Cartographica Neerlandica Map Text for Ortelius Map No. 56

Text, scholarly version, translated from the 1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, 1592L, 1595L, 1601 Latin and 1602S editions:

56.1. {1570L(A){Germany.

56.2. Germany, the largest country of Europe is distinguished by many names. Its borders, according to many authors at different times, have been described so variously that, if we apply them according to the specific times in which they were written, they seem to describe three different forms of Germany, namely the ancient, that of the middle ages, and Germany as it is now understood. The ancient is that of Berosus, which he describes as being confined by the Rhine, the ocean, the river Tanais [Don], the Euxine [Black] sea, and the river Danube and its neighbouring inhabitants. That of the middle ages is the same which Tacitus, Ptolemæus and Plinius all at one time acknowledged. This is sufficiently known from these authors themselves, and therefore it seems needless here to give any description of it.
56.3. But Germany as it is now understood {1574L{we confine by the German [or Flemish] tongue, which the learned Goropius Becanus in his volume on the origins of nations most wittily and scholarly demonstrates to be the oldest language in the world [viz. Duits comes from Douts which means de oudste, the oldest]. On this basis we consider all those countries which at this day use the German {1588S & 1602S only{or Flemish}1588S & 1606S only} language to belong to Germany}1574L}. Germany [then], {not in 1574L and later{beyond the Rhine extends so far that it contains the Belgians and the Alps Tridentinae. It also extends {1571L{beyond the river Vistula [Weichsel] Eastwards}1571L} to the Alani Schytae, nowadays called the Lithuanians}not in 1574L and later}. Thus, in its maximal width it extends from port Iccius, now called Calais, {1574L{which is its maximal extension in the west, to the river Vistula {1588S & 1602S only{or Weichsel}1588S & 1602S only} in the East}1574L} {not in 1574L and later{all the way to the borders of Lithuania}not in 1574L and later}. And its largest length is from the German sea to the Baltic sea and the Alps. {1574L{The names of the various regions are these: Flanders (the most Western), Brabant, Zeeland, Holland, Friesland, Denmark, Mecklenburgh, Pommern, Prussia, which extends beyond the river Vistula [Weichsel] towards the Baltic sea, as also the ancient and modern marquisettes Saxony, Westphalia, Gelre, Clivia, Iuliers, the bishoprics of Cologne, Hessen, Turingen, Misnia, Lusatia, Silesia, Moravia, Bohemia, Franconia, the bishoprics of Metz, Luxemburg, the bishopric of Triers, the Pfaltz, Elsaß, Wirtenberg, Suevia, Bavaria, Austria, Stiria, Carinthia, Tirol and Switzerland, in the part next to France.
56.4. There are also names of smaller kingdoms, but they are either of little importance, or included under the former. And although Bohemia does not speak the German, but the Slavonic tongue, yet, because they are situated in the middle of Germany, and their king is one of the Electors of the Holy Empire, it is also counted under the German provinces}1574L}.
56.5. This country of Germany {1574L{which at present is adorned with the title of the Roman Empire}1574L} is so filled with beautiful and strong cities, castles, villages and inhabitants as to be in no way inferior to Italy, France or Spain. As regards corn, wine and rivers abounding with fish, it may be compared to the most fruitful regions. Here are sweet springs, hot baths, and salt mines in abundance. And in various metals such as gold, silver, tin, lead, copper and iron, it shall not be surpassed by any country.
56.6. Moreover, you shall nowhere find more courteous and civil behaviour, more honest and decent attire, more military skill and better tools for war, nor greater store of nobility. This is the place that once was either darkened by [thick] woods, or drowned in bogs (as Cornelius Tacitus asserts). {1595L{Such changes succeeding times can afford, as the poet [viz. Vergilius Aeneas Bk. 3 verse 3415] says}1595L}.
56.7. It has been described with diligence by modern {1580/1589G incorrectly has instead{ancient}1580/1589G instead} writers such as Beatus Rhenanus, Münster in his Cosmography, by Franciscus Irenicus, Iohannes Aventinus in his Chronicle About Bavaria {1588S & 1602S have instead{Bohemia}1588S & 1602S instead}, moreover by Bilibaldus Pirckeimerus, {1573L(B){Iohannes Bohemus Aubanus}1573L(B)}, Gerardus Noviomagus, Conrad Peutinger, Conrad Celtes the poet, Iacobus Wimfelingius of Sletstade, by Aimonus in the beginning of his history of the Franks, and by Henricus Pantaleon at the beginning of his first book of Prosopographia. Sebastian Brandt has recorded many journeys, distances between places, and courses of rivers in this country.
56.8. {1571L{The river Rhine has been described by Bernard Mollerus in verse}1571L}, {1573L(A){and by Magnus Gruberus in prose}1573L(A)}. Ioannes Herold has written two short treatises on this region: one about the oldest Roman camps in former Germany, the other about certain settlements of them {not in 1573L(AB)only{on the shore of Rhætia}not in 1573L(AB) only}. Gaspar Bruschius published a volume on the monasteries of Germany. Of the ancient writers Cornelius Tacitus has most exactly described it in a specific treatise, on which Andreas Althamerus, Iodocus Willichius {1592L{and lately Iustus Lipsius}1592L} have written most learned commentaries.
56.9. Various other writers on Germany of which we have not yet seen the works are accounted for by Franciscus Irenicus, in the first book and second chapter of his Exposition on Germany}1570L(ABC), 1571L, 1573L(AB), 1574L, 1575L, 1579L(AB), 1580/1589G, 1584L, 1588S, end here}. {1592L{But I do not think it to be amiss here to engage the testimony of Laonicus Chalcocondylas, a foreigner, namely from Athens, concerning this country and its inhabitants. This is what he writes in his second book according to Clauserus:
56.10. 'This nation is governed by better laws than any other of those regions and peoples that live towards the North or West. It has many noble and flourishing cities which use their own laws, most agreeable to justice. It is divided into various principalities and is subject to priests and bishops who adhere to the pope of Rome. The most famous and well-governed cities in upper and lower Germany are Nurnberg, a rich city, Strassburg, Hamburg &c.
56.11. The nation is very populous and mighty, and rules far and wide, all over the world. And in greatness it is second to the Scythian nomads [only]. If they were in unity and under one prince, then they might well be deemed invincible, and the most powerful of nations. As regards their bodies, they are very healthy and lack nothing. Nor is there any people I know of that is governed by better laws'.
56.12. This much and more concerning this people and country you may read in this author, if you want to}1592L, 1595L, 1601L & 1602S end here}.

