Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 6

Texts come in two versions. The first, scholarly translation is from the 1570 Latin(ABC), 1571 Latin, 1573 Latin(AB) and 1574 Latin edition; the second, vernacular translation comes from the 1571/1573 Dutch, the 1572/1573 German and the 1572/1574 French edition:

6.1. {1570L(ABC){ASIA

6.2. Asia is divided from Europe through the river Don [Tanais], and by a line drawn from the source of that river to the Bay of Grandvicum [Barents sea] in the Northern Ocean; from Africa by the Isthmos between the Mediterranean sea and Arab gulf. The remainder of the continent is surrounded by the ocean and by [other] seas.
6.3. The ancient geographers have divided it in various manners. But now it may truly be said that it consists of five parts, according to the great empires by which it is governed, which does not seem an inadequate way to divide it. The first part, which is adjacent to Europe, subject to the great duke of Muscovy, is bound by the frozen sea, the river Ob, lake Kytaia, and a line drawn from there to the Caspian sea, and by the Isthmus between this Caspian and the Black sea. The second [part] is that which yields obedience to the great Cham, emperor of the Tartars, of which the Southern borders are the Caspian sea, the river Iaxartes [Syrdar'ya], and the mountain range Imaus [the Himalayas]; on the East and North it is bordered by the ocean, and Westwards it is bound by the kingdom of the duke of Muscovy just mentioned. The third part is occupied by the clan of the Ottomans, and contains whatever regions are situated within the Black sea, the Ægæan sea (now called Archipelago), the Mediterranean sea, Egypt, the Arab and Persian gulfs, the river Tigris, the Caspian sea, and the Isthmus between that sea and the Black sea. Under the fourth is comprised the kingdom of Persia, now governed by the Sophies;
6.4. Westwards, it has the Ottomans, (with whom the Persians maintain continual warfare); Northwards the empire of the great Cham; Eastwards it extends almost to the river Indus; and on the South it has the sea presently called Indicum, but in former times Mare Rubrum, [Red Sea]. The fifth part takes up all that remains, which, in the past as well as in the present is called the Indies; it is neither governed by one king, as are the former, but by many petty kings, (almost every region having its particular governor, some of whom are tributaries to the great Cham). And it is not to be omitted that all the sea coasts from the Arab gulf [Red Sea] to the promontory commonly called Cabo de Lampo [near the mouth of the Yangtze], situated at 30 degrees of Northern latitude, are owned, or made tributaries, to the Portuguese.
6.4a. {1574L{Among infinite others, the principal islands belonging to Asia are Crete and Rhodes in the Mediterranean sea; and Taprobana and Zeilan, in the Indian Ocean, where also, within the memory of my father, the Portuguese have discovered the two Javas, Borneo, Celebes, Palohan [Palawan] , Mindanao, Gilolo [Halmaheira], and the Moluccas, now famous for the abundance of spices. Then Japan and New Guinea, discovered lately, but whether this last one is an island, or is adjoined to the antarctic mainland is not known for certain.
6.4b. The history of this part of the world is of great fame, not only through profane writers (as they call them), with respect to the first monarchies established by the Assyrians, the Persians and the Babylonians, and the Medes; but it is also most famous in the Holy Writings than is the rest; for here mankind was not only created by great almighty God, deluded and corrupted by the enemy satan, and restored by our Saviour Christ, but we also find that almost all histories in either testament have taken place and have been written down here}1574L}.
6.5. Strabo has described this Asia in six books, namely from book 11 onwards. Ptolemæus has described the same in his three books 5, 6 and 7, and likewise in 12 geographical maps, and he attributes 40 provinces to it. Of the modern writers nobody has described all of it. Mr. Paulus Venetus [Marco Polo], Ludovicus Vartomannus and John Mandeville, (but this last author is full of fables) have written much about it as they found worthy of observation by travelling through the area. Read also the epistle of Jacobus Navarchus, a Jesuit.
6.6. We have also published a large map representing Asia three years ago. (This remark refers to Ortelius' wall map of 1567)}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L & 1574L end here}.

Now the vernacular texts of 1571/1573D, 1572/1573G & 1572/1574F are presented:

6.9. {1571D{Asia.

6.10. In all writers this part of the world, next to Europa, has been very famous because of the Persian, Medan, Assyrian, and Babylonian monarchs etc. But most particularly, much has been written about it in the Holy Script, since the human race was first created there, betrayed by the devil and fallen, and resurrected and saved by Jesus Christ. In summary, the entire history related in the old testament took place in this part of the world.
6.11. The ancient writers have divided this continent into many different parts, but nowadays it seems appropriate to divide it into five parts after the five empires or their rulers which are the main ones. The first of which, adjacent to Europe, belongs to the duke of Muscovy, confined by the Northern sea, the river Ob, lake Kytaia, and a line drawn from there to the Caspian sea, and the isthmus or narrow piece of land which is found between this Caspian sea and Mar Maiore [the Black Sea].
6.12. The second empire is that ruled by the Great Cham, which borders to the first one on its West; in the South on the river Chesel [Syrdar'ya], the mountain range Imaus [Himalayas] and from there (described roughly) by a line going to the sea near Cabo de Lampo [near mouth of the Yangtze]; in the East and the North it is bordered by the sea.
6.13. The third empire is that held in tyranny by the great Turk. It is located between the Black Sea [Mar Maggiore], the Archipelago, the Mediterranean, Egypt, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the river Tigris, the Caspian Sea, and the narrow piece of land between this Caspian Sea and the Black Sea [Mar Maggiore].
6.14. The fourth empire is that of the Persians, ruled by the Sophies, which in the West borders on the Turkish empire just mentioned, in the North on the empire of the Great Cham, in the East it extends nearly to the river Indus, and in the South on the Indian Sea.
6.15. The fifth part comprises the remainder, which is now known and has been known before as the Indies. But this part is not governed by one ruler, as the others are, but by numerous different rulers, because each specific country here has its own specific king or lord, some of whom are subjected and pay tribute to the great Cham.
6.16. Also, it should not be forgotten that all ports or harbours and fortifications which border the sea from the Red Sea all the way to Cabo de Lampo [near mouth of the Yangtze] (which can be found thirty degrees North of the equator), are in the possession of the king of Portugal, or at least pay tribute to him.
6.17. To this continent of Asia also belong many large and rich islands, among which are included, (going from West to East), excepting Cyprus and Rhodes, which are situated in the Mediterranean, these are most noteworthy: Zeylan [Ceylon], which produces the best cinnamon, Samotra [Sumatra], Java the large and the small one, Borneo, Celebes, Palohan [Palawan], Mindanao, Gilolo [Halmaheira] and the Moluccas, yielding cloves, and Japan, which after this will be described in detail, as also New Guinea, which, because it has not yet been explored, is not known to be an island or a part of the continent of Magellanica}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G and 1572/1574F end here}.

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