Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 213


Text, translated from the 1590 Latin 4 Add, 1591 German 4 Add., 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Spanish/Latin, 1618Bertius & 1624 Latin Parergon/1641 Spanish [but with Latin text] editions:

213.1. {1590L4Add{PONTVS EVXINVS, {1606E only{now called MAR MAIORE}1606E only} [the big sea] (1608/1612I has additionally{the Black Sea}1608/1612I additionally}{1591G4Add & 1602G have instead{The Euxine Sea}1591G4Add & 1602G instead}.
213.2. {not in 1591G4Add & 1602G{The sea which we intend to describe here (made famous by ancient writers through {not in 1608/1612I{the Argonauts and}not in 1608/1612I} the fabulous story of the golden fleece) as we find [it] recorded, [is known] by various different names: first it was called {not in 1606E{excellent}not in 1606E} PONTVS {1606E only{by the person [called] Synedoche}1606E only}. Before that PONTVS AXENVS, that is inhospitable, {1606E only{the sea without harbours}1606E only}, but after that it was named EVXINVS, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{hospitale mare, the good harbour}1606E & 1608/1612I only}, as Plinius, Ovidius and others report. Strabo, Tacitus, Plutarchus, Ptolemĉus and Iornandes and others call it PONTICVM mare, {1606E only{the Pontick sea}1606E only}, {1601L{without any [further] addition at all}1601L}. Lucretius calls it PONTI mare, {1606E only{the sea of Pontus}1606E only} after the country Pontus adjacent to it. For the same reason it is by Valerius Flaccus, Ovidius and Martianus called SARMATICVM and SCYTHICVM mare, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{the Sarmatian and Scythian sea}1606E & 1608/1612I only}.
213.3. By Claudianus [it is called] AMAZONIVM, by Herodotus and Orosius CIMMERIVM, by Festus Avienus TAVRICVM, as also by {1606E only{the Sarmatians, Scythians, Amazones, Cummerians and Tauri}1606E only}, certain nations living on the coast of this sea. After the province [of] Colchis, neighbouring to it on the East, Strabo calls it COLCHICVM mare, [or] after the mountains [of the] CAVCASEVS which begin here, according to Apollonius. Aristides calls it PHASIANVM mare after the river {1606E only{Phasis}1606E only} which empties itself into this sea {1606E only{(or after the town with that name situated on that river)}1606E only}. Procopius says that it was once named Tanais {not in 1606E{by the Goths}not in 1606E}, wrongly and falsely, I think}not in 1591G4Add & 1602G}.
213.4. Almost all ancient writers have noted a resemblance between this sea (or more truly, this bay or gulf) and a Scythian bow when it is bent, so that the string represents the Southern part of it, namely from the straights of Constantinople to the further end of it, Eastwards, towards the river Phasis {1591G4Add & 1602G only{in Colchide}1591G4Add & 1602G only}, for with the exception of the promontory Carambis {1606E only{(Cabo Pisello)}1606E only}, the whole remainder of this shore has such small inlets and creeks that it is not unlike a straight line. The other part on the left side towards the Northern part resembles a horn that has two crooked ends, the upper end being more round, the lower more straight, which features are very precisely shown on this map of ours.
213.5. This sea also has two promontories, one in the South, at the time called Promontorium Carambis, {1606E only{now Cabo Pisello}1606E only}, the other in the North, {1606E only{by Ptolemĉus}1606E only} called {1606E only{Criou metopon}1606E only}, Arietis frons, {1591G4Add, 1602G, 1606E & 1608/1612I only{the rams head}1591G4Add, 1602G & 1608/1612I only}. Paulus Diaconus calls it Acroma, and now it is known by the name [of] Famar}1606E only}. These two capes are opposite each other, {not in 1608/1612I{at a distance of about 2500 furlongs}not in 1608/1612I}, as Ammianus and Eustathius claim; although they make it [to be] 312 Italian miles, yet the distance between the two, according to Plinius, is only 170 miles, or, as Strabo reports, so much as a ship will sail in three days. Yet, to those who sail either from East to West or from West to East, they seem to be so near to each other that one would think they were the end of the sea, and that [the] Pontus Euxinus were two seas. But when you come to the middle between these two capes, then the other part appears to be, as it were, a second or another sea.
