Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 23

Text, translated from the 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and the 1609/1612/1641 Spanish edition:.


23.2. {1608/1612I{Ireland, which the Roman and Greek writers used to call Hibernia, others Iverna, {not in 1609/1612/1641S{and some Ierna}not in 1609/1612/1641S}, is by its inhabitants called Eryn. Hence, in the mouth of the the English, who insert a second vowel [of the alphabet, e] where other people pronounce the third [i], say Irynland, and subsequently contract this to Irlandt, which sounds very probable as Eryn & Land. For to all the Anglosaxons and Germans Eryn means nothing else than Irish region or land. And who would doubt that Irlandia is derived by the Romans from this? {1608/1612I & 1609/1612L only(Orosius tells us it is inhabited by the Scots)}1608/1612I & 1609/1612L only}. {1606E{Giraldus Cambrensis who lived {1606E only{in the time of Henry the Second}1606E only} more than 400 years ago, describes Ireland {1608/1612I instead{Cambria}1608/1612I instead} in a specific booklet. But since this book has not been printed, and since it may be in few hands only, we present here as much from it as will fit the page for those who are studious, with gratitude towards those who communicated this to us} in this manner: Hibernia, he says, {1608/1612I only{or Irlandia}1608/1612I only}, the greatest island {1606E only{lof the world}1608/1612I only} after Britain, lies in the main sea, {1606E only{Westward from Wales about one day sailing, but between Ulster and Galloway, a province of Scotland, the sea is less than half so far. The promontories, capes or forelands (as it may please you to call them) may very easily on a bright day with sunshine from hence be seen and discerned, but some more easily than others, which are more obscure, being farther away. {1606E only{Of all the islands of Europe, this lies farthest to the West. To its South it has Spain at a distance of about three days and nights sailing}1606E only}. In the East lies Great Britain. On the West side there is nothing but the vast ocean. In the North, a three days journey off, lies Iceland, which of all the Northern islands is by far the greatest.
23.3. {not in 1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L, which from this point onwards use the text of the previous Ireland map, Ort22, see § 11 below, but 1606E only{Again, a little further, he adds: Hibernia quanto a cætero & communi Orbe terrarum semota, & quasi ALTER ORBIS esse dignoscitur: tanto rebus quibusdam, solito naturæ cursu, incognitis, quasi peculiaris eiusdem NATVRÆ THESAVRUS, ubi insignia & pretiosiora sui secreta reposuerit, esse videtur. [that is:] Look how very remote Ireland is from the rest of the known world, and in that respect is commonly regarded as it were ANOTHER WORLD. So, for certain things, by the single course of nature, it is unknown to others, [and] seems to be a special and peculiar treasury or STOREHOUSE OF NATURE, where [nature] has bestowed and given to it her most excellent and rarest secrets.
23.4. Orosius (and Isidorus after him) report that Ireland is much smaller than England, but by reason of its location and the temperature of the air is more fertile than England. And the venerable Beda, our countryman, says that the air in Ireland is healthier and purer than it is in England (Hiberniam tum æris salubritate, quam serenitate multum Brittaniæ præstare) [Ireland is a lot better than Britain in terms of the healthiness and purity of its air]). But Giraldus denies this. For (says he) while France excels far above England for thinness and clarity of the air, so does England far excel above Ireland in these respects. For this is certain: the farther you go Eastwards, look how much more subtle, pure and thin the air is, but [also] by as much, more fierce, sharp and piercing. In contrast, the more you go to the Southern or Western parts of the world, by as much as the air is thicker, more cloudy and foggy, by so much it also becomes more temperate, kind and healthy.
23.5. As regards this country, lying in the midst and middle between frozen Iceland and sunburnt Spain, and thus obtaining a mean temperature between hot and cold, as also with respect to temperature and wholesomeness of the air, [Ireland] is a most excellent and fertile island. The flat fields yield a great store of corn. The mountains feed many herds of cattle, and the woods have many deer and other wild animals. The lakes and rivers have a great variety of plentiful fish. Yet the soil of this land is better for pasture than as arable ground, better for grass than for corn. Multam fruges in Hibernia, he says, plurimam in culmis, minorem in granis spem promittunt. Abundè satis & campi vestiuntur, & horrea farciuntur, sola verò granaria destituuntur. [that is:] Here the corn, as long as it is in the grass (for Hibernia I read herba) is marvellously good, but it seems much better as long as it is standing and slender, and fails when it comes to being threshed, because it seldom yields grains. In the field it makes a good show, and it may stand as thick as possible on the ground, and fills the barns to the top, but the granary store houses remain empty.
