Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 163

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570 Latin (ABC), 1571 Latin, 1573 Latin (AB), 1574 Latin, 1575 Latin, 1579 Latin (AB), 1580/1589 German, 1584 Latin, 1592 Latin, 1595 Latin, 1601 Latin, 1602 German, 1602 Spanish, 1603 Latin, 1606 English, 1608/1612 Italian, 1609/1612 Latin and 1609/1612/1641 Spanish editions:


163.2. He who takes it upon himself to describe TARTARIA cannot avoid to speak of a great number of nations, far apart and remote from one another. For the entire huge area of the mainland is now called TARTARIA that extends between the East sea (or as it is called Mare Mangicum), {1606E only{the sea of the Mangi or of Sin, a country known all over the world and vulgarly called by the name of China)}1606E only} located between the Northern ocean and the Southern countries, Sina {1606E only{or China}1606E only}, that part of India which is beyond the Ganges, the country of the Saci, {1570L(AC)only{the river Oxum (now they call it Abiamus}1570L(AC) only}, {1570L(B){Iaxarta, (now Chesel)}1570L(B)}, the Caspian sea, {1606E only{called Mar delle Zabacche}1606E only} and Mæotis palus {1606E only{as it was called by the ancient writers)}1606E only} and Westwards almost as far as the Moscovites. For almost all these countries were in the possession of the Tartars, and they settled in these places. Consequently, it comprises that country which the old historiographers called Sarmatia of Asia, both the Scythies and Serica, {1606E only{the country where the Seres dwelled}1606E only}, which I now take to be named Cataio.
163.3. The name of this nation was never heard of in Europe until the year of Christ's incarnation 1212 {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead{1222}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}. They are divided {1606E only{(instead of into shires)}1606E only} into Hordas, that is, as the word among them means, into companies or leagues. But because they inhabit large and vast countries far distant and remote from one another, they are similarly different in manners and way of life. They are well built men, broad and fleshy faced, with a scowling countenance and hollow-eyed, shaven except for their beards, {1606E only{which they never cut short}1606E only}. They are strong and able-bodied and audacious, they eat horse meat and that of other animals, regardless of the way they died, except for pigs, from which they fully abstain. {1575L{They can more easily endure hunger and thirst than other men, and}1575L} little sleep is enough for them.
163.4. Moreover, when they ride, if they are very hungry and thirsty, they may open the veins of the horses they are riding, and by drinking their blood, they fight hunger {1606E only{and thirst}1606E only}. And because they rove up and down, and have no fixed abode, they guide the course of their journey by the stars, especially by observing the North pole star, which they call in their language, as Sigismund Herberstein testifies, Selesnikol, that is, the iron club nail. They do not stay long in one place, taking it to be a sign of ill fortune to dwell long in one place. They observe no manner of justice or law. These people, especially the poorer ones, are very voracious and eager to take [someone else's] property. They have no use for gold or silver.
163.5. {1573L(B){In this country you see TANGVT, a province from which all the [medicinal] rhubarb that is spent and used all over the world is brought to us and [to] other places. Here is also the country of CATAIA of which the chief city is Cambalu which, as Nicolaus de Comitibus writes, is 28 Italian miles in circumference or, as Mr. Paulus Venetus {1608/1612I has instead{Marco Polo}1608/1612I instead} has it, thirty-two. It is of a square form, with castles built in each of its corners, four miles in circumference, where continually the emperor's garrisons are kept. But Quinzai, a city in the province of Mangi, which lies from there Eastwards at the Eoum [Eastern] sea, is thought to be even far bigger. For this [city], according to the same Paulus Venetus {1608/1612I has instead{Polo}1608/1612I instead} who lived there for about one year in the year after the birth of Christ 1260 {1602G has instead{1210}1602G instead}, is one hundred miles in circumference.
163.6. The same is reported by Odericus {1601L, not in 1602G{of Friuli (de foro Iulio)1601L, not in 1602G}{1608/1612I has instead{The same is reported by Lodovico Forlano, who calls it Cansai}1608/1612I instead}. It is situated at a sweet water lake. In this [city] there are 1260 bridges, many of them of such great height that ships fully loaded may pass under them without ever striking sail. Here the great Cham has a standing garrison of 12,000 {1573L(B), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S & 1602G have instead{30,000}1573L(B), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S & 1602G} soldiers continually resident. It is a wonderfully stately and pleasant city, which is why it obtained the name of Quinzai by which they mean the city of Heaven {1580/1589G & 1602G only{or earthly paradise}1580/1589G & 1602G only}.
163.7. The Tartars call their emperor Cham, which means the same as Princeps, a prince. On this basis, Cambalu means: The seat or city of the prince. Sigismundis of Herberstein writes that the Tartars call themselves Besermanni}1573L(B)}.
163.8. The Tartars, and their manners and way of life are most lively described by Sigismund of Herberstein {1601L, not in 1602G{and Martin Bronovius}1601L, not in 1602G}, {1592L, not in 1602G{and also in the Historical Glass or Mirror of histories written by Vincentius Belvacensis in his books 30, 31 and 32}1592L, not in 1602G}. See also the commentaries on Hungary written by Antonio Bonfinio, [as well as] Mr. Paulus Venetus {1608/1612I has instead{Marco Polo}1608/1612I instead} who certainly has lived long among them, {1573L(A){and [also] the Journal or Travels by Iosapha Barbarus, a Venetian}1573L(A)}. Of their origins, read Matthias of Michou, Haiton the Armenian, Cælius {1606E only{Secundus}1606E only} Curio in his Saracen history, and the letters of Jacobus Navarchus, the Jesuit.
163.9. There are also many things about the Tartars worth reading {1601L, not in 1602G{in the travels of the two friars who, around the year 1247, were sent to these regions by pope Gregorius the fourth}1601L, not in 1602G} [and] in the thirtieth chapter of the eighteenth book of Nicephorus}1570L(ABC), 1571L end here}. {1573L(A){Laonicus also has many things, in various places in his works, about the Tartars under the name of the Scythians. And so has Gregoras, another Greek writer}1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L & 1602G end here}. {1595L{Finally, David Chytræus in his Saxon chronicle has written much about this nation}1595L ends here}. {1601L{But no man has more fully and amply recorded the manners and life of the Tartars than William Rubricius, a friar of the order of St. Franciscus, a copy of whose travels into these parts in the year 1253, in handwriting, is in my possession}1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}.

