The Fardle of Facions, by Johannes Boemus

The v. Chapiter

Of Aegipte, and the auncient maners of that people.

Aegipte is a Countrie lying in Affrike, or as some hold opinion, borderyng thervpon, so named of Aegiptus, Danaus brother, where afore it was called Aeria. This Aegipte (as Plinie recordeth in his fiueth boke) toucheth on the East, vppon the redde Sea, and the land of Palestine; On the West fronteth vpon Cirene, and the residue of Afrike. On the South it stretcheth to Aethiope: And on the Northe is ended with the sea, to whom it giueth name. The notable Cities of that Countrie, were in tyme past, Thebes, Abydos, Alexandrie, Babilon, and Memphis, at this daie called Damiate, alias Chairas or Alkair, and the seate of the Soldan, a citie of notable largenesse. In Aegipt as Plato affirmeth, it was neuer sene rain. But Nilus suppliyng that defaulte, yerely about saincte Barnabies tide, with his ouerflowynges maketh the soile fertile. It is nombred of the moste parte of writers, emong the Islandes: For that Nilus so parteth hymself aboute it, that he facioneth it triangle wise.

The Aegiptians firste of all other, deuised the names of the twelue Goddes, builte vp Altares, and Images, erected Chappelles and Temples, and graued in stone the similitude of many sondrie beastes. All whiche their doynges, dooe manifestly make, that thei came of the Aethiopes, who (as Diodore the Sicilian saieth) ware the firste inuentours of all these. Their women in old tyme, had all the trade of occupiyng, and brokage11 abrode, and reuelled at the Tauerne, and kepte lustie chiere: And the men satte at home spinnyng, and woorkyng of Lace, and suche other thynges as women are wonte. The men bare their burdeins on the heade, the women on the shulder. In the easemente of vrine, the men rowked12 doune, the women stoode vprighte. The easemente of ordure thei vsed at home, but commonly feasted abrode in the stretes. No woman tooke ordres, either of God or Goddesse. Their maner of ordres, is not to make seuerally for euery Goddesse and God, a seuerall priest, but al at a shuffe, in generall for all. Emong the whiche, one is an heade, whose sonne enheriteth his roume by succession. The men children, euen of a custome of that people, did with good wil kepe their fathers and mothers, but the women children (yf they refused it) ware compelled. The moste part of men in solempne burialles, shaue their heades, and let theyr beardes growe, but Thegiptians shaued their beardes and let their heades grow. They wrought their doughe with their fiete, and their claye with their handes. As the Grecians do beleue, this people, and their ofspring, are they that vsed circumcision. Thei ordre their writyng from their right hande towarde their left, contrary to vs. It was the maner emong them, that the menne should weare two garmentes at ones, the women but one. As the Aethiopes had, so learned they of them, two maner of lettres; the one seuerall to the priestes thother vsed in commune. Their priestes, euery thirde daye shaued their bodies, that there might be none occasion of filthinesse when they shold ministre or sacrifie. Thei did were garmentes of linnen, euer cleane wasshed, and white: and shoes of a certeine kinde of russhes, named Papyrus, whiche aftre became stuffe, to geue name to our paper. They neither sette beane their selues, ne eate them where soeuer they grewe: ne the priest may not loke vpon a beane, for that it is iudged an vncleane puls. They are wasshed euery daye in colde water thrise, and euery nighte twise. The heades of their sacrifices (for that they vsed to curse them with many terrible woordes) did they not eate, but either the priestes solde them to such strangiers as had trade emonge them, or if there ware no suche ready in time, they threwe them in to Nilus.

All the Egiptians offer in sacrifice, neither cowe, ne cowe calfe, because they are hallowed to Isis their goddesse, but bulles and bulle calues, or oxen, and stieres. For their meate they vse, moche a kynde of pancake, made of rye meale. For lacke of grapes they vse wyne made of Barly. They liue also with fisshe, either dried in the Sonne and so eaten rawe, or elles kept in pikle. They fiede also vpon birdes, and foules, firste salted, and then eaten rawe. Quaile, and mallard, are not but for the richer sorte. At all solempne suppers, when a number is gathered, and the tables withdrawen, some one of the company carieth aboute in an open case, the image of death, caruen out of woode, or drawen with the pencille as niere to the vine as is possible, of a cubite, or two cubites long at the moste. Who shewyng it aboute to euery of the gestes, saieth, loke here: drinke and be mery, for aftre thy death, suche shall thou be. The yonger yf they miete their auncient, or bettre vpon the way, giue them lace, going somewhat aside: or yf the aunciente fortune to come in place where they are sitting, they arise out of their seate, wherein they agre with the Lacedemoniens. When they miete in the waye, they do reuerence to eche other, bowing their bodies, and letting fall their handes on their knees. They weare long garments of lynnen, hemmed about the skirtes beneth, which the call Casiliras: ouer the which they throwe on another white garment also. Wollen apparelle thei neither weare to the churche, ne bewry any man in.

Nowe for asmoche as they afore time that euer excelled in anye kinde of learning, or durste take vppon them, to prescribe lawe, and rule of life vnto to other, as Orpheus, Homeire, Museus, Melampode, Dedalus, Licurgus, Solon, Plato, Pithagoras, Samolxis, Eudoxus, Democritus, Inopides, and Moses the Hebrue, with manye other, whose names the Egiptians glorie to be cronicled with theim: trauelled first to the Egiptians, to learne emongest them bothe wisedome, and politique ordre (wherein at those daies they passed all other) me thinketh it pleasaunte and necessarie also, to stande somewhat vpon their maners, ceremonies and Lawes, that it may be knowen what they, and sondry more haue borowed of them, and translated vnto other. For (as Philip Beroalde writeth in his commentary vpon Apuleius booke, entituled the Golden Asse) the moste parte of the deuices that we vse in our Christian religion, ware borowed out of the maner of Thegiptians. As surpluis and rochet, and suche linnen garmentes: shauen crownes, tourninges at the altare, our masse solempnities, our organes, our knielinges, crouchinges, praiers, and other of that kinde. The kinges of Egipte (saieth Diodore the Sicilian in his seconde booke) liued not at rouers13 as other kinges doe, as thoughe me lusteth ware lawe, but bothe in their monie collections, and daily fare and apparell, folowed the bridle of the lawe. They had neither slaue that was homeborne, ne slaue that was forein bought, appointed to attende or awaite vpon them. But the sonnes of those that ware priestes of honour, bothe aboue thage of twenty yeres, and also singulerly learned. That the king hauing these attendant for the body both by daie and by night, restrained by the reuerence of the company about hym might commit nothing that was vicious, or dishonourable. For men of power are seldome euil, where they lacke ministres for their vnlawfull lustes. There ware appoincted houres, both of the daie and the night, in the whiche the kinge mighte lawfully doe, what the Lawe did permit. In the morning, assone as he was ready, it behoued him to peruse al lettres, supplicacions, and billes: that knowing what was to be done, he might giue aunswer in tyme: that all thinges might rightlie, and ordrely be done. These being dispatched, when he had washed his bodie emong the Pieres of the Realme, he put on some robe of estate, and Sacrificed to the goddes. The maner was, that the Primate, or head of the spiritualty (the beastes appoincted for the sacrifices being brought harde to the altare, and the Kyng standing by) should with a loude voyce, in the hearing of the people, wysshe to the king (that bare him selfe iustely towarde his subiectes) prosperous healthe, and good fortune in all. And should further particulerly recite the vertues of the king, his deuoutnes and reuerence towarde God, and clemency towarde men. Commende him as chaste, iuste, and vpright: of noble and great coinage, sothfaste, liberal, and one that well brideled al his desires. Punisshing thoffendour vnder his desertes, and rewarding the well doer aboue his merites. Making a processe of these, and such other like: in the ende with the rehersalle of the contrary vices, he cursed the wicked and euil. Then absoluing the King of his offences, he laied all the faulte vpon the ministres, and attendauntes, that should at any time moue the king to any thing vnright, or vnlawfull. These thinges beinge done, he preached vnto the King the blessednes of the life, led accordyng to the pleasure of the goddes, and exhorted him thervnto: as also to frame his maners and doinges vnto vertue, and not to giue eare to that, that leude men should counsaile him, but to followe those thynges that led vnto honour and vertue. In thende, whan the King had sacrificed a bulle, the priest declared certain preceptes and examples of excellente, and moste worthy men: written in their holy scripture. To thende that the Kynge admonisshed by the example of theim, might ordre his gouernaunce iustlye, and godly, and not geue hym selfe to couetous cloinyng,14 and hourdyng of tresure. He neither satte to iudge, ne toke his vocacion, ne walked abrode, ne washed at home, ne laye with his Quiene, ne finally did any maner of thing, but vpon the prescripte of the lawe.

