Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 183

Text, translated from the 1590 Latin Add.4, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1598/1610/1613 Dutch, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612L/S and the 1624 Latin Parergon/1641S edition ; note that in the Latin texts of 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L & 1609/1612L/S and the Italian edition of 1608/1612 all the biblical numerical references have been omitted:

183.1. {1590L4Add{The PEREGRINATION of ABRAHAM the patriarch.

183.2. Abraham, the first patriarch (whom Jesus, the son of Syrach, {1606E only{chapter 44, v. 19}1606E only} calls a great man, and admirable for glory and honour), the son of Thare, was born, as Josephus writes, in the 292th year after the universal flood, in UR, a city of the Chaldees also called Camirine, as Eusebius writes; maybe it is the same as what Ptolemæus calls Urchoa. He goes forth from his country and native soil at the command of God {not in 1590L4Add, 1592L, 1598/1610/1613D & 1602G{when he was (as Suidas tells us) only fourteen years old}not in 1590L4Add, 1592L, 1598/1610/1613D & 1602G}, into CHARRAN, which St. Stephen in the oration he addressed to the Jews, {1606E only{Act.}1606E only}, as also Achior in the story of Judith {1606E only{chapter 5. v. 7}1606E only} in his speech to Holofernes {not in 1598/1610/1613D{and likewise the 72 {1608/1612I has instead{70}1608/1612I instead} interpretors}not in 1598/1610/1613D} {1601L, not in 1602G{state to be in Mesopotamia}1601L, not in 1602G}. Josephus takes it to be a city.
183.3. Whether this place was [indeed] Carræ, famous for the defeat suffered here by the Roman forces, led by Crassus {1606E only{against the Parthians}1606E only}, although there are some that hold this opinion, yet, I dare not wholly agree with them and I leave it to the learned to determine [this]. After staying for a while in this country of Mesopotamia {1601L, not in 1602G{(his father having died here, as the same Suidas reports)}1601L, not in 1602G} he goes away from there with Sarai, his wife, Lot, his brothers son, and all his family and the souls or living creatures he had gotten in Charran, towards the land of Chanaan, {1606E only{Gen. 12.5}1606E only}.
183.4. (And if you are willing to believe Nicolaus Damascenus in Josephus, he lived some time with the Damascans, where in his days, he says, there was a street to be seen which they commonly called Abraham's house). When he arrived from there to SICHEM at the plain of MOREH, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{(a place which various commentators interpret in different ways, some [calling it] Oak Moreh, others Oak grove of Moreh, Zozomenus writes that in his time it was called Terebinthus, the terebinth or turpentine tree)}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{Gen. 12.6}1606E only}, God appeared to him, {1606E only{v. 7}1606E only} promising that to him and his offspring this land would be given. Therefore he built an altar for God there, who appeared to him.
183.5. From there moving on to a mountain East of Bethel, he pitched his tent between Bethlehem and Haim {1606E has instead{having Bethel on the West side, and Haim on the East}1606E instead}. And there also did he build an altar to the Lord, and calls on the name of the Lord {1606E only{v.8.}1606E only} From there he moves on and goes towards the South, {1606E only{v.9.}1606E only}. But a great famine developed in that land, and every day becoming still more grievous than the previous one, he goes down into EGYPT to stay there {1606E only{v.10.}1606E only} And coming to this place with his wife, a very fair and beautiful woman {1606E only{v.11.}1606E only} he [now] called her by the name of his sister, {1606E only{v.13}1606E only}.
183.6. Pharao, the king of Ægypt fell in love with her, and took her into his house, {1606E only{v.15.}1606E only} and for her sake, [he] treated Abram extraordinarily well, and bestowed great gifts upon him, {1606E only{v.16.}1606E only} who was also there [at Pharao's court]{not in 1598/1610/1613D{as Josephus confirms}not in 1598/1610/1613D} for his eloquence, wisdom, and great experience in all things, and was held in high esteem by the Egyptians. But when the Lord punished Pharao and all his family with many great and grievous plagues, {1606E only{he [the Pharao] debated the matter with him for Sara, Abrams wifes sake, v.17.}1606E only} and examined with him [Abraham] what his reason was, to say that she was his sister, and why he had not told him that she was his wife}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.18.}1606E only} and so he restored her to her husband again, {1606E only{v.19. and commanded that he, his wife and all that he had should be expelled from the land, v.20}1606E only}.