Next the vernacular version, based on the 1571/1573 Dutch, 1572/1573 German, 1572/1574 French, 1581 French, 1587 French, 1598 French and 1598/1610/1613 Dutch editions is presented:

56.13. {1571/1573D{Germany.
56.14. There is no larger or more extended country in Christianity, comprised under one name, than Germany. In width, it extends from the Alps or the Italian mountain range in the South, to the German or Eastern sea in the North. Its length cannot be described so elegantly, because it is not marked off by a well known mountain range or water from its neighbouring countries.
56.15. Therefore, it has always been separated differently by different writers into various parts. Thus, it seems best and most suitable to define it by means of its own language, so that we call that area Germany where the German language is spoken. The following countries will be included in it on this basis, beginning in the West along the sea all the way to the East, and from there towards the land back to the West and turning so often as needed along mountain ranges until we reach end.
56.16. Then, we first have Flanders, after that Brabant, Zeeland, Holland, Friesland, Denmark, Meckelenburg, Pommern, Prussia, the Old en New Marks Saxony, Westphalia, Gelre, Cleve, Gulick, the archbishopric of Cologne, Hessen, Turingen, Meissen, Lausnitz, Silesia, Moravia, Bohemia, land of the Franks, the archbishopric of Metz, Luxemburg, the archbishopric of Trier, the land of Paltz, Elsass, Wurtemberg, Swabia, Bavaria, Austria, Steiermarck, Kärnten, Tirol, Switzerland, &c.
56.17. And although no German is spoken in Bohemia, it must still rightly be reckoned to it, because it is surrounded by [people speaking] the German language. And its king is one of the most important German Lords, since he is one of the seven Electors.
This German language (as doctor Ioannes Becanus proves) is the first and oldest language spoken in the world. This country is honoured by the name of Holy Catholic Empire. It is excellent, and fertile in all manner of things, watered by many famous rivers full of ships such as the Rhine, Elbe and Danube, etc., which are the main rivers of Europe, and it has many splendid and populous cities.
56.18. No country in Europe has more mines with all kinds of metals such as gold, silver, copper, iron and lead. This country provides all others with amber. The city of Nurnberg is considered to be the most central city, and the highest in altitude.
56.19. Its inhabitants are large in stature, excellent physically, honest, of a steady mind, artful craftsmen, so that they are also inventors of various arts such as book printing, cannons, watches and clocks etc. They are worthy soldiers, both on foot and on horseback. They are hospitable, and eager to receive guests, although the opposite is also said about them. And if other countries receive more praise without reason concerning their hospitality, this is the result, as we think, (having visited other countries), of their avarice, and their intention to gain money from strangers, and nothing else.
56.20. Looking into our heart, we are of the opinion (in our view) that we find more helpfulness towards strangers in Germany than elsewhere. But as no one is without faults, the Germans are prone to indulge in drinking, and although some other peoples also suffer of this, like the Greek and the Romans, having histories of great drunkards, yet, they are all surpassed in this respect by the Germans, and it would be better for them if they would abstain from this behaviour.
56.21. But since they suffer headaches as a result, and cannot easily be healed of this affliction, we want to apply a bandage to this wound out of pity, which is the following: among all the nicknames which are attributed to various peoples, (which we do not want to list here, because we do not have the ambition to blame anyone), this [tendency towards drunkenness] seems to be the most insignificant one, which causes least damage to them}1571/1573D, 1572/1573G & 1598/1610/1613D end here} {1572/1574F, 1581F, 1587F & 1598F only{next day}1572/1574F, 1581F & 1587F & 1598F only which end here}.

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