Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 78


Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601 Latin, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L and the 1609/1612/1641S edition:

78.1. {1570L(A){ZEELAND.

78.2. Levinus Lemnius of Zierikzee in his book De occultis naturŠ miraculis [that is] {1602S, 1602G, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{About the hidden secrets of nature,}1602S, 1602G, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only} among other things writes this about Zeeland, his native country: that this sea tract, he says, was not unknown to the ancients may easily be gathered from Cornelius Tacitus. But not by the same name as that by which it is known at this day, but [the same] in customs and common ways of greeting and speaking to one another, which acquaintances and friends use when they meet. Therefore, he calls them by the name of MATTIACI when he writes like this: Under the same jurisdiction are the Mattiaci, a nation very much like the Batavi, {1580/1589G & 1602G only{or Dutchmen}1580/1589G & 1602G only} except that these are with regard to the situation of their country, more courageous. By which he gives us to understand that although they are next door neighbours, and border on the {not in 1580/1589G & 1602G{Batavi or}not in 1580/1589G & 1602G} Hollanders, (so called because of the hollowness and lowness of the ground), they might justly be reckoned to be one and the same people, but only distinguished by the name of their customary salutation, and by being nearer to the sea, being more hardy and audacious (as indeed they are) and in manliness, wit, policy, craft, deceits, cunning in buying and selling, their diligence in finding ways to enrich themselves, they far surpass them.
78.3. And his calling them Mattiaci, I think means that they were not called after any place or leader, but because of that friendly way of greeting each other, as I said, and their usual way of speaking to one another, that is, of MAAT, which in common speech and friendly meetings means: a fellow and companion in all our actions, bargains, contracts and dangers, in all our purposes, counsels, labours and works. A co-partner and comfort in anything whatsoever that we take in hand or go about &c. For the name of Zeeland is recent, and not known to the ancients, and is composed of Sea and Land, as one would say Sea-Land, a country or land bordering on the sea.
78.4. For it is fully surrounded by the ocean, and consists of fifteen islands although it was not long ago that the raging sea did great damage to this land. Through its violence and flooding, a good part of Zeeland (its dikes, walls and banks being torn and broken down) was overcome by salt water and levelled to the sea. In spite of this some [islands] have remained, of which three in particular continuously wrestle with the boisterous waves of the sea and courageously defend themselves with infinite costs and expenses against this rude and unruly element. Of these Walcheren first offers itself to the eye of those who sail these coasts.
78.5. It received its name from him that first entered and inhabited it, or (as I guess) from the Gauls who often frequented this region. They are called WALEN by the inhabitants of the Low Countries. Or [it received its name] from that part of Britain which lies at the west side of it, called Wales, the most gentlemen-like and bravest nation {1606E only{(you may believe him)}1606E only} amongst the English, and also descended from the Gauls, which their language still shows &c.
78.6. From here Northwards and somewhat towards the East is Schouwen, called after the river Schelde which runs by it and here comes to the sea. Zuid Beveland, named thus because of its location towards the South {1606E only{(to distinguish it from another [island] at some distance to the North, and therefore called Noord Beveland)}1606E only} is a large and excellent piece of ground, lying along the shore of Flanders and Brabant.
78.7. It suffered great loss and damage lately, and [as a result] is now much smaller and narrower. {1592L, not in 1602G{So far for Lemnius. Tritthemius in his Annals of the Franks calls Middelburg the chief city of these islands. Meyer of Middelburg calls it Mattiacum, being more of a scholar of Latin than a true geographer}1592L}. More of this you may read in the same Lemnius just mentioned, who has most excellently described all the islands of Zeeland and its cities}not in 1602G}.
78.8. To these, if you like, you may add for more thorough knowledge Ludovico Guicciardini. {1573L(B){There are also some Annals of these islands written in the mother tongue by Johannes Reygersbergen}1573L(B)}. But to get a taste, you may also add to the former the descriptions of the cities of the Low Countries by Adrian Barland}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB) end here}. {1592L, not in 1602{Of the people of this province, these verses are commonly spoken:
78.9. Crescit nequitia, simul crescente senectÔ;
In Zelandinis non fallit regula talis}1592L, not in 1602G} [which means:]
78.10. {1606E only{The worse they get, as they grow old,
In Zelanders, this rule does hold}1606E only}.
78.11. {1574L{These islands are situated between the mouths of the rivers Maas and Schelde, bordering in the North on Holland, in the East on Brabant, in the South on Flanders and in the West on the German sea. Jacobus Meyer thinks that Procopius calls them Arborichas. But Petrus DivŠus thinks that this text of Procopius is wrong, and that {1580/1589G, 1602G & 1606E{instead of Arboricas}1580/1589G, 1602G & 1606E} we should read Abroditos}1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S & 1602G end here}.
78.12. {1595L{These are the islands, I truly believe, to which CŠsar in his sixth book {not in 1608/1612I{of De bello Gallico}not in 1608/1612I} states that he forced a part of the army of Ambiorix, prince of the Eburones {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{of LiŔge}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. They, as his own words give us to understand, hid themselves on islands which the sea had made in its continuous motion of ebbing and flowing. It is also very probable that Lucanus in his first book about the Syrtes had these islands in mind in these verses:
Quaque iacet littus dubium, quod terra fretumque. Vendicat alternis vicibus, cum funditus ingens Oceanus, vel cum refugis se fluctibus aufert. Ventus ab extremo pelagus sic axe volutat, &c.}1595L}. [that is] {1606E & 1608/1612I only{They come in troops, From where the uncertain shores lie, which is land nor sea. But both, by course, as raging Thetis flows and ebbs again. Or as the wind with rolling waves all calmed stands, from North and South thus carrying to and fro, &c}1606E & 1608/1612I only}.
78.13. {1592L{And what that author Lucanus in his ninth book [lines 303-307] sometimes speaks of, [namely] the Syrtes {1606E only{or Quicksands}1606E only}, one may now quite justly apply to these islands, when he speaks like this: -- Primam mundo Natura figuram Cum daret, in dubio terrŠ pelagique reliquit: Nam neque subsedit penitus quo stagna profundi Acciperet, nec se defendit ab Šquore tellus: Ambigua sed lege loci iacet insula sedes. [that is] {1606E & 1608/1612I only{When this huge world by nature first was framed, A doubtful case it seemed how God would have it named, For neither could the earth receive the ocean deep, Nor was land able its own from sea to keep, The place so dangerous is, that none to it dare go, And whether sea or land it be, men scarcely know}1606E & 1608/1612I only}. Yet, now these islands are {not in 1609/1612/1641{inhabitable, and}not in 1609/1612/1641S} easy and safe to reach, by the industry and labour of man, not by the benefit and nature of the place}1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Text, vernacular version, translated from the 1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F and 1598/1610/1613D texts:

