This sheet is dense with legends, reflecting a strong interest in Asia. Along the top edge of the sheet some monstrous races are enclosed by mountains; Waldseemüller retained the mountainous enclosures that on his 1507 map contain the iudei clausi, or Enclosed Jews, which on other maps with the same configuration of mountains are referred to as Gog and Magog,Footnote 24 and here he places entirely different races inside. There is a system of borderlines indicated on this sheet that does not immediately appear to the eye: it runs from the bit of the OCEANVS SEPTEN[TRIONALIS] that appears in the upper left-hand part of the sheet, down along the mountain range that Johann Schöner has labeled the Hyperborean and Riphaean mountains, perhaps by analogy with a range on the 1507 map, to the Mare Maior or Black Sea. From the eastern shore of the Black Sea it runs first to the south, and then weaves its way east across the sheet. The line is not labeled on this sheet, but on sheet 4 the line is explicitly said to separate India from Tartaria to the north, and on sheet 3 it also marks the limits of the Tartars’ empire: most of the sovereigns to the east and north of the line are said to be under the control of the Great Khan. The nature of the northern part of the border is indicated by the series of crosses just to the west of it: here it separates Christians from heathens. But the area between the Black and Caspian Seas which is north of the borderline, and thus under Tartar control, is dense with crosses, the density no doubt an indication of concern about the Christians under Tartar control.
apud istum Laram [i.e. Lacum] reperiuntur Ursi albi
By this lake are found white bears.
I have not found the source of Waldseemüller’s Lacus Albus or of the polar bears on its shores.Footnote 25 The Lacus Albus refers to Beloe ozero or White Lake: this identification is confirmed by the presence of the city Kargopolis or Kargopol north of the lake, and of Beloser or Beloozero on the east shore of the lake (the modern city is on the southern shore). Thus this legend is one of a few relating to this region (see also Legends 2.5, 3.2, and 3.3) that quite probably come from a single unknown source. There is a brief legend about polar bears on Waldseemüller’s 1507 map further to the northeast, on the shore of the northern ocean, but it is not clear that there is any connection between the two legends.
Hic dominator Magnus princeps et Imperator Russie et Moscovie podolie ac plescovie rex
Here the ruler is the great prince and Emperor of Russia and Moscow, the king of Polodia and Plescovia.
This legend is right above an image of the Emperor, who is above an image of Moscow, which is where we are to understand that he resides. The use of the title “Emperor” is politically significant, as the use of this title by Princes of Moscow was controverted at this period.
The image of the Emperor, and also of the city of Moscow below (which is located on the mosca fl.) emphasize the Christianity of both: the Emperor wears a crown that looks rather like a bishop’s miter, and is topped by a crossFootnote 26; near his outstretched hand there is a staff topped by a cross, and the building that represents Moscow is topped by a cross.
The Moskva River is a tributary of the Oka which is a tributary of the Volga, and Waldseemüller shows the Moskva as a tributary of the Volga, so his representation is reasonably accurate. The coat of arms to the left of the Emperor, which has a lion rampant and a dragon rampant, combatant (see Fig. 2.1), is problematic. First, it is not clear whether it is intended to be the coat of arms of Novgorod, the Emperor, or Moscow; and second, although the sixteenth-century coat of arms of Moscow does involve a dragon or basilisk, it depicts a man on horseback slaying the creature below—nothing like a rampant dragon, and the lion was not a part of the heraldic imagery of Novgorod, Moscow, or Russia at that time. Plescovia refers to the principality of Pskov (Pleskau), which fell to Vassily III and the Muscovite army in 1510, so Waldseemüller’s source here is very recent, but I have not been able to determine what it is. Podolia is mentioned in Hartmann Schedel’s Liber chronicarum of 1493 as the part of Poland closest to Russia,Footnote 27 but not as part of the Russian dominions—and indeed it was not part of Russia until 1793, so there is an error here by either Waldseemüller or the source he was using.Footnote 28 Podolia and Plescovia (Pleskovia) are mentioned in Maciej z Miechowa’s Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis, but this book was first published in Krakow in 1517, a year after the Carta marina,Footnote 29 so it does not seem that Waldseemüller could have used it as a source.
At the western (left) edge of Sheet 3 of the Carta marina there is an image of the city Nouoguardia (Novgorod) on a lake (Ilmen?) through which flows the Volga fl., with the legend:
Ruteni sunt Cristiani cismatici Grecorum ritum seruantes habent specialem literam.
The Rutheni [i.e. Russians] are schismatic Christians who follow the Greek Rite, and they have their own alphabet.