183.7. Therefore, Abraham returned to Bethlehem, {1606E only{chapter 13.3}1606E only} into that place where he had formerly built an altar, and there he called upon the name of the Lord, {1606E only{v.4.}1606E only} After his return Abram and Lot {1606E only{(who had always accompanied him)}1606E only} {not in 1598/1610/1613D{grew exceedingly wealthy and rich in sheep, cattle, tents and family}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.5.}1606E only} The land could not contain both of them, [and] neither might they dwell together {1606E only{v.6.}1606E only}. Next to that, their herdsmen, shepherds and servants could not agree [either] {1606E only{v.7.}1606E only} Therefore, they agreed to divide the land between them, {1606E only{v.9.}1606E only}. Lot chose the plain of the Jordan, an excellent country {not in 1598/1610/1613D{well watered everywhere by that excellent river, various small brooks, lakes, wells and pools, a tract of land in pleasantness and fertility}not in 1598/1610/1613D} similar to paradise and Ægypt.
183.8. In this area were Sodom, Gomorrah and other cities which as yet the Lord had not [yet] destroyed, {1606E only{v.10.}1606E only}. In these cities Lot lived, {1606E only{as high up as in Sodom}1606E only}. But Abram still lived in the land of Chanaan, {1606E only{v.12.}1606E only}. As they were thus separated, the Lord appeared to Abram, and pointed to all the land around him, North and South, East and West, as far as he could see, {1606E only{v.14.}1606E only} all of which he promised to him and his seed forever, {1606E only{v.15.}1606E only}. From there he moved, and came to live in the plain of Mambre. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{(The Septuagint interpreters have translated it [as] the oak of Mambre, quercum Mambre, Josephus has the oak Ogyn). Evagrius writes that}not in 1598/1610/1613D} in his time the place was called Therebinthus, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{the turpentine tree, or after the turpentine tree, I presume, that stood six furlongs away, as we read in Josephus, and which Eusebius Pamphilus describes as being still there when he lived.
183.9. This place was not far from HEBRON or, as some write it Chebron}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.18.}1606E only} Here Abram, hearing about the news of Lots captivity with his whole family, and goods, and all his possessions whatsoever {1606E only{taken by the kings of the nations when they sacked and spoiled Sodom (for Lot dwelled at Sodom), chapter 14.11.12.}1606E only} he armed 318 {1606E has instead{308}1606E} slaves and bond-servants, bred and born in his own house, and with all possible speed went after the enemy, {1606E only{v.14.}1606E only} following them even as far North as DAN and CHOBA, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{(Saint Hieronymus calls it Hoba, and Josephus Soba)}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.15.}1606E only} rescued his nephew, recovered all his goods and booty that they had taken, and brought them back again with the women and all the people, {1606E only{v.16.
183.10. Having returned from the slaughter at Chodorlaomer, and together with the rest of the kings that were with him}1606E only}, at the VALLEY OF SAVE {not in 1598/1610/1613D{(the Kings dale, as Saint Hieronymus calls it, or the kings field, as Josephus calls it)}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, the king of Sodom met him, {1606E only{v.17.}1606E only} together with Melchisedech, king and priest of Salem or Jerusalem, who offered bread and wine, entertained him most kindly, {1606E only{v.18.}1606E only} blessing him and wishing all kinds of good fortune to him {1606E only{v.19.}1606E only}, to whom Abram gave tithe of all that he had {1606E only{v.20.}1606E only}.
183.11. These things being thus performed, God appeared to him again, {1606E only{chapter 15.1.}1606E only} and promised him an heir of his own seed {1606E only{v.4.}1606E only}, from whom should come an offspring or issue as great in number as the stars of heaven {1606E only{v.5.}1606E only}, or the sand of the sea {1606E only{Hebr. 11.12.}1606E only} And he, not considering that his body was withered and [almost] dead, (being almost one hundred years old) nor the deadness of Sarais womb, but being not weak in faith, nor doubting any of the promises of God, knowing for certain that he who had promised was able to carry out what he had promised, against all hope, believed in hope, and therefore it was ascribed to him because of his virtues, {1606E only{Rom.4.18.19.}1606E only}, and for confirmation and further testimony of its truth, he slaughtered a calf, a goat, a ram, a turtle and a dove, and slit them apart, except for the birds, and that on the explicit command of God, {1606E only{v.9.10}1606E only}.