78.14. {1571/1573D{Zeeland.
78.15. Zeeland comprises all the islands between Flanders, Brabant, Holland and the sea. The most important ones are seven in number, together with some additional small ones, making up a countship. These islands are so much subjected to the tempests and the unpredictable movements of the sea, that what today is a true description of it, may (alas) tomorrow be a lie, for if an island may be of a large size now, the sea may take a piece of it away tomorrow, rendering it small. The sea may also take the middle part, and divide it into two islands, or may turn two islands into one by inserting a sand dune between them.
78.16. Today there may be many cities, and tomorrow the sea will wash them away, so that within the memory of a life span, as Lemnius writes, one hundred thousand hectares [300,000 acres] of land may be drowned. Nevertheless, we will describe it as it is at this very moment. These islands are nowadays parted into two by the river Schelde.
78.17. At the East side they are called East of the Schelde and consist of these three islands: Schouwen, Duiveland and Tholen. In the West is West of the Schelde, consisting of these four islands: Walcheren, Zuid Beveland, Noord Beveland and Wolphaartsdijk. These seven islands have 8 walled cities, namely Middelburg, Vlissingen and Vere on Walcheren. Reimerswaal and Goes on Zuid Beveland. Zierikzee on Schouwen, Tholen and Maartensdijk on the island with the name of that city, next to some unwalled cities that enjoy city privileges.
78.18. In addition to this there are 102 villages. Middelburg is the capital, and here is a staple market of all the wines coming from Spain, Portugal and France by sea. These islands are very fertile, for which reason Zeeland wheat (which they grow here) is considered the best, and one hectare of land yields more here than two in Brabant. But they have no sweet water, nor healthy air, and not much wood, but they do have peat, which they burn instead of wood. Oysters grow in such abundance that almost all of Europe can be supplied with them.
78.19. Its inhabitants mostly live by sea trade and fishing, in which they are so industrious that they even export fish to England (which is strange, since this country is itself surrounded by the sea). Here is also much trade in salt, which comes from Spain, Portugal and France, and on which they make considerable profit by whitening it. This is also the case for wheat, oysters, fish and salt, which makes the people rich because of the large trade in these commodities.
78.20. By nature they are keen on acquiring goods, (as Lemnius of Zierikzee writes). They are clever and forward-looking, and are not easily deceived by sweet words or a feigned countenance. These people, (as has been determined with certainty), have once come from Denmark from the island in the middle of that kingdom where you find Copenhagen, and which is [also] called Zeeland [SjŠlland], and they have called this land after their place of origin Zeeland. And if this were not the truth, even then it might provide a good occasion to be called Zeeland, Land of the Sea}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D end here}.

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