Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 81

Text, intermediate between scholarly and vernacular, one version only, translated from the 1579/1580L2Add, 1579 Latin (AB), 1580/1589 German, 1581 French, 1584 Latin, 1587 French, 1588 Spanish, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598 French, 1598/1610/1613 Dutch, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:

81.1. {1579/1580L2Add{WEST FRIESLAND.

81.2. Friesland is at this day divided {not in 1608/1612I{by the river Eems}not in 1608/1612I} into West-Friesland and East-Friesland. West-Friesland, {1608/1612I has instead{East Friesland}1608/1612I instead} which we offer here to your view by most ancient rights claims for itself the name Friesland, and was always esteemed [to be] the better [of the two]. For this country had its own king until the days of Charles the Great {1580/1589G & 1602G have instead{the Fifth}1580/1589G & 1602G instead}, after whose death this province was afflicted in various ways and suffered the most grievous storms, although before that time it had also often been assaulted by the Danes and Norwegians. Yes, but most of all by the raging ocean, a steady and roaring enemy of this country, by flooding it, beating it, tearing its dikes and banks, it has never come to rest.
81.3. How it has in more recent days been troubled by the bishops of Utrecht and the counts of Holland, I think everybody remembers well. But finally, in the days of emperor Charles the fifth, a truly peaceful prince, it enjoyed peace and rest. Presently they divide it into three parts, Westergo, Oostergo and Zevenwouden, which in turn are divided into 29 {1602G has instead{19}1602G instead} Gretanies {1598/1610/1613D instead has{places}1598/1610/1613D instead} {not in 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D{(as they vulgarly call them in the mother tongue)}not in 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D}, [that is] courts of justice.
81.4. Moreover, on this map is depicted the territory of the renowned city of Groningen, and also that area which they call {1598/1610/1613D only{Frisian}1598/1610/1613D only} Ommelanden {1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{after a region across the river Yssel}1581F, 1587F & 1598F only}. These are bordered by {not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{Overijssel}not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}, with Drente and Twente, countries with a fat and fertile soil, well inhabited, full of villages and hamlets, breeding also plenty of cattle.
81.5. West Friesland has {1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{except for}1581F, 1587F & 1598F only} {not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F{thirteen cities}not in 1581F, 1587F & 1598F}, GRONINGEN, most famous for having brought forth the learned Rodolphus Agricola. DAM, {1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{once a walled city, it has eleven cities, viz.}1581F, 1587F & 1598F only} LEEUWARDEN, with its fair castle. Here are kept the court or place of parliament and chancery, {not in 1608/1612I{as they commonly call it}not in 1608/1612I}. DOKKUM, the place where the famous mathematician Gemma Frisius was born {1580/1589G & 1602G only{that is, who through liberal arts and good education, has been highly appreciated}1580/1589G & 1602G only}. FRANEKER, a place of retreat where the noblemen and gentry of this country reside.
81.6. BOLSWARD and SNEEK, where Joachim Hopper, a very learned and worthy man was born. IJLST, SLOTEN and HARLINGEN on the bay of the German ocean (which they call Zuiderzee) has a commodious harbour, guarded by a strong castle to defend it against assault from the enemy. WORKUM and HINDELOPEN are on the same bay. Finally STAVEREN which in former times has been a mighty city, but now, having endured many bitter floods of the sea, is no longer so famous. Next to these, there are 490 villages or parishes, of which various are endowed with great privileges, with many rich farmers.
81.7. It has many monasteries, so that, as regards the beauty of their towns, cultivation of the land and stately abbeys, Friesland is no less than any country whatsoever. That there are in this province many gentlemen, descended from honourable families, with houses and farms in various places of the region, but no barons or free lords is caused partly by the misfortunes just mentioned, partly by the fact that they are satisfied with their own estate and liberty, and have not followed the courts of foreign princes.
81.8. Petrus Olivarius in his annotations on Pomponius Mela, where he speaks of {not in 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1608/1612I{West}not in 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1608/1612I} Friesland, writes that in such a small area he never saw so many parish churches. There are [people], he says, who attribute the multitude of churches to the following: they report that a heated debate arose amongst the nobility of this country about where to sit in church, where everyone claimed the first seat. And when this strife grew worse, they decided, as many as were able, to build each of them their own church, each on his own domain, so that everyone of them could take the highest seat in his own [church], and this was the cause for building so many churches}1598/1610/1613D ends here}. So far Olivarius, where you may also see many other things worth reading about.
81.9. Read also in Saxonia by Albertus Cranzius. But who desires more knowledge about this province should take recourse to the description of the Low Countries by Ludovico Guicciardini}1579/1580L2Add, 1579L(A), 1580/1589G, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F & 1602G end here}. {1579L(B){Ælsius Eduardus Leon Frisius has described this country in heroic verse, dedicated to Mr. Viglius Zwichemus}1579L(B), 1584L & 1588S end here}. {1592L{Cornelius Kempius and Suffridus Petrus have done the same more extensively in specific treatises}1592L ends here}. {1595L{The learned Hieronymus Verrutius has recently promised to describe the antiquities of this country}1595L, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Bibliographical sources

For questions/comments concerning this page, please e-mail