Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 148

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570 Latin (ABC), 1571 Latin, 1573 Latin (AB), 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin (AB) and the 1580/1589 German and 1581 French editions. Note that the 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB) and 1580/1589G editions only discuss Creta, because a separate Cyprus map (Ort149) was introduced in 1573. The 1581 French edition sides with this scholarly text and not with the vernacular text presented below, which is exceptional.


148.2. Cyprus manifests itself among the larger islands of the Mediterranean sea. As regards the shape of the entire island, one [side] is longer than the other. Its metropolis and seat of its king is Nicosia. This city, as well as Famagusta, is very noble and the market place of the whole island, its harbour and tolls have made it rich. It is inferior to no other island, abounds with wine and olive oil, and has corn in abundance. It also has copper, as well as vitriol and copper rust. which is used for medicinal purposes.
148.3. Sugar cane grows here in abundance, from which they distill sugar. {1570L(B){Its wine, which may be compared with that of Crete, is potent}1570L(B)}. They also make camlets out of goat hair, in our present days called Zambelloto. It exports many products to other regions, by which the inhabitants make a considerable profit. It does not need much from others, and has a very pleasant temperature. The entire island has delicious things to offer: the women here are very lascivious.
148.4. The island is according to Bordonius 427 miles in circumference, and is about two hundred miles long. The Venetians possess it by hereditary right, and their praetor rules it. Ancient writers celebrate it in their writings, such as Strabo, Mela and other geographers. From the recent writers we have Benedictus Bordonius in his work on the islands of the world, Vadianus, pope Pius II, Dominicus Niger, {1571L{and particularly Iacobus Zieglerus}1571L}. This Cyprus was always so exceedingly fertile that it was called Macaria, that is, the heavenly one, and it was so much given to luxury that it was credited with the name of the goddess of Venus.

148.5. {1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G & 1581F texts start here{CANDIA, once called CRETA.

148.6. Creta, nowadays called Candia, is larger than Cyprus but of all islands in the Mediterranean only smaller than Sicily and Sardinia, and it is inferior to none in nobility and fertility. Ancient writers inform us that it had once one hundred cities, but in the time of Plinius no more than forty, and nowadays, according to Bellonius, there are only three of any significance left, namely Candia [Heraklion], a settlement of the Venetians, from which the island derives its name, and further Canea [Khama] and Rhetimo [Rhetimon].
148.7. The circumference of this island is 520 miles. It is everywhere mountainous, and for this reason its inhabitants are much addicted to hunting. It has no navigable rivers. It has no obnoxious animals. This island is famous and well known all over the world for its excellent wine, which the inhabitants call malvasia, which is exported all over the world. {1573L(A){The ancients called this wine pramnium, according to Bellonius. Volaterranus thinks that it is called arvisia, where I call it malvisia, changing one letter, and he adds that it was introduced here from Arvisia, a cape near Chius, hence once called Arvisium}1573L(A)}. There is a great abundance here of cypress trees, used for building ships. And they grow so tall, as Dominicus Niger says, that there is nothing better for a human being to behold.
148.8. On this island there was in former times a labyrinth, as Plinius reports, built by Dędalus after an Egyptian model. Georgius Alexander, who was a dignitary on this island, is reported by Volaterranus to have said that there are still some remnants of this labyrinth left. He says that it is in an excavated mountain, only accessible via a narrow path, with the help of an experienced guide, going as the first one with a candle, familiar with all the dark detours. But Petrus Bellonius, a diligent commentator of all kinds of old things, who has in our own time travelled across this island says that in ancient times there was no labyrinth, as it was called by the local inhabitants, but rather a stone quarry.
148.9. This seems more credible, since Plinius writes that in his time he found no remnants at all of a labyrinth. I will here add the description given by Bellonius. It is a place between Knossos and Cortina which used to be very profitable because in order to obtain stone here, the inhabitants there built a stone quarry and dug stone from it daily. After some time, there were so many tunnels in this mountain, and curved paths, that one could lose the way. This mountain, incorrectly called labyrinth is not far from the river Letho. And when one enters it, one must be accompanied by some farmers from a neighbouring village, who go in with torches.
148.10. There are many bats inside which may fly at you, and if you do not watch out, they will extinguish the candles. In the middle of this quarry is a large heap of bat dung, and their young ones hang above it. When the old ones stop flying, they do not sit on the wall, or on their feet, but they hang from rafters like they do in our regions, hanging from the crevices in wood. So far for Bellonius.
148.11. I think that I have personally experienced such a story about bats as Bellonius describes. On a pleasurable journey from Rome to Ostia, I passed Port Traianus at the sea coast, where I saw an ancient ruin. In order to inspect it better, I asked my guide to go in front with a burning torch, guiding me through the subterranean entrance. Since this building was by the ancients dedicated to the pagan god Jupiter, they thought that this god had grown up and had been buried here. Bordonius reports that on this part of the island, on the North, a cave had been made by humans, extending for forty ells in length, but only four ells wide, and this was called Iove's burial chamber, which by way of proof still showed an epitaph stating the same.
148.12. Strabo writes that the inhabitants of this island were very experienced in dealing with the sea, since they are surrounded by it. This may also be why they have a saying Cretensis mare nescit, {1580/1589G only{the Cretians do not understand the sea}1580/1589G only}. The vanity, fraudulence and mendacity, and other shortcomings of these people have been noted by the ancients in many [other] sayings, such as Cretiza cum Cretensi, {1580/1589G only{behave towards a Cretian as if you were a Cretian, suggesting that you may lie to a liar, since lying was very common among Cretians}1580/1589G only}. Also Cretensis Cretensem, {1580/1589G only{that is one liar gives shit to the other}1580/1589G only}{1581F instead{one must howl with the wolves}1581F instead}. Also Cretensis cum Aegineta. Creta raptus, {1580/1589G only{that is he is born to lie or predestined to lie}1580/1589G only}{1581F instead{they know among each other how they are}1581F instead}.
148.13. This is also why Saint Paul {1581F only{Title 1, 12}1581F only} has many bad things to say about them. But I am worried that what is said by many in a negative way about the Cretians, may also be said about other peoples, although not about all of them. Lucius Cęcilius Metellus of Crete has with force brought them under Roman rule in the year 685 after the foundation of Rome. Then, it was subdued by the emperors of Constantinople. Subsequently, they were under the rule of Bonifacius Montisferratensus, who sold them off to the Venetians in the year of Christ 1194}1573L(A)}.
148.14. {1570L(ABC){Nowadays, Creta is still obedient to the Venetians. Among the ancients, Strabo has diligently described it. Of the modern writers, [so did] Dominicus Niger, {1573L(A){Volaterranus}1573L(A)}, Vadianus, {1570L(B){Zieglerus}1570L(B)} & Benedictus Bordonius. But in our times, the best description can be found in {1573L(A){Iodocus ą Ghistele in his Itinerary to Jerusalem and}1573L(A)} Bellonius' Observations,}1581F ends here} where he has described it most accurately}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L & 1579L(A) and 1580/1589G end here}.{1579L(B) only{Iodocus ą Meggen also has some relevant information in this respect, in his Peregrination to Jerusalem}1579L(A) ends here}.