183.12. The birds [of prey] which came down on the carcasses Abram drove away, {1606E only{v.11. Here God predicts that his offspring should be in bondage to the Egyptians for 400 years, v.13., before returning to their country again v.16}1606E only}. And after the sun went down, there was a great darkness, and behold, there was a smoking [like from a] furnace and a burning fire passing between those pieces, {1606E only{v.17.}1606E only}, and the Lord made a covenant with Abram, and gave to his seed and posterity the entire country that lies between the Nile (that river of Ægypt) and the Euphrates, that great river {1606E only{which separates Palestina from the kingdom of the Chaldees or Persians v.18.}1606E only}.
183.13. Sarai his wife, having hitherto been barren, and having an Egyptian maid called Hagar induces Abram to sleep with her, {1606E only{chap. 16.1.2}1606E only}. Abram, consenting to his wife, sleeps with Hagar, {1606E only{v.3.}1606E only}, who, conceiving, bore him a son, whom he {1606E only{by command of the angel}1606E only}, called Ismael, {1606E only{v.4.11}1606E only}. After this, {1606E only{Abram being 99 years old}1606E only}, the Lord appeared to him, {1606E only{chap. 17.1.}1606E only}, [and] made a covenant with him, {1606E only{promising greatly to multiply him and his seed, and to make him a father of many nations, v.2.4.}1606E only} Therefore he changes his name from Abram that is High-father {not in 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G & 1608/1612I{(Altiparens)}not in 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G & 1608/1612I} to Abraham, that is, Many-father {not in 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G & 1608/1612I{(Multiparens)}not in 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G & 1608/1612I}, {1606E only{v.5.}1606E only}, and his wife's name from Sarai, (that is: my princess) to Sarah (the princess), {1606E only{v.15.}1606E only} and promises to give him a son by her, {1606E only{whom he was by the council of the Lord to call by the name of Izahak}1606E only}, and with whom he made the covenant of circumcision, {1606E only{v.16.19}1606E only}.
183.14. Abraham therefore took {1606E only{Ismael and}1606E only} all the males of his whole family and cut off the foreskin of their flesh that very same day, as the Lord had commanded him, {1606E only{v.23. And Abraham was 99 years old, & Ismael was 13 years old when they were circumcised, v.24.25.}1606E only}. Again the Lord appeared to him in the plain of MAMBRE as he sat in the tent door {1606E only{at the hottest time of the day, chap. 18.1., and lifting up his eyes}1606E only}, he saw three men (in the {1606E only{2nd. v. of the 12th chap. of the}1606E} Epistels to the Hebræans they are called angels) whom he entertained in his house, {1606E only{chap., and after they had dined & refreshed themselves}1606E only}, he went along with them to Sodom, {1606E only{v.16.
183.15. On the way as they went, God foretold him the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrha, v.17.20.21. For which reason Abraham earnestly entreated to be merciful to them, and to pardon the multitude for the sake of the few righteous people among them, but in vain, because of the fact that among the great and infinite number of people that dwelled in these five cities and the territories around them, there were not even ten who feared God, v.32}1606E only}. And having returned home again, {1606E only{v.33., early in the morning}1606E only}, looking towards Sodom and Gomorrha, he saw the smoke ascending from the land as if it were smoke from a furnace, {1606E only{chap. 19.28}1606E only}. For the Lord had caused fire and brimstone to rain down from heaven on those cities, {1606E only{v.24}1606E only}}.
183.16. Afterwards, Abraham went from there Southwards and dwelled between Cades and Sur in the land of GERAR, {1606E only{chap. 20.1}1606E only}. Now Abimelech, king of that country, sent for Sarah (whom Abraham, as before {1606E only{[in] chap. 12.13}1606E only} called by the name of his sister), {1606E only{v.2.}1606E only}, but being warned by God {1606E only{in a dream that she was his wife, v.3., before such time as he had come near her, v.4.}1606E only} he restored her to Abraham untouched, richly endowed, and with great treasures, {1606E only{v.14.15.16.}1606E only}.