23.6. So far Giraldus. And because we have handled the general description of this island in another place of our work [viz. Ort 22] we will conclude this text with a brief description of some of their cities and main towns, as we have learned from that worthy gentleman Richard Stanihurst, [a] born and bred countryman [of Ireland]. DUBLIN, situated on the river Lisse [Liffey] in the county of Dublin, the metropolitan and chief city not only of Leinster but of all of Ireland excels above all other cities of this island in excellent and fair buildings, multitudes of people, civility, sweet air and location, like the cypress excels above the shrub.
23.7. The cathedral of St. Patrick was first founded by John Cinim, archbishop of Dublin, in the year of our Lord God 1197. That great and excellent, strong castle was built by Henry Loundres, also an archbishop of Dublin, around the year of our Lord 1220. This city is very ancient, and it was in Ptolemey's time called (as learned men think) Civitas Eblana,
23.8. The city of Eblan. The next city in order and dignity is WATERFORD, a well governed town and one that has always remained faithful to England. It is very populous and civilised and (since its harbour is far better and safer than that of Dublin) much used for trade and traffic by merchants from foreign countries. Its streets are very narrow and dark. Here no cut-throat Jewish usurer is permitted to exercise his devilish occupation, that is, as Cato says, to kill men, or live by the sweat of other men's brows.
23.9. The third is LIMERICK, which in view of the pleasant river Shannon on which it is situated, as also for its commodious situation, might justly challenge [Dublin's] first place. For this river is the greatest and the best of all Ireland. Its depth and width is such that, even though the city is at least sixty miles from the main sea, yet ships with large cargoes come all the way to the city walls. Next to that, it is wonderfully filled with a great variety of fresh fish. King John liked the location of this city so much, that he ordered an excellent castle and a fair bridge to be built [here].
23.10. The last and least [city] is CORK, situated on the river Leigh [Lee]. The harbour is one of the best in all Ireland, and therefore the citizens are very wealthy, and great merchants. The latter three [cities] are all within the province of Munster. But if you like to read more text on these matters, I suggest you to consult the aforementioned author Richard Stanihurst, and he shall fully satisfy you}1606E only which ends here}.

23.11. {1608/1612I, 1609/1612/1641S & 1609/1612L only{England is almost twice as large as Ireland. Because considering that the [largest] length of both of them goes from North to South, it is [for Britain] about 800 miles long and 200 miles {1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S instead{2000 strides}1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S instead} wide, [and it is] for this [Ireland] from the Brendan hills to the isles of Columbina, also called Thorach, about an eight days journey, that is at least 40 large Irish miles. Ireland contains altogether 176 Canweds. The word Canwed is a compounded and common word, used by the English as well as the Irish, and means an area of ground containing within it 100 mansions.
23.12. The soil of Ireland is uneven, full of hills and valleys, soft and moist, full of woods, bogs and fens. On the top of the highest and steepest hills, you will often find ponds and bogs. Yet, in some places, it has the most worthy and excellent plains, but with respect to woods, there are very few of them. The soil is very heavy, and fertile in corn. The mountains abound with cattle, the woods are full of deer. The whole island is generally better for pasture than for arable ground, better, I mean, for grass than for corn.
23.13. For the grains of wheat are here so miserable and small that they may hardly be cleaned with any kind of wan. That which the spring time brings forth, and what flourishes for a while in summer, the watery autumn will hardly suffer to ripen, or to be reaped. For this country is more exposed to winds, and rain storms and floods than any other country.
23.14. It is very rich in honey and milk. Solinus and Isidorus assert that it has no bees. But if they allow me, had they more diligently examined the matter, they might have written in contrast that it lacks grape vines, but it is not altogether devoid of bees. For this island does not have, or ever had, any vines. But of bees it has (as any other country) more than plenty. They would, in spite [of what has been asserted], as I think, have swarmed in even greater numbers if it were not for the poisonous and bitter yew-trees which all over the island grow in great abundance.
23.15. The island is traversed and watered everywhere by many good rivers, of which the names are these: the Auenliss [Liffey] runs past Dublin; the Boand [Boyne], through the Middle; the Banna through Ulster, the Linne via Connaugh; and the Moad through Kenelcunill, Slechy and Samayr; the Modarn and Furne by Keneleon. There are also very many other rivers, some issuing forth from the bowels of the earth and their clean springs, others directly running from lakes and fens, going here and there, and dividing and parting the island into many good provinces. At the foot of Bladina hill [Slieve Bloom mountains], three famous rivers find their source, commonly called the three sisters (for they bear the names of three sisters:) Berna [Barrow], which runs past Lechlin; the Eoyr [Nore] past Ossire; and the Swyre [Suir] past Archfine and Trebagh. Near Waterford they flow into the sea. The Slan runs by Wexford. The Boand [Boyne] by Media [Meath], The Avenmore by Lismore, and the Sinnen [Shannon] by Limerick. {1609/1612/1641S only in right margin{It may well be that the names of some of these woods, lakes and rivers have been corrupted here and that the reader understands something different from what is intended, and we hope that the benevolent reader will take this in good spirit, for we provide what we are able to provide, not what we would like to provide}1609/1612/1641S only}.