213.6. The circumference of it, [measured] all around along the coast, is claimed by Strabo to be 25000 furlongs {1608/1612I only{or 225 Italian miles}1608/1612I only}, [but] Polybius [says] 22000, and yet from that Ammianus deducts [another] 2000 [furlongs], and that on the authority of Eratosthenes, Hecatĉus and Ptolemĉus, as he states there. Herodotus, an experienced eye witness of [this sea] writes that he measured the length of it, and found it to be 11100 furlongs, and also he found the width of it (where it was largest) to be 3200 {1606E has instead{320}1606E} furlongs. {not in 1591G4Add, 1602G & 1606E{which is [in Greek lettering] Thoonmasiootaton, {1608/1612I only{very admirable, and a sight deserving great wonder)}1608/1612I only, not in 1591G4Add, 1602G & 1606E}. This measure is recorded more accurately by Strabo and by Plinius in the twelfth chapter of his fourth book, partly [on the basis of] their own [observations], partly after other peoples opinions.
213.7. {1601L, not in 1602G{Strabo writes that some 40 rivers empty themselves into it. Yet this map of ours shows many more}1601L, not in 1602G}. Antiquity claims that this sea, of all our seas, was by far the largest {1606E only{(which is the reason, I think, that the Italians have given it the name of Mar maiore, the Great sea)}1606E only}, and that this (as at the other side Cadiz, beyond the straits of Gibraltar) was the end of the world. And that it was innavigable, both because of its huge size and also because of the barbarous nations which daily infest the shores and commit all kinds of cruelty and inhumanity towards strangers.
213.8. This was the cause of those epithets and characterisations given by ancient poets to this sea such as Pontus, vast and rough [is] what Vergilius and Catullus call it. Ovidius [calls it] infinite and terrible, Lucanus a devouring and dangerous sea, Silius [calls it] raging, {not in 1608/1612I{Statius calls it an uncertain and swelling sea, Valerius Flaccus [calls it] perilous, Manilius horrible, spiteful and furious, Seneca mad and churlish}not in 1608/1612I}, Festus Avienus [calls it] raucisonum, [that is:] making a hoarse, terrible noise. So far about the names, shape and size of this sea.
213.9. About the location and nature of it, although Herodotus, Pomponius, Strabo, {not in 1606E{Polybius}not in 1606E}, Plinius, Ovidius and Macrobius (to say nothing about others) have spoken much, yet, in my view, no man has written more exactly and diligently than Ammianus {1608/1612I only{Marcellinus}1608/1612I only} in his 22nd book. Whoever wants to, let him add [that] to this discussion, and if he is not satisfied with these [texts], let him also add a whole book, written by Arrianus about this sea, {1595L, not in 1602G{together with the extensive commentaries by Stuckius on it}1595L, not in 1602G}. As far as we are concerned, we will content ourselves in this place with a few specific observations about this sea, gleaned here and there from ancient records of learned writers of former times.
213.10. It is [of] sweet [water] or at least sweeter than other seas. Moreover, its waters are lighter than [of] other [seas], and show no ebb and tide, but always keep one and the same feature of [water] running one way, as Lucretius, Macrobius, Plinius and Ovidius testify. Which I take to be the reason why sometimes it is frozen all over. For I remember to have read that this has happened in Ovidius, Marcellus Comites and others. Aristoteles in his Problems writes that it is whiter than other seas, {1606E only{(yet the Greeks now call it Maurothalassa and similarly the Turks [call it] Caradenis, that is, as Lucianus interprets both, Mare nigrum, the Black sea.
213.11. In contrast [to this], mare Ĉgĉum, the archipelago or Mediterranean sea is by the Turks called Acdeniz, and by the common Greek Aspra thalassa, both meaning, as the learned Leunclaw explains, Mare album, the white sea)}1606E only}. Ĉlianus in his Varia historia writes that it breeds no tender or soft shellfish, except very seldom, and those [that are found, are] very few. It feeds no whales, only certain small seals, and little dolphins are sometimes caught here, as Plutarchus has left on record in his Morals.
