FRANCISCUS MONACHUS' DE ORBIS SITU AC DESCRIPTIONE--A PARALLEL TRANSLATION.
De Orbis situ ac Descriptione Ad reverendissimo Domino Archiepiscopum Panonnitanum, Francisci, monachi ordinis Franciscani, epistola sane quam luculenta. In qua Ptolemoei, coeterorumque superiorum geographorum hallucinatio refellitur; aliaque praeterea de recens inventis terris, mari, insulis. De ditione Papae Joannis. De situ Paradisi et dimensione miliarium ad proportionem graduum coeli, praeclara et memoratu digna recensentur. Cum Privilegio Invictissimi Romanorum imperatoris Caroli quinti, ad quinquennium, ne quis vel typis excudeat, vel excudendos curet hos codices geographicos, una cum globis, sub mulcta ammitendorum exemplarium aliaque poena principis severitate inferenda.
 Joannes Carondeletus, archiepiscopus Panormitanus Francisco monacho suo. S[alutem].
 Orbis globum, in quo terrae ac maria luculenter depicta sunt, una cum epistola accepimus. Qua in re vehementer animum tuum exosculor, qui me sponte atque ultro huiusmodi officiis ac donis prosequeris. Itaque sic habeto nostrae facultatis arcam, et mutuae gratitudinis vicissim tuis res ataer meritis.
 Verum quoniam nonnulla non minimi momenti contra veterum et quidem principum geographorum authoritatem tradidisti epistola, eam provulgandam et typis excudendam putavimus. Neque enim nobis solum (ut ait verissime Plato) nati sumus, quod ut in aliis rebus iustissimum est, ita in literis multo maxime, adeo ut proverbio veteri increbuerit, Musarum fores semper patere. Secuti igitur officium, Chalcographi officinae epistolam commisimus.
 Ex qua tanquam ex plantario in genus humanum longe lateque propagetur, et quo clarius ac explicatius et legi et intelligi posset, in membra partesque epistolam diducendam mandavimus. Quod te offendere haud quaquam debet, cum in eo non meam unius, sed plurimorum proeter ea gratiam tibi conciliaveris.
 Macte virtute esto Francisce eruditissime, qui non iuxta monachorum vulgus subcisivas horas torpore et ignavia transigis, sed praeclarissimis, atque optimis impertis studiis.
 Ego pro tuo isto tam laudabili instituto, et privatim in me beneficentia, te eximia quadam charitate complector, demonstraboque data occasione tuorum munerum atque animi memoriam apud me non levi momento aestimatam.
 Reverendissimo pariter ac Illustrissimo domino Archiepiscopo Panormitano, Joanni Carondeleto, Franciscus Monachus, Salutem.
On the Situation and Description of the Globe A very clear and lucid letter from Francis, a monk of the Franciscan Order, to the Most Reverend Archbishop of Palermo; wherein, clearly revised and worthy of note, the misconceptions of Ptolemy and other former geographers are dispelled; also, concerning the newly discovered lands, seas and islands; the dominion of Prester John; the location of Paradise, and the length of the mile in relation to celestial degrees. All most clearly examined and worthy of remembrance. With a privilege from the Most Invincible Emperor of the Romans, Charles V, that for five years no-one may print or cause to be printed this geographical book together with the globes under forfeit of all copies and otherwise the imposition of the most severe penalty.
 John Carondelet, Archbishop of Palermo, to his monk Franciscus, Greetings.
 We accept the globe of the Earth on which the land and the seas are elegantly depicted, together with the epistle. And for this I vehemently cover with kisses the soul of one who has spontaneously and freely given me this example of service and gift. And so, you will have gratitude in return for your merits in the coffer of our faculty.
 Verily, since there are several things of no little importance in the letter you have delivered to us which are contrary to the authority of the ancient and, indeed, foremost geographers, we have thought that it should be printed and published. For as we are neither born for ourselves alone (as Plato truly says), so in other things is it most just and much more so in letters. As the old saying emphasizes, the doors of the Muses must always be open. In accordance with duty, therefore, we have sent the epistle to the workshop of the copperplate engravers.
 And so that as it is propagated as it were, out of the plant nursery far and wide into the human race and you may be read and understood more clearly and cogently, we have also ordered the letter to be divided into clauses and parts. That ought by no means to offend you when by it you will win thanks not only from me but many others as well.
 All honour to you, most learned Francis, who does not, like the common run of monks, pass his hours of leisure in idleness and sloth, but takes part in the most distinguished and best of studies.
 I embrace you for exceptional charity for your very praiseworthy intent and kindness to me, and if the opportunity of your duties presents will show that your remembrance and esteem is of no slight importance with me.
 To the Most Reverend and Illustrious John Lord Carondelet, Archbishop of Palermo, from Francis the Monk, Greetings.
 Herculem illum tantopere et Poetis et oratoribus decantatum Heroa, quod et regna tyrannis, et orbem monstris liberasset, hominum vita beneficiorum memor in coelestium numerum retulit, summa nimirum laude, et amabili voto. Quid enim ingrati animi peste detestabilius? Quid remunerationis talione iustius? Aut grata memoria magis necessarium? Magis pium? Quo nunc verecundius amplissime Praesul, nostra ad te venit epistola, etsi teste Cicerone, epistola non erubescit, sed tamen conscia tuoe in me eximioe sane et commemorabilis benignitatis, extimescit frontis perfrictae notam. Sed cum apud sapientissimos reperiam, eum qui gratiam habet, referre, neque cuiquam esse fraudi non posse, sed nolle reddere beneficium, haud dubitavi exemplo illius pauperculae, quoe non ob illati in gazophylacium doni magnitudinem, sed pietatis officium, laudem tulit, ad tuoe reverentiae (permitte mihi sic dicere) aram, elucubratum hisce diebus, atque ni fallor, adfabre exaratum terrae globum, ceu primitias quasdam deferre, neque enim hoc quantulumcunque est munusculi, tibi vel ad fructum fore arbitror, vel ad voluptatem alienum, quippe qui ut honoris et dignitatis fastigio inter principes viros emines, ita omnis virtutis, optimarumque artium studio et delectatione teneris, idque non sine gloria, neque enim opes, aut honores, aut generis et imaginum splendor, humanum genus sic commendant at virtutis et laudabilium cultura disciplinarum.
 Proeter ea non illud in minimis duco, videre nunc demum terras, maria, in lucem prolata quoe ab ultimis temporibus in hanc usque diem in tenebris iacuerunt, non Eudoxo, non Eratostheni, non Ptolemoeo cognita, non ulli ante seculo explorata. Fertur Hadrianus imperator conspecta modo apud terra mensores quorundam locorum figura, extemplo nullo non impendio, terrestri, maritimoque itinere, ad ea coram contemplanda contendisse. Reviviscat nunc ille, incredibili statim rapietur desyderio visendi novas celeberrimasque regiones, gente, feris, ritu mirabiles, ipsius oetate ne nomine quidem, ac fama, imo vix suspitione notas. Nam de errore omnium prope superiorum Cosmographorum quod attinet dicere, cum autore Plinio, nullius sit venia iustior siquidem minime mirum est mortalem non omnia nosse.
 De caetero nulla aeque res naturae pulchritudinem, rerum varietatem, mundi imaginem, et dei opificium declarat. Quid speciosius tot terrarum piscium, avium, tot florum, fruticum, arborum, tot urbium, montium, fluminum, regionum, aequorum, hominum, terrarumque spectaculo? Quid ita diversum et multiplex ac distinctum? Mundi facies unde certius colligi possit, quam ex anni vicissitudine, temporumque mutatione, ex solis cursu statis diebus, alias atque alias orbis, vegetantis et illustrantis partes? Quid illo aut mirabilius, aut clarius dici que at radium gnomonis nautici sub zona torrida nutare, volvique in gyrum utroque ex oequilibrio vim lapidis magnetis ad se rapiente polo, manifesto argumento hic esse terrae umbilicum, et dividuam mundi totius, orbisque lineam. Atque ex omnibus aestimanda venit ingeniosa dei, et elegans fabrica, qui cuncta ordine, modo, et quadam harmonia sic dispensavit, ut ingenue fateri cogamur mundum et ratione conditum, et dei summi manum et gubernaculum sequi. Sed nae ego intempestivus qui totum Oceani circuitum circumvecturus in portu haereo atque universum terrae ambitum peragraturus contemplationis et spectaculi voluptate, proficiscendi tempus extraho.
 Accipe igitur optime Praesul liberali hanc epistolam manu, Artaxerxis illius imitatione, qui propinantis aquae haustum plaebei hominis animum complexus, multo aere aureaque phiala rependit. Sed quoniam non pauca in hac nostra terra pictura et descriptione a superiorum autorum monimentis et traditione dissonantia perhibemus constitui compendio, atque carptim omnium rationem perstringere.
 Omnium qui unquam floruerunt Cosmographorum, citra controversiam principem locum obtinet Claudius Ptolemaeus. Verum quantumvis hic magnus, et quamlibet graphice, ac petitae Cosmographiae fastigia tradidit tamen vel sua ipsius confessione orbis descriptioni supremam manum non apposuit. Quin ne quartam quidem sphaerae partem, si diligentius pensiculetur, perfecte, consummateque ab ipso expressam comperiemus, neque enim ipse metit inficias in locis semotioribus, et ideo minus exploratis sese hallucinatum. At ab Insulis Fortunatis ad portum usque Sa[m]bae longitudine 170 latitudine
 Hercules, the hero sung of so greatly by poets and orators, who freed us from the the reign of tyrants and monsters of this world, was numbered in memory of his benefits to human life among the divinities in the heavens, assuredly worthy of the highest praise and devotion of love. For is not ingratitude more detestable than the plague? What reward for it more just than retaliation? Or more necessary for pleasant memory, or more dutiful? Whence now our modest epistle, Most Esteemed Bishop, comes to you and, even though according to Cicero a letter does not blush, being aware of your special trust in me and truly unforgettable benevolence, it dreads the wiped brow that is the mark of immodesty. (1) But when I find among the wisest him who would be grateful, nor able to cheat anyone, or refuse to repay a service, from the example of those among the poor who brought praise, let me say, to the altar of Your Reverence, not by having made large payments to the treasury but by dutiful service, I did not hesitate to offer as first fruits a skilfully crafted, if I am not mistaken, globe of the Earth recently executed with great diligence. This small service to you will not, I believe, be an unsuitable indulgence or luxury, as you are indeed at the summit of honour and dignity among the principal men of eminence and so understand that the study and delight of every virtue and of the noblest arts, and neither glory nor wealth or honours, nor the renown of birth and breeding, so commend human kind as does the laudable cultivation of virtue and learning.
 In addition, I now see what I had not at all imagined, which is the lands and seas that from the most distant times to this day had lain in obscurity, that were unknown to Eudoxus, to Eratosthenes or to Ptolemy, nor in any previous century explored, at last brought to light. (2) It is reported of the Emperor Hadrian that having just looked with some surveyors at a drawing of places he at once, at any expense, hastened to travel over earth and sea to that place to inspect it. (3) Now think of him who was driven by an incredible desire to behold at once the newly visited regions, peoples, beasts and marvellous customs which certainly in his own age were hardly suspected either by name or fame. For with regard to the error of almost all former cosmographers, according to Pliny there is no fairer excuse for not knowing everything than mere mortality. (4)
 As well, nothing equals the variety of things, the beauty of their nature and the image of the world to declare God's workmanship. What is more splendid than the fish, birds, flowers, shrubs and trees of so many lands; of the spectacle of cities, mountains, rivers, regions, seas and races? What is so diverse, complex and definite? Whence can the aspect of the world be more surely considered than from the alternations of the year or the changes of the seasons, or from other enlivened and illuminated parts of the world on certain days in the course of the sun at some or another season? What may be said to be more surprising or clearer than the needle of the sailors' compass under the Torrid Zone nodding and rolling around in a circle from one side to the other from the horizontal level being carried with the strength of the magnet toward the Pole, obvious proof that it is the navel of the Earth and divides the whole world and globe with a line. And everything which is to be determined comes from the ingenuity of God, and the elegant construction which has everything in order and, in a way, a certain harmony so dispensed that surely, we are compelled to admit the world is built upon reason and follows the supreme hand and governance of God. But would not that I, who would sail round all the Ocean and travel the entire circuit of the Earth, inadvertently stay in port for contemplation and the pleasure of the spectacle and so delay the time for setting forth.
septentrionali 4 partium, quem superiores viatores Syambam, Lusitani Jamniam nuncuparunt, recipienda est eius descriptio, iis dumtaxat exceptis, quae partim in nostra regione, partim in mari Indico, accurata pervestigatione Lusitanorum corrigantur. Quicquid restat terrarum orbis que in ortum aut austrum, vel castigandum fuit, vel supplendum.
 Secutus est Marcus Beneventanus, hic vero quamvis recentiorum navigationum inventis et indiciis, ac nonnullorum itinerariis geographiae tum absolvendoe, tum emendandae sedulam operam navarit, nihilo tamen secius a mea longe diversus abit opinione. Nam orientis terras ultra zonam Capricorni porrectas interfluo mari ab occidentalibus nuper rcpertis regionibus disiunxit. In summa huius multo maxima pars sententiae sunt, ut ad occasum dudum inventas plagas ab orientalibus finibus diremptas aequoris interventu, ac disclusas existiment. Ego contra sentio et praesenti descriptione demonstro navigationes ab occasu cunctas in orientis demum fines spectasse.