Their fare was but simple, nothing but veale, and goose, and their wine by measure appoincted. So that thone should nether ouerlade the bealy, ne the other the heade. To conclude, their whole life so bounde vpon temperaunce, that it might be thoughte raither to haue bene prescribed them by a discrete Phisicen to preserue helthe, then by a politique Lawyer. It siemeth wondrefull that the Egiptians mighte not rule their owne priuate life, but by the Lawes. But it semeth more wonderfull that their King had no liberty of him selfe, either to sitte in iudgement, to make collections of money, or topunishe any man, vpon wilfulnes, stoute stomacke, angre, displeasure, or anye vniuste cause: But to be holden vnder lawe as a commune subiecte, and yet not to be agreued therwith, but to thincke them selues moste blessed in obeyeng and folowyng the lawe, and other in folowing their lustes most vnhappy, as being led by them into many daungiers, and damages. For suche oftentimes, euen when they know them selues to do euill, either ouercome with malice, and hatred, or some other mischiefe of the minde, are not able to witholde theim selues from the euille. But they which by wisedome and discretion, gouerne their liues, offende in fewe thinges. The kinges vsing suche an equitie, and vprightnes towarde their subdites, are so tendred againe of them, that not onely the priestes, but all the Egiptians in generall, haue more care for the health and the welfare of the King, then for their wiues, their children, or any other princes.

He that to his death continueth in this goodnesse, him being dead, do they in general lamente. They teare their clothes, they shut vp the churche dores, they haunte no place of wonte commune concourse, they omytte all solempne holy daies: and girding them selues vnder the pappes with brode Ribbond of Sarsenet, two or thre hundred on a company, men and women together, renewe euery daye twise, thre skore and xii. daies together, the buriall bewailing, casting dirte on their heades, and singing in rithme the vertue of the Kinge. They absteine from al flesshe of beastes, all meates that touche fire, all wine and all preparation of seruice at the table. They bathe not, thei smel of no swietes, they go to no beddes, they pleasure not in women: but as folkes that had buried their beste beloued childe, all that continuance of time they lamente. During these seuenty and two daies (hauyng prepared all thinges necessarie for the funerall pompe): the laste daye of all, the bodie beyng enbaulmed and cofred, is sette before the entrie of the Toombe. Thereaftre the custome, one redeth an abridgemente of all the thinges done by the king in his life. And if there be any man disposed to accuse the deade, libertie is giuen him. The priestes are present, and euer giue praise to his well doings, as they be recited. There stondeth also rounde about the Toombe a multitude of the communes, which with their voices allowe asmuche as is trew, and crie out vpon that, that is false, with vehement gainsaienges. Wherby it hath happened, that sondry kynges by the repugnynges of the people haue lien vntoombed: and haue lacked the honoure of bewrialle, that the good are wonte to haue. That feare, hath driuen the kynges of Aegipte, to liue iustly, and vprightly, lesse the people aftre their deathes, might shewe them suche dishonour, and beare them perpetuall hatred. This was the maner specially, of the aunciente kynges there.

The whole realme of Egipte was diuided into Shieres: and to euery Shiere was appoincted a Presidente, whiche had the gouernaunce of the whole Shiere. The reuenewes of the realme ware diuided into iii. partes: whereof the companie of the priestes had the first parte, which ware in greate estimacion emong them, both for the administration of Goddes Seruice, and also for the good learnyng, wherin thei brought vp many. And this porcion was giuen theim, partely for the administracion of the Sacrifices, and partely for the vse and commoditie of their priuate life. For thei neither thincke it mete, that any parte of the honour of the Goddes should bee omitted, or that thei, whiche are Ministres of the commune counsaill and profecte, should be destitute of necessary commodities of the life. For these menne are alwaie in matters of weighte, called vpon by the nobles, for their wisedome and counsaille: And to shewe (as thei can by their connyng in the Planettes, and Starres, and by the maner of their Sacrifices) the happe of thinges to come. Thei also declare vnto them, the stories of men of olde tyme, regested in their holy Scripture, to the ende that accordyng to them the kynges maie learne what shall profighte, or disprofighte. For the maner is not emong them, as it is emong the Grecians, that one manne, or one woman, shoulde attende vpon the sacrifices and Ceremonies alone: but thei are many at ones aboute the honour of their Goddes, and teache the same ordre to their children. This sorte of menne is priuileged, and exempte from all maner of charges, and hath next vnto the kyng, the second place of dignitie and honour.

The second portion cometh to the king to maintein his owne state, and the charges of the warres: and to shewe liberalitie to men of prowesse according to their worthinesse. So that the Communes are neither burdoned with taxes nor tributes.

The thirde parte do the pencionaries of the warres receiue, and suche other as vpon occasions are moustered to the warres: that vpon the regard of the stipende, thei maie haue the better good wille and courage, to hasarde their bodies in battaile. Their communaltie is deuided into thre sortes of people. Husbande men, Brieders of cattle, and men of occupacion. The Husband-men buyeng for a litle money a piece of grounde of the Priestes, the king, or the warriour: al the daies of their life, euen from their childhode, continually applie that care. Whereby it cometh to passe, that bothe for the skoolyng that thei haue therin at their fathers handes, and the continuall practisyng fro their youthe, that thei passe all other in Husbandrie.

The Brieders, aftre like maner, learnyng the trade of their fathers, occupie their whole life therabout. We see also that al maner of Sciences haue bene much bettred, yea, brought to the toppe of perfection, emong the Egiptians. For the craftes men there, not medlyng with any commune matiers that mighte hindre theim, emploie them selues onely to suche sciences as the lawe doeth permit them, or their father hath taught them. So that thei neither disdaine to be taughte, nor the hatred of eche other, ne any thing elles withdraweth them from their crafte.