183.17. In this country {1606E only{{Sarah travelled, and bore Abraham}1606E only} a son [was born] {1606E only{in his old age, chap. 21.2 (in accordance with what the Lord before had promised, chap. 17.19.)}1606E only} and Abraham called him Isaac, {1606E only{v.3}1606E only}. and circumcised him when he was 8 days old, {1606E only{v.4}1606E only}. Now, when he was to be weaned, Abraham made a great feast, {1606E only{v.8.}1606E only}, at which feast Ismael, whom Abraham had begotten from Hagar {not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1602G{the bond-woman}not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1602G}, mocked Isaac, {1606E only{the son of the free-woman, v.9.}1606E only}, for which reason on the advice of Sarah his wife, both Hagar and Ismael were expelled, {1606E only{v.14}1606E only}.
183.18. After this, Abraham and Abimelech contended about a water well which Abimelechs servants had by force taken from the servants of Abraham, {1606E only{v.25.}1606E only}, yet, {1606E only{when the truth came out}1606E only}, they agreed, and made a covenant {not in 1598/1610/1613D{and league of perpetual friendship}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.27.}1606E only}, at a place which after this event was called B'ER-SHEBA, that is, the well of the league or oath, {1606E only{v.31.}1606E only} Here Abraham planted a GROVE where he called upon the name of the Lord, the mighty God everlasting, {1606E only{v.33.}1606E only}, and he dwelled as a stranger and sojourner in these quarters, {1606E only{namely in the land of the Philistines, a season long, v.34.}1606E only} These things being thus performed, God tempted Abraham, {1606E only{chap. 22.1.}1606E only}, commanding him to take Isaac, his only son, (who was now, as Josephus writes, 25 years old), by whom he had promised to give him innumerable issue, and to offer him as a sacrifice, on one of the mountains in the land of MORIAH, {1606E only{v.2.}1606E only}, (this mountain was since then called Sion, where David later decided to build a temple, {1606E only{2.Chr.3.1.)}1606E only}.
183.19. Therefore he built an altar here, {not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E{in no way distrusting the goodness and power of God, but persuading himself that God could certainly, without Isaac raise his posterity from the dead}not in 1606E}. And having laid wood on the altar, he binds his son}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, {1606E only{v.9.}1606E only}, takes the knife with the purpose to slay him, {1606E only{as he was commanded [to do],v.10}1606E only}, but behold, an angel is sent from God with a counter-command, charging him not to lay a hand on Isaac, {1606E only{v.11.12}1606E only}. Therefore, looking around him and spying a ram behind him, entangled with its horns in a bush, he catches it and offers it to him instead of his son, {1606E only{v.13. For which reason Abraham called the name of this place IEHOVA-YIREH, v.14}1606E only}.
183.20. After this, Sarah his wife, being 127 {1606E has instead{120}1606E} years old, {1606E only{chap. 23.1.}1606E only}, died in KIRIATHARBE, a place that was also called HEBRON, {1606E only{v.2}1606E only}. but Abraham buried her in the double cave {1606E only{of the field MACHPELAH, over against Mambre (the same as Hebron in the land of Canaan)}1606E only} which he had bought from Ephron the Hittite,{1606E only{ v.19}1606E only}. Then he married a second wife named Keturah {1606E only{cap. 25.1.}1606E only}, who bore him many children, {1606E only{v.2}1606E only}. Finally, Abraham being eight score and fifteen [175] years old, {not in 1606E{having reached a blessed and mature age}not in 1606E} he died, {1606E only{v.7}1606E only}, and Isaac and Ismael, his sons, buried him next to Sarah in the double cave}1602G ends here}{1606E only{of Machpelah, v.9.10.}1606E only}.

183.21. {not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E{About the wooded valley or}not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E} the DEAD SEA

183.22. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{About the Dead sea, or lake Asphaltites, because we have described it in a different form than has been usual in publications, I have thought it right to say something here for the satisfaction of the reader. For}not in 1598/1610/1613D} I give it here in the form which I think and persuade myself that it had in the time of Abraham. {1598/1610/1613D only{with the cities of Sodom, Gomorra, Adama, Zeboim & Segor. How this place changed and came to the state it now has is sufficiently clear from the writings in the Bible}1598/1610/1613D only} {not in 1598/1610/1613D{before the time, I mean, when it was burned by fire and brimstone from heaven by the curse and punishment of God, caused by the wickedness of its inhabitants. For we consider it for the present purpose to be a valley lying between the mountains, watered all along from one end to the other by the river Jordan, in which there were then these five cities: Sodom, Gomorrha, Admah, Zebeim and Segor. Why and how this place was later converted into a lake, is described at large and copiously in the holy Scriptures {not in 1606E{The various place names are listed sufficiently in our Thesaurus, and it seems unnecessary to repeat them here}not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E}.