 Tum generatim Asiam, Aphricam, Europam, et particulatim Indiam Culuacanam, ac ad Septentrionem Suediam, Russiam, Tartariam, Baccalarea, terram Floridam, omnes hasce regiones spaciosissimas, et longissimo dissitas intervallo, continenti tractu, et perpetuo limite cohoerere, atque ipsam praeterea Americam Orientalibus et Culuacanae connexam esse, quanquam hoc postremum nondum certo nobis constat fieri tamen potest ut nunc hispanis non sit ignotum.
 Caeterum ut citra reverentiae tuoe molestiam, non magnis ambagibus rem explicem, collatis exemplaribus itinerariorum Marci Veneti, Joannis Mandevilli, fratris Oderici, cum secunda narratione Joannis Cortesii, et navigatione ad insulas Moluccas, video priores cum Ferdinandi dictis et historia concinere, in iis quoe de regionis opulentia, ipsiusque imperatoris potentia et magnificentia prodit. De situ praeterea eiusdem urbium terrae congruunt omnes, licet in nominibus discrepent, at nominum nos cura non magnopere solicitos habeat oportet, modo res ipsa manifesta evadat.
 Quantum ad itinerariorum scriptores attinet, primus est in manibus Marcus Venetus, hic librum condidit de regionibus orientis. Nam anno a natali Christiano 1272 terra iter faciens, Syria, Persia, utraque India emensa, postremo ad ultimum orientis imperatorem, quem magnum Can appellant, pervenit. Quae res nobis sancte fidem astruit, terras hasce indivisas et coniunctas esse. Innumera hic et pene incredibilia de opibus et potentia magni Can narrat, in eius enim contubernio ad annos usque 23 sese fuisse testatur. Idem autor est quemadmodum anno post natum Christum MCCXX Tartari terras ad orientem sitas occuparint, eisque etiamnum dominentur. Hic orientalis tractus regiones nonnullas describit quidem, sed scrupulum iniiciunt vicorum, urbium, et regionum nomina, orthographiae vitio fere corrupta, librariorum ac typographorum culpa.
 Connumeratur autem in primis inclyta urbs Themistetan, in lacu Salso posita, tum situ et loco, tum opibus ac magnitudine Venetiarum instar atque etiam amplior, quam XXV miliarium intervallo ab ora maris orientalis distare perhibet. Idem autor est, in hoc mari celebrem eminere insulam, nomine Sypangum. Sed quod scribit haud saepe id mare navigari a caeterarum regionum mercatoribus, ad easque insulas commeari, ignorabat scilicet causam, arbitratus hoc mare cum vicino, quod Sur vocatur, continuo et individuo aequore coniungi. Huic insulae ab hispanis ad occasum inventae nomine dixit Iucantane. Petrus Martyr in libris decadum, contendit Hispaniolam ante nuncupatam esse Sypangum, eandem et Ophiram appellari, ab auri nimirum abundantia.
 Propterea tamen credi nolim Salomonem eam classem quam in orientem convehendi auri gratia ad ornamentum phani Hierosolymitani misit, in hanc insulam destinasse, nam Ophiram illam portum esse asseruerim in Aethiophiae ora circa zonam torridam ac regnum Melindarum, eo enim loco ingens est auri copia, constatque Lusitanos portum illic invenisse. Opim ab indis vocatum, Graeco eloquio Ophiram non inconcinne dixerimus, ratio enim persuadet ut hinc potius aurum a Salomone petitum existimemus quam ab Hispagniola, quam a Hierosolymis MDCCC miliarium spatio discedere certum
 Accept, therefore, most generous Bishop, a letter from this hand, in imitation of Artaxerxes, who embraced the good intention of the offer of a drink of water from a commoner and rewarded him with a sum of money and a golden goblet. (5) For in this picture and description of ours of the Earth we assert not a few differences from the records and tradition of former authors to make a compendium and draw together individually all the explanations.
[The misconceptions of Ptolemy and other former geographers dispelled]
 Of all the cosmographers that ever flourished, Claudius Ptolemy undoubtedly holds primacy. But no matter how great, and how graphically he recorded the sought-for heights of cosmography, by his own admission he did not set the final hand to the description of the world. In fact, no more than the fourth part of the globe, if but carefully examined, shall we find expressed perfectly and completely by him; neither did he deny that in what he reaped in the more remote, and therefore less explored places, he was deceived. But from the Fortunate Isles [Canaries] even to the Port of Samba in longitude 170 and latitude 4, which the former travellers called Syamba [Champa] and the Portuguese Jamnia, his description must be accepted, excepting only those, some in our region and some in the Indian seas, corrected by the accurate surveys of the Portuguese. Whatever remained of the world whether in the East or in the South had to be either corrected or added to.
 Next, Marcus Beneventanus: (6) although he made diligent effort to complete and correct the more recent findings and results of voyages, he nevertheless departs far from my views. For he separates the eastern lands beyond the Tropic of Capricorn by a wide sea passage from the recently found western regions. In summary, by far the opinion of the majority view on this is that the lands discovered in the West a short while since are divided from the confines of the eastern lands by the intervening ocean, and are thought to be separated. I think the contrary and in the present description show that all voyages from the West are seen to end in the confines of the East.
 So, in general, Asia, Africa, Europe, and in particular India Culuacana [Mexico] and in the north, Sweden, Russia, Tartary, Baccalarea [Labrador and Newfoundland] and the Land of Florida, all of these extensive countries, planted at long distance from each other, are connected by a continuous tract of country and an uninterrupted route. Moreover, America [South America] is connected to the eastern lands and to Culuacana [Mexico], although this last is not yet definitely clear to us; but it cannot now be unknown to the Spanish.
 But not to weary Your Reverence, I will not now speak on it at great length and, comparing the travels of Marco Polo of Venice, of John Mandeville and of Fra Oderic of Pordenone with the second account of Joao Corte Real and the Navigation to the Moluccas Islands [by Transylvanus], I will look at the aforementioned with what Hernando Cortes said, and harmonize his account with what is written in them about the wealth of the country, and also of the power and greatness of the Emperor. With regard to the locations of the cities of the country, they all agree, although the names may be different; but we are little troubled by the names as our concern is the need to make the situation clear.
 With respect to the travel narratives, first to hand is that of the Venetian Marco Polo, a book about the lands of the Orient. For in the year of the Nativity of Christ 1272, he journeyed through the lands of Syria, Persia and both Indias [India and Upper India], and finally at his destination reached the Emperor of the East, whom they call the Great Khan. The facts of our Holy Faith, of these lands being undivided and est, dimensu itineris vel compendiosissimo atque rectissimo, idque ad occasum: Porro ad ortum, intervallum deprehendo mari. MMCCC miliarium, terra ferme DCC in Universum MMM. Absonum prorsus et alienum rationi videtur tam immenso spacio aurum emoliri et comportari iussisse Salomonem.
 Hic Marcus Anno ab instauratione mundi MCCLXXXXVI maritimo itinere, per insulas maris Sur, quarum nonnullas recenset, ac describit, verum minus ordinate, domum atque in patriam remeavit. Is Taprobanae Jauae nomen facit, compluraque regna in ea commemorat, atque in quodam eiusdem insulae regno sese moram duxisse, Samora appellato, eam Indorum natio et incolae Samotram dicunt, et forte, ut paucis quod coniectura auguror, attingam, a nomine regni Samor, Samothrae sibi vocem adoptavit.
 Alius est author in vulgus famigeratior ac celebrior sed fabulatoris suspitione nonnihil aspersus, Joannes Mandevillus. Caeterum quamvis propter quarundam rerum incredulitatem, eius authoritas levioris apud plerosque sit ponderis, tamen historiarum, et itinerarii monimentis suffragantur novitioe navigationes et 2 narratio Ferdinandi, magna enim ex parte Ferdinandi dicti consonat. Nam illud in confesso est, ipsum Mandevillum in parte orientis fuisse. Etenim anno ab hinc MCCCXXII peregrinationem suam auspicatus est, perhibetque se annos usque XXIII orbem lustrando divagatum et de plagae orientalis opulentia, ac imperii potentia, eiusce modi tradit, quoe a Marci itinerario haud multum dissentiunt. Sed quo minus multorum calculo ipsius probentur libri, in causa sunt exemplaria subdititia et viciata, et ab archetypo valde dissidentia.
 Non protinus tamen omnia eius dicta asseruerim, in iis praesertim, in quibus accepta ab aliis aliena fide perscribit, nam in his dissentanea veritati, non mirum si prodidit, facile enim externa externis persuademus nam quod naves Indicas ferramentis carere narrat ex alieno ore loquitur, neque enim verum est magnetum in eo mari reperiri, qui ferrum attrahat idque obstare quominus naves ferramentis compingantur atqui ferro hoec regio caret, quasi vero quis roget cur homines non imitentur Doedalum volando in sublime? An quia verentur ne more Icari in mare decidant? An potius quod alis carent? Neque enim illic magnetis formidine, sed ferri inopia ad navis fabricam ferro non utuntur. Nam Lusitani nostro aevo, navibus ferratis nullo discrimine aut offensa universum mare Indicum transmittunt.
 Quod autem de Antropophagis, quos Indigenae Canibales vocant, malus interpres hominibus persuasit, adeo ut in tabulam marinam non puduerit homines canina capita habentes referre pictura quis miretur? cum videat Plinium, Solinum, infinitosque alios gravissimos scriptores multo monstruosiora mandasse literis. Sed ut haec sese habent, eius voluminis potissima pars, recentiorum navigationum, atque exploratorum maris consensu facile comprobatur.
 Huius Joannis Mandevilli individuus itineris comes fuit Odericus a foro Julii inter ordinis Franciscani coenobitas vitae sanctimonia conspicuus. Itaque quum hortatu et impulsu Cardinalium quorundam, commentarios sui itineris conscripserit, conformia maxime iis quae Mandevillus recenset, de orientis tractu commemorat. Nam et Mandevillus in suo itinerario de quibusdam Franciscanis Longobardis mentionem infert, quibus sociis et comitibus Palestina, Perside, Carmania, insula Orme vel Ormes peragrata, demum in Indiae regnum, cui nomen Cana pervenerit. Inde ad regnum Colon vel Columbe illic sylvam piperis admodum feracem ingressi, ad regnum porro Moabar perrexerunt, atque in urbe Calamina, divum Thomam viserunt.
 Hinc orientis plagas perreptantes ad insulam Samothram, dictamque Ptolemaeo Taprobanem appulere. Inde ad Iauam, tum ad insulam quam partim Burney, partim Porne dicunt, dehinc ad regnum Sabae perrexerunt, positum in continente occasum versus. Porro aliis atque pertransitis insulis maritimo itinere, adplicuerunt ad portum Zoyton, inde progressu viae ad fines Mansi. Messigo modo nomen esse united, were corroborated. In this book, he told innumerable and almost unbelievable things that he himself witnessed concerning the wealth and power of the Great Khan, upon whom he waited for twentythree years. The same author was also in the lands situated toward the East that the Tartars occupied in the year of the Nativity of Christ 1220 and rule over even now. He describes several regions of the East but there is some difficulty in applying names to the towns, cities, places, and regions, the fault being with the copyists and printers that their spelling has been somewhat corrupted.
 It is reckoned that the very famous city of Themistetan [Tenochtitlan], located in Lake Salso [Chalco], 25 miles distant from the coast of the Eastern Sea is, as he testifies, in wealth and power like Venice or even greater. According to the same Marco Polo, the famous distinguished island called Sypango [Cipango, or Japan] is in this sea. (7) But what he wrote of that sea being frequently sailed by merchants from other countries and its islands visited by them, ignored the reason for it, judged to be that this sea and its neighbour, called the South Sea, are directly and individually joined by water. This [Sypango] is the island discovered in the west by the Spaniards, which they called by the name Iucantan [Yucatan]. Peter Martyr, in the Decades, contends that Hispaniola was previously called Sypango [Cipango] and that the same was also called Ophir from, of course, its abundance of gold. (8)
 However, I do not wish it to be believed for that reason that Solomon sent his fleet for conveying the gold which was to adorn the Temple of Jerusalem eastward to this island, for Ophir was a port set on the coast of Ethiopia near the torrid zone and Kingdom of Melindi [Malindi], where the supply of gold was immense, as stated by the Portuguese who discovered that port. Opis, as it was called by the Indians, in Greek speech became, not dissimilarly shall we say, Ophir; for reason would persuade us that perhaps we should suppose that Solomon sought the gold here rather than from Hispaniola, for the distance from Jerusalem is definitely 1,800 miles, measuring by the most advantageous and most direct way, which is westward. But going eastward, you will find the distance by sea almost 2,300 miles, and to Terra Firma 700, so in total 3,000. So, it seems absurd and utterly foreign to reason that Solomon would order that gold be obtained and brought from such an immense distance.