Waldseemüller knew something about Novgorod when he made his map of Europe in 1511, for although the city does not appear on that map, it is mentioned in the pamphlet that was written by Ringmann to accompany it, his Instructio manuductionem prestans in cartam itinerariam Martini Hilacomili (Strasbourg: Grüninger, 1511), f. 12r: Russia ciuitatem permaximam Nogardiam appellatam: ad quam mercatores Theutonici magno labore perueniunt. huius regionis populi appellantur Rutheni: quos Strabo Crossones videtur nominare, “The largest city of Russia is called Novgorod, to which German merchants come with great difficulty. The people of this region are called Rutheni, whom Strabo seems to call Crossones.”Footnote 30 John of Plano Carpini does mention that the Rutheni have their own alphabet,Footnote 31 but does not explicitly mention that the Rutheni follow the Greek Rite. One might infer from Plano Carpini’s text that the Rutheni follow the Greek Rite, but the fact that he does not state this explicitly makes it seem likely that Waldseemüller was using another source.
On the Carta marina there are two Novgorods, one at 63° N on a lake through which the Volga flows (the one just mentioned), and the other at 54° N on the Dnieper.Footnote 32 The northern of these two cities is Velikii Novgorod (58°33′ N, 31°17′ E), and the more southern city is Novgorod-Siversky (51°59′ N, 33°16′ E): the name of the city should be understood as being divided by the name of the Dnieper (neper fl.), and thus reads nouoguardia seuerski.Footnote 33 Waldseemüller shows the city on an unnamed tributary of the Dnieper, and Novgorod-Siversky is on the Desna, which is a tributary of the Dnieper, but Waldseemüller’s tributary flows into the Dnieper from the northwest, while the Desna flows in from the northeast.Footnote 34 A good understanding of how Waldseemüller arrived at his perception of the region’s geography is elusive.
The sources whose phrasing is closest to that in Waldseemüller’s legend is in Maciej z Miechowa’s Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis, Book 2, Tractate 1, Chap. 1: Ruteni habitu et ecclesiasticis officiis Graecos insequuntur habentque proprias litteras et abecedarium instar et proximum Graecis, “The Rutheni follow the Greeks in both their clothing and their ecclesiastical offices, and they have their own language and an alphabet similar to that of the Greeks.” The Tractatus was published a year after the Carta marina, so it is not clear what to make of this similarity: perhaps Waldseemüller and Miechowa made use of the same source.
It should be mentioned that while it seems that Waldseemüller’s source contained some of the same information as Miechowa’s Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis, it does not seem that Waldseemüller had access to a manuscript of Miechowa’s work or anything of that nature, as Miechowa locates Novgorod at 66° N (Habet elevationem poli Nowygrod sexaginta sex graduum),Footnote 35 whereas Waldseemüller has it somewhat further to the south.
Hyperborei and Riphes montes non sunt in rerum natura
The Hyperborean and Riphaean mountains do not exist.
This is a manuscript addition to the Carta marina, no doubt made by Johann Schöner, but it is of sufficient interest to list among the legends on the map. This denial of the mountains’ existence, written right along a chain that it is reasonable to identify with the Riphaean mountains based on Waldseemüller’s 1507 map and the Tabula moderna Sarmatie in the 1513 Ptolemy, comes almost verbatim from Maciej Miechowita’s Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis, Book 1, Tractate 2, Chap. 5: Accipe quarto, quod montes Riphei et Hyperborei non sunt in rerum natura, “And take this fourth [conclusion], that the Riphaean and Hyperborean mountains do not exist.”Footnote 36 This is a very interesting and previously unknown datapoint in the reception of Maciej Miechowita’s work,Footnote 37 and also indicates that Schöner had access to Miechowita’s book, though in his Opusculum geographicum (Nürnberg: [Joannes Petreius], 1533), Chap. 5, he still refers to the Riphei montes. This may indicate that Schöner only saw Miechowita’s work—and learned that the Riphaean Mountains did not exist—later in his life, and made this annotation to the Carta marina sometime between 1533 and his death in 1547.
in istis promontoriis reperiuntur falcones albi
In these promontories white falcons are found.
This legend is at the northern tip of what is apparently the Riphaean mountain range, where it reaches the northern ocean. A number of nautical charts have legends about falcons that are found in the north, but legends about white falcons are less common. There is a legend to this effect on the Borgia metal mappamundi from the first half of the fifteenth century: in the north the text reads Hic sunt ursi et falcones albi et consimilia, “Here there are white falcons and bears and similar creatures,”Footnote 38 and there is a related legend on the lost mid fifteenth-century nautical chart mentioned earlier: the legend speaks of “aues albi” in Norway.Footnote 39 Albertus Magnus speaks of white falcons coming from the far north,Footnote 40 and Pero López de Ayala in his late fourteenth-century manual of falconry says that white falcons usually come from Norway.Footnote 41 But given Waldseemüller’s reference to promontories, the likely source would seem to be an interpolated version of Claudius Clavus’s description of the north, which is preserved in Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. Vindob. lat. 5277, ff. 271r-276r, which contains the statement Liste promontorium, ubi capiuntur falcones albi, “The Liste promontory [unidentified], where white falcons are captured.”Footnote 42 This text was circulating in Germany and was used by Johann Schöner in his Luculentissima quaedam terrae totius descriptio (Nürnberg: Johannes Stuchs, 1515), and Franciscus Irenicus (Franz Friedlieb) in his Germaniae exegeseos volumina duodecim (Hagenoae: typis Thomae Anshelmi… sumptibus Ioannis Kobergii, 1518), and in fact Irenicus repeats the passage about the white falcons on Liste promontorium.Footnote 43
DE TOTO ISTO LATERE SEPTENTRIO[NA]LI PORTANTVR PELLES PRECIOSI AD PARTES OCCIDENTALES
From this whole northern coast valuable furs are exported to the West.