213.12. There is no predatory creature that feeds upon the fish living here, besides seals and small dolphins, as Plinius writes. Strabo in the seventh book of his Geography says that there are about 40 rivers which, coming from various quarters, empty themselves into it. Yet, this map of ours shows a great many more next to [those].
213.13. The more famous cities on the coast of this sea are BYZANTIVM, {1591G4Add, 1602G, 1606E & 1608/1612I only{(or Constantinople)}1591G4Add, 1602G, 1606E & 1608/1612I only} about which we will say nothing here because we have previously on the map of Thracia written about it extensively, this in view of the limitations of space assigned for such purposes. Then TOMOS, {1606E only{(Tomisvar, as Calcagninus, or Kiovia as Ciofanus thinks)}1606E only}, famous for the exile of the noble poet Ovidius. [Then] BORYSTHENES, also called Olbia or Miletopolis {1606E only{([and] Strapenor, a city in Sarmatia Europĉa, situated at the mouth of the river Boristhenes)}1606E only}, about which Dion Prusĉus has spoken much ([so] that I may omit others), in his 16th oration. [Then] DIOSCVRAS, which was also called Sebastopolis, built, if you believe poetical fables, by the {1591G4Add & 1602G only{two brothers of Helena}1591G4Add & 1602G only}, the wagonners Castor and Pollux. {1606E only{It is still known at this day by the name Savatopoli or Savastopoli [Sebastopol]}1606E only}.
213.14. This city was in former times so famous, as Plinius tells on the basis of Timosthenes, that normally 300 different nations came to it, speaking many different languages, so that the Romans for the dispatch of all their trade {1606E instead{state matters}1606E instead} there maintained 130 interpreters. There are many other cities here, which were not so well known, {1606E only{as Thevet reports}1606E only}, [such] as {1595L, not in 1602G{TRAPEZVS, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{(now vulgarly called TREBIZONDA}1608/1612I only}, [and] by the Turks Tarabasson, but by the barbarous people living close by Waccamah}1606E only}. [Then] CERASVS}1595L, not in 1602G} {1606E only{[or] (Cherasoda, or, as barbarous people call it, Omidie)}1606E only}. [Then] PHARNACEA {1606E only{(Platena)}1606E only}. [Then] AMISVS {1606E only{(Amid or Hemid or, as Niger thinks, Simiso)}1606E only}. [Then] SINOPE {1606E only{[or] (Pordapas, yet the Turks to this day call it Sinabe)}1606E only}. [Then] HERACLEA {1606E only{[or] (Aupep, and Pendarachia)}1606E only}, and opposite Constantinople where we began [our listing] is CHALCEDON {1606E only{(Chalcidone, or, as the Turks call it, Caltitiu)}1606E only}, a free city, {1606E only{and of great importance in those days, but now, as P. Gyllius says, it is [only] a small street, and he does not mention any walls}1606E only}.
213.15. On the West {1591G4Add & 1602G have instead{East}1591G4Add & 1602G instead} side of this sea lived the Thracians, on the South the Asians, such as the Bithynians, Galatians and Cappadocians. The Colchi are on the East coast {1591G4Add & 1602G only{between here and the mountain range Caucasus}1591G4Add & 1602G only}. All along most of the North, in Europe as well as Asia, lived the Sarmatians or Scythians {1608/1612I only{or Tartars}1608/1612I only}, consisting of various different peoples. Among these are the Tauroscythians and Scythica Cherronnesus. Appianus calls it Pontica {1606E, 1609/1612S/L, 1618Bertius & 1624LParergon/1641S only{Chersonnesus, the peninsula of Pontus}1606E, 1609/1612S/L, 1618Bertius & 1624LParergon/1641S only} which, as Plinius writes, was once surrounded by the sea. In form and quality it is [often] compared and considered to be much like {1608/1612I only{Morea or}1608/1612I only} the Peloponnesus {1602G only{in Greece}1602G only}. {1595L, not in 1602G{Strabo, from the mouth or tales of others, has left on record that it was once connected to the mainland by an isthmos or neck-land 360 furlongs {1608/1612I only{or 45 Italian miles}1608/1612I only} in length}1595L, not in 1602G}.