 In the year of the renewal of the world 1296, Marco Polo returned home to his own country by a voyage through the islands of the South Sea, some of which he reviewed and described, though without order. He gave the name of Java [Minor] to Taprobana [Ceylon or Sumatra], spoke about the several kingdoms it contained, and stayed in one of the kingdoms of the island called Samora, the Indian nation and inhabitants of which call it Samotra [Sumatra]. I conclude, as I suspect perhaps few would guess, that he took from the name of the kingdom of Samor the word Samothra [Sumatra].
 Another author, John Mandeville, is well-known and celebrated among the public but he is more of a teller of rather untrustworthy tales. But even though in certain matters unbelievable, his authority, though puto, eius meminit et Ferdinandus Cortesius. Deinceps variis regionibus perreptatis ad urbem Themistetam profecti sunt. Id oppidum superiores memoriae prodiderunt in lacu Salso collocatum, urbemque Venetias claritate et amplitudine multum excellere. Imperatoris hic esse regiam, domos magnificentissimas, finitimarum omnium gentium, regionumque ditionem. Mira sunt ac prope fidem excedentia, quae scriptores de huius et Imperatoris et urbis magnitudine, opibus et dominatione perhibent. Hic terminus fuit itineris, ad hanc usque metam illorum decurrit peregrinatio. Inde receptui caventes, ac itinere converso in patriam se recipere coeperunt.
 Illud certe obiter admonuisse non abs re fuerit, non esse auscultandum iis, quae de Papa Joanne commemorantur, sed de hoc posterius. Enim vero divino quodam bono factum est, quod quoe hactenus in obscuro mortales latuerunt, aevi se nostri luminibus subiecerint, et sole sint clariora omnia. Nam quas vetustiores per Eoum Pelagus regiones accedebant, Hispani hodie Athlantici maris navigatione petunt, cognitum enim easdem esse terras, posteaquam Ferdinandus potentissimae illius et pene invictae urbis Themistetan imperio potitus est. Si uberiorem de huius urbis statu et conditione expositionem Praesul optime requiris, asciscendus est Ferdinandus in secunda sua narratione ad Opt. Max. Caesarem Carolum. Hic admirabilia atque stupenda videas, et quam grandia ac inusitata nostro saeculo Deus molitur et patrat. An unquam fando auditum est, talem ac tantum principem, cui opibus toto orbe nemo sit comparandus, in potestatem venisse Caesaris, eique in clientelam deditum.
 Anno abhinc Millesimo CC trifariam divisi Tartari, partim ad ortum, partim ad occasum, partim ad meridiem suis finibus excessere. Verum ad occidentem profectis resistunt Ruteni, Hungari, Bulgari, oppositi velut obices quidam, ac repagula, quo minus in ulteriores ad occasum regiones penetrent. Hi occupato tractu Moeotico imperii sedem olim illic statuerunt. Anno rursum MCCXXI nova Tartarorum manus populabunda Persiae, finitimarumque regionum agros pererrans, circa Hircaniam imperium instituit, quorum tamen postea haud mediocriter cecidit dominatio, atque extenuata est. Cum autem pecorum pastioni et cultui cum primis studerent, maxime pingues et opimos Persidos et Mesopotamiae campos ad pabula pecudum delegerunt. Caeterum auctis dein viribus Persoe, bello victores, suis finibus Tartaros expulerunt. Expulsi et profugi in Syriam irrumpentes, et Armenia, dein Cappadocia occupata, postremo totius Asiae regno potiti sunt. Ex hac fece et colluvie Tartarorum prodierunt Turci, nomine a duce et proefecto exercitus indito.
 Ad septentrionem quoque peculiaris dominatur Tartarorum imperator. Gens tentoria et castra habitat. Ille olim adeo potens, ut reliquis Tartarorum regibus dominaretur, nunc mutata vice rerum eius imperio non amplius parent, de hoc verba facit Vincentius in calce suarum historiarum, non pauca de moribus et ritu illorum referens.
 Caeterum qui in ortum sedes, quoerebant, beatiorem regionem nacti, et nationem imbellem, atque invalidam, facile illam armis subegerunt. Horum latissime se imperium extendit in tantum ut hic orientalium populorum imperator, magni Can nomen tulerit.
 Quo magis obstupescenda venit, et admiranda, incredibilis et planem divina nostri Caesaris felicitas, cum ob praeclarissimas post hominum memoriam innumerasque victorias ac triumphos, tum vel inprimis ob huius tanti, tamque potentis imperatoris iugum qui armis Ferdinandi Cortesii virtutis et belli laude clarissimi viri cum universo regno in ditionem Caesaris Caroli concessit anno ab hinc XXII supra MD neque enim vel patrum oetate, vel nostra tempestate reperiatur qui isti magno Can aut regni, aut opum gloria oemuletur. Cumulatur fortuna Caesaris, et ut calamitatis solet comes esse calamitas, ita foelicitas foelicitatis. Nam rex insulae Theodori simili quodam fatorum impulsu, sponte se, atque ultro suum diadema Caesaris imperio summissit, elogio testatus naturae legi non esse refragandum, praedicabat enim palam et syderum prognosticis edoctum fato protendi exorto e septentrione Principi nominis et imperii per universum orbem propagationem. Consimilia quoque regni sui proceribus slight, has weight with most people. His stories and travel accounts are supported by recent voyages and by the Second Report of Hernando Cortes, and are for the most part in agreement with what Cortes said he had experienced. For we have an admission that Mandeville had been to the East: from the year 1322 his travels were prosperous and lasted for twenty-three years. He roamed about observing the world and the wealth of its eastern parts and the power of their governments, and reported on them. He disagreed but little with the Travels of Marco Polo. However, I conclude there are not many things in that book that are proven, as in some cases there are suppositious and flawed examples much at variance with the original.
 I do not defend everything he said, particularly where he wrote of things which he received on faith from others: for he says he was told that Indian ships lack iron fittings. It is true that magnetic rocks are found in those seas, which would attract iron and that this would attract ships held together with iron fittings. Yet this area lacks iron, so it is as though one were to ask why humans cannot imitate Daedalus flying on high. Is it because they fear they would fall into the sea, like Icarus? Or is it rather that they lack wings? Nor is it fear of magnetic rocks, but for want of iron, that iron is not used in building the ships. (9) In fact, in our time the Portuguese are able to go through all that sea in ships made with iron, like the Indians, with no risk or inconvenience.
 What, moreover, of the Anthropophagi (man-eaters), which the natives call Cannibals [Caribs]. is what they call the native Caribbeans [Caribs]. (10) A bad author could be so persuasive that no-one would be surprised that he could shamelessly produce a chart with a picture of men with dogs' heads, when we see that Pliny, Solinus, or any number of serious writers, put many monstrosities into their writings. (11) But this is easily confirmed by the most important part of his book, concerning the more recent voyages, and by the agreement of maritime explorers.
 An inseparable companion of John Mandeville in his travels was Oderic of Forum Julii [Friuli], conspicuous among the Franciscan Order of coenobites for the sanctity of his life. (12) He wrote, at the urging and stimulus of certain cardinals, commentaries on his travels which are in agreement with most of what Mandeville recorded in describing the eastern lands. In his own travel narrative, Mandeville makes mention of some of the Lombard Franciscans being his partners and companions who travelled to Palestine, Persia, Carmania, the island of Ormes or Hormuz and finally arrived at the Indian kingdom called Cana [Kannur, or Cananore]. From there he came to the kingdom of Colon [Quilon] or Columbo, where the pepper groves are very fruitful. He then went to the kingdom of Malabar, and to the city of Calamine [Mylapore], which had been visited by Saint Thomas.
 From hence he passed through eastern parts and arrived at the coast of the island of Samothra, called Taprobana [Sri Lanka] by Ptolemy. From thence they went to Java, then to the island some call Burney [Brunei], others Porne [Borneo], then to the kingdom of the Sa[m]bae [Champa] situated on the edicebat magnus Can rex de Montesuma diem adesse vaticinii quo praenunciarentur externi venturi, ipsisque dominaturi.
 Caeterum ut compendio pergam, ad praesentis sphoeroe descriptionem consummatius absolvendam, omnes omnium quos quidem nancissi potui, terrae configurationes contuli, quanquam maxima ex parte inter se discrepantes. Omnium autem pulcherrimam sphaeram videre contigit, praeclari illius et famigerati Maximiliani Transsylvani, verum licet industriae, peritaeque adornatae et effictae, non tamen meum appono calculum, vel reclamante quamlibet peritorum nautarum assensu. Et enim Culuacanam illi ab Orientalibus oris interstitio maris dirimunt, at nos supra ostendimus Culuacanam cum dominio magni Can coniunctos habere limites.
 Unde planum sit longitudines illius descriptionis minus esse probandas, latitudine irreprehensa. Plaerique enim omnes nostra tempestatis Hispani latitudines interdiu quadrante per radios solis, noctu per stellas inerrantes emetiri consueverunt. Quod maxime necessarium est iis, qui remotiora maria adeunt. Qui vero longitudinum ex amussi mensuram colligere norint, haud multos invenies, nam per deliquia solis, aut lunae potissimum, vel applicatione Lunae ad erraticas, aut inerrantes stellas quod non seque proestatu facile effici debet. Hoc astrorum quidem, ac Cosmographiae peritis in promptu est, nautis non item. Cuius rei ut planiorem intellectum probeam, re ipsa comperi marinarum tabularum descriptiones nunquam non in longitudine a vero discedere. Erroris origo fluxit ex indicibus circumforaneis et quod non centesimus quisque polum contempletur nisi obliquato ad ortum conspectu. Haec res ansam nautis dedit chartas suas omnes ut exararint oblique. Quod Cosmographioe peritis non est ignotum. Quare non protinus nautis assentiendum, infinitos enim eosque foedos lapsus ipsorum notare, haud longum foret, quippe cum artium principiis et doctrinae fundamento careant.
 An non ille insignis error maris altitudinem in immensum divergere nulla fundi profunditate finite. Quod omnium tum naturae peritorum, tum Mathematicorum consensu, ratione, authoritate refellitur. An non illud aeque absurdum, mare instar montis supra terrae faciem attolli?
 Quod si recipimus, quid obstet quo minus universum terra globum oequor inundet et undis operiat? Ex eadem sunt nota, qui terrae infimum extra mundi centrum collocant, neque sub antarctico cardine terram credunt. Et qui Antipodes abnuunt, in qua haeresi fuit alioquin coelesti ingenii acumine Divus Augustinus, at experientia, et oculorum sensus manifesto contrarium demonstrat. Sunt enim sub cingulo modia [media] et ultra Antipodes, atque ex diametro oppositi, ut nostrae sphaerae, descriptionisque intuitu liquido: cognoscere licet. Et enim qui circa caput Palmae vocatum incolunt cuius est longitudo ab Insulis Fortunatis: ad gradus prope 20 ex adverso sub Aequatore circulo respiciunt Antipodas insulae Sylolis habitatores intercessu longitudinis CC graduum, trans Zonam torridam. Mongaliorum natio ad austrum in America positis objiciuntur.
 Neque porro veterum non aliquando a vero deflexit opinio, multis enim saeculis plerosque terrae scriptoris haec habuit sententia medium inter Cancri et Capricorni limitem terram inhabitabilem esse. Oceanumque similiter indidem innavigabilem esse. Cui opinioni palam referatur nostra tempestatis experientia, nam ut est videre perspicue in nostra configuratione, pridem inventae regiones maxima ex parte duobus tropicis, interjecta sunt.
 Refellendus nunc etiam occurrit error arbitrantium Hierosolymam in medio orbe esse constitutam, nempe inde ducta conjectura quod in phano Hierosolymitano inscriptum fuerit: Deus noster ante saecula operatus est salutem in medio terroe. Sed fucum illis facit metaphora qua per medium terra designatus Christus, qui interventu terroe in humanitatis, cuius symbolum terra reproesentat, nos servarit. Coeterum visus et umbrarum argumento clare falsum id esse constat experientia teste et indice Solis radios ad normam in Hierosolymitanam plagam nullo anni momento decidere. Sed neque usui, neque voluptati foret tibi Praesul optime omnes omnium errores non dico discutere, sed enumerare. continent toward the west. Then, taking a sea route through other islands, he proceeded to the port of Zayton [Quanzhou], thence made his way to the borders of Mangi. But I think that to be what Hernando Cortes records by the name Messigo [Mexico]. Thereafter, going through various parts, they departed for the city of Themistetam. The aforementioned accounts locate this city in Lake Chalco, greatly excelling the city of Venice in size and brilliance. This was the magnificent palace of the emperor of all neighbouring nations, territories and regions. What they wrote of the size and wealth of the dominion of the emperor and of this city is marvellous almost beyond belief. This was the end of the journey and this far the goal of their travels. From thence, avoiding a retreat, they began the return to their own country, but by another way round.
 What least of all will not be irrelevant is to advise that what is related by them concerning Prester John should not listened to; but of this later. For truly, I foresee it will come to pass by a certain good man that those things that hitherto have been hidden from mortals in darkness will in our age yield themselves to light and all things will be made clearer by the Sun. (13) For those regions which the ancients reached by sailing over the Eous Pelagus [the Ocean east of India], the Spanish today make for by voyages across the Atlantic Ocean; these lands being known thereby, afterwards Hernando Cortes gained control of the most powerful and almost invincible city of Themistetan [Tenochtitlan]. If, Excellent Bishop, you require a more complete decription of the state and condition of this city, the Second Report of Hernando Cortes to Charles V, Caesar Optimus Maximus, is to be preferred. Here you may see the amazing and great things God has undertaken and brought about in our time, or that so great a prince has ever been spoken of, to whom in wealth no-one in the whole world is to be compared, who has come to power as Caesar and been devoted to his dependents.