See above on Legend 2.4: this material derives from Waldseemüller’s 1507 map, and Waldseemüller took it from a large world map by Henricus Martellus, but I have not been able to find Martellus’s source.
Qui hanc habitant regionem Bileri vocantur et sunt sub mandato Tartarorum
Those who inhabit this region are called Bileri [Bulgari] and are under the control of the Tartars.
This legend derives from John of Plano Carpini, who says that the Bileri were conquered by the Tartars.Footnote 44 Beazley explains the identity of the Bileri: “The Byleri or Bulgaria Magna are the Old or Black Bulgarians of Bolghar and the Volga below Kazan, at its junction with the Kama; they are called Bilar[s] in several Moslem geographers and historians, e.g. Abulfeda and Rashid-ed-din.”Footnote 45 The place name Bulgaria Magna appears just to the south of this legend, and further to the southwest that place name is repeated with the following legend about this region.
BVLGARIA MAGNA A nepro flu[mine] usque huc ambulat et dominatur princeps tartarorum de Crema campestrie et Gazarie dominus estque imperator super armatorum 600000 pro custodia contra cristianos.
Great Bulgaria. From the Dneper to this point the prince of the Crema Tartars of the fields and the lord of Gazaria lives as a nomad and rules; he is the commander of 600,000 armed men who defend against the Christians.
The Cremani are the inhabitants of the Crimean Khanate. Much of this legend,Footnote 46 which is about the Mongol chief Corenza, comes from John of Plano Carpini, who explains in a bit more detail than Waldseemüller does that this king is charged with keeping watch on the Christians to the west, to prevent them from making an unexpected attack on the Tartars.Footnote 47 Plano Carpini, via Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale, Book 32, Chap. 20, at least in the Strasbourg, 1473 edition of the text, lists the number of soldiers under this king as 60,000 rather than 600,000. But Waldseemüller was apparently convinced that 600,000 was the correct number, as he repeated it in the list of corrections in Legend 9.2. Also, Waldseemüller adds new information from an unknown source to what he found in Plano Carpini, for he extends Corenza’s realm south to Gazaria, and gives him titles similar to those of the emperor of Moscow.Footnote 48
Hic ambulat et dominatur Bathot Magni imperatoris Cham princeps maximus de Casana et imperator super sexingenta [sic] .m. armatorum virorum tam christianorum quam Saracenorum qui cum exercitu suo tempore Estiuali super ripam fluminis ad montes ascendit, tempero uero hyemali ad mare descendit.
Here Batu lives as a nomad and rules, the greatest prince of Casana [and descendant] of the great emperor Chan, and commander of sixty thousand soldiers, both Christians and Saracens, who with his army ascends over the riverbank to the mountains in the summer, but in the winter descends to the sea.
Batu or Baatu, better known today as Batu Khan of the Golden Horde, was son of Jochi, and thus a grandson of Genghis Khan. He conquered Russia and was Khan of that territory from 1227 until his death in 1255, and led the main contingent of the Mongol attack on Eastern Europe in 1241.Footnote 49 Most of Waldseemüller’s legend comes from John of Plano Carpini,Footnote 50 but Waldseemüller goes somewhat further than Plano Carpini in indicating that Batu is ruler of Kazan, and again, I do not know the source of this additional information. Just above the legend is a large but generic image of Batu seated in his tent.
GEORGIA REGNUM in eo sunt .18. episcopatus et sunt cristiani cismatici
The Kingdom of Georgia. In it there are eighteen bishoprics and they are schismatic Christians.
I do not see that Plano Carpini says that the people of Georgia are schismatics: Benedict the Pole, who traveled to the Mongol Empire 1245–1247, mentions that they follow the Greek rite,Footnote 51 but there is no other evidence that Waldseemüller made use of Benedict’s work, and it may have simply been common knowledge that the Georgians were not adherents of the same branch of Christianity as the countries of Western Europe. The information about the eighteen bishoprics comes from Simon of Saint-Quentin.Footnote 52 As indicated above in the introduction, Waldseemüller in his long text block in the lower left corner of the map (see Legend 9.3) cites the traveler, Friar Ascelinus, rather than the author, Simon of Saint-Quentin. Georgia is on the Tartar side of the borderline on sheet 3 of the Carta marina, but is marked with several crosses, indicating a Christian population that is in danger.
Omnes sunt tonsi sicut clerici sunt boni bellatores
They all have their hair cut like monks and they are good fighters.
This legend comes from Plano Carpini’s general description of the Tartars.Footnote 53 Noah’s Ark is depicted just to the right of this legend.