Vernacular text version, translated from the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German and 1572/1574 French editions:

148.15. {1571D/1573D{Cyprus.

148.16. Cyprus has been a famous island from ancient times onwards. It is situated in the Mediterranean sea and belongs to Asia. It is almost twice as long as it is wide. Its circumference, (as B. Bordonius says), is 427 Italian miles, and its length 200. Its capital, where once the kings kept their court, is Nicosia. In the year we are writing this, namely 1570, it was occupied forcibly by Zelimus, the second with that name among the Turkish emperors. Young and old were pitifully murdered (nor did they spare the clergy or nobility). The city was sacked, and all riches they found were abducted to Constantinople. The next city is Famagusta, a beautiful harbour and a rich merchant city, bringing great profits to the Venetians (who possess the island).
148.17. It is an island very fertile for corn, olive oil and wine which is so excellent here that it is like Malvesy. They also make many camlets of goat hair. In short, it has so much that it does not need much from elsewhere. This is why it used to be called Macaria, that is, heavenly. It was also devoted to the goddess of Venus in former times, since the women there by nature feel very devoted to this goddess.

148.18. Candia.

148.19. This island is larger than Cyprus, but smaller than Sicily (as some think), next to which it is the best one of the entire Mediterranean sea. It belongs to the Venetians. The ancient writers say that there used to be a hundred cities here. Plinius (who lived in the time of Vespasianus) says that in his time there were about forty. But nowadays, (as Bellonius writes who has visited it and described it diligently) there are supposed to be left only three cities of any significance, still to be seen, namely Candia [Heraklion] which gave its name to the island, Canea [Khama] and Rhetimo [Rhetimon]. This island has a circumference of 520 Italian miles. It is very mountainous and therefore has much game.
148.20. This island has become well-known and famous for its wine, called malvesey, which we here in Antwerp (since it belongs to the Venetians) call Venetian malvesey, and which is the most costly of all wines; for we have to pay 18 to 20 stuivers [one guilder] per jar for it.
Its mountains are so full of cypress trees that it is a marvel; therefore, they export all kinds of crates and chests made of this wood, which you can find all over Europe.
148.21. This island was in former pagan times consacrated to the god of Jupiter because it was supposed that he was born and raised here. They also nowadays point out his grave (as Bordonius writes in his book on all the Islands of the World). He says that on the North side of the island there is a cave, dug by hand, which is 40 cubits long, and 4 wide, still called the grave of Jupiter; and on one side you still see an epitaph of Jupiter}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F end here}.

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