 From the year 1200, the Tartars, divided threefold, one part in the East, a part in in the West, another part in the South, overspread their bounds. Even though in the West the Russians, Hungarians and Bulgars withstood their progress, opposing against them obstacles and restraints, they penetrated far into western regions. Having occupied the Maeotic Tract [Crimea] they then set up their seat of government there. In the year 1221, the Persian and neighbouring lands having been laid waste anew at the hands of the Tartars ranging over the countryside, again an empire was established around Hyrcania [Azerbaizan], which not long afterward lost power and was weakened. When, however, they gave their attention to the pasturing and cultivation of their beasts, they chose to graze their sheep on the deep and rich plains of Persia and Mesopotamia. But then the Persians increased their strength and, victors in war, they drove the Tartars out of their territory. Driven out and fleeing as fugitives into Syria and Armenia, they then occupied Cappadocia and at last seized power over the whole of Asia Minor. From the dregs and filth of the Tartars have been born the Turks, named after the leader and head of their army.
 The North, besides, is ruled by an independent emperor of the Tartars. They are a nation dwelling in camps in tents. In times past, he was so mighty that he held dominion over the rest of the Tartar rulers but now the course of affairs having changed, they no longer submit to his rule. Vincent of Beauvais has discussed this fully in the part of his history that refers to their manners and customs. (14)
 The rest, who sought a place in the East, having reached a wealthier country and an unwarlike and feeble nation [China], easily subdued them by force of arms. They extended their empire most widely over these, so that the emperor of the peoples of the East took the name of Great Khan.
 Wherefore, it is astonishing and remarkable, and somewhat incredible that, because of the most famous and innumerable victories and triumphs in human history and on account of this as well as the
 Sed quae ad Geographiae disciplinam facilius comparandum conducunt, non infrugifere videor paucis perstricturus. Ad imbuenda igitur huius scientiae primordia non inhabilis atque inidoneus est author Joannes Sconer reiectis iis, quoe de Orientalibus prodit. Sphoeroe tamen ab illo descriptio, quae magni in vulgus ponderis habetur, tantum abest ut a nobis probetur, ut eam Vulcano consecrandam iudicemus. Ad eadem quoque Cosmographiae et Astronomioe tradenda incunabula, non minimum contulerit vir excellenti ingenio et doctrina Petrus Appianus. E chartis Ptolemaei figuras arte et industria singulari elucubratas vehementer approbo. Sed recentes posteriorum appendices et additiones censoriae virgulo, et obelisci poena damno. Nam ea charta quoe Ptolemaei defectus, erroresque pensare, emendareque pollicetur, foede in longitudinibus et latitudinibus hallucinatur, causam auguror, quod sphaerae descriptio in piano iuxta rationem proportionis exprimi, figurarique probe nequeat, dico inquam in plano continuo, nam particulis divisim efformari potest; quae compositae simul et commissae sphoericam effigiem absolvant.
 Verbosius autem exponere omnium litorum insularumque recens inventarum situm, cum propter spacii et temporis exiguitatem, describendis longitudinibus et latitudinibus mihi haud quaquam commodum foret, tum vero minime fructuosum, ac pene supervacaneum, quippe cum ex ipsa sphaera has omnes singulatim dimensiones oculis lustrare sit in promptu. In quibus autem a Ptolemaeo, caeterisque dissideo, illis erit proclive cognoscere, qui Cosmographia eruditi artem dimetiendarum latitudinum et longitudinum tenent. Cumulatae enim veritatis studiosis satisfactum putavi, etiam citra prolixam cunctorum exquisitionem, ignaris autem et tanquam caecis ne accurato quidem inscientiae collyrio animi caliginem, mentisque tenebras dispulerim.
 In primis autem videas oportet, ne te conturbent varia, et saepe discrepantia eorundem locorum nomina. Apud Ferdinandus Culua, sive Culuacana provincia est in qua iacet regia Imperatoris orientalis, in itinerariis alias Cataya, vel Catay nuncupatur. Themistetam neotericis est, seu Tenostica ante Quinsam, ab Oderico Themis vocata, isque propius veritatem attigit, concordi, et consentiente traditione autorum, de regionis eiusdem opibus et positura. Ad Septentriones a Culuacana terra Thamachum protenditur, olim Tangut dicta, Tenis superiora saecula nuncuparunt Tebet, vel Cibet, Messigo provincia temporibus avorum Mansi vocabulo innotuit. Cariam nomen vertit in Catami, Seniores Singicularum, nostrates dicunt Singimoloam. Cortesio, fluminis nomen est Patuncium, superiori aetati Pulsancum. Haec nomina tum recentiorum, tum veterum, ut sibi vicissim alludunt, ita non pauca offendi, quorum nullam investigare potui convenientiam et similitudinem. Coeterum illud iam pro comperto sit ea loca et regiones quae Marcus venetus, Mandevillus, et Odericus lustrarunt, descripseruntque ad occasum ab Hispanis nunc inventas, et Ferdinandi Cortesii ductu, et armis superatas, et nostros ad ortum fines hucusque promitti. Haec ego paucis percurro. Nam illud praefatum cupio, me hac epistola ceu indice digitum modo ad fontes intendere voluisse, ita neque ego epistolaris formuloe prescriptum excessero, et tibi ad manum erit pleniorem omnium notitiam ubi lubebit, ex autorum ipsorum monimentis et copia consectari.
 Orientalis gens Climatis, tametsi mundi, coelique unum profitetur deum, tamen idolatriae operari, deprehensa est, ritu apud nonnullos populos detestabili humano cruore, infantumque caede sacra peragentium. At dei vox irrevocabilis et sancta qua praecinuit, legatorum suorum sonum totum orbem pervagaturum, in omnem terrae partem verissima sui signa et testimonia diffudit, nec enim loca hoec semotissima Divorum reliquiis, et corporum custodia caruerunt, venerata etiam crucem Christianam, nulla licet rei cognita causa, sed divino tantum instinctu, cum nationi neque Christus, neque lex eius nota foret.
 Autor est Mandevillus annos ab hinc 200 complures in ibi Christianae religioni et sacramentos initiatos. Nam et ipse Odericus in urbe Themistetan ad nostrae religionis amplexum perduxit virum nobilem, ac alium item in civitate Cartami, cuius nationis homines prae caeteris extollebat, multosque exinde Christiano lavacro imbuit, verum post eius discessum, cum nulli superessent qui illos in suo mighty imperial yoke which by the excellence in arms of Hernando Cortes, in war the most famous of men in glory, the Great Khan [viz. Montezuma] submitted from the year 1522 to the divine plan of our Caesar's happiness, that is, the universal monarchy under the dominion of Charles Caesar. For neither in the age of our forefathers nor in our time are to be found those who vie with the Great Khan for kingdom or wealth of glory. Caesar's fortune increases, as calamity is accustomed to be the companion of calamity, and happiness of happiness. For the king of the island of Tidore, under the impulse of similar fates, willingly of his own accord yielded his crown to Caesar's rule, proof that the law of nature is not to be thwarted, for the prognoses of the stars plainly predicted what had been taught by fate, that the name and rule of the Prince would extend from the East and the North and spread throughout the whole world. Similarly, the Great Khan, King Montezuma, declared to his nobles that, as foretold by the prophets, the day was arriving when foreigners would come and rule over them. (15)
 But let me briefly continue to a more complete description of the present globe, for which I succeeded in assembling all the descriptions of the Earth, although for the most part they were not in conformity with each other. I saw that most beautiful of globes, that of the famous and celebrated Maximilian Transylvanus which, though adorned and formed by industry and skill did not, however, agree with my reckoning and contradicted, if you will, the most skilled mariners. For on it a sea gap divided the eastern lands from Culuaca [Mexico] but as we have shown above, Culuaca has borders adjoining the dominions of the Great Khan.
 It is plain that while the longitudes of the places described have not been proved, their latitudes are without error. Most of us are accustomed to measure time during the quarters of the day in Spanish latitudes by the rays of the Sun, and at night by those of the fixed stars. This is particularly necessary for those who go to remote seas. But you will not find many who know how to measure longitude exactly, either by means of the eclipses of the Sun or the Moon, or by the conjunction of the Moon with the planets or the fixed stars, for that is not easy to accomplish. This operation is well known to experts in astronomy and cosmography, but not to sailors. As proof of this, I found that the descriptions of longitude in the sea charts never failed to differ from the truth. The origin of this error flowed from the informants in the public square, not one in a hundred of whom observed the sky without a distortion as to the point of origin of the sighting. This makes all the sailors' charts cause them to plough their courses wrongly, which is not unknown to experts in cosmography. Why the sailors did not immediately agree to mark their unlimited errors, which would not be tedious, was obviously because they lacked a foundation in the principles and doctrine of those arts [of astronomy and cosmography].
 Is it not a signal error that the height of the seas diverges immensely, having no limit in depth. This is refuted by the consensus, authority and reasoning of all experts in nature and in mathematics. Is it not equally absurd that the sea should be raised like a mountain over the surface of the Earth? (16)
 If we accept this, what prevents the sea from inundating the whole of the globe and the waves covering it? In the same way, they believe it is known that the lands of the lower part of the world are located beyond its centre and not under the antarctic pole of the Earth. And they deny the Antipodes, a heresy put forward by Saint Augustine, in spite of the acumen of his celestial genius; but experience and instituto continerent, intercedente, emorientemque religione, religionis tamen signa remanserunt, in summa veneratione, omnium animis persuasis, malos doemones, istis signis simulachrisque profligari.
 Succurrit nunc exquirere, ubinam terrarum Papa Joannes: quem vocant, sedem teneat, quod alia atque alia diversi de ipso, multumque absurda divulgarunt. Aberrarunt enim omnes in loci demonstratione et nominis inscitia. In his fuit et Mandevillus, qui nunc in India, nunc ultra Culuacam Papam Joannem collocando, variasque aliorum opiniones recensendo, ita sese involvit ac intricat, ut satius fuisset illios compescere, quam eiuscemodi effutire. Erroris ansam praebuit Indiae vocabulum, bifariam usurpatum, nam autore Ferdinando Cortesio Indiae nomen commune est omni Aethiopiae tractui, sive orientali, sive occiduo. Cunctis enim Aethiopici climatis incolis Indorum nomen est a colore, nempe et nigris et aquila specie Indorum more. Sed peculiari significatione Indiae nomen proprie tribuitur regioni inter duo interiectae inclyta flumina, cuius alterum ab occasu limitem Indus tangit, alterum ab ortu Ganges. Nam plagam supra gangem altam Indiam appelant. Hic Ptolemaeus auriferam regionem esse tradidit, licet aurea illa Chersonessus, quam iuxta Cingulum aequinoctialem posuit, hodie nusquam sicut ipse tradit, veniat in conspectum, nec in hac Indiae parte, neque item in oriente supra Indiam repertus est Papa Joannes. Verum cum ait ipsum in Abessia regnare, aliam nobis designat regionem. Haec enim terra sita est in Aethiopia supra Aegyptum, ad quam inde nonaginta dierum iter ad austrum progredienti paulumque ad ortum deflectenti patet. Hic ingens Christianorum numerus. Partim eorum Nubiani, partim Habascini dicuntur. His praeest Rex in sacerdotes iuxta et prophanos omne ius imperiumque obtinens. Hunc ipsum Papam Joannem esse asservimus, non nostro sic aevo, sed priore eo titulo nuncupatum.
 Neque vero iis assentiendum, quoe falso multis ante annis de illius imperio ac potentia memoriae prodita et in vulgus aedita sunt. Ceterum dicuntur Aethiopes Indi propter nigrorem coloris. Deinde quod ad Africae seu Aethiopiae limitem orientalem habitant, unde clarum evadit, et in orientis, et in Indiae, et in Aethiopiae parte, supra Aegyptum eum versatum, quoniam haec omnia nomina licet diversa, uni eidemque loco conveniunt.
 Mihi probabiliora tum ratione, tum autoritate sectanti, omnino illa paradisi regio assignanda videtur, quo loco Adamus protoplastes arboris interdictae gustato pomo, Dei et mandato et regno excidit, quoque loco Abrahamus dei iussu arietem pro filio immolavit, ut parens numerosissimae stirpis fieret: Denique ubi teste Hieronymo secundus Adamus Christus supplicium dependit, ut quo in loco Adamus omne genus humanum noxia obstrinxerat, eodem divina pieta lueret et admissi crimen. Judaeam igitur quam veneratione nominis Christiani Terram sanctam appellant, vere Paradisum dixerim. Omnes autem, controversiarum hac de re laqueos dissolvere neque instituto epistolae compendio convenit, neque est necesse. Nam ut in summa rem expediam, animadvertisse videor omnem litem ex illi verbis, oriens, fons posuit in Paradiso similibusque enasci.
 De reliquo, quantum ad nostrae descriptionis formulam attinet, illud mihi prefari licet, Praesul optime, in hac orbis terrae delineatione, summo me studio, diligentiaque versatum, idque omni cura meditatum, ne quid a nobis emitteretur minus veritati tenori, fideique consentaneum. Caeterum ut citra prolixae narrationis taedium rem omnem explicem, nunc paucis.