Their Iudgementes and Sentences of lawe, are not there at giuen aduenture, but vpon reason: for thei surely thought that all thinges well done, muste niedes be profitable to mannes life. To punishe the offendours, and to helpe the oppressed, thoughte thei the best waie to auoide mischiefes. But to buye of the punishmente for money or fauour, that thought thei to be the very confusion of the commune welfare. Wherefore thei chase out of the chief cities (as Heliopole, Memphis, and Thebes) the worthiest men, to be as Lordes chief Iustice, or Presidentes of Iudgementes, so that their Iustice benche did sieme to giue place, neither to the Areopagites of the Athenienses, ne yet to the Senate of the Lacedemonians that many a daie after theim ware instituted. Aftre what tyme these chief Iustices ware assembled (thirtie in nombre) thei chase out one that was Chauncellour of the whole: and when he failed, the citie appoincted another in his place. All these had their liuynges of the kyng: but the Chauncellour more honorably then the rest. He bare alwaie about his necke a tablette, hangyng on a chaine of golde, and sette full of sundrie precious stones, whiche thei called Veritie and Truthe. The courte beyng set and begunne, and the tablet of Truthe by the Chauncellour laied furthe, and theight bookes of their lawes (for so many had thei) brought furth into the middes emong them: it was the maner for the plaintife to putte into writyng the whole circumstance of his case, and the maner of the wrong doone vnto him, or how muche he estemed himself to be endamaged thereby. And a time was giuen to the defendant to write answere again to euery poinct, and either to deny that he did it, or elles to alledge that he rightfully did it, or elles to abate the estimate of the damage or wrong. Then had thei another daie appointed, to saie finally for them selues. At the whiche daie when the parties on bothe sides ware herd, and the iudges had conferred their opinions, the Chauncellour of the Iudges gaue sentence by pointyng with the tablet of Veritie, toward the parte that semed to be true. This was the maner of their iudgementes.

And forasmuche as we are fallen into mencion of their iudgementes, it shall not be vnfyttyng with myne enterprise, to write also the aunciente Lawes of the Egiptians, that it maie be knowen how muche they passe, bothe in ordre of thynges, and profite.

Fyrst to be periured was headyng: for they thought it a double offence. One in regarde of conscience not kept toward God, and an other in gyuynge occasion to destroy credite among men, whiche is the chiefest bonde of their felowship. If any wayfarying man shuld espy a man sette vppon with thieues, or otherwyse to be wronged, and dyd not to his power succour and ayde hym, he was gyltie of death. If he ware not able to succour and to reskewe hym, then was he bounde to vtter the thieues, and to prosecute the matter to enditement. And he that so dyd not, was punyshed with a certayne nombre of stripes, and was kept thre days without meate. He that shuld accuse any man wrongfully, if he fortuned afterward to be broughte into iudgement, he suffered the punishement ordeyned for false accusers. All the Egyptians ware compelled to brynge euery man their names to the chiefe Iustices, and the facultie or science wherby they liued. In the which behalfe if any man lyed, or lyued with vnlaufull meanes, he felle into penalitie of death. If any man willyngly had slaine any man free or bond, the lawes condemned hym to die, not regardynge the state of the man, but the malicious pourpose of the diede. Wherby they made men afrayd to doe mischief, and death beynge executed for the death of a bondman, the free myght goe in more sauftie. For the fathers that slewe their chyldren, there was no punyshement of death appoynted, but an iniunction that they shoulde stande thre daies and thre nyghtes togither at the graue of the deade, accompanied with a common warde of the people to see the thyng done. Neyther dyd it sieme them iuste, that he that gaue life to the childe, should lose his life for the childes death, but rather be put to continual sorowe, and to be pyned with the repentance of the diede, that other myght ther by the withdrawen from the like wyckednes. But for the chyld that kylled either father or mother, they deuised this kynd of synguler torment. They thruste hym through with riedes sharpned for the nones, in euery ioynt all ouer his body, and caused hym quicke to be throwen vpon a heape of Thornes, and so to bee burned. Iudgyng that there could not be a greater wickednes emong men, then to take awaie the life, from one that had giuen life vnto hym. If any woman with child ware condempned to dye, thei abode the tyme of her deliueraunce nowithstandyng: for that thei iudged it farre from all equitie, that the gilteles should dye together with the giltie. Or that ii. should be punished, where but one had offended. Who so had in battaille or warre, withdrawen hymself from his bande, forsaken his place in the arraie, or not obeied his capitaigne: was not condempned to dye, but suffred for his punishemente a notable reproche, of all punishementes the woorste, and more greuous then death. Who so had disclosed any secret to the ennemie, the Lawe commaunded his tongue to be cutte out of his heade. And who so clipped the coigne or countrefacted it, or chaunged the stampe or diminisshed the weighte: or in lettres and writinges, shoulde adde any thing, by entrelinyng, or otherwise: or should guelde out any thyng, or bryng a forged euidence, Obligacion or Bille, bothe his handes ware cutte of. That suche parte of the bodie as had offended, mighte for euer beare the punishemente therof: and the residue takyng warnyng by his ensample, might shonne the like.

There ware also sharpe punishementes constitute, in offences concernyng women. For he that had defloured a free woman, had his membres cutte of, because in one offence, he had committed thre no small wickednesses. That is to saie, wrong, made the woman an whore, and broughte in a doubte the laufulnes of her issue. But thei that ware taken in adulterie, bothe partes byeng agreed, the man was whipped with a thousand stripes by tale: and the woman had her nose cut of, wherwith beside the shame she had, the whole beautie of her face was disgraced, and disfigured.

The Lawes that apperteigned to the trade and occupieng of men, one with another: ware made (as thei saie) by one Bocchorides. It is commaunded in them, that if money haue bene lent any manne without writyng, vppon credite of his woorde: if the borrower deny it, he should be put to his othe, to the whiche the creditour muste stande. For thei so muche estiemed an othe, that thei thoughte no man so wicked, as wilfully to abuse it. And again, because he that was noted to sweare very often, lost vtterly his credite, and name: many menne affirme, that for the regard of their honesties, it happened very seldome, that any man came to his othe. Their Lawe maker also, iudging that vertue was the engendrer of credite, thought it good by good ordres to accustome men to good liuyng and honestie, vpon feare to sieme vnworthie of all reputacion. He thought it also to be against conscience, that he that without an othe had borowed, should not nowe for his own, be beleued with an othe. The forfect for non paiment of the lone, mought not bee aboue the double of the somme that was borowed. And paiement was made onely of the goodes of the borower, the body was not arrestable. For the Lawemaker thought it conueniente, that onely the gooddes should bee subdite to the debte, and the bodies (whose seruice was required bothe in peace and in warre) subiecte to the citie. It was not thoughte to bee Iustice, that the manne of warre, whiche hasardeth his bodie for the sauftie of his countrie, should for an enterest of lone, bee throwen into prisone. The whiche lawe, Solon siemeth to haue translated to the Athenienses, vndre the name of the lawe Sisarea, decreyng that the body of no citezein, should for any maner of enterest be emprisoned. 15

Thegiptians also for thieues, had this lawe alone, and no people els. The lawe commaunded that as many as would steale, should entre their names with the chief Prieste: and what so euer was stollen, incontinente to cary the same vnto hym. Likewise, he that was robbed was bounde to entre with the saied Chiefe Priest, the daie, time and houre, when he was robbed. By this meanes the thefte being easely founde out, he that was robbed, loste the fourths parte and receiued the residue, the whiche fourthe was giuen to the thiefe. For the Lawe maker (seeing it was impossible vtterly to be withoute thieues) thought it moche bettre by this meanes that men bare the losse of a piece then to be spoiled of the whole.