Vernacular text version, translated from the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French and 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions:

163.10. {1571/1573D{Tartary or Great Chams lands.

163.11. The Tartars live far away from one another, and possess many areas of Asia. For nowadays Tartary comprises whatever lies between the Nordic sea, the river Ob, lake Kytaia, the river Volga and from there to Mar Maggiore, [and] (as it is now called) lake Caspium, the river Chesel (once called Iaxertes), mount Imaus (now Ussonte) and a line projected from this mountain to the sea at Cabo de Lampo, so that all the lands which used to be called Sarmatia Asiatica, beyond Scythia and Serica now have changed this to the name of Tartary. The name of the Tartars has only become known in Europe in the year of our Lord 1212, when they attacked the Russians with great force and inflicted much damage.
163.12. These people do not live in cities, but they assemble in troups in the fields. These troups are in their language called Horda, which means as much as community or group. They do not remain for long in the same place, but when the grass has been eaten by their cattle, and they have caught whatever game there is, they leave for somewhere else, to avoid poverty by remaining too long in one place. And since they do not remain in the same place, but are always travelling the fields, they know how to find their way using the stars, but mostly the North-star or Pole star, which in their language they call Selesnikol (meaning iron nail, as Sigismundus Herbersteyn writes). This they regards as their road sign.
163.13. And since they live far and wide apart from each other, they do not resemble each other in their way of living. But mostly it is a poor people, and therefore great robbers, who may also take from strangers whatever they like with them. They do not know gold or silver. Neither do they have laws or government among them. They are of average height, broad-faced, with hollow deep-set eyes. They shave themselves everywhere except their chin, for they have rough beards. They have a strong body and are very courageous. Horses and all other kinds of animals they eat, regardless how these died, except pigs which they do not eat. They can endure hunger often and can stay awake for a long time. If they are afflicted by hunger or thirst when they are on their way, they will pierce an artery of the horse they ride on, and quench their thirst with its blood.
163.14. In Tartary there is a province called Tangut. This is the origin of all rhubarb sold and used in the whole world. Here is also the land of Cathaio, where you find the city of Cambalu, 28 Italian miles in circumference, as Nicolo de Conti writes, whereas Marco Polo says 32 miles. It is built as a square, and has a castle on every corner with a circumference of four miles, always provided with garrisons. These are supposed to be at a distance of two months travelling from lake Kitaya, where the borders of the duke of Moscovy are located.
163.15. Fifteen days travel from this Cambalu, (as Nicolo just mentioned writes), East towards the sea, you find the biggest city of the world, called Quinsai, which means the city of Heaven, because of its splendor, because it seems to be a paradise on earth. It has a circumference of 100 Italian miles, as Marco Polo of Venice writes (who was there often around the year 1260, for he remained at the court of the great Cham for 26 years). It lies at a sweet water lake, and has 12,000 {1572/1573G has instead{1200}1572/1573G instead} bridges. You can traverse the entire city by land and by water. There are always 30,000 Soldiers in garrison in this city. It holds within [its walls] one million and sixhundredthousand households. There they consume every day 43 bags of pepper, each bag weighing 223 pounds. This is what Marco just mentioned says, and he knows it because he was there, where the duties of the great Cham are levied. From this you can gather how much food and victuals are traded there.
163.16. The chief of this Tartary is in their language called Cham, which means king, like Cambalu means city of kings. The Tartars are in their own language called Besermanni, as Sigismundus of Herbersteyn writes.}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G, 1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F, 1598F and 1598/1610/1613D end here}.

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