Arach mons super quam requieuit Archa noe
Mount Ararat, upon which Noah’s Ark rested.
This legend was discussed in the introduction (see p. 38), where I suggest that Waldseemüller drew the text from a large, elaborately decorated nautical chart that probably contained an illustration of the Ark as well, but that he gave the Ark a more boat-like shape than is typical of the illustrations of the Ark on nautical charts.
ARMENIA MINOR Hic sunt christiani cisma[tici] sub dominio Tarcorum [corrected to Tartarorum]
Lesser Armenia. Here there are schismatic Christians under the dominion of the Tartars.
Lesser Armenia was the part of Armenia that was west of the Euphrates, and that is how Waldseemüller depicts it, though one has to follow the river quite a ways to the south and then east to see its name. Marco Polo has a chapter on Lesser Armenia that was perhaps Waldseemüller’s source here,Footnote 54 though his legend is so general that it is difficult to be certain. The Euphrates runs north and south here right where the borderline of the Tartar empire might be, which makes it difficult to notice that there is a break in the borderline so that Armenia Minor is included in the region under the control of Tartaria, as the legend indicates.
ARMENIA MAIOR Sunt christiani iacobite et nestoriani cismatici sub dominio Tartarorum
Greater Armenia. They are Jacobite Christians and schismatic Nestorians under the dominion of the Tartars.
Marco Polo has a chapter on Greater Armenia,Footnote 55 and he specifies that the people are under the dominion of the Tartars, and does mention Nestorians and Jacobites in the kingdom of Mosul two chapters later, but given that Mosul (Mosalia) is indicated some distance to the east of this legend, it seems likely that Waldseemüller was using a different source. That source was the account of Priest Joseph, whom Waldseemüller cites in the long text block in the lower left corner of the Carta marina (see Legend 9.3); Priest Joseph’s account was published in the Paesi novamente retrovati, and the material cited here is from Chap. 133.Footnote 56 Waldseemüller mentions Jacobite Christians frequently in the texts on the Carta marina, so a few words about the history of this sect will not be out of place. The Jacobite Church of Syria, Iraq, and India was founded in Syria by Jacob Baradaeus in the sixth century with assistance from Empress Theodora. It is a Monophysite church and recognizes the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as its spiritual leader.Footnote 57 Waldseemüller probably read about the sect in Bernhard von Breydenbach’s Peregrinatio in terram sanctam (Mainz: Peter Schöffer the Elder, 1486), ff. [80v]–[81r], in a section titled “De Jacobitis et eorum erroribus.”Footnote 58
Hic residet patriarcha omnium christianorum orientalium cismaticorum qui dicitur Catholica
Here lives the patriarch of all the eastern schismatic Christians who is called Catholica.
Marco Polo in his chapter on Mosul mentions this patriarch, but calls him “Iaholith” rather than “Catholica,”Footnote 59 so it seems that Waldseemüller’s source here was not Marco Polo but rather Priest Joseph, whose account was published in the Paesi novamente retrovati, and who does use the name “Catholica.”Footnote 60 Just to the right of the legend there is a labeled image of the Catholica, and he is dressed as a European bishop might be.
in Taurisio ciui[tate] que est opulentis sunt maxi[me] mercaciones de quibus recipit imperator plus quam rex francie de toco [sic] suo regno
In the city of Tabriz, which is wealthy, there are great markets from which the emperor receives more than the King of France receives from his whole realm.
Tabriz was once a major Silk Road market city. This legend comes from Odoric of PordenoneFootnote 61; the image of the city to the right of the legend is a variant of a design that Waldseemüller uses quite often for important cities.
Hic dominatur Soldanus Halapie sub tributo tartarorum
Here rules the Sultan of Aleppo, who pays tribute to the Tartars.
This legend comes from Plano Carpini.Footnote 62 This legend tends to confirm that Waldseemüller was using the 1473 printed edition of Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum historiale as his source for material from Plano Carpini, rather than a manuscript of Plano Carpini’s work, as most manuscripts of Plano Carpini mention the Sultan of Damascus in this passage,Footnote 63 but the printed edition of Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum historiale (32.16) mentions the Sultan of Aleppo, as Waldseemüller does. There are no crosses in this area on the Carta marina, since the people are under the control of a Sultan.
ARABIA DESERTA Hic est mare terrestre arenosum seu sabuli quod est mare mirabile et periculosum in eo reperitur mumia. habitanti sunt[?] [i]n montibus predones maximi quorum. x. milia vel. xx. m [a]liquando sunt in societate qui Charvanam mercatorum inuadunt degunt sicut Tartari.