The ordre of Mariage emong the Egiptians is not vniforme, for the priest might marry but one onely wife. All other haue as many as they wille, acordyng to their substaunce. Ther is no child emong them, though it be borne of a bought woman slaue, that is compted illegitimate. For they onely compte the father to be the authour of his kynde, and the mother onely but to geue place and nourishement to the childe. When their children be borne they bring them vp with so lytle coste, as a man would skantly belieue. They fiede them with the rootes of mererushes, and other rootes, rosted in the embries, and with marshe Caubois, and colewortes which partly they seathe, and partly they roste, and parte giue them rawe. They go for the moste parte withoute hosen or shoes, all naked, the contry is so temperate. All the coste that the Parentes bestowe on their children til they be of age to shift for themselues, surmounteth not the somme of a noble.16

The priestes bring vp the children, both in the doctrine of their holye scriptures, and also in the other kindes of learning necessary for the commune life, and chiefly in Geometry and Arithmetique. As for the roughe exercises of wrasteling, ronning, daunsing, playeng at weapons, throwyng the barre or suche like, they train not their youth in, supposyng that the daily exercise of suche, shoulde be to roughe, and daungerous for them, and that they should be an empeiryng of strength. Musique they doe not onely compte vnprofitable, but also hurteful: as making mens courages altogether womanlyke. When they are sicke, they heale themselues, eyther with fasting or vomiting: and that either euery eche other daye, or euery third daye, or fourthe. For they are of opinion that all diseases growe of superfluite of meate, and that kinde of cure therfore to be beste, that riddeth the grounde of the griefe. Men goyng to the warres, or traueillyng the countrie, are healed of free cost. For the Phisicens and Chirurgiens, haue a stipende allowed them of ordenary at the charge of the communes.

In curing, they are bounde to folowe the preceptes of the auncient and allowed writers, regestred in their holy scripture. Yf a man folowing the prescripte of the scriptures can not so heale the sicke, he is not blamed for that: But yf he fortune to heale him by any other meanes then is in the scripture appoincted, he dieth for it. For the lawe giuer thoughte that it was harde to finde a bettre waye of curyng, then that the which of suche antiquitie was by longe practise founde oute and allowed, and deliuered vnto them by suche a continuaunce. The Egiptians do worship aboue measure certeine beastes, not onely whilest they be onliue,17 but also when they are dead. As the Catte, the Icneumon the dogge, the hauke, the woulfe, the Cocodrille, and many other like. They are not onely not ashamed to professe the worship of these openly, but setting them selues out in the honouring of them to the vttermoste: they compte it asmuch praise and glory to them selues, as yf they bestowed the like on the Goddes. And they go about on procession with the propre Images of them, from citie, to citie, and from place, to place; holding them vp and shewing them a farre of vnto other, which fall on their knees, and euery one worship them. When any one of them dieth, they couer it with Sarcenet, and houling, and crieng, and beating of their breastes they all to bestrawe the carckesse with salte. And after they haue embalmed it with the licour of the Cedre and other fragraunt oyntmentes, and oyles, to preserue it the longer: thei bewrye it in holy sepulture. If a man haue slayne any of these beastes willingly: he is codempned to death. But yf he haue slaine an catte or a snyte, 18 willingly or vnwillingly: the people ronneth vpon him vppon heapes, and withoute all ordre of Iustice or lawe, in moste miserable wise torment him to death. Vpon feare of the which daungier who soeuer espieth one of those lyeng dead: standing a farre, he howleth and crieth professing that he is not giltie of the death. These beastes with great attendaunce and chardge are kept vp aboute the cloistres of the Temple, by men of no meane reputation: whiche fiede them with floure and otemeale, and diuers deinties, sopped and stieped in milke. And they set euery daie before them goose, bothe sodden and rosted. And before those that delight al in raw meate they sette birdes and rawe foules. Finally as I said they kiepe them all with great diligence and coste. They lament their death asmoche as the death of their owne children, and bury them more sumptuously then their substance doth stretch. In so moche that Ptolomeus Lagus reigning in Egipt, when there chaunced a cowe to die in Memphis for very age: he that had taken charge of the kepyng of her, bestowed vpon the buriall of her (beside a greate some of mony that was giuen him for the keping) fiftie talentes of siluer, that he borowed of Ptolome. Peraduenture these thynges will seme vnto some men to wondreful: but he wil wondre asmoche yf he considre what communely is done emonge euery of the Egiptians in the funeralle of their deade.

When any man is departed his lyfe, all his niere friendes and kindesfolke, throwing dirte vpon their heades, go wieping and wailing rounde about the citie vntle the Corps be buried. And in the meane season they neyther bathe, ne drincke wine, or eate any meate, but that that is most base and vile, ne weare any apparell that is gorgeous or faire. They haue thre sortes of Sepulchres, Sumptuous, meane, and basse. In the firste sorte they bestowe a talente of siluer. Aboute the seconde, twenty Markes, and aboute the thirde litle or nothing. There be certaine Pheretrers, 19 whose facultie it is to sette forthe burialles, whiche learne it of their fathers and teache it their children. These when a funeral happeneth, make vnto him that is doer for the deade, an estimate of the exequies in writing, whiche the doer may at his pleasure enlarge or make lesse. When thei are ones fallen at appoyncte, the bodye is deliuered to the Pheretrer to bee enterred accordyng to the rate that they agreed vpon. Then the bodie beyng laied foorthe, commeth the Phereters chiefe cutter, and he appoincteth his vndrecutter a place on the side haulfe of the paunche, wher to make incision, and how large. Then he with a sharpe stone (whiche of the country fro whence it commeth, they call Ethiopicus) openeth the left side as farre as the lawe permitteth. And streight with all spiede ronneth his way from the company standing by, which curse him and reuile him and throwe many stones aftre him. For they thincke there yet remaineth a certeine hatred due vnto him that woundeth the body of their frinde. Those that are the seasoners and embalmers of the body (whome they calle poulderers) they haue in greate honour and estimacion, for that they haue familiarite with the priestes, and entre the temples together with them. The bodye nowe commen to their handes, one emong all (the reste standing by) vnlaceth the entrailes, and draweth them out at the foresaid incision, all sauing the kidneis, and the harte. These entrailes are taken by another at his hande, and wasshed in wine of the country Phenicea, wherin are enfused many soote20 odours and drugges. Then enoincte they the whole bodye ouer, firste with Cedre and then with other oynctementes, xxx. daies and aboue. Then do thei ceare it ouer with Mirrhe and Cinamome and suche other thinges as wil not onely preserue it to continuaunce, but also make it soote smelling. The Corps thus being trimmed, is deliuered to the kindesfolke of the deade, euery parte of it kepte so whole (not an heare of his browes or eye liddes being hurte) that it raither lieth like one being in sliepe then like a dead corpse. Before the body be enterred, the kindesfolke of the deade signifie to the iudges, and the friendes of this passed, the day of the burial. Whiche (according to the maner then vsed) thei terme the deades passaige ouer the mere. The maner wherof is this.

