Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 219

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

219.1. {1584L3Add{EGYPT

219.2. Egypt is the gift of [the river] Nilus. For in antiquity it was truly believed that the whole area which this country now possesses was formerly a bay of the Midland [Mediterranean] sea, but the Nile by its frequent overflowing was finally so filled up and made into firm land in this manner. {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{For which reason it was perhaps called Potamitis by Stephanus. Also the same Stephanus, as well as Dionysius, call it by various other names, [such] as Æria, Ætia, Ogygia, Hephæstia, Myara & Melambolos. Apollodorus calls it the country of the Melampodes [black feet], because it is far more fertile than any other country whatsoever. Stephanus and Eusthatius call it ÆTHIOPIA because the Æthiopians inhabit [it].
219.3. It was also, a long time ago, called THEBÆ, as Aristoteles and Herodotus testify. In the Holy Scripture it is called Mesraim. It pleases some others to call it Chus. Honorius Augustodinensis[from Authun]{1584G3Add has instead{Herodotus of Authun}1584G3Add instead} writes that it was once called Euxæa, but on what authority I do not know. So much about its name, now about its location}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}.
219.4. The bounds of this country are these: on the East it is confined by the Arab gulf {1585F3Add & 1587F instead{the Red Sea}1585F3Add & 1587F instead} Iudæa, and Arabia Petræa. In the West by the mountains of Libya and Marmarica, another country belonging to Africa. In the South it is severed from Æthiopia {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{(which they term [Æthiopia] beneath Ægypt)}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F} by the greater cataract of the Nile.
219.5. The Mediterranean or Midland sea, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{or, if you like that better, the Egyptian sea (so named after this country)}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F} beats upon its North coast. It is divided into Higher Egypt, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{also, called Thebais}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}. Then Middle Egypt, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{sometimes called Heptapolis and Heptanomia and by some later writers called Arcadia}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}. Then Lower Egypt, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{which later authors have called Augustamnica, is divided in the Novellæ of Iustinianus into the first and the second}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}.{1592L{The Liber Notitiarum [Book of Remembrances] divides it into six provinces, namely Upper and Lower Lybia, Thebaides, Egypt, Archadia and Augustamnica}1592L}.
219.6. That part of Lower Egypt which is enclosed between the sea, the mouths of the river Nile {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{called Heracleoticum and Pelusiacum and from their parting a little to the South}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F} is by all ancient geographers, historians and poets, due to its form, called Delta {1584G3Add only{as this letter is called in Greek, [followed by Greek capital Delta}1584G3Add only}.
219.7. {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{Ptolemæus too divided it into the great delta, little delta and third delta [always indicated by the Greek letter Delta in 1584G3Add only]. This delta, as Plinius reports, was of all the chief parts of the world once considered the fourth, and counted among the islands. Egypt also commonly is considered to comprise three oases, beyond the Libyan mountains beyond Libya itself too, if one gives credit to Ammianus}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}.
219.8. This country is watered by no other river than the Nile, of all the rivers in the world the most famous and renowned [one], {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{and therefore called and known by the greatest variety of names, for the ancients have given this river many titles. Some have called it Ægyptus (from which the whole country took it name), others Oceanus, Ætus which means eagle, Nigir, Melas or Melo, also Siris, Triton, Chrysorrhoas and Dyris. Orus Apollo writes that the Egyptians called it Noyum. In the Holy Script it is named Phison. But more about this in our Thesaurus}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}.
219.9. It unloads itself, as most people think, into the Midland sea through seven mouths. {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{Ptolemæus made mention of nine {1584G3Add has instead{seven}1584G3Add instead}, but two of them were false gates, {not in 1584G3Add{pseudostomata he calls them}not in 1584G3Add}. Plinius speaks of eleven, of which four were false gates, [whereas] the other seven were great. Herodotus also mentions two false gates, but all in all he speaks of no more than seven. Eusthatius agrees with him}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}. And which of these mouths are considered by this man as true, by others are held for false. {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{There is a similar disagreement about the names and proper titles for [each of] these mouths among classical authors. Plinius makes Heracleoticum to be a separate and mouth, disinct from Canopicum, in which, it seems, he is much deceived. And Diodorus Siculus flatly denies it, stating that Canopicum is also called Herculeum.
219.10. All these differences in names, [and] number and nature of these mouths, if I am not mistaken in this matter, arose in the course of time, from the changes and alterations of places. For everyone describes them according to the situation at the sea coast, as it was then, in the time when they lived, which by the violence of tides and inundations drifts of land, and shifting back of it again, in the course of time have sometimes one form, sometimes another, and they who live near the sea know very well that it is no wonder to see rivers change their channel and leave their old course, to see their mouths to be sometimes quite clogged up with sand, and to seek new channels where there were none before, or to see those which in former times were not navigable, but full of sand banks and shelves, afterwards becoming deep and able to accommodate ships}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}.{1592L{Galenus says that as to the quality of the water of the Nile, it has few peers. Achilles Statius in the fourth book of his Amorum says that it is sweet, and cool without any unpleasantness as regards its taste. and therefore the Egyptians never fear any lack of wine}1592L}.