183.23. Josephus in the 5th chapter of his 5th book on the wars of the Jews {not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E{in the commentary by Gelenius}not in 1598/1610/1613D & 1606E} describes it like this: It is, he says, a salty and barren lake in which, by reason of its great lightness, even the heaviest things that are being cast into it will float on top of the water. A man will hardly sink or go down to the bottom of it, even if he wants to. Later, Vespasianus the emperor who came there to see it commanded certain fellows who could not swim to have their hands tied behind them, and to be cast into the middle and the deepest place of it; and it so happened that all of them floated on top of the water, as if they had been forced upwards by the air or by spirits coming up from the bottom. Moreover, the diversity of the colours of this lake, which change and turn the upper layer of the water three times a day, and because of the various positions and impact of the sun beams on it, give a lustre to it that is most wonderful.
183.24. In many places it emits black lumps of bitumen which float to the top of the lake, in form and size like black oxen without heads. But when those who exploit the lake come and find a lump thus clotted together, they hoist it into their ships, and because it is tough, being full, they cannot break it to pieces, but as it were bound to the boat, it hangs from its top, until it is dissolved by the menstruation blood of women or by urine. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{This is by Plinius {1606E only{in the 15th chapter of the 7th book of his Natural history}1606E only} attributed to a thread stained with a womans menstrues}not in 1598/1610/1613D}.
183.25. It is good, not only for filling the joints of a ship, but is also mixed with many medicines used to cure diseased bodies. The length of this lake is 580 furlongs {1608/1612I only{or 72 Italian miles}1608/1612I only}, extending itself as far as Zoara in Arabia. Its breadth is more than 150 furlongs {1608/1612I only{or 19 Italian miles}1608/1612I only}. {1598/1610/1613D and later{Diodorus Siculus claims it to be only 150 {1601L and later instead{50}1601L and later instead}, {1608/1612I instead{500}1608/1612I instead} furlongs long, and sixty in breadth}1598/1610/1613D and later}{1608/1612I only{or 62 [Italian] miles in length, and 7 miles wide}1608/1612I only}.
183.26. The land of Sodom, once a most blessed and happy province in all kinds of wealth and commodities, but now all burnt up, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{as ancient records mention}not in 1598/1610/1613D}, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, and consumed by fire from heaven, was not far from this place. Finally, some remnants of that wrathful fire can to this day be seen, both in the foundations and areas of those five cities, as also in the ashes, emerging together with the fruits of the earth (which when you see them look like good, wholesome fruits, but once touched, they immediately vanish into smoke and ashes). So far for Josephus. Tacitus {not in 1598/1610/1613D{in the fifth book of his histories}not in 1598/1610/1613D} reports almost in the same words, {not in 1598/1610/1613D{but he states that the heaps and lumps of bitumen, after having been drawn to the shore and dried, partly by the sun, partly by the vapours from the earth, are cleft and hewn to pieces with axes}not in 1598/1610/1613D}.
183.27. Moreover he adds that this lake, though it looks like the sea, but much more corrupt and stinking both in taste and smell, is pestilent and unwholesome to its neighbours around it. Again, [he reports] that it is never moved or driven to and fro by the wind, nor does it contain any fish or water fowls to live in it, as happens in other waters. Yes, it entertains no kind of living creatures, as Pausanias and as Hegesippus {not in 1598/1610/1613D{in the 4th book, 18th chapter writes, so that, as Plinius notes, bulls and camels swim and float on the top of the water of this lake. Strabo writes the same things, but under the name of lake Sirbon, quite erroneously, for it is another lake in this country, different from this one.
183.28. Diodorus reports that its water is bitter and stinking. Similarly, that it pushes up all things that breathe, but not those that are massive and solid, such as gold, silver and the like, although even those sink to the bottom more slowly than they do in other lakes. See more about this in the same author, book(s) {1601L{2}1601L} and 19. That all vegetable matter that does not live sinks to the bottom, {1606E only{and that it will not be sent floating again unless covered with bitumen (alumen is said in some copies)}1606E only}. {1601L{Trogus Pompeius says in the 36th book of his history that a candle or lamps that have been lit will float; but that it will sink when extinguished, has been recorded as a truth by Isidorus, based on others}1601L}. Aristoteles in the second book of his Meteorologics writes that the water of this lake bleaches cloths, if one only shakes them well after wetting them with it.