The iudges, aboue xl. in nomber, sittinge on the farther side of the mere, on a compassed benche wheling haulfe rounds and the people standing about them: The bodie is put into a litle boate made for the nones, and drawen ouer to the iudges by a chorde. The body then standing before the iudges in the sight of the people, before it be cofred, if ther be any manne that haue aught to saye against the dead, he is permitted by the lawe. Yf any be proued to haue liued euyll, the iudges geue sentence that the bodye shall not be buried. And who so is founde vniustelye to haue accused, suffreth greate punyshemente therfore. When no manne wyll accuse, or he that accused is knowen to haue slaunderously done it, the kinsfolke endyng their mournyng: tourne them selues now to the prayse of the dead, nothing aftre the maner of the Grecians, for that the Egiptians thinke themselues all to be gentlemen alike. But beginnyng at his childehode, in the whiche thei reherse his bringing vp, nourtering and scholyng, thei passe to his mannes age, their commending his godlines, his iustice, his temperaunce, and the residewe of his vertues. And calling vpon the vndre earthe, goddes, they beseche them to place him emonge the godlye and good. To the which wordes all the whole multitude crieth Amen: showtyng oute, and magnifieng the glorye of the deade, as thoughe they shoulde be with the vnder earth goddes, among the blessed for euer. This done euery man burieth his dead, some in Sepulchres made for the purpose, and other that haue no suche preparacion, in their strongest wall at home in their house, setting vp the cofre ther tabernacle wyse. But they that for some offence, or debte of enterest, or suche like, are denied their bewriall, are sette vp at home without any cofre, vntle their successours growyng to abilite canne dischardge their debtes and offences, and honourably bewrie them.

There is a maner emong them, sometyme to borowe money vpon their parentes corpses, deliueryng the bodies to the creditours in pledge. And who so redemeth theim not, ronneth into vtter infamie, and is at his death, denied his bewriall. A manne (not altogether causeles) mighte merueile, that thei could not be contente to constitute lawes for the framyng of the maners of those that are onliue, but also put ordre for the exequies, and Hearses of the deade. But the cause why thei bent them selues so much hervnto, was for that thei thought ther was no better waie possible, to driue men to honestie of life. The Grekes, which haue set furthe so many thynges in fained tales, and fables of Poetes (farre aboue credite) concernyng the rewarde of the good, and punishment of the euill: could not with all their deuices, drawe men to vertue, and withdrawe them from vices. But rather contrariwise, haue with them that be leudely disposed: broughte all together in contempte and derision. But emong the Egiptians, the punishemente due vnto the wicked and lewed, and the praise of the godlie and good, not heard by tales of a tubbe,21 but sene daiely at the eye: putteth both partes in remembraunce what behoueth in this life, and what fame and opinion thei shall leaue of them selues, to their posteritie. And hervppon it riseth, that euery man gladly emong them, ensueth good ordre of life. And to make an ende of Thegiptians, me siemeth those Lawes are of very righte to be compted the beste, whiche regarde not so muche to make the people riche, as to aduance them to honestie and wisedome, where riches of necessitie must folowe.

11 To broke i.e. to deal, or transact business particularly of an amorous character. (See Fansh. Lusiad, ix., 44; and Daniel, Queen’s Arcadia, iii., 3.)

12 To bend.

13 From the expression to shoot at rovers, i.e., at a mark, but with an elevation, not point blank.

14 Probably from the old French, encloyer, to glut, or surfeit.

15 It may interest readers to see how much the knowledge of Africa had extended in 150 years. Cluverius, in his “Introductio in Geographiam.” 1659, says:—

Summa Africa descriptio.

Asiæ exiguo Isthmo annectitur maxima Orbis terrarum peninsula Africa, tria millia et triginta circiter mill German. ambitu complectens. Isthmi intercapedo est mill. xxv. Pleraque Africæ inculta, et aut arenis sterilibus obducta, aut ob sitim coeli terrarumque deserta sunt, aut infestantur multo ac malefico genere animalium; in universum vasta est magis quam frequens. Quædam tamen partes eximie fertiles. Græcis Libya dicitur, à Libya Epaphi filii Iovis filia: Africam autem ab Afro Libys Herculis filio dictam volunt. Maria eam cingunt, qua Sol oritur Rubrum, qua medius dies Æthiopicum, qua occidit Sol Atlanticum; ab Septemtrionibus Internum, Africum seu Libycum dictum, qua eam alluit. Longitudo summa computatur ab Herculis freto ad promontorium Bonæ Spei mill. DCC. Latitudo inter duo promontoria, Hesperium, vulgo C. Verde, et Aromata, quod est juxta fauces Arabici sinus, vulgo nunc Coarda fui, mill. DL. Terra ipsa, nisi qua interno mari accedit, obscure veteribus nota. Vltra autem Nili fontes ac montes Lunæ prorsus incognita.

Regiones atque gentes in quas divisa fuit quondam, sunt, Ægyptus, Cyrenaïca, Africa Minor, seu proprie dicta, Troglodytæ, Garamantes, Numidia, Mauritania, Gaetulia, Libya interior, Arabia Troglodytica et Æthiopia.



Prima Africæ Asiæque proxima est Ægyptus, quam veteres Geographi in Asiæ regionibus computarunt. At posteriores, Arabico sinu, vt ante dictum, inter Asiam Africamque termino constituto, Africæ eam contribuerunt.

Nomen traxit ab Ægypto Danai fratre; ante Aëria dicta. Terminatur à Septemtrione suo mari, id est, Ægyptio, ab Ortu Arabia Petræa et dicto sinu; a Meridie Æthiopia, ab Occasu Cyrenaïca. Longa est a Pelusíaco Nilí ostio ad Catabathmum opidum milliar. CL. Lata à Nili ostiis, ad opidum Metacompsum Nilo adpositum, nunc Conzo, mill. c.

Divisa fuit generatim in Superiorem, quæ in Meridiem vergit, et Inferiorem, quæ mari interno alluitur. Superiorem rursus Nilus dividebat in Libycam, qua Occidentem, et Arabicam, qua Orientem spectat. Hinc populi Arabægyptii, illinc Libyægyptii, dicti. Inferioris pars est Marcotis, sive Marmarica, vltima versus Occidentem Cyrenaïcæ contermina. Speciatim vero universa Ægyptus in complures præfecturas descripta erat, quas Græco vocabulo Nomos vocarunt.

De urbibus Ægypti.

Ægyptus super ceteram antiquitatis gloriam, viginti millia urbium sibi Amase regnante habitata quondam prætulit; postea quoque sub Romano imperio multis, etiamsi ignobilibus, frequens.

Clarissima omnium fuit Alexandria, caput Ægypti totiusque Africæ, post deletam Carthaginem prima; ab Alexandro Magno condita; postea in tantam aucta multitudinem atque frequentiam, uti uni tantum Romæ cederet. Secunda ab hac Diospolis, sive Thebae cognomine Ægyptiæ; quas centum portas habuisse ferunt; sive, at alii ajunt, centum aulas, totidem olim Principum domos; solitasque singulas, ubi negotium exegerat, ducenos armatos milites effundere. Deinde Memphis, regia quondam: juxta quam pyramides, regum sepulchra. Turres sunt fastigiatæ, ultra celsitudinem omnnem, quæ fieri manu possit; itaque mensuram umbrarum egressæ, nullas habent umbras, regum pecuniæ otiosa ac stulta ostentatio. Reliquæ urbes sunt, Syene, Sais, Bubastis, Elephantis, Tentyris, Arsinoe et Abydus, Memnonis olim regia; postea Osiris fano inclyta: et Arabiæ contermina, claritatis magnæ Heliopolis, id est, Solis urbs. In Marmarica vicus fuit Apis, nobilis religione Ægypti locus. Fuit et Labyrinthus nullo addito ligno exædificatus, domos mille et regias duodecim perpetuo parietis ambitu amplexus, marmore exstructus et tectus, unum in se descensum habens, intus pene innumerabiles vias, multis ambagibus huc et illuc remeantibus.


De incolis Ægypti ac Nilo flumine; item de Libya exteriore.

Ipsi Ægyptii, hominum vetustissimos se prædicantes, cum Scythis de gentis antiquitate olim contenderunt. Antiquissimos esse post Syros, vel ipsa sacra Scriptura attestatur. Disciplinarum complurium inventores rerumque divinarum ac siderum peritissimi dicti sunt, quare ad eos Dædalus, Melampus, Pythagoras, Homerus et alii complures eruditionis causa profecti.