Desert Arabia. Here there is a terrestrial sea, which is of sand or gravel, and it is a marvelous and dangerous sea. Mummy is found in it. The inhabitants live in the mountains and are egregious thieves, of whom ten or twenty thousand sometimes unite and attack the caravans of merchants. They live like the Tartars.Footnote 64
This is a very interesting composite legend: what Waldseemüller has done is to locate the sea of sand in accordance with Odoric, but as Odoric does not describe the sea in any detail, the cartographer took elements from the descriptions of other seas of sand from Marco Polo and Varthema. Odoric mentions the sea of sand in his chapter is about “De civitate magorum,” “The city of the Three Wise Men,” i.e. Cassan,Footnote 65 and Waldseemüller has Crassan, which he identifies as the city from which the Wise Men came, just to the northeast here. Odoric also mentions the land of Job that Waldseemüller has to the east, and the mountains with manna that Waldseemüller has just to the east. The material about the thieves comes from Marco Polo,Footnote 66 although Polo is describing a sea of sand near Kathmandu, which of course is nowhere near Arabia. The detail about the mummy being found in the sand comes from Varthema,Footnote 67 who is describing a sea of sand between Mecca and Medina, not far to the south of the area described by the legend on the Carta marina. Thus it is curious that Waldseemüller did not simply adopt Varthema’s description, but it is true that Marco Polo’s is more colorful—so our cartographer did have some taste for the dramatic.
The mummy mentioned in the legend means bodies of people who died crossing the desert and were then desiccated by the sun, which was used medicinally in Europe into the seventeenth century.Footnote 68
The words Charvanam and inuadunt near the end of the legend are corrected by hand in accordance with the list of corrections in Legend 9.2
[H]VNGARIA [M]AGNA Qui hanc habitant vocantur Bastarci et sunt sub imperio Tartarorum carent blada BASTARCI
Great Hungary. Those who inhabit this region are called Bastarci and they are under the power of the Tartars. They have no wheat. Bastarci.
Great Hungary, the ancestral home of the Hungarians, was mentioned by Plano Carpini, who says that it lay north of Bulgaria magna. The Bascarts, the ancestors of the modern Bashkirs, are mentioned by Plano Carpini in conjunction with the races described in the following legends,Footnote 69 but Plano Carpini says nothing about their being under the control of the Tartars and lacking wheat. Given Waldseemüller’s use of Plano Carpini for nearby legends, it seems most likely that the cartographer added these details from those other legends as pertaining to the region as a whole.
PAROSITAR[UM] GENUS. hic habitant homines habentes parvos stomachos et os parvum non manducantes sed carnes coquunt et super ollam se ponunt et fumo reficiuntur.
The Parossites. Here live men who have small stomachs and tiny mouths, and they do not eat; they cook meat and lean over the pot and refresh themselves with the steam.
I have discussed the three monstrous races along the top edge of this sheet (see Fig. 2.2) on a previous occasion,Footnote 70 when I showed that the races come from John of Plano Carpini, no doubt by way of the excerpts of Plano Carpini in Vincent of Beauvais’s Speculum historiale.Footnote 71 I do not know the source for the illustration of this race.
SAMOEDORUM REGIO. Habitatores vivunt ex venacionibus vestes et tabernatula sunt ex pellibus bestiarum, habent enim mirabilem modum tractandi cum mercatoribus, servunt tartaris, carent blada.
The Region of the Samoyeds. The inhabitants live from hunting, and their clothes and tents are made of animal skins; they have a remarkable way of dealing with traders; they serve the Tartars, and have no wheat.
The term Samoyed was applied to some of the indigenous peoples of Siberia. This information about this people, like that described in Legend 3.20, comes from Plano Carpini.Footnote 72 There are illustrations similar to Waldseemüller’s here in two fifteenth-century manuscripts of Le livre des merveilles du monde,Footnote 73 namely New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M. 461, f. 41v,Footnote 74 and Paris, BnF, MS fr. 1378, f. 11v.Footnote 75 In the past I thought it unlikely that an image from a manuscript of this work might have influenced Waldseemüller, but the Morgan manuscript was commissioned by either René d’Anjou, Duke of Lorraine, or someone close to him,Footnote 76 and René’s grandson René II gave at least some support to the publishing projects of Waldseemüller and his colleagues,Footnote 77 so it seems quite possible that Waldseemüller had access to the manuscript and drew inspiration from the illustration on f. 41v.
Hic prope oceanum reperiuntur homines sive monstra habentes pedes bovinos caput humanum faciem caninam duo verba loquuntur tercium latrant.
Here near the ocean are found men or monsters who have the feet of cattle, a human head, but the face of dogs, and who speak two words, but bark the third.
This race, like those described in the preceding two legends, comes from Plano Carpini.Footnote 78 I do not know of any source for this image—I do not know of an illustrated manuscript of Plano Carpini or Vincent of Beauvais that contains such an illustration—so it may well have originated in Waldseemüller’s workshop.
KANGITARUM REGIO her [sic] caret aquis proptera a paucis inhabitatur hominibus et periculosum est per eam agere iter
The Land of the Kangits. This [area] lacks water, and for that reason is thinly inhabited, and it is dangerous to cross the region.
The Kangits are the Kangli Turks. The legend comes from Plano CarpiniFootnote 79; it is copied by Schöner on his manuscript globe of 1520 in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.