183.29. About the fruits which resemble wholesome ones, good to be eaten, yet indeed vanish into ashes, next to the authors mentioned, has also been written by Solinus, {1601L but not in 1608/1612I{Josephus}1601L but not in 1608/1612I}, St. Augustinus and Tertullianus. But they only report about apples, not in general about all fruits. Hegesippus adds clusters of grapes to these, in shape and fashion, if not in substance. Tacitus writes that this does not only happen to all natural things arising from the earth on their own accord, but also to artificial things, made by hand and ingenious invention of man}not in 1598/1610/1613D; 1590L4Add & 1592L end here}. {1595L{This then is the nature and appearance of this place now, which was once, as Moses testifies, {1606E only{Gen.13.10.}1606E only}, as glorious as the garden or paradise of God to look at}1595L, 1598/1610/1613D, 1601L, 1603L, 1609/1612L/S & 1624L Parergon end here}.
183.30. {1606E only{We do not think it wrong to include the opinion of Nubiensis the Arab, as he has recorded in the fifth Section of the third Climate of his Geographical garden, printed in the Arabic language in Rome in 1592. The place, he says, where Lot and his family dwelt, the stinking sea and Zegor, even as high up as Basan and Tiberias was called the Valley because it was a plain or bottom between two hills so low that all the other waters of this part of Soria fall into it and is collected here. And a little further in the same place he adds: All the brooks and springs meet and remain in the lake of Zegor, also called the lake of Sodom and Gommorrha, two cities where Lot and his family dwelt, which God caused to sink, as he converted their lake into a stinking lake, also named The Dead lake, because there is nothing in it that has breath or life, neither a fish, nor worm, nor any other suchlike thing as has the habit to live and stay in standing or running water.
183.31. The water of this lake is hot and of a filthy, stinking taste. Yet, there are little boats on it, in which they go from place to place in these regions, and carry their provisions. The length of this lake is 60 miles, its breadth not above 12 miles. Moreover, Aben Isaac, who also wrote in Arabic a treatise on Geography (certain fragments of which I have in my possession, which favour I owe, as many others, to master Edward Wright, that learned mathematician and singular lover of all kinds of literature) speaks as follows about this place:
183.32. The sea Alzengie he says, is a very bad and dangerous sea, for there is no living creature that can [go on] living in it because of the unwholesomeness and thickness of its waters, which happens because the sun, when it rises over the sea, draws up, by the force of its heat, the thinner and more subtle parts in that water, and thus leaves the thick and grosser parts behind, which in this way also become very hot and salty, so that no man may sail this sea, nor may any beast or living creature live near it. The same for the sea of Sauk, as spoken of by Aristoteles, which is also in these parts, and reaches as high up as India and the parched zone (this is what I think the word Mantakah, which he uses means, that is, girdle or belt) so that there is no living creature in it at all, of any sort whatsoever. And therefore this sea is called The Dead sea because whenever any worm or suchlike thing falls into it, it moves no longer, but floats on the top of the water until it is dead. It then putrefies, sinks and descends to the bottom.
183.33. Yet when any stinking or corrupt thing falls into it, it immediately sinks and does not float on the water at all. So far for Aben Isaac. This sea is by Ptolemæus called ASPHALTITES, lake Asphaltites, by others Asphaltes, after the bitumen which it yields plentifully. By the Jews [it is called] MARE PALÆSTINORUM, ORIENTALE, SOLITUDINIS or DESERTI, the Sea of Palestine, the East Sea, the Sea of the desert or wilderness, after its situation and position in the land of Jewry. Also MARE SALIS, the Salt-sea after the hot and fiery saltness of it, above other salt waters which the Arab testifies to be true. Pausanias, that ancient and famous historian of the Greek, and Justinius, the abridger of the large volume by Trogus Pompeius call it MARE MORTUUM, the Dead sea, after its effect (there is the Justinius just mentioned, a lake in that country which because of its large size and the immobility of its waters, is called the Dead sea for it is not moved by the wind, the heavy and lumpish bitumen which floats on top of the water all over the lake, resisting the violence of even the strongest blasts.