Sub regibus esse jam inde ab initio rerum consueverunt, modo suis, modo Æthiopibus; dein Persis ac Macedonibus; moxque iterum suis, donec Romani, Augusto debellante, in provinciam redegerunt Ægyptum. Post hoc Saraceni eam occuparunt: quibus successit Sultanorum inclytum nomen, ex Circassis Tartarorum gente ortum. Postremi Turcæ ann. M DXVI invaserunt, qui etiam nunc tenent.


Sed de Nilo hoc loco pauca quædam retulisse haud abs re fuerit. Terra ipsa Ægyptus expers imbrium mire tamen fertilis, et hominum aliorumque perfoecunda generatrix. Nilus id efficit, amnium in internum mare permeantium maximus. Hic in Africæ desertis, montibus Lunæ ortus, haud statim Nilus est, et primum ingentem lacum Nilidem, qui nunc Zaire et Zembre dicitur, CXX. milliar. German. permeans, cum diu simplex sævusque receptis dextera magnis aquis descendit, Astapus cognominatus, quod Æthiopum lingua significat aquam è tenebris profluentem, circa Meroen, Insularum, quas innumeras lateque patentes spargit, clarissimam, lævo alveo Astabores dictus est, hoc est, ramus aquæ venientis è tenebris; dextero veto Astusapes, quod latentis significationem adjicit, nec ante, quam ubi rursum coit, Nilua dictus est. Inde partim asper, partimnavigia patiens; mox præcipiti cursu progressus, inter occursantes scopulos non fluere immenso fragore creditur, sed ruere. Postea lenis, et fractis aquis domitaque violentia, et spatio fessus, tandem ad [Greek: Delta] opidum per omnem Ægyptum vagus et dispersus, septem ingentibus ostiis in mare Ægytium se evomit. Bis in anno, certis diebus auctu magno per totam spatiatus Ægyptum, foecundus innatat terris. Causas hujus incrementi varias prodidere; sed maxime probabiles duas: Etefiarum eo tempore ex adverso flantium repercussum, ultro in ora acto mari: aut imbres Æthiopiæ æstivos, iisdem Etesiis nubila illò ferentibus ex reliquo orbe. Idem amnis unus omnium nullas expirat auras.

Libya exterior.

Cæterum à tergo Ægypti versus Meridiem, juxta sinistram Nili ripam, Libya est exterior ad Æthiopiam extensa: nunc est Elfocat desertum et Gaoga.


Cyrenaïca, Africa Minor, Libyæ deserta, Troglodytæ et Garmantes.

Ægypto annexa est Cyrenaïca regio, Ammonis oraculo maxime clara, nuunc Barchanæ provinciæ dimidia pars Orientalis, eadem Pentapolitana dicta, à quinque insignium urbium numero, quæ Berænice, Arsinoe, Ptolemais, Apollonia, et ipsa Cyrene, unde regioni nomen. Græci hanc condiderunt, ex Thera insula. Ægæi maris profecti. Ipsi Cyrenenses privata sorte inter Ægyptios ac Poenos diu egerunt; dein cum Carthaginiensibus de agrorum finibus magnum ac diuturnum bellum gesserunt. Mox Carthagine deleta, et ipsi cum reliqua Africa Romano Imperio cesserunt. Posthinc solum eorum Sultanis, tandem Turcis.

Africa Minor.

Sequitur Africa Minor sive proprie dicta. Terminatur à Septemtrione Africo pelago, ab Ortu sinu magnæ Syrtis, à Meridie montium perpetuis jugis; quibus à Libyæ desertis et Gætulis discernitur; ab Occasu Tusca amne. Continet hodie Tunetanum regnum.

Fluvii in ea clari Cinyphus, Triton, Tritonidem paludem trahens: Catada, ad Carthaginem se devolvens, et Bagradas omnium maximas ad Vticam, ac Tuscaterminus Africæ Minoris.

Populorum varia nomina. Clarissimi Nasamones, extra Africam propriam etiam Cyrenaïcæ et Marmaricæ contermini; quos antea Mesammones Græci adpellaverunt, ab argumento loci, medios inter arenas sitos, et ab his sublati Psylli, quorum corpori ingenitum fuit virus exitiale serpentibus, ut cujus odore vel fugarent vel sopirent eas: et supra Carthaginem Libyphoenices, iidem et Poeni à Phoenice Tyro profecti, Duce Eliza sive Didone, quæ Carthaginem condidit.

Vrbium celeberrimæ Lepris magna, quæ et Neapolis, Abrotonum, Taphræ, Capsa, Thysdrus, Thapsus, Leptis parva, Rhuspina, Adrumetum, Clupea, Turres, Vthina et Carthago, Romæ æmula, terrarum cupida, opulentissima quondam totius Africæ, antequam Romani tribus bellis devictam deleverunt. Vtica Catonis, qui inde Vticensis, morte nobilis.

Libya deserta, Troglodytæ et Garamantes.

Ab Africæ minoris tergo versus Austrum Libyæ deserta fuerunt; ultraque Troglodytæ, nunc Berdoa desertum. Hos tegit ab Austro Ater mons, et trans eum Garamantes populi clari, nunc Borno regnum. Caput gentis fuit Garama, quam hodieque eodem nomine exstare tradunt. Debris inclyta affuso fonte, cujus aquæ ex coelesti quidem vertigine mutant qualitatem, at controversa siderum disciplina; quidpe qui friget calore, calet frigore; à medio scilicet die ad noctem mediam aquis ferventibus, totidemque horis ad medium diem rigentíbus.

Cæterum et Troglodytas et Garmantas olim Romanorum arma superaverunt.


Numidia et Mauritania.


A Tusca amne usque ad Ampsagam fluvium litori Africo praetenditur Numidia, Masinissæ Regis nomine maxime clara, nunc Tremisenum regnum eodem porrigitur situ. Gens ipsa Numidae, ante Nomades à Græcis adpellati, à permutandis pabulis, mapalia sua plaustris circumferentes, ut nunc Tattarorum fert mos.

Fluviorum celeberrimus est Rubricatus. Vrbes quam plurimæ, nobilesque; sed Cirtha eminens; Sittianorum, postquam Romani tenuere, colonia dicta: quondam Iubæ et Syphacis domus, cum foret opulentissima. Dein sequuntur Cullu, Ruscicade, Bulla regia, Tacatua, Hippo regius, Sicca, Tabrachæ: Hanc quoque regionem debellatam in provinciæ formam redegerunt Romani.


Vltima ad Occasum est Mauritania; in qua praecipua gens Maurorum, unde nomen regioni. Hos Graeci Maurusios dixerunt. Terminantur à Meridie Atlante minori, quo submoventur à Gaetulis: qui et ipsi postea oppressis et exstinctis Maurusiis Mauritaniae majorem partem occuparunt: ab Occasu est Oceanus Atlanticus, à Septemtrione fretum Herculis et mare internum; Ab Ortu primo Mulucham habuit flumen, quod Mauros à Numidis discernebat; at quum ea Numidiae pars, quae est inter Ampsagam et Mulucham, Mauritaniae adjiceretur, finis huic constitutus est Ampsaga. Continet hodie tria regna: Darense, Fezense et Maurocitanum. Dividebatur autem olim Malva flumine in Caesariensem quae Numidiam contingit, et Tingitanam quae Oceano perfunditur. Regna fuere ad C. Caesarem usque Imperatorem, qui in duas divisit provincias.