Tartari semper morantur in campis: vbi inuenitur meliora pascua domus coopertas filero tanquam tentoria. habent etiam carucas vbi portant suppellectilem et familiam debilem. non villas nec multas ciuitates sed stationes habent. Uiri non intromittunt se nisi de guerra, vxores faciunt omnia alia facta domus intra et extra. commedunt de omni genere carnium preter hominum bibuntque lac iumentorum hec terra est sterelis sed solis pecoribus alendis apta.
The Tartars always remain in the fields, where there is better pasture. Their houses are covered with felt like tents. For they have carts in which they carry their furnishings and family members who are weak. They have no villages nor many cities, but rather stopping places. The men do not busy themselves, except about war, and the women do all of the other chores both inside the home and out. They eat all types of meat except human flesh, and they drink the milk of beasts of burden. The land is sterile, and only good for pasturing cattle.
The legend is assembled from passages in Plano Carpini.Footnote 80 In the plain surrounding this legend three groups of tents are depicted, and one is labeled statio tartarorum, and another simply statio, to indicate the Tartars’ nomadic lifestyle.Footnote 81 The brief description of Tartaria in Fries’s Uslegung der mercarthen oder Charta marina, Chap. 110,Footnote 82 is quite similar to Waldseemüller’s legend here. In addition, an expanded version of the text accompanies the Tabula Superioris Indiae et Tartariae Maioris in the 1522 and 1525 editions of Ptolemy’s Geography that were published by Fries.
MARE ABACVC SIVE MARE DE SALA Lacus iste aque dulcis et tocius orbis maximus est et ob sui magnitudinem mare appellatur. habet portus et patitur tempestates et reliqua maris accidentia et varijs in locis varia nomina sortitur
The Abacuc Sea or Sala Sea [the Caspian]. This lake is of fresh water and is the largest in the world, and because of its size is called a sea. It has ports and it suffers storms and the other accidents that befall seas. The sea is called by different names in different places.
The names that Waldseemüller uses for the Caspian sea are different than those he used on his 1507 map (Mare hircanum sive Caspium) or the modern world map in the 1513 Ptolemy (mare hircanum). Paul Pelliot, in discussing the names that Waldseemüller uses on the Carta marina, suggests that Abacuc is a copyist’s error for the name Bachuc, which is used for the Caspian by Odoric,Footnote 83 while the “Sea of Sarai” is a name used by Marco Polo.Footnote 84 However, this name for the sea is not used in the manuscript of Polo most similar to that Waldseemüller used in making his 1507 map,Footnote 85 which was probably still available when he made the Carta marina, and there can be little doubt that Waldseemüller took the two names for the sea on the latter map from a nautical chart. On the Catalan Atlas of 1375 the sea is labeled “Aquesta mar és appellada mar del Sarra e de Bacú,” “This sea is called the Sea of Sarra and of Bacu,”Footnote 86 and on the Catalan-Estense mappamundi of c. 1460 it is labeled MAR DE SALA E DE BACU.Footnote 87 There are other large nautical charts that include the Caspian and indicate its names, such as the Pizzigani chart of 1367 and Mecia de Viladestes’s chart of 1413, but the spellings on the Catalan Atlas and the Catalan-Estense mappamundi are the most similar to what we find on Waldseemüller’s Carta marina. This confirms the evidence discussed in the introduction that Waldseemüller had a large, old, and elaborately decorated nautical chart in his workshop, in addition to the Caverio chart—which latter chart, we should mention, omits the Caspian Sea altogether. This is another example of Caverio’s disregard for geographical features in the hinterlands that emphasizes Waldseemüller’s detailed depictions of the hinterlands by contrast.
The rest of Waldseemüller’s legend about the Caspian, about its size and similarity to a sea, comes from Pierre d’Ailly, who writesFootnote 88:
Unde lacus et stagna describit Ysidorus nullam facit de mari Caspio mentionem licet tamen a quibusdam asseratur esse lacus aque dulcis, totius orbis maximus habens in circuitu portus et littora et nauigia uehit ingentia patiens insuper tempestates et maris accidentia reliqua. Propter quod et ob eius magnitudinem mare dicitur.
Where Isidore describes lakes and pools he makes no mention of the Caspian Sea, however, it is asserted by some to be a fresh water lake, the largest in the world, having ports and shores around it, and carrying huge ships, and, moreover, enduring storms and the other accidents of a sea. Because of this and because of its size it is called a sea.
This is one of the relatively few legends for which Waldseemüller uses d’Ailly, aside from for those about the monstrous races in India.
Baldac seu Niniue. In ciuita[te] Baldac residet Calyphus qui est papa omnium Saracenorum soluit tributem imperatori Cham. hec ciuit[as] in circuitu longitudinis est .3. dietarum. sunt ibi magne mercationes.
Baldock [Baghdad] or Nineveh. In the city of Baldock resides the Caliph who is the pope of all of the Saracens; he pays tribute to the Great Khan. This city is a three day journey in circumference, and there are great markets there.
