Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 65

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L & 1588S editions:

65.1. {1570L(A){Brabant.

65.2. The duchy of Brabant is surrounded by the rivers Maas, Schelde, Sambre and Dender, and it nowhere exceeds them, nor does it in all places extend that far. For on this side of the Maas lies a great part of the province of Liège. But (so that we may describe its borders more perfectly), it has to the North {1580/1589G only{dukedom of}1580/1589G only} Holland and Gelderland (1588S has instead{Zeeland}1588S instead}; East the bishopric of Liège; South the counties of Namur and Henault; and West it is separated from Flanders by the river Schelde. It is a noble and plentiful region. The people are so carefree that they hardly seem to experience the inconveniences of old age. This carefree disposition of them has given occasion to their neighbours to use this jest: The longer the Brabander lives, the more of a fool he becomes.
65.3. The air is extremely healthy, for when the plague was most vehement in all adjacent regions, Brabant has most wonderfully remained free [of it].
65.4. This region contains the marquisette of the sacred Empire (the chief city of which is Antwerp) as also the marquisette of Bergen, the dukedom of Aarschot, the countships of Hoogstraten and Megen &c. It also has woods and forests, {not in 1570L(AC) & 1573L(B){abounding with wild beasts of various kinds}not in 1570L(AC) & 1573L(B)}. {at the end of the list of placenames from 1570L(B) & 1571L onwards{The most important cities are what in the vernacular is called Soenien, the largest of them all, seven miles in circumference, containing villages and monasteries, and}at the end of the list of placenames from 1570L(B) & 1571L onwards} Grootenhout, Grootenheyst, Meerdaal, and Zaventerloo, {1570L(C) only{which have all kinds of venison}1570L(C) only}.
65.5. Hunting and hawking (except in those five woods which are reserved for the prince's own game) is allowed to all men. {1573L(B){This region is very rich in all kinds of corn and fruits, especially towards the South across the river Demer, but towards the North, which the inhabitants call Kempen it is rather barren and sandy. Yet it is not altogether without produce. For it provides sufficient pasture for sheep, and enough food for cattle. Through the industry of the farmers and their tireless labour, they have worked so hard that one hardly sees any sandy and uncultivated areas any more, but their lands are nowadays turned into fruitful lands, yielding great profit to their inhabitants.
65.6. This duchy of Brabant has twenty-six cities surrounded by walls and ditches}1573L(B)}. Its cities are the following: Antwerpen situated on the Schelde, the most famous market not only of [Lower] Germany but of all of Europe, and one of the strongest cities in the world, much beautified by the steeple of St. Mary's, built to an incredible height with marble. The city hall lately built [there] is hardly to be matched in all of Europe. [Then] Brussels, abounding with sweet fountains. It is here that the prince mostly resides, and therefore this town is much frequented by noblemen and courtiers. [Then] Louvain, a large city, containing gardens, vineyards, and pastures within its walls. You may well call it the home of the muses, for which purpose in the year 1426 Johannes the fourth, duke of Brabant, established here a university which flourishes with all kinds of learning. The territory of this city makes Brabant to take pride in its history. {1580/1589G has instead{Because of the suitability of its soil, all of Brabant has the honour that it can boast about its own wine}1580/1589G instead}.
65.7. Then follows Mechelen, famous for the court of parliament there instituted by duke Charles of Burgundy in the year 1473. [Then] 's Hertogenbosch, a town of no small importance, containing an excellent grammar school, and inhabited in the past by most warlike people. {1573L(B){[Then] Tienen on the river Gette, from where great amounts of cheese come which are called after this place. Here stands the church of St. Germans, to which a college of canons belongs. [Then] Leeuwen, where noble ale is brewed. [Then] Nivelles. In this city there is a cloister of nuns, to which only ladies of great nobility can be admitted. The governess of this cloister is chosen by the nuns themselves through voting, but with the consent of the prince, and the approbation of the bishop. And she is called the lady of Nivelles. The worldly and ecclesiastical jurisdiction also belong solely to her.
65.8. [Then] Aarschot, situated on the river Demer, earlier bearing the title of a marquisette, but since then promoted by Charles the fifth to a duchy. [Then] Bergen op Zoom, so named after a small river that runs through it, a town formerly with good trade, but now, because Antwerpen is so near, no longer visited so much by foreign merchants. [Then] Megen, situated on the Maas. [Then] Breda, a town most fairly built. Here stands the palace of the counts of Nassau, so elegantly begun by a most skilful architect that, once it has been finished, it may (I think) be preferred above all of the princes' houses in the region.
65.9. [Then] Maastricht on the river Maas, a large, populous and rich city, which, though it seems to lie outside the bounds of Brabant, acknowledges the duke of Brabant as its sovereign lord. [Then] Steenbergen on the sea shore. In former times it was a flourishing market, but now it is next to nothing. [Then] Lier, so beautiful and pleasant a town that many noblemen decide to choose it as a place of leisure and solace.
65.10. [Then] Vilvoorde. Here is a strong fortress, and the jail belonging to the duke. [Then] Gemblours or Gemblacum. The abbot of this town bears the greatest responsibility in ecclesiastical and worldly matters. [Then] Ioudogne, formerly the nursery of young princes from this region because of its healthy air. [Then] Hainault, earlier reported to have been an countship, situated in a most fertile place. [Then] Landen, judged by some to be the most ancient town of all Brabant. [Then] Halen, almost entirely destroyed by wars. [Then] Diest, built on both sides of the river Demer, a spacious city, whose inhabitants live on producing clothing.
65.11. [Then] Sigenen, a town of significance on the same river. [Then] Herentals which also maintains itself through the clothing industry. [Then] Eindhoven in the midst of Kempenland on the river Dommel. [Finally] Helmond, which has a castle.
65.12. There are also some 22 {1580/1589G & 1588S have instead{18}1580/1589G & 1588S instead, [in fact 17 are mentioned]} places which in Dutch we call Vrijheden or free towns, although they are not fortified by walls and ditches, yet, because they enjoy the privileges and immunities from the princes, we thought it not altogether wrong to name them: Oisterwijk, Oirschot, Turnhout, Hoogstraten, Duffel, Walen, Merchten, Asche, Wernen, Duisbosch, Hulpen, Wavre, Braine, Genappe, Geel, Arendonk and Doormal. There are here [in Brabant] 700 villages with parish churches that have steeples and bells, a great many of which are adorned with titles of dignities. Also under the government and jurisdiction of Brabant are certain regions beyond the Maas, such as the duchy of Limburg, the countship of Dalem, the estate of Valkenburg &c}1573L(B)}.
65.13. Next to all these, it has other places of importance, but it is not our purpose here to mention them all. But in the description of the Low Countries by Ludovicus Guicciardini you can read all you want, and see it with your eyes, because it has been described so diligently by him.
65.14. The ancient inhabitants of this region were called Advatici, about whom you can read in Becceselanis by Ioannis Goropius Becanus}1584L & 1588S end here}. {1579L(B), but not in 1580/1589G{Melchior Barlæus has also written about Brabant}1579L(B) but not in 1580/1589}. About the province of Liège which is almost entirely displayed on this map, see a booklet by Hubertus of Liege, about the Tungri and Eburones}1579L(AB) & 1580/1589 end here}. Iacobus Lessabæus of Hannonia (of which you see the borders on this map) has discussed it in his Commentaries}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L end here}.