Caesariensis provincia, quam nunc totam Dara regnum obsidet, antea Bocchi regnum adpellata fuit. Partem tamen inter Malvam et Mulucham Massaesylornm gens tenuit. Caput provinciae Iulia Caesarea, aliquando ignobilis, cum Iol esset; postea quia Iubae regia, illustris facta. Reliqua opida sunt Cartenna, Saldae, Opidum novum, Rusazus, Ruscurium, Rusconia, Tipasa, Tubusuptus et Tucca, impositum mari ac flumini Ampsagae.


Tingitana provincia, quam nunc duo regna Fez et Morocco occupant, ab urbe Tingi, quae nunc vulgo Tanger, cognomen accepit, ante Bogudiana dicta à Rege Bogud. Opida in ea, Tingi modo dictum, caput provinciae, ab Anteeo conditum; Iulia Constantia, Zilis, Volubilia et Lixus, vel fabulosissime ab antiquis narrata. Ibi quidpe regia Antaei, certamenque cum Hercule, et Hesperidum horti.


Gætuli, Atlas mons, Libya interior et Æthiopia.


A tergo Mauritaniarum Africaeque Minoris Gaetulorum gens, et ipsa quoque Romanorum armis debellata, longe lateque incoluit, quidpe quae hodie occupat quicquid terrarum à Lempta opido ad Oceanum usque, spatio mill. Germanicorum CCCL protenditur. Hoc spatio nunc est Biledulgerit provinciae major pars, ubi Targa regnum, et quatuor deserta, Lempta, Zuenziga, Zanhaga, Hair.

Atlas Mons.

Gaetulos à Meridie claudit mons Atlas, totius Africae vel fabulosissimus. E mediis hunc arenis in coelum usque attolli prodiderunt celebrati auctores, asperum, squalentem, qua vergat ad litora Oceani, cui cognomen imposuit: eundem opacum nemorosumque, et scatebris fontium riguum; qua spectat Africam, fructibus omnium generum sponte ita subnascentibus, ut nunqnam satietas voluptatibus desit. Incolarum neminem interdiu cerni: silere omnia haud alio quam solitudinum horrore. Eundemque noctibus micare crebris ignibus, Ægipanum Satyrorumque lascivia impleri, tibiarum ac fistulae cantu tympanorumque et cymbalorum sonitu strepere.

Libya interior.

Vltra Atlantem Libya est interior ad Nigrum usque flumen, vastarum solitudinum, nunc desertum Sarra dicta.

Æthiopia et Troglodytica.

Iam vero quicquid ultra Nigrum flumen est et Ægyptum, versus utrumque mare Atlanticum Rubrumque, Æthiopes tenuerunt, gens omnium Africae terrae amplissima, extra Africam à vetustissimis Geographorum posita. Ab Æthiope Vulcani filio cognominati; vel, ut alii, ab nigro vultus corporisque colore; [Greek: aithops] quidpe significat nigrum.

Divisa fuit Æthiopia in varia Æthiopum genera; quorum Ptolemaeus innumera tradit nomina. At clarissimi omnium fuere Nigritae; à Nigro flumine dicti; et Nubiorum gens magna, unde hodieque vastissima regio dicitur Nubia. Ea autem Æthiopiae pars quae Nilo utrimque adjacet, Æthiopia dicitur sub Ægypto; atque in ea ad Nili paludes seu lacus Cinnamomifera regio. At totum sinus Arabici laevum larus Arabes tenuere Troglodytae, unde regio ipsa Troglodytica.


De incolis universæ Africæ novaque ejus descriptione; ac primum de Ægypto

Qvinam mortales Ægyptum antiquitus incoluerint, ante dictum set. Reliqua Africae versus Occasum mari adjacentia tenuerunt populi commemorati. Advenae autem primi fuere Phoenicum coloni aliique ex Asia atque Ægypto profecti. Postea paruit Romanis; mox Græcis Imperatoribus totum hoc terrarum spatium. Deinde Vandalis, Saracenis, Arabibus. Nunc partem tenet Turca, partem Serifus, quem vocant; partem reges alii, partem denique Hispaniarum Rex.

At Æthiopes à suo solo neque recesserunt, neque in id alios colonos receperunt; id longinquitas effecit regionis immensaeque intercedentium desertorum vastitates.

Sed enarrata Africae antiquitate, res postulat, uti novam etiam ejus descriptionem subjiciamus.

Dividitur nunc universa in septem potissimum partes sive regiones, quarum nomina sunt haec: Ægyptus, Barbaria, Biledulgerid, Sarra desertum, Nigritæ, Æthiopia Interior, sive Superior, quod Abissinorum imperium, et Æthiopia Exterior sive Inferior.


Ægypti (quam Turca obtinet) caput nunc est Cairum, vulgo Alcair, Chaldaeis Alchabyr, urbs magnitudine stupenda, Emporium celeberrimum, Circassiorum Ægypti Sultanoram quondam regia. Prope est Materea hortus balsami fructibus consitus, quod uni terrae Iudaeae quondam concessum, hodie nisi in hoc loco, nusquam colitur.

Vltra Nilum pyramides visuntur stupendae altitudinis, ut ante memoravimus.

Secunda claritate à Cairo est Alexandria, splendida quondam atque opulentissima civitas, nunc crebris bellis destructa atque concisa, celeberrimum Christianis mercatoribus praebet emporium. Nobile exinde est cum arce opidum Raschitt, quod Europaei Rosettam vocant. Damiata, olim Pelusium, Ptolemaei Geographi incunabulis insigne est.



Ægypto continuatur nobilissima totius Africae regio Barbaria; in sex partes divisa, quarum una est provincia Barcana, quinque reliquae sunt regna, Tunetanum, Tremisenum, Fessanum, Maurocanum et Darense.

Barcana regio.

Inter Ægyptum et Tunetanum regnum litori praetenditor Barcana regio, à Barce antiqua urbe cognominata, soli asperitate pariter ac siccitate sterilis.

Regnum Tunetanum.

Tunetanum regnum veterem Africam minorem ferme totam occupat. Caput est Tunetum, sive Tunisa, vulgo Tunisi; insignis, vetus ac satis ampla urbs, quae ex Carthaginis ruinis crevit; emporium Venetis et Genuensibus aliisque mercatoribus celebre. Secunda est Tripolis nova, quae Tripolis Barbariae dicitur, ad differentiam Tripolis Syriae: emporium est Europæis mercatoribus celeberrimum. Bona etiam, quae olim Hippo, D. Augustina Episcopatu nota, nunc emporium haud postremum. Intus vero est Constantina Romanarum antiquitatum reliquiis conspicua.

Regnum Tremisenum.

Caput regni est Tremisen, amplissima quondam, bellis gravissimis postea tenuata. In litore est Algier, emporium satis nobile, at piratica infame, Christianis mancipiis refertissimum; urbs ipsa moenibus, arcibus ac tormentis bellicis adeo munita, ut inexpugnabilis credatur.

Regnum Fessanum.

Ad ipsum fretum Herculis Hispaniae objacet Fessanum regnum, cujus caput Fez, urbs totius Barbariae princeps, ingens, opulenta, frequens, splendida ac magnificis superbisque aedificiis miranda.

Tanger, Sebta, Arxilla, amplae ad fretum urbes, Hispanicae sunt ditionis.

Regnum Maurocanum.

