Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 164

Text, one version only, translated from the 1584 Latin 3rd Add., 1584 Latin, 1584 German 3rd Add., 1585 French 3rd Add., 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:


164.2. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{Bernardinus Scalantus has in Spanish published a booklet about this country, from which we have gathered here these few lines {Latin & Italian editions only{in Latin}Latin & Italian editions only; not in 1598/1610/1613D}. This huge kingdom of China is called TAME by the inhabitants, and they call themselves TANGIS. But by the bordering nations it is called CHINA, {1606E only{which is that [name] Tein or Sin which Avicenna mentions so many hundreds of times, and recommends for sovereign use in physics, and it is the same, no doubt, with SINĈ or Sinarum regio, a country with rich commodities much discussed amongst all ancient cosmographers}1606E only}. This country in the East borders on the East sea {not in 1588S, 1602G, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S(commonly called Mare Eoum {1606E only has instead{Cin or the sea of China)1606E only, not in 1588S, 1602G, 1602S, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S}, on the South on the province Cauchinchina, on the West it is bounded by Bramas, [and] on the North it has the Tartars, a warlike people, against whom it is defended partly by an artificial wall, {1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598F, 1602G, 1602S, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{made by the hand and labour of man}1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598F, 1602G, 1602S, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only}, partly by a natural mountain [range] {1606E only{which runs for hundreds of miles between the countries}1606E only}.
164.3. It is a country [that is] very fertile with all manner of things necessary for the maintenance of man's life, caused not only by the excellence of the soil and temperature of the air, but especially by the industry of its people. For the people here are not given to idleness, but are very laborious and exert themselves. To be idle is here regarded as a shameful thing. It has wonderful amounts of gold, silver and [medicinal] rhubarb. The sea which beats upon this coast, and the rivers which run through the middle of this country abound with all sorts of fish. In the mountains, valleys and meadows infinite flocks of cattle graze. The woods, forests and groves are full of boars, foxes, hares, rabbits, zebellines [sables] and weasels and various other such kinds of beasts, whose skins are used for protective clothing. Of all kinds of birds there are plenty, especially water birds, as is shown by the fact that in Canton, which is one of the smaller cities in this province, there are served on their tables every day some ten to twelve thousand ducks {1606E only{and geese}1606E only}.
164.4. They sow the drier grounds with wheat and barley, the wet, flat and marshy grounds with rice, which they cut and reap {1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only{three or}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only} four times a year, [providing] their main diet and means of living. The higher and steep places, and the sides of hills are covered with pine trees, amongst which they sow {not in 1598/1610/1613D{millet, beans or horse-corn}not in 1598/1610/1613D}. {not in 1602G{Thus there is no place, no field, nor any plot of ground that [remains] unfruitful. Everywhere there are orchards, gardens, fruits, roses, and flowers of all sorts,}not in 1602G} {1606E only{yielding the most fragrant and pleasant smell, and excellent appearance to the beholders}1606E only}. {not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{They plant flax in great abundance everywhere {not in 1598/1610/1613D{for various sorts of linen of which they make their clothes}not in 1588S, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}. But especially sugar canes (which grow here in marvellously great abundance) and mulberry trees, to feed the silk worms which eat the leaves of this tree. Silk is their chief merchandise and commodity {1606E only{from which they yearly obtain an infinite gain and profit}1606E only}. There are in this kingdom 240 excellent cities, the names of which generally end in the syllable fu, which in their language means city, such as Cantonfu, Panquinfu.
164.5. The [names of] towns, of which there is an infinite number, similarly end in Cheu. The villages, which cannot be counted at all, are very densely and pleasantly inhabited through continuous husbandry and tillage. Their cities are mostly situated on the bank of some wide and navigable river, fortified with broad and deep ditches, and very high, strong walls. These walls, from their foundations upwards, are made of stone. Towards the top and the fortifications, they are made with bricks, connected with lime or potter's clay, the same stuff, I mean, of which China dishes, so esteemed by us, are made. The height of the walls, and their thickness is so great that four {1606E instead has{five}1606E} {not in 1584G3Add{or six}not in 1584G3Add} men may walk on them next to one another. Here and there on these walls towers and bulwarks have been made from which they may see all their fields, far and near around them. On each side of the wall there is so much vacant space {not in 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{(pomœrium they call it)}not in 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} that horsemen may pass them six together {1606E has instead{by six rank in battle array}1606E instead}.