Most of this legend comes from Marco Polo,Footnote 89 except for the part about the size of the city. It is possible that this detail was inspired by Jonah 3:3, which says that the city was three days across (rather than in circumference),Footnote 90 but more likely this information comes from a nautical chart, rather than directly from the Bible, as the Borgia metal mappamundi has a legend that reads Ninive iij dierum longitudine, “Nineveh is three days wide.”Footnote 91 The great power of the Caliph of Baghdad earned him a mention in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival.Footnote 92 The words tributem imperatori in this legend have been corrected by hand in accordance with the list of corrections in Legend 9.2.
iste Caliphus perdiues et potens est. condit Saracenis leges sicut papa noster precipit ab omnibus eas firmiter obseruari. Hic in die numquam egreditur sed de nocte; habet enim in thalamo suo multas virgines quibus commiscetur
This Caliph is very wealthy and powerful; he establishes laws for the Saracens just as our Pope [and] orders that they be strictly observed by everyone. He never goes out during the day, only at night; he has in his chamber many virgins with whom he consorts.
This legend gives additional description of the Caliph of Baghdad who was mentioned in the previous legend; in between these two legends and just above the image of the city (through which the Tigris River runs) there is an image of the Caliph. The source of this legend is somewhat surprising, as it is not a work that Waldseemüller lists among his sources in the long text block on sheet 9: it comes from a short, thirteenth-century account of a journey to the Holy Land by one Thetmar or Theitmar.Footnote 93 Some sixteen manuscripts of the work are known,Footnote 94 and the account was published a few times in the nineteenth century and also translated into French,Footnote 95 but since then it has attracted very little scholarly attention until a very good edition was published in 2011.Footnote 96 The relevant passage from that work runsFootnote 97:
Est eciam ab illo loco versus orientem in confinio Caldee, Ydumee et Persye ciuitas magna et munita, nomine Baydach, metropolis. Ubi est papa Sarracenorum, nomen habens Galiphel, predives et prepotens, et condit Sarracenis leges, et sub pena, sicut papa noster, precipit ab omnibus firmiter obseruari. Hic numquam egreditur de die, sed de nocte cuando placet…. Habet autem papa iste in thalamis et in domibus suis plurimas virgines, quibus commiscetur ubi vult.
To the east of that place, in the borderlands of Chaldea, Idumea and Persia, is a great and strong city, Baghdad, a metropolis. That is where the wealthy and powerful Pope of the Saracens, who is named Galiphel, both establishes the laws for Saracens, and (like our Pope) orders them under penalty to be strictly observed by all. He never goes out during the day, but only at night, when he pleases… But that pope has in his chambers and houses many virgins, with whom he consorts whenever he wants.
Waldseemüller’s use of this little-known work is another testament to the richness of his library.
CALDEA Caldei habent linguam propriam peruertunt quidem ordinem nature nam mascali ornati incedunt mulieres vero turpes
Chaldea. The Chaldeans have their own language, and in fact they pervert the natural order, for the men go finely decked out, but the women are unsightly.
This legend comes from Odoric.Footnote 98 Chaldea is in southern Babylonia; the kingdom had long since ceased to exist, but the name continued to be use becase it was used in the Septuagint and other translations of the Bible. According to the system of borderlines on sheets 3 and 4 of the Carta marina, Chaldea is the southernmost region that is under the control of the Tartars.
in istis montibus colligitur de celo manna in magna copia
In these mountains manna from the heavens is collected in great quantity.
This legend comes from Odoric.Footnote 99 The manna mentioned here and in various other texts, including the Bible, has been variously identified as the gum of a desert tree such as tamarisk, a lichen, or an excretion from an insect.Footnote 100
Crassan Hec fuit ciuitas regalis unde magi venerunt ad Christum.
Kashan. This was the royal city from which the Three Wise Men came to Christ.
Kashan is in what is now central Iran; the legend comes from Odoric.Footnote 101 This is a case where Waldseemüller might have used Marco Polo,Footnote 102 but he seems to have regarded Odoric as being more authoritative.
Sambragate ciuitas regalis Hec ciuitas non minor in quantitate et contractu est cheiro
The royal city of Samarkand. This city is no less in size and commerce than Cairo.
Samarkand, in modern Uzbekistan, was at various times in its history the greatest city of Central Asia. This legend comes from Varthema.Footnote 103 Waldseemüller’s decision to show Samarkand runs counter to earlier humanist geography, in which the city was typically removed from the world picture.Footnote 104
TERRA NIGROR[UM] KITHAO Hic dominatur frater maximi principis de cassan
The land of the black Kythayans. Here rules the brother of the great prince of Casana.
This legend comes from Plano Carpini, who says that Siban, the brother of Bati (or Batu or Baatu, see Legend 3.9) is stationed among the Black Kitayans.Footnote 105 The image of Siban, who is not named here, is large and imposing.