213.16. The country is towards Metapon (Frons Arietis, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{[or] the rams head}1606E & 1608/1612I only}) rough, mountainous and much subject to Northern storms [and] cold and violent blasts. Close to Theodosia {1606E & 1608/1612I only{(Caffa}1608/1612I only} or Cofe as the Turks write it}1606E only}, a city situated on the sea [coast], whose harbour is so large that it is able to accommodate one hundred tall ships at the same time) has a good and fertile soil. Athenĉus writes that bulbs {1591G4Add & 1602G have instead{a kind of wild garlic}1591G4Add & 1602G instead}, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{certain ball-shaped roots which grow here by themselves}1606E & 1608/1612I only}, are so sweet and pleasant that they may be eaten raw. {1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L & 1602G only{Strabo also mentions a tradition that this island Cherronesus is an area which is located on a narrow piece of land between two seas of 360 furlongs}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L & 1602G only}.
213.17. There is also in this Cherronesus the hill Berosus where, as Plinius writes, there are three springs. Whoever drinks of them will die without any pain and without any remedy. Plutarchus in Tanais mentions an oil made on this mount Berosus which the country people press from a certain plant which they call Halinda. With this oil they anoint themselves, and then, once they are warm, they do not feel the cold, although it may be ever as bitter.
213.18. The same author tells about the herb Phryxa which grows near Boreĉ antrum, {1606E & 1608/1612I only{cave Borea}1606E & 1608/1612I only}, which, if stepchildren keep them near at hand, they shall suffer no harm from their stepmothers hand. This herb is colder than snow, yet, as soon as a stepmother begins to do wrong to her stepson, it immediately starts to cast out flames, and with the help of this they avoid all imminent {1606E text has instead{eminent}1606E instead} dangers and causes of fear. So far about Cherronesus {1606E only{{Taurica}1606E only}.
213.19. Those who take pleasure in fables or fiction by poets belonging to this Pontus, let them turn to Seneca's Medea, or the Iphigeneia of Euripides, and others that have written about the voyages {not in 1591G4Add & 1602G{of the Argonauts}not in 1591G4Add & 1602G}, or the story of {1606E only{Iasons}1606E only} golden fleece. But before I navigate out of this sea, I do not think it amiss to bring to your attention what Josephus writes in the 11th chapter of his 9th book on the Antiquity of the Jews. There he says that Ionas the prophet, being devoured and swallowed by the whale near Issicus sinus {1606E only{(Golfo de Aiazzo, a bay of the mediterranean sea near Issus, a city in Silicia which they now vulgarly call Aiazzo)}1606E only} was after three days cast up again, in this Euxine sea, alive, unhurt. The authors bear the responsibility {1606E instead{One part of his story I will believe, if you believe the other [part]}1606E instead}.
213.20. {1595L, not in 1602G{Robertus Constantinus in his supplement on the Latin language says that Lamia was a fish}1595L, not in 1602G}. About the fen MĈOTIS {1606E only{(Mar delle Sobacche it is commonly called nowadays; the Italians, after a town neighbouring on it call it Mar della Tana, and Mar bianco, the white sea; by the Scythians it is called Carpaluci, by the Arabs Boharilazach, as Baptista Ramusius reports)}1606E only}, next to other geographers, read the fourth book of Polybius, and Aristoteles at the end of his 1st book, and the beginning of the 2nd [book] of his Meteorolog.. Its length is 6000 furlongs {1608/1612I only{or 750 Italian miles}1608/1612I only}, as Themistius Euphrada writes}1590L4Add, 1591G4Add, 1592L & 1602G end here}.
213.21. {1595L{In this sea there are not many islands, and those [that you do find] are mostly uninhabited and untilled. And the people that do live on them live very poorly, for they use the meat of large fish, dried in the sun, and then smashed and stamped to powder, instead of flour for bread. For as Pomponius says, these [islands] yield no great quantities of provision for victuals}1595L, 1601L, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612S/L, 1618Bertius & 1624LParergon/1641S end here}.

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