164.6. These walls are so neatly and soundly wrought without any crevices that one would think they have just recently been made, whereas their histories testify that they have been built two thousand years ago. The entrance to their cities is by great gates, most wonderfully and stately built. Their streets are smooth and precisely levelled, and are so large and broad that ten to fifteen horsemen can ride side by side through them. In many and various places [the streets] are parted and separated by stately triumphal arches, gracing the cities beyond measure. Some Portuguese report that they saw in the city of Fucho a turret built on forty marble pillars whose height was forty handwidths, and thickness twelve, {not in 1584G3Add & 1608/1612I{after the measure which architects use}not in 1584G3Add & 1608/1612I}. This (they state in their judgement) in greatness, exquisite workmanship, beauty and in costs exceeds by far all the stately buildings of Europe.
164.7. We get an impression of the greatness of their cities by this, that they say that the city of Canton, which is as we said is one of the smaller of their cities, is 12,500 {1584G3Add has instead{13,340}1584G3Add instead} strides {1584L3Add, 1584L, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L have instead{12,355}1584L3Add, 1584L, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L}{1587F, 1588S, 1595L, 1598F, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{12,350 strides}1587F, 1588S, 1595L, 1598F, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead} {1602G has instead{1340}1602G instead} in diameter, besides suburbs which [also] belong to it, very great and populous. The people are broad and round faced {1598/1610/1613D instead{have a monkey nose}1598/1610/1613D instead}, thin-haired, flat nosed and small eyed, although there may be some among them that are reasonably well favoured and handsome men. The colour of their faces is somewhat like that of those who inhabit Europe, yet those who live around Canton are of a browner complexion. They seldom or never travel outside their own country, nor will they easily tolerate a stranger to dwell among them, particularly further inland, except those that have obtained a passport from the king {1601L, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L have instead{publicly sworn to be true to the king and the country}1601L, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612L instead}. The wealthy and better to do men have all their clothes made of silk in various different colours.
164.8. The simple and common people wear a kind of garment made of {not in 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598F, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{white or}not in 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1598F, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} black cotton and sometimes linen, coloured or adorned with coloured patches. So far in these parts they do not yet know how to make woollen clothes. The men there, like the women here, wear their hair long, winding it in a knot on the crown of their head, where they bind and fasten it with a silver hairpin. The women comb their hair very trimly, and ornate and beautify it with golden spangles and various kinds of (1606E only{pearls and}1606E only} precious stones. They paint and colour their faces as the Spanish commonly do. They never go outdoors, except when they are carried in covered litters on men's shoulders, attended by all the family.
164.9. It is lawful for men to marry many wives, of whom they keep only one in their house, the other being boarded in adjacent places elsewhere. Those who are convicted because of adultery are put to death. Within the city there may be no brothels, and the courtesans all live in the unwalled suburbs. Weddings are always celebrated at new moon or the beginning of the month, and preferably in March, which is their New Year's day or first day of the year. These feasts they organise, like we also do, in a very sumptuous manner and with as much preparation as may be devised. Their chambers are embellished with hanging cloths of silk and rich tapestry, [and] flowers are strewn in every corner. This feast is held and continued for many days. During [the feast] they have music from all sorts of instruments, with plays on stage. At these banquets they drink and eat so much, that even the very Dutch and Flemish people do not much exceed them [in this].
