Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 66

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and the 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:

66.1. {1592L{Brabant.

66.2. The duchy of Brabant is surrounded by the rivers Maas, Schelde, Sambre and Dender, as 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 Holland and Gelderland {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S has instead {Zeeland} [which is incorrect], 1602S, 1609/1612/1641S 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 an excellent and pleasant country, exceedingly fertile, and abounding with corn and fruit of all sorts, {in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S which continues in §66.5}; {especially South of the river Demer. For its Northern part, namely Kempenland is somewhat more barren and sandy. Nevertheless, this part is not altogether without produce. For Iacobus Spiegelius, writing to Guntherus of Genoa asserts that the farmers of Brabant are so industrious that they succeed in making even the most sandy land produce wheat. {not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{and also cattle and sheep, the greater part of which (as we [also] read in Homerus about those Libyan [sheep]) are with horns. It has most pleasant and plentiful pastures}not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}.
66.3. By the industry and unceasing labour of the farmers, it is now daily so manured that where in past times there was nothing but unprofitable land, you may at present behold, to the great benefit of the inhabitants, the most fruitful corn fields. {not in 1602G{In the Eastern part of this province there is a kind of bog or quagmire called Peel, the ground of which (as Plinius reports of the fields Gabiensis and Reatinus) trembles under a man's foot. It cannot be passed by horses or wagons, except in winter, when the upper crust of it is hardened by frost}not in 1602G}.
66.4. {1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S continue here after §66.5{This region contains the marquisette of the sacred Empire the chief city of which is Antwerp) as also the marquisette of Bergen, the duchy of Aarschot, the countships of Hoogstraten, Megen {not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{and that of Cantecroy, lately founded by Charles the fifth, &c}not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}. It also has woods and forests, abounding with wild beasts of various kinds, the most important ones being Grootenhout, Grootenheyst, Meerdaal, Zaventerloo and Soenien, the largest of all, containing within a circle of seven miles various villages and monasteries.
66.5. Hunting and hawking (except in those five woods which are reserved for the prince's own game) is allowed to all men. {1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S, continuing from §66.2{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. The air is extremely healthy, for when the plague was most vehement in all adjacent regions, Brabant has most wonderfully remained free [of it]}1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S continue in §66.4}.
66.6. This duchy of Brabant has twenty-six cities surrounded by walls and ditches. And these are the following: Antwerp situated on the Schelde, the most famous market not only of Germany but of all of Europe, and one of the strongest cities {1606E only{of the world}1606E only}, much beautified by the steeple of St. Mary's, built to an incredible height with white marble. The palace 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] Leuven, 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 Iohannes 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, {not in 1606E{which is further enhanced by its vineyards}not in 1606E}.
66.7. 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. [Then] Tienen on the river Gette, from where great amounts of cheese, {not in 1606E{taking its name from this city}not in 1606E}. Here stands the church of St. Germanus, 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.
66.8. [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 Antwerp is so near, no longer visited so much by foreign merchants. {not in 1608/1612I{[Then] Megen, situated on the Maas. [Then] Breda, a town most fairly built}not in 1608/1612I}. Here stands the palace of the counts of Nassau, so elegantly begun by a most skillful architect that, once it has been finished, it may (I think) be preferred above all of the princes' houses in the region.
66.9. [Then] Maastricht, 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.
66.10. [Then] Vilvoorde. Here is a strong fortress, and the jail {1606E instead{castle}1606E instead} of the duke. [Then] Gemblours {not in 1606E{or Gemblacum}not in 1606E}. 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.
66.11. [Then] Sigenen, a town 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.
66.12. There are also some {1602G & 1602S instead{18}1602G & 1602S instead} 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 Dormal. 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 county of Dalem, the state of Valkenburg &c.
66.13. Next to all these, it has other places of importance, but it is not our purpose here to mention them all. {not in 1602G{Ioannes Servilius published a brief treatise dealing with a conspiracy of the people of Gelderland against this country of Brabant where you shall find many additional details for a better knowledge of this region}not in 1602G}. But in the descriptions of the Low Countries by Guiccardini you shall not only read about these places, but even behold them with your eyes, so interestingly has he described them.
66.14. {not in 1602G{About the antiquities and memorable acts of this country my learned friend Mr. Iohannes Gerard is now about to publish, which we expect to happen before long}not in 1602G}. The ancient inhabitants of this region were called {not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{Ambivariti and}not in 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} Advatici, about whom you can read in Becceselana by Ioannes Goropius Becanus}1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}. {1602G only{About the area of Luik, which is almost entirely comprised in our map, you can read in Hubertus Leodius booklet about the Tungri and Eburones}1602G only, which ends here}.

Text, vernacular version, translated from the 1598/1610/1613 Dutch and 1598 French editions:

66.15. {1598/1610/1613D{Brabant.

66.16. 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, the land of Hoorn and the bishopric of Luik; South the county of Namen; and West it is separated from Flanders by the river Schelde and part of Zeeland. It is an excellent and pleasant country.
66.17. The people are so carefree {not in 1598F{that they hardly seem to experience the inconveniences of old age}not in 1598F}. 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.
66.18. The air is extremely healthy, for we have seen various times, (not without great admiration), that 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 Empire (of which Antwerp is the capital), the margraviate of Bergen, the duchy of Aarschot, the countship of Hoogstraten and of Megem.
66.19. There are many forests and woods among which the following are the largest: Grooten-Heyst, Grooten-Hout, Meerdal, Zaventerloo and Soenen, which is the largest, and considered to be seven miles in circumference, and which comprises 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.
66.20. The principal or main cities of this province are Antwerp, our native city {1598F only{and place of birth}1598F only}, situated on the river Schelde, a merchant city, not only of the Netherlands, 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 Kings 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 marble 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 Unus Petrus in Roma, Unus Portus in Ancona, Una Turris in Cremona [One St. Peter in Rome, One Harbour in Ancona, One Tower in Cremona].
66.21. Here also has the 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] Brussel, 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.
66.22. 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 Jan the Fourth in the year 1426. It is a large city, which has fields, meadows and vinyards within its walls.
Mechelen has the parliament, introduced to it by Charles, duke of Bourgogne, in the year 1473. Here the Rombout Church is being constructed, with a tower in white stone, and those working on it daily are so high above the ground that they might in due time be able to see the tower of Antwerp.
66.23. 's Hertogenbosch, once renowned for its soldiers, has its Church of the Holy Virgin {1598F has instead{Saint Iean}1598F 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 {1598F only{of the Netherlands}1598F only} to shame. To describe other worthy cities in Brabant would take me too long here. To this duchy belong some other regions on the other side of the river Maas such as the duchy of Limburg, the Land of Valkenburg, Dalem etc}1598/1610/1613D & 1598F end here.

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