219.11. Diodorus Siculus says that in sweetness it surpasses all other rivers in the whole world, which opinion is confirmed as true a long time ago by Pescennius Niger the emperor, when he thus answered his soldiers demanding wine from him: You have the Nile, and yet you demand wine?
219.12. {1592L{Read the description of this river by Claudianus. About its yearly inundations, besides others, read Strabo, and the Panegyric [oration] for emperor Traianus}1592L}. Some mountains of Egypt, besides those which Ptolemæus mentions, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{namely Montes Lybici, Troicus, Alabastrinus, Porphyritis, Smaragdus, Aiaces, Acabes, Niger, Basanites, and Pentadactylus}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}, are also [called] Nitria, Pherme, Sinopius, Climax, Eos, Lacmon, Crophi and Mophi. They have many fens, but only two, Moeris and Maria, have a name.
219.13. Ancient writers have divided this country into many Nomous, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{(Plinius calls them præfectures)}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}, of which Herodotus mentions 18, {1584G3Add{Strabo 19}1584G3Add}. Ptolemæus speaks of 46, and lists them all by their names, and Plinius tells us about an equal number, or more. But from all sorts of ancient writers we have found and deciphered by their names and locations above 66, and have brought them within the range of our map.
219.14. But in Plinius it is our experience that the names [in his writings] are often changed, and that one place name replaces another, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{about which more in our Geographical Treasury}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}. {1592L{Eusebius writes that it had more cities within its realm than in the whole rest of the world}1592L}. Egypt, besides being proud about its antiquity, boasts that in the time of Amasis, their king, it had 20,000 cities. And now it has very many, as Plinius says, although they are small, and of no great significance. Of those, in Diodorus Siculus' time there were only 3000 left.
219.15. Although we have most diligently tried to find the names of them from all kinds of writings and monuments of antiquity, yet we could not find many more than 300, as you will see on this map. So few from so many! Thus divine power amuses itself in human matters.
219.16. The map shows the situation of the country by itself. How great the fertility and richness of this area was is indicated by the expression that it is the common [corn] barn of all the world. For although it never rains here, yet it brings forth plenty of men and beasts, and is the fruitful producer of all kinds of things. But this is indeed due to their river Nile, by its inundations every year. Therefore, (as the poet Lucianus writes), this is Terra suis contenta bonis, non indiga mercis, Aut Iovis, in solo tanta est fiducia Nilo, {1584G3Add, 1585F3Add & 1587F only{A land that of itself is rich enough, It needs no foreign aid, Iove's help it scorns, relying as it does on the bounty of the Nile}1584G3Add, 1585F3Add & 1587F only}. Yes, they used to say, as Plinius reports, that they determined the poverty or plenty of the Romans, those mighty conquerors.{1592L{To have an estimation of the wealth of this country, see Diodorus who writes that the kings of Egypt used to receive, from Alexandria alone, taxation of more than 6000 talents yearly, and in Strabo I find that Auletes, the father of Cleopatra, levied yearly in Egypt a taxation of 12,500 talents, and that, as he said, under a very loose kind of government}1592L}.
219.17. But the immortal works still extant show sufficiently how great their command and power in former times has been. [Evidence of this] are those huge pyramids, the many obelisks of solid marble, standing wonderfully high, colosses, {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{sphinxes}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F}, statues and labyrinths, so many temples, of all these this single country could show more than all other countries in the world whatsoever, as Herodotus, an eye witness of it, plainly states.
219.18. {1592L{The infinite numer of inhabitants, attributed to it by Philo in his Circumcision, is obtained from Josephus and Hegesippus, who writes that next to the citizens of Alexandria, which according to Diodorus amounted to 300,000, there were also one million sevenhundredfifty thousand freemen}1592L}. It is a very prudent and wise nation, as we may understand from various histories. And Macrobius calls Egypt the mother of all arts. {1592L{Quick in understanding mattersand inventions, is what Aulus Gellius has recorded, and able to develope an understanding of divine matters, as Macrobius tells us, who also calls Egypt the mother of all arts. But Trebellius Pollio, in his life of Æmilianus the tyrant says that it is a furious nation, easily moved to sedition and rebellion for the slightest occasion. Hadrianus the emperor, as Flavius Vopiscus reports in his Life of Saturninus, calls it an inconstant nation, hanging as it were from a light thread, moved by the slightest blast. Seneca addressing Albina calls it a faithless nation. Plinius in his Panegyric to emperor Traianus calls them bragging. Philo in his Husbandry calls them innate braggarts, but he also attributes wisdom to them. About their lifestyle and habits see Porphyrius in his 4th book of Abstaining from meat has many things}1592L}. The most famous cities we have read about in the ancient writers {not in 1585F3Add & 1587F{in both languages [Greek and Latin]}not in 1585F3Add & 1587F} are these, first Alexandria, {1592L{which Athenaeus calls the golden city, and the council of Chalcedon}1592L, Marcellinus calls it the head of all cities in the world; Eunapius [calls it] another world.
{1592L{Dion Pruseus says that it is the second city under the scope of heaven. Its chief temple Sebasteum Or Augusteum) has no equal. It is also described by Philo the Jew his Contemplative Life. But the best descriptions of the whole city are by Strabo in his 17th book and by Statius Alexandrinus in his 5th book on Love}1592L}. Then Thebe, famous for the multitude of gates it once had. Then Memphis, well known and considered as one of the great cities of this kingdom. Then Copton, well frequented by Arab and Indian merchants. Abydus is the seat of Memnon, their king, famous for its temple of Osiris. I omit Syene and others for it would be more than is needed to list them all, because they offer themselves at an instant to anyone who casts an eye on the map. Also, Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Plinius, {1592L{Josephus}1592L}, Marcellinus and other authors have most eloquently described them}1584L3Add, 1584L, 1584G3Add, 1585F3Add, 1587F & 1592L end here}.

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