164.10. They do not touch their food with their hands, but they put it into their mouths with a silver fork or hook. They sit at their meal or table in chairs, as we do here in Europe, and not on the ground, as the rest of the Asians do. They are such a very witty and ingenious people that they have devised and put together certain waggons, which they can skillfully guide through the fields and flat plains, driven forth by its sails and the wind, like a ship at sea. These people already had the art and use of printing books long before it was known to us here in Europe, {1595L, not in 1598/1610/1613D, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{from there presented to the world}1595L}{1606E instead{the Western part of the world)1606E instead}. {1587F & 1598F only{When they write or print, they do not do like we do, writing from left to right, nor like the Jews do, who do the opposite, but they write in columns from the top to the bottom}1587F & 1598F only}. {not in 1587F & 1598F{In this country, because of its vast size}not in 1587F, 1598/1610/1613D, 1598F, 1602G, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}, there are many and various peoples speaking distinct and different languages, one understanding the other no better {not in 1598/1610/1613D{than the Spaniard understands the Biscayne}not in 1598/1610/1613D}{1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{than the Basque understands the Valentian}1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead}, {not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{or than the German understands the Frenchman}not in 1588S, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}{1598/1610/1613D instead{or a Dutchman Welsh}1598/1610/1613D instead}.
164.11. Yet, by their manner of writing, and through the characters which they all use in common, they can understand each other reasonably well. Thus, all the inhabitants of the [various] provinces of this kingdom, as well as those of {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only{Japan}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S only}, Cauchinchina and on the Lequeio's {1598/1610/1613D, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only{certain islands on this coast)}1598/1610/1613D, 1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1608/1612I & 1609/1612/1641S only} use one and the same alphabet (as they call it), or rather a kind of painting of letters}not in 1598/1610/1613D} {1606E only(not much unlike the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians)}1606E only}, through which they most cunningly express everything they want to relate. For example, [take] a city or town (one calls it Leombi, the other Fu) all express this word by this same mark [2 Chinese characters in 1584L3Add, 1584L, 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1598/1610/1613D, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S; empty space in 1606E text].
164.12. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{In a similar manner, they mark Heaven, which in this nation is called Guant by this character: [empty space in 1606E, a Chinese character in 1584L3Add, 1584L, 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S]. A king, whom they name Bontai thus: [empty space in 1606E, Chinese character in 1584L3Add, 1584L, 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1598F, 1601L, 1602G, 1602S, 1603L, 1608/1612I, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S, not in 1598/1610/1613D}. For they have in their alphabet above five thousand {1587F instead{fifteen thousand}1587F instead} characters for things and words. {1601L{Gaspar Balbus, in his Journal of East Indies, says that they have sixty thousand {1602S & 1609/1612/1641S have instead{six hundred thousand}1602S & 1609/1612/1641S instead} different characters}1601L}. {not in 1587F & 1598F, where this is said earlier{In printing or writing, they do not begin at the left and go on to the right as we do, nor the opposite direction, as the Jews {1606E only{and Arabs}1606E only} do, but they begin at the top and go down in a straight line until they come to the bottom of the page}not in 1587F & 1598F, where this is said earlier}. This kingdom has an infinite number of all sorts of galleys, boats and barges, with which they cross rivers and inlets of the sea, so that, when they want to brag about the king's wealth and his powers of command, they use a proverb saying that he can make a bridge of ships so long, that it shall reach from China to Malacca, which are more than 500 {1584G3Add only{Spanish}1584G3Add only} leagues apart.
164.13. As regards the part of the country adjacent to the sea, being in every manner and in many places watered and crossed by various great and navigable rivers, there are almost as many people that dwell in boats on the water as there are in houses on the land. There are some who never leave their boats or barges, but who stay there all the time, fishing and fowling [from there] all year long, for, as we said before, the abundance of fish and fowl here in this country is admirable. {not in 1587F & 1598F{Although this area is beyond all measure fertile in all manner of living creatures, they do help this fertility by art and the following strange invention:}not in 1587F & 1598F} In the spring time they cover two or three thousand eggs with horse dung {not in 1598/1610/1613D{(like they do in Alcairo of Egypt)}not in 1598/1610/1613D} by the heat of which after some time small geese and chickens are brought forth and hatch. They do the same in winter, but then they do not put them into dung, but into a wicker basket, and putting this over a moderate fire which is kept burning all the time to reach the same temperature, they achieve the same in a certain number of days.