23.16. And indeed, amongst all the rivers of Ireland, the Sinnen [Shannon] takes the prize not only for its vast size, and its long wanderings through the country, but also for its abundance of fish. It issues from a very large and beautiful lake, which separates Connaugh from Munster, and then splits itself into two branches, running in opposite directions, one of them turning to the South, passing the city of Kelleloe and then encircling the city of Limerick continuing for a hundred miles and more, separating the two Momonias [Munster] before emptying itself into the Brendan {1609/1612L instead{Northern}1609/1612L instead} sea.
23.17. The other [branch], not less than the previous one, separating the middle and the further parts of Ulster from Connaugh, runs in a crooked course, at last dissolving into the Northern ocean, so that this river separates the fourth and [most] Western part of the island from the other three, like a midland stream runs from [one] sea to [the other] sea. For this island was formerly divided into five almost equal parts, namely into North Munster, South Munster, Leinster, Ultomera and Connaugh.
23.18. This country has various good lakes. The sea coast abounds plentifully with all kinds of sea fish everywhere; the rivers and lakes hold a great variety of sweet water fish, in particular these three sorts, [:] salmon, trout and muddy eel. The river Sinnen [Shannon] swarms with lampreys. But many other sorts of good sweet water fish as occur in other countries are lacking, such as pikes, perches, {1608/1612I{Gogeons}1608/1612I} and almost [all] such fish as do not come from the sea. In contrast [to this], the lakes of this island have three kinds of fish which are not to be found anywhere else. For they are somewhat longer and rounder than trouts, with very white meat, tasting deliciously, similar to the halibut but with a somewhat bigger head. There is another kind, very similar to herring, in proportions as well as size, and also as regards colour and taste. Then there is a third sort, in all respects like trout, but without spots.
23.19. These sorts of fish are only seen in summer. In winter, they never appear. In Meath, near Fonera, are three lakes, not very distant from one another, each of which has a certain variety of fish proper to itself, and not found in any of the other two lakes. Nor, do I mean, does [this fish from] one [lake] ever go to the other, although there is a most convenient access via the river which runs from one [lake] to another. If, by chance, the fish of one lake is carried to another, it either dies in a while, or it returns to its own lake again.
23.20. This island breeds more falcons, sparrow hawks and regular hawks than any other country. Eagles are as common as harriers in other countries, and cranes flock together so that often you shall find one hundred in a group. Here are also great quantities of Bernacles, which nature brings forth in a strange and unnatural manner. They are like wild ducks, but somewhat smaller. They are bred from sticks of fir wood, which have fallen from the shore [into the sea] in this way: first upon these sticks you will see as it were a certain jelly. Then, when the reeds and sea weeds hold the sticks, they develope shells for better shape and safe preservation and hang by their bills, and with the passing of time, they grow to a decent size, and become covered with feathers, [until] they either fall into the water, or, by the benefit of their wings, lift themselves up and fly into the open air. I have myself repeatedly seen with my very own eyes many very small bodies of this kind of birds, clinging to a wood pile on the sea shore, enclosed in shells and fully shaped. These lay no eggs, and they never sit on eggs. And therefore, in certain places of Ireland, at Easter or on other fasting days, it is allowed to eat these fowls, as they are not of flesh, and do not come of flesh.
23.21. There are also numerous birds here of a kind which has a curious shape, or an ambiguous nature which they call Aurifrise, smaller than an eagle, but larger than a hawk, having on one foot sharp talons, with a clawing grip, but the other foot has none of this, and this is not suitable for clutching or carrying anything, but only fit for swimming. {not in 1609/1612/1641S{A strange and admirable product of sporting nature}not in 1609/1612/1641S}. Here are also certain birds which they call Martinets, smaller than a blackbird, shaped like a quail, but differing from them in that their bellies are white and their backs black. [I have] a strange thing to tell about these birds: if they die, they should be kept in a dry place, and they will not produce any stench, and being laid amongst clothes or wool, they will provide safety against moths. And what is even much more admirable, being dead and hung up in some dry place, they will every year shed their feathers and grow new ones instead.