 Igitur Ptolemaeus graphice et perquam scite Europen expressit, partitusque est. At ex recentiorum observatione et dimensu Europae tabula aedita est, non quidem prorsus refutanda, sed in qua nequaquam universa hoec mundi pars representetur, immo ea dumtaxat, cuius ad authorem noticia pervenerat, nam iuxta veterum traditionem ad flumen usque Tanaim pertingit, hinc Yslandiam ad mare usque Glaciale porrecta, atque inde porro totam Russiam, Lappiam, Wildlappiam, Suediam, Daniam complexa. Late enim patet Europa, cuius tamen partium ille ipse Chartae author, ac ne Thraciae quidem, aut Graeciae, insignium maxime locorum descriptionem exequitur. Superiorem autem Geographorum delineationes claudoe, neque omnibus, quod aiunt, numeris perfectae reperiuntur, ut clare the sense of our eyes clearly prove the contrary. (17) For under the Equator [cingulo media] and beyond, diametrically opposite, there are Antipodes, which our globe and its clearly considered description allow to be known. So, in fact, those who dwell around the cape of Palma in the Fortunate [Canary] Islands, from which longitude is [taken], look toward the inhabitants of the Antipodean islands of Sylolo [Gilolo, i.e. Halmahera] which are intersected by longitude 200 degrees, near 20 degrees on the other side of the equatorial circle beyond the Torrid Zone. (18) And the nation of the Mongols is in a location opposite America in the south.
 Nor, in fact, did the majority of those who wrote about the Earth ever deviate from the opinion of the ancients and of many centuries, and held the opinion that the land between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn was uninhabitable; and, likewise, that the Ocean in the same area was unnavigable. This belief is clearly refuted by the experience of our times for, as is evident in our configuration, the regions found long ago are mostly located on either side of both Tropics.
 What must now definitely be refuted is the error of determining that Jerusalem should be fixed at the centre of the world and that this conclusion should be drawn from what was written of the Temple of Jerusalem: "But God is our King before ages: He hath wrought salvation in the midst of the Earth". (19) But His blood makes a metaphor through the medium of which the Earth is designated as Christ, who by intervening in the Earth in his humanity, of which the Earth represents the symbol, will preserve us. And in addition, it is seen that the argument from shadows appears to be clearly false, which is that the experience of evidence and proof agrees that, as a rule, in the district of Jerusalem, the rays of the Sun fall all the year round. (20) But, Excellent Bishop, it would be of neither use nor pleasure for you, not, I say, to discuss all the errors but even to enumerate them
 But as they may conduce to easier composition in accordance with the discipline of Geography, it seems to me to be not unprofitable to sketch out a few things. As an author foremost for initiating [students] into the elements of this science, Johannes Schoener is not incapable or unfit, apart from what he reports concerning the Eastern parts. From his description of the sphere, however, which has had great influence on the public, so far from being approved by us, we judge that it should be consecrated to Vulcan. (21) At the same time, Peter Appian, a man of excellent talent and skill, contributed not a little to textbooks on cosmography and astronomy. I strongly approve his maps elaborated by art and industry from Ptolemy's charts. (22) But I condemn the more recent appendices and additions to the mark of error and to the penalty patet nostroe configurationis exemplar contemplanti.
 Africa quasi vasta quaedam Chersonesus, seu peninsula, cervicis amplexu Asiae cohoerens, in reliquo circuitu mari circumflua. Hanc qua in austrum spectat nostra aetas patefecit, visiturque expressa imago insulae, cui divo Laurentio nomen inditum, Marcus Venetus Mandagascarem appellat. In hac esse commemorantur aves vastoe magnitudinis, statis anni temporibus advolare solitae, quae homines (si credere dignum est) et feras grandiores momento velut milvius pullum, rapiunt. Indigenae Ruch vocant, Lusitani Rochos, priscorum monimentis ut alia multa, ita hoc quoque fabulosae creditum dictat animus scilicet Leones esse monstrifica effigie, alis et rostro Aquilae, reliquo corpore leonum non absimiles, quos Gryphones nuncupant.
 Somnia profecta vigilantium, et mera hominum commenta, nostra aetas vidit hanc avem milvio figura conformem, celsitudine et amplitudine imparem.
 Idem causam allegat cur ea insula, aliaeque finitimae infrequentius ab Indis orientalibus adeantur, nam mare illud concitatissimo impetu rapi in occasum, manifesto Lusitanorum experimento, qui in ortum navigantes, Caput bonae Spei appellatum, non nisi immodico prae spacii ac viae longitudine, temporis spacio superare valuerunt: idem reliquo mari naucleri sentiunt, ubicumque circa litora aestus undabundus et densior ingruit, inde mare citatissime in occidemtem deferri, perinde ac si in vallem deflueret. Itaque duplicem esse maris fluxum consideranti liquet, unum ipsius aestus ultro citroque reciprocantis, iuxta syderis lunae motum humidorum et aquarum praesidis. Cum pro istius astri vel ortu vel occasu, nunc recedat, nunc adventet.
 Alterum mundi totius, quo et mare, cum aere et igni, et orbibus aethereis ab ortu rapitur in occasum, non quod omnino firmamenti sequatur motum 24 horarum spacio se circumagens, sed quod pro suae naturae crassitudine ac gravitate, coelestis sphaerae harmoniam, cursumque imitetur, experimentis etiam palam fit navium cursum facilius et citius in occasum agi, quam in ortum, quanquam huius rei causa aliunde pendere videatur. Accepi enim ventum fere flare in nuper inventis terris ab oriente, quae res navium impetum remorari haud dubie potest. Nunc ad reliqua, nam etiam minutissima singulatim persequi institutae epitomae alienum fuerit.
 Samotram recentiores aliter, quam vetustiores designant, eius longitudo extima ad austrum censetur prope modum 164 graduum, latitudo 7. Citima longitudo versus polum arcticum non excedit gradus 47 Latitudo 6. Media vero longitudo 160 partes plus minus explet, atque ita obliquo situ transversa lineae aequinoctiali subtenditur, tametsi latitudo 4 partes non egrediatur longitudine ad 12 porrecta. In nostra sphaera Ptolemaei figuram exprimendam curavimus, unde manifesto colligi possit, hanc vere Taprobanam esse, licet extensioris longitudinis, quam Ptolemaeus opinabatur. Haud procul a loco, ubi Taprobanam collocavit Ptolemaeus, ex adverso regni Moabar, reperta est insula nomine Seylam, neque ideo tamen hanc Taprobanen esse voluit cum sit extra oequatorem, neque ei competant quae idem de Taprobana commemorat.
 De reliquis insulis pridem additis vir omni doctrinae laude cumulatissimus Maximilianus Transylvanus meminit ex epistola, quam de Moluccensibus insulis aedidit, quae in maritum Sur, tum Syni, tum Syn, aliter atque aliter dicto extant, praeclarae sane et nostri saeculi hominibus demum patefactae, ditionis omnes, et portionis regis Hispaniae praeter Iavam et Pornen seu Borneu, quarum pars in occasum vergens, regi Lusitaniae, pars spectans in Orientem Hispaniae regi subdita est, arbitrantur tamen haud pauci istam insulam Pornendominio regis Hispaniarum rectius asscribi, at pro certo id affirmare et demonstrare haud fuerit in promptu absque vera coeli observatione per lunae motum aut deliquium. Haec insula Porne commendatur ab aromatum proventu, a populi ritibus, morumque institutione, reliquorum insulanorum civiliore et mitiore. In ea urbs est eximie potens, of the obelisk. (23) For the chart which promises to consider and improve the defects and errors of Ptolemy is unfortunately deluded in longitude and latitude: I suspect the cause to be that the description of the globe in a plane according to the proportion cannot be expressed and fashioned correctly. I say in a continuous plane, because the small parts may be formed separately, which combined together and committed complete the image of the globe.
[The newly discovered lands, seas and islands]
 It would be prolix, however, for lack of space and time, to explain the location of all the recently discovered coasts and islands, and to describe their longitude and latitude would by no means be of benefit for me, as well as being of little profit, and almost superfluous, since indeed from the globe itself all these dimensions are in readiness for the eyes to examine individually. In those cases where I disagree with Ptolemy and others, it will be easy for those who are learned in the art of cosmography to understand which latitude and longitude are to be measured. I thought, for the abundant satisfaction for those eager for the truth and to avoid lengthy searching, that I should attend to the ignorant with a salve for their blindness and dispel the darkness from their minds.
 In the first place, however, you should note the different and often contradictory names for the same places, lest you be confused by them. According to Hernando Cortes, Culua, or the province of Culuacana [Culhacan, i.e. Mexico], which in other travel narratives is called Cataya or Cathay, is where the realm of the Emperor of the East lies. The modern Themistetam or Tenostica [Tenochtitlan], was formerly Quinsay: it was called Themisan by Oderic of Pordenone, who was closer to the truth, as being in agreement and harmony with the teaching of the authorities, and with the wealth and location of the country. To the north of the land of Culuacana extends Thamacho, once called Tangut. In former times, Tevis was known as Tebet or Cibet [Tibet]. The province of Messigo [Mexico] in the time of our fathers was known by the name Mansi [Mangi]. The name Caria translates into Catami. The Singicularum of the ancients, we call Singimoloam [Singuatecpan]. The river called Patuncium by Cortes, was by former ages called Pulsancum. These names, the more recent and older, play with each other, so I am not a little annoyed that I could not investigate their appropriateness and likeness. Moreover, those places and regions which Marco the Venetian, Mandeville and Oderic examined and described have now been discovered in the West by the Spanish and, led by Hernando Cortes, overcome by arms and found to extend as far as our borders in the East. These I will briefly run over. But one thing I desire to say first: I intend this letter simply as a desirable index pointing out the sources to be sought by you, so nor can I go beyond the prescribed forms for letters and it will be better to hand to you all the information as it is, to seek out the sources from their authors' own records.
 The people of the East, even though they acknowledge one god of the world and of the heavens, practise idolatry, certain communities having been caught in the abominable practice of shedding human blood and sacrificing infants. But the irrevocable and sacred voice of God which foretold of the Word going throughout the whole world by His messengers, has spread His truest signs and testimonies throughout every part of the Earth, for even in the most remote places the relics and bodies of the Saints have not lacked safekeeping, nor has veneration of the Christian cross been lacking, though it might be without knowing the cause so much as by divine inspiration when neither Christ nor His law is known to a nation. (24) inventa a Magellano, quam superiores quoque scriptores nequaquam silentio proeterierunt, alio nomine vocatam, modo Pacem, modo Talamassim, su potius Calamassim ab arundinum ibi mirae magnitudinis enascentium copia. Petrus Martyr in libro suarum decadum, harum arundinum meminit, alioquin obvia atque exposita soli fertilitate.
 Ad occasum ab insula Gelolo numero sunt insulae dictae Moluccae, gariofili, nucis myristicae, cinnamomi feraces. Tres autem Tarenti, Theodori, Mare, cum primis gariofili foecunditate praecellunt, Mutil vero cinnamomi. Caeterum insula nomine Badan, nucis macis tanta ubertate, quanta nostra regio glandes profundit, omnes autem sunt portionis et ditionis Hispanorum. In praefata Maximiliani epistola perspicue vides quemadmodum Theodori Rex perpetuo sese subiecerit, fascesque summiserit Caesari, vere Augusto Carolo. Hic venit in mentem, quasi ex diverticulo nonnulla recensere, quae et admiratu digna et memoratu non indigna reor.
 Anno a natali Christiano M.D.XX. cuiusdam apud Helvetios Sybillae oraculum extitit, quod nemo non humanum fastigium supergresso Principi nostro Carolo attribuit, nempe in hoec verba, Antipodum fnibus occludet imperium, et huic cervices submittet Gallia, ad eius genua supplex adnabit classibus Britannia, Italia oegre ad ardua sceptra respirans, olli languentem protendet dextram. Quis non, quis inquam proesentem
rerum statum intuitus, ac pensitans illam vatem hoec de Caesare nostro praecinuisse affirmet? tot, tamque claris argumentis et signis, quae hactenus fidem prognostico astruunt. An non eius imperii, dico Caesaris, et splendorem Antipodes reverentur, et Thronum suspiciunt, et sceptra agnoscunt? Quod etiam in nostra configuratione annotavimus.
 Sunt enim Moluccenses insulae fere ex diametro Hispaniae vertici meridiano adversi, nam Hispanis sol medio coelo decurrit, quum Moluccensibus concubia nox est, et contra his altera diei pars devoluta est, summa illorum et intempesta nocte.
 Eximia sane atque mirabilia, quae nostro oevo designat Deus, qualia nullis annalium historiarumve monimentis prodita sunt. An unquam fando a condito mundo prius auditum, classem universum orbis ambitum circuisse? at hoc Caroli Caesaris auspiciis dedere Superi. Cardinem antarcticum, ignotas terras, maria, populos trans mundi medium limitem videre contigit, quae essent nec ne, vix satis olim constans erat opinio. At Caesaris nostri exploratoribus multo ingens orbis pars sese aperuit, nudavit, retexit.