164.14. They also have the following method for fishing: in those cities which are on the banks and sides of rivers, (as almost all the cities of this kingdom are), they keep a great number of cormorants or sea-gulls {1606E only{(the Romans call them Mergi}1606E only}, {not in 1588S, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{the Spaniards {1608/1612I only{and Italians}1608/1612I only} sea crows)}not in 1588S, 1598/1610/1613D, 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S} in cages or compartments. When they want to go fishing, they put these [birds] into their boats, and taking them to the deepest part of the river, they bind their necks lightly with cords (to prevent that the fishes they catch should go into their bellies), they cast them in multitudes into the water where they let them stay until their crops are clearly filled with fish, and then, returning to their boats, where they are received, they throw up at their master's feet all the fish they have caught. This they do as often as the fisherman wants, and then, being brought home to their compartments, their necks are untied, and they are given ordinary food as much as they want.
164.15. This entire country is subject to one king (as to a monarch) whom they call The lord of the world, and The son of heaven. Paquin, {1606E only{a city in the Northern part of this kingdom}1606E only}, {not in 1584G3Add & 1602G{towards the frontiers of Tartaria}not in 1584G3Add & 1602G} is the seat of their king, where he normally keeps his court. He never goes out from this, except in times of war. {not in 1587F & 1598F{His predecessors once kept court in the city of Manquin, which is commemorated by a golden table that has religiously been preserved. In this the name of the reigning king is written. It is covered by a very rich curtain, which is never drawn away except on festivals and holy days, and when it happens they give it superstitious reverence, as if indeed it did represent the very majesty of the king himself}not in 1587F & 1598F}. They report that when he [the king] makes war at any time against the Tartars, he leads out into the fields at least three hundred thousand footmen and two hundred thousand horsemen, yet, they also add to this that it [China] is not a very warlike nation. The king has under his [command] a governor, as it were a lieutenant, whom they call Tutan. This lieutenant is the judge who determines all cases and controversies arising between man and man throughout the whole kingdom. In the execution of justice, he uses great severity.
164.16. Thieves and murderers are kept in perpetual imprisonment until their life comes to an end through whipping, hunger or cold. {not in 1587F & 1598F{Although they are condemned to the most severe punishment which their law inflicts (which usually is whipping) yet the execution of their sentence is so slow that the greater part of condemned men die in prison before their punishment has been executed. This is the reason why everywhere, in all their cities, there is an infinite number of prisoners, so that in Canton, {1606E only{one of their smaller cities}1606E only}, there are often more than fifteen thousand {1584G3Add, 1584L, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I have instead{1015}1584G3Add, 1584L, 1592L, 1595L, 1601L, 1602G, 1603L & 1608/1612I instead} men imprisoned at the same time}not in 1587F & 1598F}. Robberies (no crime committed in this country is considered to be more odious) are punished by a cruel kind of whipping.
164.17. The manner of whipping is like this: they lay down the party to be whipped, face downwards, and his hands bound behind him. Then he is beaten by a whip made of a reed or cane upon the calves of his legs with such a mighty blow that the victim usually shows blood by the first stroke. The second stroke torments the party to be punished such, that he cannot ever get upright. Several torturers do the whipping, one on one leg, and the other on the other, and that so hard that many die of the fiftieth or sixtieth {1606E instead{fifteenth or sixteenth}1606E instead} lash, for all their nerves by this time have been burst asunder. {not in 1588S{The Portuguese state that every year in this country above two thousand die this kind of death}not in 1588S}. {not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S{This whip [cane] is about five fingers broad, and one finger thick, which they dip into water, to make it more pliant, and [to allow it] to strike a greater blow}not in 1602S & 1609/1612/1641S}.