183.34. Nor can it be sailed upon, because all things that are void of life sink to the bottom. Neither does it sustain anything that is not covered by bitumen), to these things my Arabs agree. By Galenus, the prince of [all] physicians it is called LACUS SODOMEUS, Lake Sodom. He agrees with Nubiensis, who never called it Bahri, a sea, but Bahira, a lake or still pool. Yet, in contrast with this Isaac calls it Bahri, not Bahira, and by this name it it generally known to all Europeans. Solinus calls it TRISTEM SINUM, the Sad-bay, like the gulf of Milinde is by some called ASPERUM MARE, the rough or boisterous sea, like Isaac, my author, calls this same lake Tzahhib, the churlish and dangerous sea.
183.35. Josephus in the tenth chapter of his first book about the Antiquities of the Jews says that this place where we now find the Dead sea was earlier called the Valley of bitumen pits. Strabo, usually a most excellent geographer and diligent searcher of the truth in these discourses, falsely confounds this lake, as I mentioned before, with lake Sirbon. Why the Arabs should call it Zengie and Sawke I do not know. This here we have partly taken over from the Geographical treasury by Ortelius, for the ease and benefit of the reader, lest the diversity of names might lead him to make mistakes. Having thus finished the maps of the HOLY writings, it now remains that we in a similar manner begin and proceed with those of the PROPHANE histories}1606E only which ends here.}.
183.36. {1608/1612I only{Next to what has been said above in parts, Filippo Pigafetta adds that he visited this lake in the month of April in the company of a Christian caravan which from the large city of Aleppo each year at Easter makes a pilgrimage to the Holy city of Jerusalem as it is also called by unbelievers in a vernacular manner, and in this caravan, amidst perhaps a thousand people who were Christians, only he [Filippo] and a man from Cyprus were Italians and of the Catholic religion, and apostolic. The rest belonged to various different sects, Greek, Armenian, Chaldeic, Cofean, Maronite, Jacobite, and maybe more. The river Jordan is at a distance of about forty miles from the Holy city just mentioned, on its East side, almost halfway between the sea and the harbour of Joppe, nowadays Zaffo in the West, the river Jordan, and the Dead Sea as it is called.
183.37. At the place where the river Jordan empties into the lake, the caravan stopped at a bushy place where lions can be seen. The river is small, smaller than the river Teverone which here in Rome empties into the Tiber. Its waters were turbid and salty because of the proximity of the lake. There is a bridge, made of chalk and stone, on the main road leading to the river Euphrat. On its left side, looking towards the North, and the mountains, the mountain can be seen where our Saviour fasted, and the remnants of a church which was built by Saint Hieronymus on that spot, where [John] the Baptist sojourned in the desert, and where our Redeemer was baptised, and not along the valley of Jericho, known for its fertility, loveliness and the great view, where balsam grows in the groves.
183.38. The whole caravan undressed and the people washed themselves in the river Jordan out of devotion for John the Baptist, and this is also done by the Turks, for this area is absolutely not uninhabited or without people at this side of the river or at the other side of this unpleasant lake. At the spot where this river turns salt as a result of the lake, the area is barren and dry, and nothing grows there except some shrubs. Dense bushes grow along the banks of the river and the lake, and in the distance you can see the hills which surround the entire lake.
183.39. The peasants collect the salt for usage in the family and their animals, by digging ditches around the banks of the lake, and when the wind blows, it pushes the water into them, which in a day hardens into very firm salt, splendidly white, and extremely salty, almost bitter, so that your tongue can hardly stand it. At the break of day, he [Filippo] went to the lake with some Arabs of the escort, and by hand he took some water into his mouth to taste it, and to determine its smell and composition, and he noticed that it was extremely salty, verging on bitterness, and that it was nauseating because of its gray, indefinite colour and that it tasted horrible. And what was new to him, and a cause of merriment among the Arabs, was that the entire beard of his upper lip was full of very white salt crystals which he could not remove, and which hardened as the sun rose higher.
183.40. As regards the substance which is called bitumen or asphalt, it is still clear today that now and then, in certain years and seasons, it comes to the surface of the water in great quantities, and now here, then there, floats to the banks, where it is collected by the peasants, and is sold dearly, since it is of value for various purposes, especially to remove worms which eat and spoil the tender leaves of the vines, and the green leaves of fruit trees in spring, by applying it to them because of the stench which it emits. Strabo claims that the so called mummies in Egypt are filled with this stuff, and not with balm, and it is suitable for preserving dead bodies and to prevent them from putrefaction.

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