23.22. In the Northern part of Ireland there are many swans. But storks are rare throughout the island, and such as they do have are black. They have no partridges, pheasants, magpies or nightingales. It has just about all kinds of wild beasts. The stags here are so fat that they are hardly able to run, and those of them who are smallest in body size do excel [above the others] in stateliness and rich branching of their antlers. We never saw anywhere larger groups of boars. They also have many hares. The bodies of their cattle, beasts, deer and fowls are in their sort smaller than in other places. There are badgers, and weasels, but of goats and hedgehogs they have none at all, and moles, if any, are very rare. But of mice they have an infinite number. There are also many wolves and foxes, but no manner of poisonous creatures. For the spiders and lizards here are not poisonous. The country is never shaken by earth quakes, and scarcely once a year shall one hear thunder.
23.23. From these natural things, let us pass to those strange wonders which nature has issued in these countries of the world. In North Munster there is a lake with two islands, a large and a small one. The large one has a church, the small one a chapel. Should any woman, or living creature of the female kind ever come to the large one, it dies after some time {1608/1612I & 1609/1612L have instead{immediately}1608/1612I & 1609/1612L instead}. This was often proved by bitches, cats, and other creatures of that [female] sex. On the small one, no man ever died, or could die a natural death. In Ulster there is another lake in which there is an island with two different qualities: one part of it with a church devoted to the service of Christianity, is very beautiful and pleasant. The other, very rough, overgrown and unpleasant, is said to have been bequeathed to devils and evil spirits. This part has in it nine caves or trenches in any of which if a man happens to sleep there all night, he is immediately assaulted by evil spirits, and so grievously tormented and vexed all night, that by the morning he shall scarcely be able to breathe and will be almost half dead. This place is called by the country people the purgatory of St. Patrick.
23.24. There is also a spring in Munster whose water, if used for washing, will turn the hair of a man grey. I myself saw a man who washed one half of his beard with this water, and the hair became white, the other [half] retaining its original brown colour as it was before. In contrast, there is in Ulster a spring in which, if any man washes his hair, he shall never become grey-headed. In Connaught there is a spring of sweet water on the top of a very high mountain which recedes twice every 24 hours, and flows as often [also twice], imitating the changeable motion of the sea. There is a spring in the Northern part of Ulster which because of its great coldness in seven years' time turns sticks and wood cast into it into stone. In Connaught there is a spring which is only wholesome for humans. But for cattle and other such kinds of animals it is pestilent. There is a spring in Munster which, if touched by any man, will suddenly result in a flood going over the whole country through rain.
23.25. The people of this country wear coarse black cloaks (for the sheep of this island are black) and they wear these sloppily and not handsomely. They also use small hoods, which hang down to their elbows. For riding, they do not use saddles, boots or spurs. But with a rod, sharpened and tapering at one end, they prick their horses, and make them run. Their bridles are such that they serve as bit and reign, made such that their horses, only used to eat grass, are never prevented from eating. To make war, they go into the field naked and unprotected. They use three kinds of arms, [namely] long spears, darts and battle axes. The people are wild and uncivilised. They delight in nothing more than to live in idleness, and prefer liberty above great riches. I only observe the people to take much pleasure in playing musical instruments, and they deserve praise for that.
23.26. This is what we have briefly collected from the history of Gyraldus Cambrensis {1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S only{diligently retaining the meaning of his own words}1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S only}. To these the studious reader may add such things as Henry of Huntingdon, Polydorus Vergilius, William Newberry, John Major and others have written about it in their various histories. Daniel Rogers has published a description of this island in elegiac verse dedicated to Thomas Rhediger. And Mr. William Camden in prose has most exactly described it in his England {1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S instead{Britannia}1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. But Richard Stanihurst has recently published an elaborate treatise on this island. And because we have spoken before about St. Patrick's purgatory, it shall not be amiss to add to that the following discussion, taken from the twelfth book of Cæsarius, his history of things worth remembering. When St. Patrick, he says, converted this nation to Christianity, and they expressed doubt and disbelieved that man should be punished for his sins in the world to come, he obtained by earnest prayer the following place by the hand of God. The place looks like this: there is a deep pit or trench, enclosed fully by a round wall. There are also certain regular canons. No man is so terrible a sinner as to deserve a greater penance than to abide for one whole night in that purgatory. If any man be desirous to enter it for the first time to make his confession, they administer the sacrament to him, anoint him, perfume him, and instruct him as follows: thou shalt see this night, they say, the assaults of the devil, and the horrible pains of hell, but they shall not hurt thee, if thou have the name of Jesus always in thy mouth. But if thou shall yield to flattering the enticements or terrible threats of the devil, and shall cease to call Jesus' name, thou shall surely be a dead man. Then in the evening, lowering him into the pit, they shut the door and come back in the morning. And if they do not immediately find him, they look no further for him. Many have died there, and many have gone home again, whose visions have been written down by the friars mentioned, which are shown to those desirous to see them}1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

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