164.18. Concerning the faith and religion of this nation, it is like this. They believe that all earthly creatures and all things in the world, as well as government and the disposition of them, depend on heaven and heavenly powers. They think that heaven is the greatest of all gods, and therefore the character referring to it has the first place in their alphabet. They worship the sun, the moon and the stars, yes even the very devil himself (whom they picture in the same form as we do here in Europe){1598/1610/1613D instead{which they depict just as ugly as we do}1598/1610/1613D instead} that he may not hurt them, as they say. They have stately and sumptuous churches, in their cities as well as in the country. They also have two sorts of priests: one sort goes in white, with the head shaven, and lives by begging, as our friars do. The other goes in black, wears long hair, and lives by himself, as our priests here in Europe do.
164.19. Neither of them may marry, yet they live very wantonly and licentiously. So far from Escalante. {not in 1584G3Add, 1587F & 1598F{It will not be amiss to add to this some things from other [writers]}not in 1584G3Add, 1587F & 1598F}. Ioannes Barrius {not in 1584G3Add, 1587F, 1598F & 1602G{in his Asian Decades}not in 1587F & 1598F} writes that this king has under [his command] fifteen very great and large countries which they call governments. And moreover he adds that this king alone far surpasses all the rest of the princes of Asia around him, and that his yearly revenues surpass all the riches and wealth of entire Europe. {not in 1587F & 1598F{In handicraft trades and occupations they excel above all men living. Their works are so delicately and cunningly made that one would judge them to have been framed by nature, and not by art and industry of man}not in 1584G3Add & 1602G}. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{At the city of Nimpo, which others call Liampo, he says that it has been observed that some of the Portuguese within three months have bought and shipped off 166,000 pounds of silk}not in 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D}. Odoardus Barbosa writes that the people {not in 1584G3Add & 1602G{are very kind and humane, and go dressed much like the Dutch, to whom they also are very similar in pronunciation}not in 1584G3Add & 1602G}.
164.20. {not in 1587F & 1598F{Those clear and transparent vessels or porcelain dishes which among us are valued so highly, are here made in the following manner: they mix certain sea shells, egg shells and other things, which they knead and make into a paste. This paste they hide in the earth, where they let it lie for 80 or 100 years, before they stir it or look at it again, leaving it as an inheritance, or as a precious treasure for their heirs. They use that paste which their grandfathers or great-grandfathers have laid out for them. And they observe the ancient custom that he who takes away old paste will put new paste into its place}not in 1587F & 1598F}. Antonio Pigafetta {1608/1612I only{Knight in the Order of St. Johannes of Jerusalem}1608/1612I only} calls this king the mightiest prince of the whole world. He says that his palace, or the house where he keeps his court, is enclosed by 7 walls. And that he always has 10,000 soldiers as his guards to continually attend upon him. And that 70 crowned kings pay homage to him, and are subject to his government and command.
164.21. The same author states that musk is from there transported to various parts of the world}1584G3Add & 1602G end here}. {not in 1587F & 1598F{Andreas Corsalis likewise says that the greatest store of [medicinal] rhubarb and pearls {1606E only{that is brought to Europe}1606E only}, comes from this place.
164.22. {not in 1598/1610/1613D{In the Jesuit Epistles recently published, many things well worth knowing have here and there been written on this country}not in 1587F, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D}. The situation [explained there] clearly shows that by Ptolemĉus these people were called SINĈ, and the name now retained does not differ much from that. For the Spaniards and Portuguese write it China but pronounce it Sina}1584L3Add, 1584L, 1587F, 1588S, 1598F & 1598/1610/1613D end here}. {1592L{Of the situation and nature of this country, [and] the behaviour and manners of its people, you may read in a work by Ioannes Gonzales published on this subject}1592L}. {1595L{Also read about it the letters of the Jesuits just mentioned}1595L}, and [in] Ferdinand Lopez {1592L only{Castagneda}1592L only}, but especially the sixth book of Maffeus' de rebus Indicis}1592L & 1595L end here}. {1601L{Finally, the ninth chapter of the ninth book of the first part of the excellent Library of Possevinus}1601L, 1602S, 1603L, 1606E, 1609/1612L & 1609/1612/1641S end here}{1608/1612I only{together with those books of the Jesuits}1608/1612I only which ends here}.

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