris, Caprea, Leucothea, Cuniculariæ, Herculis, Enosis, Ficaria, Belerides, Collodes, Hera lutra, Leucasia, Pontia, Ischia, Ithacosiæ and Ulyssis specula. To these I add the Æoliæ, Parthenope, Diomedeæ, Calypson and Dioscoron, together with the Electrides. And others which I find mentioned and named in Pomponius Mela and Antoninus}1584L3Add, 1584L, 1584G3Add, 1592L & 1595L end here}.

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