Second text version, vernacular, based on the 1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598/1610/1613D edition:

65.15. {1571/1573D{Brabant.

65.16. Brabant is surrounded by the rivers Schelde, Maas, Sambre and Dender, in such a way that it nowhere exceeds them, nor does it in all places extend that far. For on this side of the Maas lies a great part of the province of Luik. But (so that we may describe its borders more perfectly), it has to the North Holland and Gelderland; East the land of Hoorn and the bishopric of Luik; South the county of Namen; and West it is separated from the Flemish by the river Schelde and part of Zeeland. It is an excellent and pleasant country.
65.17. The people are so carefree that there is a proverb saying: The longer the Brabander lives, the more of a fool he becomes, as if to indicate that they are of a carefree disposition until their very end or grave.
65.18. The air is extremely healthy, for when the plague was most vehement in all adjacent regions and many people died, Brabant has most wonderfully remained free [of it]. This duchy comprises the margraviate of the Sacred Emperor (of which Antwerp is the capital), the margraviate of Bergen, the duchy of Aarschot, the county of Hoogstraten and of Megen.
65.19. There are many forests and woods among which the following are the largest: Grooten-Heyst, Grooten-Hout, Meerdaal, Zaventerlo and Soenen, which is the largest, and considered to be seven miles in circumference, and which has many villages and monasteries. Except for these five forests, (which belong to the king as pasture ground and recreation), everyone in all of Brabant is allowed to go hunting and hawking.
65.20. The principal or main cities of this province are Antwerp, our native city, situated on the river Schelde, a merchant city, not only of all [Lower] Germany, but of all of Europe, yes, a market town of the whole world, as Christoffel Stella calls it in his book about the Voyage of the King which he wrote in Spanish. It is a city well respected by its enemies because of its strong walls, ramparts, ditches and bulwarks, and now invincible because of its new castle. Its main church, dedicated to Mary, has a steeple entirely made of white stone, so high and splendid that we do not know if anywhere there is a tower that is higher and more beautiful (although we have seen all towers of any significance, such as the tower of Strasbourg, of Vienna, of Heilbrun in Germany, of London in England, of Paris in France, and of Cremona in Italy, about which there is the saying Vnus Petrus in Roma, Vnus Portus in Ancona, Vnus Turris in Cremona [One St. Peter in Rome, One Harbour in Ancona, One Tower in Cremona].
65.21. Here also has the new town hall been built, to which no other town has to offer something that is equal to it, so splendid, wonderful and elegant has it been constructed in Vitruvian architecture. [Then there is] Brussels, where since ancient times there has always been the duke's court, which is still there. It is a joy to see how many lively fountains there are, at various places in the streets, and such throngs of lords, rulers and noblemen who adorn this city with their presence.
65.22. Leuven is very famous, on account of its ancient history as well as its university for all kinds of arts and languages which was founded by duke Johan the Fourth in the year 1426. It is a large city, which has fields, meadows and vineyards within its walls.
Mechelen has the parliament, introduced to it by Charles, duke of Bourgogne, in the year 1473. Here the St. Rombout Church is being constructed{1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F{in daily labour}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F}, with a tower in white stone, and those working on it are so high above the ground that they might in due time be able to see the tower of Antwerp {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F instead{that its height would exceed that of [the tower of] Antwerp}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F instead}.
65.23. 's Hertogenbosch, once renowned for its good soldiers, has its church of the Holy Virgin {1581F & 1587Finstead{of Saint Iean}1581F & 1587F instead}, with a wooden tower of such height and beauty that it is truly a miracle. Breda is the seat of the court of Nassou and has such wonderful buildings that if they continue to beautify it in this way, it will put palaces of all these lands to shame. To describe other worthy cities in Brabant would take too long. To this dukedom {1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F{of Brabant}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F} belong some other regions on the other side of the river Maas such as the duchy of Limburg, the land of Valkenburg, Dalem etc}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F end here}.

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