 Quid dicam de tot, tamque potentibus regibus, qui clementissimo Caesari parent. Glorietur nunc Alexander Macedo et spiritus attollat, et totius orbis dominatione tumeat, cuius si in unum cuncta regna cumulentur acervum, non decimam Caesaris portionem adaequent, neque enim Indiam transgressus est, et de Antipodibus tantum fama cognorat, tantum abest ut illic usque imperii sui terminos propagavit.
 Et iam scilicet homo insatiabilis ambitionis ad plurium mundorum mentionem illachrymavit, cui ne unus quidem minima sui parte possessio cesserat, sed verius nimirum cognomen Magni gesserit Carolus ille Pipini, ob vitae sanctimoniam, et rerum gestarum gloriam. Qui Barbaros Hispania expulit, Hierosolimam recepit, Christi religionem ex tempestate debilitatam erexit, erectam decoravit, decoratam in omnem orbis regionem diffudit. Praeclara ilia sane et vera victoria, qua non tam armis imperii limites, quam doctrina et praedicatione religionis fines ampliantur. Nunc demum ingenue, nunc vere exclamare licet: in omnem terram exivit sonus eorum. Et nunc Judas Macchabaeus, Rolandus, Oliverius, vel si Romanos aut Graecos mavis, Themistocles, Epaminundas, Scipio, Caesar aliique innumerabiles, iam vel ipsi suas, nostrorumque Principum res gestas componant, ac conferant, facessent protinus, herbam porrigent, Victoria cedent profecto.
 Taceo de invictissimi viri Ferdinandi Cortesii rebus gestis, qui in alienis regionibus nulla opis externae spe proposita, tot ac tanta patravit, qualia in eius narratione secunda latius explicantur. Qui
 Mandeville was the author, 200 years ago, with several others, of the Christian religion and sacraments being initiated there. For he and Oderic led a noble man in the city of Tenochtitlan to embrace our religion and another likewise in the city of Cartama, whose men were exalted above all other nations. Many others, it is true, were bathed with Christian baptism, but after his departure, when none were left to maintain them in their discipline, being isolated and, the religion dying out, the signs of religion remained, held in the greatest reverence, all being persuaded, and evil demons were subdued by the images of these miraculous signs.
[The dominion of Prester John]
 It now falls to us to earnestly inquire where Prester John, as he is called, has his seat in this world, because from one to another many and different absurdities about him are spread about. For they have all wandered in ignorance in proving the place and name. Among these was Mandeville, who put Prester John sometimes in India, sometimes beyond Culuacan [Mexico], and in reviewing the various opinions of others, so entangled and embarrassed himself, that it would be better to suppress them than to spread such nonsense. It provided an excuse for the error of rendering the name of India doubly, for according to Hernando Cortes, the name India is common to all the lands of Ethiopia, in the East or West. The name of Indians for the inhabitants of all the Ethiopian regions is from their colour, that is, like the dark and swarthy appearance of the Indians. However, the particular signification of the name India belongs properly to the land lying between between the two famous rivers, whose border in the west touches the Indus and in the east the Ganges. The region of the upper Ganges is called Alta [Upper India. Ptolemy reported this region to be gold-bearing and, like the Golden Chersonese, located near the Equator. Today, Prester John is nowhere reported to be found either in this part of India or in the East beyond India. But it is said that he reigns in Abyssinia, another country described by us. For this land is situated in Ethiopia, above Egypt, from whence proceeding in a ninety-day march toward the south and digressing a little to the east, it lies. Here there are huge numbers of Christians. A part of them are said to be Nubians and a part Abyssinians. These the King, holding all right of command, rules over with sacred and profane authority. (25) For here, we assert, Prester John was called by that title, not just in our own age, but formerly.
 Nor, indeed, should the things about his empire and power in that false report which many years ago was produced and widely published be accepted. (26) Furthermore, the Ethiopians are called Indians because of their black colour. Then, because they live at the eastern limit of Africa, that is, Ethiopia, it is clear that be it in the East or in India or in the part of Ethiopia beyond Egypt facing it, you should know that the names of all these, however different, belong to one and the same place.
[The location of Paradise]
 To me, it is more probable according to reason and as an an adherent to authority that, all in all, the region of Paradise appears to be assigned to the place where Adam the first man, having tasted the forbidden fruit of the tree, by God's command was banished from the kingdom (27) and where Abraham by God's command sacrificed a ram instead of his son that he might become the father of a most numerous offspring. (28) Finally, where Christ, the Second Adam, according to Jerome, was executed by being hanged [on a cross],29 and Adam bound the whole human race with injury, divine piety would magnum Can suo Marte debellavit, Regem scilicet Montis Suma subegit, alia quod perillustria belli facinora auspiciis Caroli imperatoris nostri, foelicitatis solidae archetypi aedidit, nam si omnium aetatum, gentium memoriae Duces atque Imperatores corroges, committasque cum hoc imperatore nostro Carolo, neminem illi vel rerum gestarum magnitudine, vel gloria parem invenies. Sed redeundum in viam, nescio enim quo pacto huius divini Caesaris recordatione, mentioneque captus a proposito diverterim de insulis Moluccis sermonem exorsus.
 [de insulis Moluccis:] Situm, ordinem, insularumque magnitudinem, ex ipsa sphaerae pictura, descriptioneque cuivis colligere paratum est. Orae porro in austrum spectantis, quae supra Moluccas tenditur, et insulas maris Sur a portu Sabae ad fretum maris Magellanici, non sane fidelem, synceramque, omnino conformationem affirmarim, quanquam hoc mihi liquet mare Sur non plus octodecim gradibus ad septentrionem vergere. Ad austrum contra Urabenses et Darienses nonnullorum litorum contextum, per Vascum exsignatum habemus, cui quidem mari Divi Michaelis sinum imposuere nomen.
 Americii autem in occasum tractus meta, terminusque ad nostram noticiam nondum pervenit. Illic Catigoram posui, quam Ptolemaeus in continenti collocat, ultra paralellum aequinoctialem, 12 partium spacio, longitudine tamen incerta, forte fama acceperat ultra torridam zonam orientales plagas prorogari, ignarus vero longitudinis Catigorae nomine portum quendam appellavit, non habita longitudinis ratione, at Catigoram quemadmodum ipse constituit nunquam reperies. Quamobrem melius in America investigabitur ad occidentem solem.
 Americae litora, quae in polum arcticum vergunt, Petrus Martyr nuncupat terram Parias. Sed ego eam modo portionem pro terra Parias accipio, quae ultra sinum Urabensium est ad ortum. Ad occasum ad caput de Ligneres, quidam ibi contendunt mare pervium esse ad sinum usque divi Michaelis. Sed de hac re nullius idonei scriptoris autoritate quicquam comperti habeo. Quod in occidentem restat, ad Culuacanoe continentem pertinet.
 Septentrionalium descriptionem insularum, ac litorum, cum ex Marco Beneventano mutuatus sum, tum vero ex navigationibus receptis, probatisque conflavi. Ad meridiam duobus in locis inventa terra est in cardinem australem declinans ex regione Americae, cuius longitudo occidentalis patet 43 gradibus, latitudo meridionalis interdum 54 nonnunquam 53 quandoque 55 ut ipsa topographia declarat. Praeterea inventa anno abhinc millesimo quingentesimo vigesimo sexto, terra longitudine 0 meridionali latitudine 52, partium cultoribus vacua. Reliqua australis orae etiamnum in obscuro latent, mihi tamen admodum sit verisimile eam orbis partem non integi atque obduci pelago. Quin coniecturae sunt et argumenta vastas illic et patentes insulas, regionesque iacere, sed propter locorum intercapedinem solique infrugiferam indolem, minus celebratas.
 Designatio vero horum litorum non ex mea pharetra, sed caelatoris Gasperi Amyricii officina deprompta est. Idem ut picturam redderet gratiorem spectantium oculis: animantes aliarumque rerum simulachra effinxit. Sed quae ad austrum extra lineam aequinoctialem notantur, conversim describere debebat, capitibus, naviumque malis in polum versis antarcticum.
 Si animo sedeat, aequorum, terrarumque intervalla et modum nosse, aut maris, terraeque alicuius spacium iuxta miliarium germanicorum rationem comprehendere ac dimetiri, haec colligendi regula observanda. In aequinoctiali zona seu longitudinem, seu latitudinem capias, septem ferme graduum mensura diducto circino definita nullius non terrae aut maris spacium exactae subduces, nam 7 graduum intervallum explet miliaria Germanica 100, Italica 400. wash away the acknowledged crime. Judaea, therefore, which from veneration of the name, Christians call the Holy Land is truly, I would say, Paradise. However, disentangling the snares of all the controversies about this matter neither suits my intention of keeping this letter brief, nor is it necessary. So, to expedite the matter, it seems proper in every case for me to have relied on the words: the fountain located in Paradise and the like arise in the East.
[The newly discovered lands, seas and islands]
 For the rest, with regard to what relates to the formation of our own description, let me first say, Excellent Bishop, that in this diligently informed delineation of the world, planned with every possible care, my highest intention was that nothing should be issued by us that was less than what pertains to the truth and in faithful accord with it. And so as not to have the tedium of an over-long narrative if I were to explain everything, for now I say little.
 As Ptolemy graphically and most elegantly described, Europe is divided. The map of Europe published from more recent observation and measurement should not, indeed, be completely rejected, but is one in which by no means the whole of this part of the world is represented but only what has come to the notice of the author, that is to the river that according to ancient tradition reaches as far as the Tanais [Don], extending from hence to Iceland as far as the Glacial Sea, and thence further embracing the whole of Russia, Lapland, Wild Lapland, Sweden and Denmark. Europe, therefore, extends widely but the author of the map of its parts does not give a thorough description of the most significant places of Thrace or Greece. The delineations of the former geographers are uncertain, nor all their positions, as they say, completely revealed, as is quite clear from observing the configuration of our model.
 Africa is like a vast chersonese or peninsula, and embraces and is connected by an isthmus to Asia; the rest is surrounded by the sea. The island to be seen to its south, which in our time has been discovered and visited, and named after St. Laurence, was called Madagascar by the Venetian Marco Polo. In this island there are reported to be the birds of huge size which, if you will believe it, at fixed seasons of the year are accustomed to fly down upon men and larger beasts just like a young milvian kite and in a moment carry them off. (30) The natives call them the Ruch, the Portuguese, the Roch [Roc]. They are believed to be like the fabulous beasts on the ancient monuments and many others of monstrous form with the fierce nature of lions, the wings and beak of an eagle, and the rest of their body not unlike lions, which are called gryphons. (31)
 Emerging from the daydreams and mere imagination of men, we have thus seen in our own time a bird of unmatched height and breadth, having the shape of a milvian kite.
 The same account confirms why that island and others neighbouring it should be approached infrequently from the East Indies, for that sea is carried by a very rapid motion to the West, as is shown
 Longitudo quippe gradus unius in coelo, aut latitudo, tantum trahet spacii in terra, quantum vel Germanica miliaria xv vel Italica lx. Et enim ab urbe Bruxella ad oppidum Bergas haud procul ora maris belgici situm, unius gradus discrimen in coelo, aut paulo supra intercedit.
 De miliarium proportione Joannes Sconer dilucide tractat, at praeter vulgarem opinionem miliaria Germanica non perinde esse prolixa experientia docet, quando huiusmodi xv unius gradus coelestis mensura complectitur taleque miliarium fit vel pedestri horae, et leve iter, quale (ut rem exemplo signem) est ab urbe Mechlinia ad vicum Walhemensem, quem vocant.
 Habes, clarissime Praesul, epistolam rationum mearum, et geographiae patronam, atque utinam ea politura, et dicendi facultate, quoe tui pectoris censurae satisfaciat. Caeterum si quid minus ad normam, in hac nostra terrae fabrica quadrabit, id tua benignitas praematuriori festinationi condonabit, et vinculo ordinis nostri, quo assidue (ut nosti) sic distringimur ad obeunda divina officia, ut ad alias animi contemplationes respicere ac respirare vix unquam valeamus. Quod si hos nostros conatus non displicere generositatis tuae facilitati senserimus, pro virili enitemur pleniori tuam Reverentiam obsequio promereri. Vale optime Praesul, et quicquid id est nostroe benevolentiae atque munusculi, pro tua liberalitate interpretare.
Excudebat Martinus Caesar, expensis honesti viri Rolandi Bollaert commorantis Antuerpiae juxta Portam Camerae sub intersignio Majoris Falconis Albi.
by the experience of the Portuguese, who in sailing to the East could not overcome the elapse of time on the route, except by an exceedingly wide and lengthy course before the Cape of Good Hope. All the other sea pilots think the same, for no matter where around the coasts the sea surges in closely, from thence the sea is very swiftly carried westward as though flowing into a valley. And so, from investigation it is clear that there is a twofold flow of the sea and each of these tides alternates, the one with the other, jointly with the motions of the stars and the moon that govern moisture and the waters: with the rising or setting of that star it now recedes, now advances. (32)
 The whole of the other world where the sea, with the air and fire and the aetherial bodies, is swept from the East to West, does not altogether follow the twenty-four hour circular movement of the firmament, but from the density and gravity of its own nature imitates the harmony and course of the celestial spheres, and as experience also makes plain, makes the ships' runs to the West easier and faster than to the East, although the cause of this appears to depend on something else. For I heard something that can hardly be doubted, that in the recently discovered lands the wind usually blows from the East, which hinders the progress of the ships. Now to the rest, because to follow the most minute details would be foreign to the established plan of this summary.