Caput est Maurocum, vulgo Maroc, amplissima ac celeberrima olim, inter maximas universi orbis memorata: at postea ab Arabibus divexata, nunc maligne colitur. Secunda est Taradante.

Darense Regnum.

Intus Maurocano, Fessano ac Tremiseno regnis confine est regnum Darense amplissimum, olim Caesariensis Mauritania dictum. Caput est Dara, unde regioni nomen, tenuibus, ut totum regnum, atque egenis incolis habitata. Melilla ad mare internum conspicua urbs Hispano paret.


Biledulgerit, Sarra desertum, Nigritæ, Abissini.

A Tergo dictarum regionum est Biledulgerit regio, longissimo tractu ab Ægypti confinibus ad Oceanum Atlanticum porrecta. Nomen ei à dactyloram proventu inditum. Deserta in ea sunt, Lempta, Hair, Zuenziga, Zanhaga à singulis opidis cognominibus, adpellata. Regna Targa, Bardoa et Gaoga, itidem ab opidis dicta.

Sarra desertum.

Continuatur huic regioni versus Meridiem Sarra, cujus longitudo à regno Gaoga ad regnum Gualata extenditur.


Inde Nigritarum ampla est regio, ad utramque Nigri amnis ripam: longitudo ejus porrigitur à Nilo et Meroe insula, usque ad Nigri ostia et Oceanum. Regna in ea sunt haec, ab urbibus denominata: Gualata, Hoden, Genocha, Senega, Tombuti, Melli, Bitonin, Gurnea, Temian, Dauma, Cano, Cassena, Benin, Zanfara, Guangara, Borno, Nubia, Biafra, Medra.

Æthiopia Interior quæ est Abissinorum.

Interiori Æthiopiae imperat Abissinorum Rex, qui Presbyter sive Pretiosus Ioannes, vulgo Prete Gianni, vocatur; magno, recepto tamen errore; cum is quondam in Asiae, ut relatum est, regno Tenduc regnaverit. Abasenos populos recenset Stephanus in Arabia; unde verisimile est, eos in Africam trajecto sinu Arabico commigrasse. Aut sane in ipsa Africa fuerunt ad sinistrum Arabici sinus latus, ubi Arabiam Troglodyticam supra memoravimus. Haec quidpe nunc sub Abissinorum imperio est. Alii tamen ab Arabico vocabulo Elhabaschi (sic enim Mauri Principem Abissinorum adpellant) vulgo factum opinantur Abassi, ac deinde Abasseni; quod denique commutatione vocalium in Abissinorum nomen evasit.

Clauditur regnum ab Ortu Arabico sinu et regionibus Ajana ac Zangebara; à Meridie Monomotapa; ab Occasu Congo et Medar regnis; à Septemtrione Nubia et Ægypto. Longum est ab Ægypto ad Monomotapa usque mill. DLXXX. Latum inter fauces Arabici sinus et Nigrum fluvium mill. CCCCL.

Dividitur in compluria regna sive provincias: quarum nomina sunt, Dasila, Barnagasso, Dangali, Dobas, Trigemahon, Ambiancantiva, Vangue, Bagamidri, Beleguanze, Angote, Balli, Fatigar, Olabi, Baru, Gemen, Fungi, Tirut, Esabela, Malemba. Vrbes in universo imperio paucae sunt: vicis plurimum habitatur, domibus ex creta et stramine constructis. Rex ipse (qui albo esse colore fertur) sub tentoriis degit, quorum sex millia eum sequuntur. Amara arx est munitissima, in monte Amara condita; in qua regis filii sub validissimo præsidio educantur, donec patre defuncto heres producatur.


Æthiopia Exterior sive Inferior; item Insulæ Africæ adjacentes.

Reliquum Africæ Æthiopia perhibetur exterior sive inferior; ab Oriente, Meridie et Occidente Oceano perfusa; à Septemtrione quasi duobus brachiis Abissinorum imperium hinc inde complectitur.

Regiones, in quas dividitur, sunt Congi, Monomotapa, Zangibar, et Ajan. Pleraque maritimorum à Portugalensibus tenentur firmissimis munimentis ac praesidiis.

Congi Regnum.

Congi regnum (quod alliis Manicongo) Oceano Æthiopico perfusum, nomen habet à capite suo urbe Congi. Incolae sunt Christiani. Terra ipsa fluminum aquis maxime rigua. Dividitur in provincias sex; quas illi Mani, id est, Praefecturas, vocant. Sunt autem Bamba, Songo, Sundi, Pango, Batta et Pemba. Regia est, civitas S. Salvatoris, quae ante Banza.

Monomotapa Regnum.

Monomotapa vocabulum significat Imperatorem; unde ipsi terrae, cui hic imperat, nomen inditum. Solum est fertile atque amoenum; amnes aurum, silvae elephantos magna copia producunt:

Clauditur regnum ab Ortu, Meridie et Occasu Oceano; à Septemtrione regno Congi, Abissinorum imperio et regione Zangibar. Longitudo ejus est inter duo maria Rubrum Æthiopicumque juxta Lunae montes milliar. German, CCCC. Latitudo inter Nili fontes et promontorium Bonæ Spei mill. CCC.

Caput regni ac sedes regum est Monomotapa, ad flumen S. Spiritus. Hinc versus Septemtrionem mill. circiter L. distat nobile aedificium, amplum atque antiquum, quadra forma ex ingentibus saxis constructum.

Zangibar et Ajan.

Monomotapae, qua Rubro mari perfunditur, continuatur Zangibar regio; cujus partes, Cafares populi, Monomotapae proximi, et regna Mozambike, Kiloa, Mombaza ac Melinde, ab urbibus singulis denominata; quarum Mozambike in insula condita, celeberrimum est Europaeis mercatoribus emporium. Sequitur versus Septemtrionem juxta litus maris Rubri Ajan regio, cujus partes duo regna Del et Adea Magaduzzo.

Insulæ ad Africam.

Insularum ad Africam terram maxima est in Rubro mari Menuthias Cerne Plinio dicta; nunc vulgo insula Divi Laurentii, et incolis Madagascar id est, Lunae insula, felici aromatum proventu dives, longitudine mill. German, CCL, lat. LXXX occupans.

At in Atlantico Oceano contra Hesperium promontorium, quod nunc est Cabo Verde, Hesperides sunt insulae duae; ultraque Gorgades, Gorgonum quondam domus: nunc in universam Islas de C. Verde Hispanis dicuntur, hoc est insulae promontorii Viridis. Contra Mauritanium sunt Fortunatae, VII numero, quarum una Canaria vocitata, à multitudine canum ingentis magnitudinis, ut auctor est Plinius. Vnde universae Fortunatae, nunc Canariae dicuntur, Hispaniarum Regi subjectae. Vltra versus Septemtrionem est Cerne, nunc Madera dicta.

Atque haec est totius Africae brevis descriptio.]

16 Equal to six shillings and eight pence.

17 I have never met with this form of the word.

18 A snipe, from the Saxon snyta. “Greene-plover, snyte, / Partridge, larke, cocke, and phessant.” Heyw. Engl. Trav., Act i., Scene ii.

19 Query, ferretrers, carriers.

20 Sweet. “They dauncen deftly, and singen soote, / In their merriment.” Spenser’s Hobbinol’s Dittie, Sheph. Kal., Apr. iii.

21 Swift took the title of his well-known book from this old expression. It appears in Bale’s “Comedye Concerning Three Laws,” compiled in 1538: “Ye say they follow your law, / And vary not a shaw, / Which is a tale of a tub.”

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:27