TERRA BISERMINORUM Hec terra est valde aspera et montuosa et longitudine .40. dietarum
The land of the Bisermini. This land is very rough and mountainous, and takes forty days to cross.
This legend comes from Plano Carpini, but Waldseemüller gives the region much less extension to the southwest than Carpini indicates. The figure of forty days is Waldseemüller’s calculation rather than something that Plano Carpini gives directly, and his calculation, at least according to the way the text runs in most versions, is not correct.Footnote 106 Plano Carpini writes that they traveled through the land of the Bisermini from about the feast of the Ascension, i.e. May 17, until eight days before the feast of St. John the Baptist, i.e. eight days before June 24, or June 16—for a total of just under a month. It seems likely that Waldseemüller miscalculated by forgetting to subtract the eight days, for all of the versions of Plano Carpini that I know, including the excerpts in the printed edition of Vincent of Beauvais that was Waldseemüller’s most likely source for the text of Plano Carpini, are consistent in indicating that this land took a month to cross, rather than forty days.
Hic dominatur et ambulat contra persos Noy princeps tartarorum et imperator super sexingenta [milia added by hand] armatorum virorum qui omnes prouincias tam Cristianorum quam Saracenorum a capite persie usque ad Syriam sue ditioni subiungavat
Here rules and marches against the Persians Baiotnoy [Baiju], prince of the Tartars and commander of 60,000 soldiers who has brought under his control all of the countries, both Christian and Saracen, from the top of Persia to Syria.
This legend comes from Simon de Saint-Quentin, by way of Vincent of Beauvais.Footnote 107 It is appropriate, of course, that Waldseemüller should site Simon here, as Simon’s mission was precisely to Baiju. Simon explains that “Noy” is a title,Footnote 108 and that the king’s name is Baioth, but Waldseemüller chose not to explain this. It seems that Waldseemüller was working quickly when he read this passage: Vincent of Beauvais says that Baiju had 60,000 soldiers, but then goes on to say that he had 160,000 Tartar soldiers and 450,000 soldiers who were part Christians and part infidels, so the total should be 610,000. On the Carta marina, Baiju sits in a distinctive tent with his title, “Noy,” indicated above the entrance. Schöner copies part of this legend on his manuscript globe of 1520 in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.
persia prouincia nobilis destructa multum per tartaros sed nunc sub ditione victoriosssimi [sic] regis Sophi reparata est enim diuisa in octo regna sunt Macometani et homines fallaces
The noble country of Persia was largely destroyed by the Tartars, but now, under the control of the unstoppable king Sophi [i.e. the Shah], it has been restored and divided into eight realms. The people are followers of Mohammed and are deceitful.
This legend was briefly discussed earlier in the introduction: “Sophi” is Shah Isma’il es-Sufi (1487–1524), the founder of the Safavid dynasty, who gained control over Persia and Khorasan (now Iran and adjoining territories to the east) around the year 1500.Footnote 109 The source of this legend is two-fold: the first part of the legend, including the part about the division of Persia into eight realms, comes from Marco Polo,Footnote 110 while the details about Sophi and his activities come from Varthema.Footnote 111 Waldseemüller’s image of Sophi is distinctive and energetic, but I have not found a source for it—it does not derive from the 1515 edition of Varthema from which Waldseemüller borrowed other images, for example. Johann Schöner has a much abbreviated version of this legend on his 1520 manuscript globe.
in montibus istis reperiu[n]tur adamantes corniol et Calcedonie
In these mountains are found diamonds, cornelian, and chalcedony.
This legend is from Varthema.Footnote 112 Waldseemüller also mentions diamonds found in mountains in Legends 4.26 and 8.19.
GEDROSIA Guzerantes sunt ydolatre caffrani
Gedrosia. The Guzerantes are Caffrani idolaters.
The “IA” of GEDROSIA are on sheet 4. Varthema gives a brief account of the Guzerati,Footnote 113 but he says that they are neither moors nor heathens, so Waldseemüller’s attitude is somewhat less tolerant. The designation Caffrani idolaters is one that Waldseemüller uses frequently on the Carta marina, but which I do not find in his sources, so it is reasonable to think that he added the designation here. In fact I do not know where Waldseemüller found the designation, but as the word will be appearing with some frequency, I cite a post-Waldseemüller sixteenth-century definition of it here, from Thomas Cooper’s Thesaurus linguae Romanae et Britannicae (London, 1565), in the in the supplementary Dictionarium historicum and Poeticum propria locorum and Personarum vocabula breviter complectens, s.v.:
Caffrani, Idolatours dwelling in Indie the more, which worship Devils in most terrible figure, beleeving, that they are permitted of God, to punishe or spare men at their pleasure, wherefore unto them they sacrifice their children, and sometimes themselves. They have many wives, but they companye not with them, untill they be defloured by other hyred for that purpose. Also they suffer their priestes to have carnal companie with their wives in their absence. They have Bulles and Kine in greate reverence, but they never eate fleshe, their sustenaunce is rice, suger, & diverse sweet roots, they drynke the lycour that commeth of ripe dates.