 The more recent authors describe Sumatra differently from the older ones, its longitude at its furthest to the south is reckoned to be at about 164 degrees, extending to latitude 7 south. Its nearest longitude toward the Arctic Pole does not exceed 47 [147?] degrees, latitude 6. Its medium longitude completes more or less 160 parts, and so the equatorial line is subtended by it diagonally, even though 4 parts in latitude does not exceed 12 in longitude. On our globe we have taken care that Ptolemy's figure be expressed, whence it may be concluded that this in truth is Taprobana [Ceylon/Sri Lanka], even though with a greater extent of longitude than Ptolemy had imagined. Not far from where Ptolemy placed Taprobana, on the other side of the kingdom of Moabar [Malabar], is found the island named Seylan [Ceylon], but this would not be Taprobana since it is beyond the Equator, nor does it call to mind that which pertains to Taprobana.
 With regard to the other islands, that man greatly lauded for deep learning, Maximilian Transylvanus, recently published a letter concerning the Moluccas Islands, which are in the sea called variously the Mar del Sur [South Sea], or that of the Sinae, or of Syn [China Sea], finally revealed to our age as all clearly being in the portion and dominion of the King of Spain, except for Java and Porne or Borneo, of which a part toward the west is subject to the King of Portugal, the part which faces east being subject to the King of Spain. Not a few ascribe ownership of Borneo justly to the King of Spain, but to affirm and to demonstrate that for certain will not readily be done without observation of the heavens by the motion or phases of the moon. The people of this island Porne [Borneo], famous for the spices it produces, are more civilized and friendly because of their religion, customs and institutions than those of the other islands. In it is a distinguished and powerful city, discovered by Magellan, which the ancient writers by no means passed over in silence, calling it by another name, either Pacem or Talamassim, or rather Calamassim from the reeds [calami] of wonderful size there. Peter Martyr in The Decades mentions these reeds as displaying and exposing the fertility of the soil.
 To the west of the island of Gilolo [Halmahera] are a number of islands called the Moluccas, fruitful in cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Three of them, Tarentum [Ternate], Theodore [Tidore] and Mare, are foremost with surpassing fruitfulness in cloves, mace and cinnamon. Another island by the name of Badan [Bachan] has nutmeg in abundance, as great as the acorns that are produced in our country. They are all are in the Spanish portion and dominion. In the aforementioned letter of Maximilian, it can clearly be seen how the King of Tidore was willing to subject himself permanently, and would submit his fasces [symbols of his authority] to Charles Augustus Caesar. This, which I think is important to recall, came to my mind in passing.
 In the year of the nativity of Christ 1520 there was applied to our Prince, Charles, none surpassing in human excellence, the oracle of the Helvetian Sybil, verily in these words: The confines of the Antipodes shall close the empire and to him Gaul shall bow the neck, to his knee shall suppliant Britain swim with a fleet; Italy, painfully sighing for high sceptres, shall stretch out her weary right hand. (33) Who, I say, looking at this state of things, would not consider that what that the prophet predicted is confirmed for our Caesar? So many and such clear arguments, and signs, which have been built on what faith had hitherto predicted. Do not the Antipodes revere his rule and splendour, I say Caesar's, and admire his throne and acknowledge his sceptre? This is also described in our own configuration.
 The Moluccas islands are almost diametrically opposite to Spain vertically to the south, for when the sun traverses the zenith in Spain the Moluccans lie in the depths of night and, when opposite them the next day has partly broken, most of them are in the midst of night.
 In our time God has shown truly extraordinary and wonderful things, such as have never been revealed in any historical chronicles or monuments. Has it ever been heard of since the creation of the world that a fleet has circled the whole Earth? But this has been allowed to come to pass by the gods above under the auspices of Charles Caesar. It went so far as to glimpse the Antarctic pole, (34) unknown lands, seas, people beyond the Equator, the very existence of whom was not long ago a matter for continual conjecture. But by the explorations of our Caesar a huge part of the world has been uncovered, laid bare and revealed itself.
 What shall I say of so many, and such powerful kings, who submit to Most Merciful Caesar. Let Alexander of Macedon now boast and raise his spirits, and swell with pride over his worldly dominion, which if all be gathered together in one united kingdom would not equal a tenth of Caesar's portion; nor did he traverse India, known only by reputation to him, nor the Antipodes, so that Caesar's empire extends far beyond the borders of Alexander's.
 And, to be sure, that man of insatiable ambition [Alexander] wept at hearing of even more worlds, of which but a small part of one had yielded possession to him. (35) But truly, without doubt Charles the son of Pepin will have earned the title of Great [Charlemagne] by the sanctity of his life and the glory of his deeds. For he it was who expelled the barbarians from Spain, recovered Jerusalem and raised Christ's weakened religion from the storm and, having raised it, adorned it and having adorned it, diffused it into every region of the world. Now then, truly may it be allowed to exclaim: "their voice hath gone forth into all the earth". (36) And going now to Judas Maccabee, Roland, Oliver or, if you wish, the Romans or Greeks: Themistocles, Epaminondas, Scipio, Caesar and innumerable others, to compare with the achievements of our Prince, they would gather grass [surrender], they would assuredly concede the victory.
 I say nothing of the deeds of Hernando Cortes, most invincible of men, who, in foreign lands with no hope of external aid, achieved so much and so many things, such as are more fully set forth in his Second Report, and who fought his battles with the Great Khan, that is to say, he subjugated King Montezuma, another of the most illustrious deeds of war performed under the auspices of our Emperor Charles, building a solid archetype of happiness. When you call together the memory of all ages and nations of emperors and leaders, and unite it to our Emperor Charles, of their achievements none is greater, nor will you find an equal for glory. But, returning to the path, I do not know how I have been diverted by this remembrance and calling to mind of Divine Caesar from the discussion I began concerning the Moluccas Islands.
 The situation, arrangement and area of the Moluccas Islands has been prepared for anyone to consider from the depiction and description of each on the globe. Regarding the lands in the south and the islands of the South Sea which from the port of Sa[m]ba [Champa] extend beyond the Moluccas to the Strait of Magellan, I have not confirmed their complete configuration faithfully and sincerely, although it is clear to me that the South Sea approaches to not more than eighteen degrees North. To the south, we have taken heed of Vasco Nunez de Balboa against any connection of the coasts of Uraba and Darien with that sea upon which the name Gulf of San Miguel has been imposed. (37)
 The goal and terminus of Amerigo Vespucci's route in the West have not yet come within our knowledge. So I have put Catigora [Cattigara], which Ptolemy locates on the continent beyond the equinoctial line, at the space of 12 hours [180 degrees], but its longitude is uncertain (perhaps he received a report that it extended beyond the Torrid Zone in eastern lands) so not knowing the true longitude of the port of Catigora, nor reckoning its longitude, you will never by any means find its location. Wherefore, it is better that Catigora be sought in America, in the West.
 The coasts of America which approach the North Pole were called by Peter Martyr the Land of Paria. But I will take for the land of Paria the same part that is beyond the Gulf of Uraba to the east. Some contend that westward of Cape de Ligneres (38) there is a sea passage to the Gulf of San Miguel. On this subject I have not found any suitable written authority. As to the remainder of the continent in the west, it belongs to Culuacan [Culhuaca--Mexico].
 I have borrowed the description of the islands and shores of the North from Marcus Beneventanus, (39) and then put them together with the voyages that have been received and proven. In addition, to the South, land has been found in two places south of America toward the South Pole, stretching in longitude 43 degrees westward, to latitude South sometimes to 54, sometimes 53, sometimes 55 degrees as the topography reveals. Moreover, in the year 1526, a land was discovered at 0 degrees longitude and 52 degrees South latitude, parts of which are empty of inhabitants. The rest of the austral coasts are still hidden in obscurity but it seems to me very likely that that part of the Earth is not covered and overspread by the Ocean. Indeed, it is conjectured and argued that vast and extensive regions and islands lie there, but because of the distances between places and the infertile nature of the soil, they are less frequented. (40)
 The description of these shores has been taken, not from my quiver, but from the workshop of the goldsmith Gaspar a Myric. (41) The same for the pictures so pleasing to the eye: he fashioned the animals and other images. But what is marked to the south beyond the equinoctial line must be indicated by the ships' prows and masts turned conversely toward the Antarctic pole.
[The length of the mile in relation to celestial degrees]
 For this the rule must be observed of collecting some space either of the sea and the land to take into consideration and to measure it. If you take a measure of around seven degrees of distance as defined by a pair of compasses over land or sea on an equatorial circle, either in longitude or latitude, you will have determined it, for a space of 7 degrees equals 100 German or 400 Italian miles.
 In longitude or latitude, one celestial degree takes as much space on the Earth as 15 German or 60 Italian miles. And so, from the city of Brussels to the town of Bergen-op-Zoom situated not far from the shore of the Belgic Sea, the interval in the heavens falls between one degree or a little more. (42)
 Johannes Schoener treats lucidly of the proportion of miles, but German miles in common belief are not as exact as broad experience teaches, which is that one-fifteenth of a celestial degree completes a mile, such as is made by walking for an hour on an easy road as, for example, from the city of Mechlin to the village they call Waalhem [Walem]. (43)
 Here you have, Most Excellent Bishop, the letter containing my explanations and, Oh Patron of Geography, would that it were polished with an eloquence that would satisfy the judgement of your heart. In addition, if there is anything lacking in this that would complete the model of the Earth we have made, would that your generosity might pardon its incompleteness due to excessive haste, for you know how we are so hindered by the strict obligations of our Order in attending to religious offices that we can scarce take rest from them to do any other work of the mind. If all these efforts of ours do not displease you, we would be sensible of the readiness of your generosity and would strive most earnestly for a fuller obedience to Your Reverence. Farewell, Excellent Bishop, and as this small contribution is made with all our goodwill, accept it with your liberality.
Printed by Maerten Keyzer at the expense of the Honourable Roland Bollaert residing in Antwerp next to the Camerenpoort under the sign of the Great White Falcon. (44)
Translated by Robert J. King, Canberra, July 2019.
(1) Cicero, Epistolae adfamiliares, v.12.1. A wiped brow; from the expression, to wipe the brow: i.e., to put away one's modesty or inhibitions.
(2) Eudoxus of Cnidus (c.390-337 BC) was a Greek astronomer, mathematician and student of Plato. All of his works are lost, though some fragments are preserved in Hipparchus of Nicaea's commentary on the Phenomena of Aratus, a poem on astronomy.
(3) "peregrinationis ita cupidus ut omnia quae legerat de locis orbis terrarium praesens vellet addiscere" (So fond was he of travel, that he wished to inform himself in person about all that he had read concerning all parts of the world); Aelius Spartianus, "De Vita Hadriani", ScriptoresHistoriae Augustae, cap.17:8; The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, translated by David Magie, Heinemann, London, 1922.
(4) "minime mirum est hominem genitum non omnia humana novisse" (it is not to be wondered at that one who was born a man should not possess all human knowledge); Caius Plinius Secundus, Historiae Naturalis, Liber 3, cap.1.
(5) Cf. Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia, 1(32); and Plutarch, Life of Artaxerxes, 5(1): recounting the occasion when the Great King Artaxerxes was offered a humble drink of water by a certain Sinaetes who had nothing else to give, and rewarded him with a goblet of gold and a thousand darics.
(6) Marcus Beneventanus, Nova Orbis Descriptio ac Nova Oceani Navigatio, Roma, 1508, an edition of Claudius Ptolemy's Geography, contained a world map by Johannes Ruysch and a commentary by Beneventanus.
(7) Johannes Ruysch accepted that Sipango and Hispaniola were one and the same, a concept he expressed in the legend he inscribed on his world map of 1507: "Dicit M. Paulus quod e portu Zaiton ad orientem 1500 miliaribus est insula magna valde dicta Sipangus, cuius habitatores sunt idolatrae, habentque proprium regem, nulli sunt tributarii: hic maxima copia est auri et omnium gemmarum generum; at quia insulae a nautis hispanorum inventae hunc locum occupant, hanc insulam hic statuere non audemus, opinantes quam hispani Spagnolam vocant Sipangum esse" (M. Polo says that 1500 miles to the east of the port of ZAITON [Quanzhou] there is a very large island called SIPANGO [Japan]... But as the islands discovered by Spanish ships occupy this place, we do not dare to put this island here, believing what the Spaniards call SPAGNOLA [Hispaniola] to be SIPANGO). Johannes Ruysch, Vniversalior Cogniti Orbis ex recentibus confecta observationibus, Rome, 1507, British Library, Maps C.1.d.6. See also Henry Vignaud, Toscanelli and Columbus, London, 1902, p.210, n.206.
(8) "Some natives also call the island Cipangu, from the name of a mountain range rich in gold ... In the beginning the Spaniards called the island Isabella after the Queen Isabella, taking this name from the first colony they founded there ... They afterwards called it Hispaniola, a diminutive of Hispania." Francis Augustus MacNutt, De Orbe Novo: the Eight Decades of Peter Martyr d'Anghera, Putnam's, New York & London, 1912, Third Decade, Book 7, p.363; Petri Martyris ab Angleria (Pietro Martire d' Anghiera), De Rebus Oceanicis et Novo Orbe, Decades Tres, Coloniae, G. Calenium, 1574, Oceanae Decadis, primae, liber tertius, p.29.
(9) "About Ind ... In that isle be ships without nails of iron or bonds for the rocks of the adamants, for they be all full thereabout in that sea that it is marvel to speak of. And if a ship passed by those marches that had either iron bonds or iron nails, anon he should be perished. For the adamant of his kind draweth the iron to him, and so would it draw to him the ship because of the iron, that he should never depart from it nor never go thence." M. C. Seymour (ed.), Mandeville's Travels, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1967, p.120.
(10) Cannibal: From Spanish Canibalis, Caribales, name (as recorded by Columbus) of the man-eating Caribs of Cuba and of Haiti, variant of caribalis, from Arawak caniba, carib, an ethnic name. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
(11) On his 1507 world map, Martin Waldseemuller inscribed overAngama (Marco Polo's name for Andaman Island) "ibi est habent homines deformata capita quasi canina" (here are men with misshapen heads like dogs); Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes, S. Deodati, 1507. Similarly, in Luculentissima quaedam Terrae Totius Descriptio, (Norimberga, 1515), Schoner wrote, "Angama insula: Habent capita quasi canina" (Tract 2, f.55) and the same words were inscribed on his 1515 globe. See also M. C. Seymour (ed.), Mandeville's Travels, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1967, p.143; Mandeville calls the inhabitants of the island with dogs' heads Canopholos (similar in sound to Canibales).
(12) Usually known as Oderic (or Oderico) of Pordenone, a town in the Friuli area of northeast Italy. Henri Cordier, Les Voyages en Asie au 14e siecle du bienheureux frere Odoric de Pordenone, Leroux, Paris, 1891.
(13) Compare Daniel 2:22 & 1 Corinthians 4:5.
(14) Vincentius Belvacensis (Vincent of Beauvais), Speculum Historiale, Strasbourg, 1473, lib.30, cap.69; Friedrich Zarncke, Der Priester Johannes, Leipzig, Koniglich Sachsische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften / Philologisch-Historische Classe, 1876, p.62.
(15) See the second letter of Cortes, in Hernan Cortes, Five Letters, 1519-1526, transl. J. Bayard Morris, Routledge, London, 1928, pp.70-71.
(16) Cf. Pierre d'Ailly: "Nam aquam non circumdat totam terram sed partem unam dimittit discooptam per animalium habitatione; quod una pars terrae est minus gravis et ponderosa quam alia; et ideo illa est altior et a centro mundi magis elevata. Residuum vero propter insulas est totum coopertum aquis secundum comunem philosophorum opinionem" (For water does not envelop the whole Earth, but it leaves a part of it uncovered for the habitation of animals. Since one part of the Earth is less heavy and weighty than another, it is, therefore, higher and more elevated from the centre of the world. The rest, except for islands, is wholly covered by waters according to the common opinion of the philosophers). Ymago Mundi, J. de Paderborn, Louvain, 1483, cap.4, "De quattuor elementis et eorum situ". Quoted in Edward Grant, Planets, Stars, and Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687, CUP Archive, 1996, p.619.
(17) "Quod vero et Antipodas esse fabulantur, id est homines a contraria parte terrae, ubi sol oritur, quando occidit nobis, adversa pedibus nostris calcare vestigia: nulla ratione credendum est" (And that there are supposed to be Antipodeans, that is, men on the opposite side of the Earth, where the Sun rises when it sets for us, who tread their footsteps opposite to our feet: there is no reason for belief in them). Aurelius Augustinus, De Civitate Dei, 16, Caput 9, "An inferiorem partem terrae, quae nostrae habitationi contraria est, Antipodas habere credendeum sit" (On whether we are to believe that there are Antipodeans, who live on the opposite side of the Earth to where we live).
(18) "Certe Indi (quia diametrantur fere) Hispanorum sint Antipodes et vestigia Hispanis et e contra, Hispanis Indis obvertunt, et terram aeque calcare, solent, quamvis non adeo praecise secundum dimetientem, tamen hac in re nihil distare videntur, Antipodesque dici debent" (Certainly, the Indies, (which are almost diametrically opposite) are the Antipodes of Spain, and the footsteps of the Spaniards are opposed to the Indians' and contrariwise, the Indians' turned toward Spain, and equally, they are accustomed to tread the ground, although not quite exactly in accordance with the diameter yet apparently not far from it and so must be called Antipodes); Petrus Apianus, Cosmographiae Introductio, Venetiis, Bindonis & Pasini, 1537, p.31.
(19) Psalm 73:12 (Vulgate); 74:12 (KJV).
(20) It was said that there was in Jerusalem a pillar above which, at noon on the day of the Summer Solstice, the Sun stood directly overhead, casting no shadow; this was held to prove that Jerusalem was the centre of the world. John Wilkinson, Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades, Aris & Phillips, Warminster, 1977, p.99. The pillar is shown on the c.AD 542-570 Madaba Map of Jerusalem.
(21) I.e., thrown into the fire. See Joannes Schoener, Globi Stelliferi, Sive Sphaerae Stellarum Fixarum Usus, Johann Petreius, Nuremberg, 1533.
(22) Petrus Apianus (Peter Apian), Cosmographicus Liber, Landshut, 1524, which contained a mappemonde, Charta Cosmographica, cum Venturum Propria Natura et Operatione. Also Cosmographiae Introductio, Ingolstadt, 1529.
(23) Obeliscus: diminutive of obelus, a mark (f) used in ancient manuscripts to mark a word or passage as spurious or doubtful. "The 'obelus' is properly a sharp-pointed spear or spit; with a sign resembling this, spurious or doubtful passages were marked in the books of antiquity, which sign bore therefore this name of 'obelus,' or sometimes of its diminutive 'obeliscus'. It is in this sense that we find 'obelisk' employed by the writers in the seventeenth century." Richard Chenevix Trench, A Select Glossary of English Words Used Formerly in Senses Different from Their Present, Macmillan & Co., London, 1873, p.171.
(24) "Iucatan: Cruces viderunt" (crosses have been seen amongst them in Yucatan); Peter Martyr de Anghiera, De Orbe Novo, Decade 4, 1521, Caput 1, fol.7; Erich Woldan (ed.), PetrusMartyr de Angleria: Opera, De Orbe Novo Decades Octo, Akademische Druck, Graz, 1966, p. 147.
(25) Cf. Johannes Schoner, Opusculum Geographicum, Norimberga, , cap.12: "Regnum Habesdi, vel Habassiae, ubi potentissimus rex, quem nos presbyterum Ioannem dicimus, dominium obtinet, qui & Indiae dominus dicituf' (The Kingdom of the Habesdi, or Habassia [Abyssinia], where the most powerful king, whom we call Prester John, holds dominion, who is also called Lord of India).
(26) Referring to the JoannisPresbiteri Epistola, which appeared in 1165. It is discussed in Friedrich Zarncke, Der Priester Johannes, Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim & New York, 1980.
(27) Genesis, 3.
(28) Genesis, 22.
(29) "Deus patrum nostrorum suscitavit Jesum, quem vos interemistis, suspendentes in ligno" (The God of our fathers hath raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, hanging him upon a tree), ActusApostolorum (Vulgate), 5:30.
(30) Milvus is the Latin for the red kite (Milvus milvus).
(31) Cf. Marco Polo: "In insulis illis ... apparet certo anni tempore una species avium mirabilis que dicitur Ruch." (In those islands. there appears at a certain time of the year a wonderful kind of bird, which is called the Ruch). Shinobu Iwamura (ed.), Liber Marci Poli Veneti de Consuetudinis et Conditionibus Orientalium Regionum, Antverpiae, 1485 (re-published Tokyo, National Diet Library, 1949), Liber 3, cap.60, De avibus maximis quod dicitur Ruch. "The people of the island report that at a certain season of the year, an extraordinary kind of bird, which they call a rukh, makes its appearance from the southern region. In form it is said to resemble the eagle, but it is incomparably greater in size; being so large and strong as to seize an elephant with its talons, and from whence it it lets it fall to the ground, in order that when dead it may prey upon the carcase. Persons who have seen this bird assert that when the wings are spread they measure sixteen paces in extent, from point to point; and that the feathers are eight paces in length, and thick in proportion. Messer Marco Polo, conceiving that these creatures might be griffins, such as are represented in paintings, half birds and half lions, particularly questioned those who reported their having seen them, as to this point; but they maintained that their shape was altogether that of birds, or, as it might be said, of the eagle"; William Marsden, The Travels of Marco Polo, Cox, London, 1818, p.707. Until around AD 1000, Madagascar was the home of the Aepyornis, or Elephant Bird, the world's biggest--but flightless--bird.
(32) Cf. Marco Polo: "Ad hanc insulam, propter mercationem adveniunt naves multe. Ad alias vero insulas ultra ad meridiem parvus e concursus navium nisi ad insulam Zanzibar, propter cursum velocissimum aque maris. Pauca enim velociter currunt illuc sed cum difficultate nimia revertuntur. Eadem enim naves quae de regno Moabar ad hanc insulam Madaygastar venit in xx diebus vix de Madaygastar pervenit in tribus mensibus redire in Moabar eo quod maris illius vehemens cursus semper currit ad meridiem et nunquam ad partem aliam retrorsum avertitur fluxus ille" (To this island many ships come for trading. However, there are few that go to the other islands more to the south from the fleet of ships that go together to the island of Zanzibar, because of the swift current of the sea. Just a few do the run swiftly thither but they are brought back only with great difficulty. For the same ships which come from the kingdom of Moabar to this island of Madagascar in twenty days, in returning to Moabar from Madagascar scarce arrive in three months because of the violent sea current that always runs to the south and its flow never being able to be turned back toward any other part). Shinobu Iwamura (ed.), Liber Marci Poli Veneti de Consuetudinis et Conditionibus Orientalium Regionum, Antverpiae, 1485 (re-published Tokyo, National Diet Library, 1949), Liber 3, cap.39.
(33) Sibylla Tiburtina: "A star shall arise in Europe over the Iberians, toward the great house of the North, whose beams shall unexpectedly enlighten the whole world. This shall be in a most desired time, when mortal men, being weary of armies, with joint consent embrace peace. Almost at the same time of this star, a light as ancient as the former, of the same age, burning with far more eager flames, shall extend his government to the coasts of the Antipodes. Gaul shall first be yoked by this King or Prince. Britain shall humbly cast herself at his knees. Italy, pausing with great deliberation upon high enterprises, will contribute to him her languishing right hand. But this very light shall hide itself in the clouds of the gods long before his time with the mighty desire of mortal men." Allan Boyd, The Prophecies of ThomasRymer, J. & M. Robertson, Glasgow, 1806, pp.43- 44. See Francois Secret, "Cornelius Gemma et la prophetie de la 'Sibylle tiburtine'", Revue d'Histoire Ecclesiastique, t.64, no.2, 1969, pp.423-431. The prophecy of Sibylla Tiburtina was said to have been found in 1520, carved on a marble slab uncovered by a landslide in Switzerland; Richard Bulkeley, Prophetical Extracts, Terry, London, 1689, p.37.
(34) Perhaps an allusion to the constellations about the Antarctic pole, the Greater and Lesser Magellanic Clouds.
(35) Alexander wept when he heard Anaxarchus of Abdera discourse about an infinite number of worlds: "Is it not worthy of tears that, when the number of worlds is infinite, I have not yet conquered a single one"; Plutarch, Moralia, "On Tranquility of Mind", 466d.
(36) Psalm 18:5 (Vulgate); Psalm 19:4 (KJV).
(37) The Gulf Panama, from the coast of which Balboa sighted the South Sea in 1513.
(38) "caput de Ligneres" is probably "Cape Higueras", the furthest point reached by the expedition of Solis and Pinzon, in 1508/9, and the location of which was put by the pilot Pedro de Ledesma at latitude 23[degrees]30' N.
(39) I.e., the 1507/1508 world map of Johannes Ruysch.
(40) Cf. the inscription on the notional part of the Southern Continent on the world map on the title page of De Orbis Situ: HAEC PARS ORAE IS NOBIS NAVIGATIONIBUS DETECTA NUNDUM EXISTIT (This part of the coast that has been found by voyages has not yet been seen by us).
(41) Gaspard Amyricius (c. 1496-1549), goldsmith; a.k.a., Gaspard van der Heyden, Jasparus a America, Gaspar a Myrica, de Merica, or Amyricius.
(42) The distance from the Town Hall of Brussels to the Grote Markt in Bergen-op-Zoom is 86 km by road, 72 km as the crow flies.
(43) From Mechlin to Walem is 5 km.
(44) Roeland Bollaert began to reside at the sign of the Great White Falcon in 1529 and from this Wouter Nijhofff proposed a date of around 1529 for publication of De Orbis Situ. Wouter Nijhofff, L 'Art Typographique dans les Pays-Bas pendant les annees 1500 a 1540, Nijhoff, La Haye, t.2, Les Pays-Bas Meridionaux, 1926, p.22, n.2.
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|Date:||Nov 1, 2019|
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