Navigate Up
Sign In
Leiden University


In Praise of Brabant, Holland, and the Habsburg Expansion: Barlandus' Survey of the Low Countries (1524)

Ari Wesseling (Univeriteit van Amsterdam)

Published in D. Sacré and G. Tournoy, ed., Myricae. Essays on Neo-Latin Literature in Memory of J. IJsewij (Louvain, University Press: Supplementa Humanistica Lovaniensia 16), 229-247.

Introduction

That Hadrianus Barlandus, born in Baarland (1486), a village in the Dutch province of Zeeland, was closely associated with the University of Louvain is well known in Belgium.1 He arrived there as a student in 1501 at the age of fifteen and was appointed professor in philosophy when he was twenty-three. He occupied the chair in eloquence from 1526 onwards. A supporter of Erasmus, he promoted the cause of Humanism throughout his life. He was also a friend of Maarten van Dorp (Dorpius) and Gerard Geldenhouwer (Noviomagus). He never involved himself in any controversy, although he did condemn Luther. A born teacher and pedagogue, he, in his own words, devoted his life to education and the moral elevation of the young.2 His work is indeed dominated by letters, history and morality. Judging from the number of reprint editions, it found a ready readership.3 He compiled an epitome of Erasmus' Adagia and wrote still readable Dialogi after the model of the Colloquia. Besides useful, but dry catalogues of the counts of Holland and the bishops of Utrecht, he compiled an interesting and more substantial history of the dukes of Brabant (Chronica Brabantiae ducum, 1526). Guicciardini used these works for his Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi, altrimenti detti Germania inferiore (Description of the Netherlands, also called Germania Inferior).4
    Less well-known is Barlandus' survey of provinces and towns in the Low Countries, Germaniae Inferioris urbium et aliarum quae finitimae Inferiori Germaniae nunc parent Carolo Imperatori huius nominis quinto catalogus. The lengthy title announces a list of towns in Germania Inferior and of cities nearby which obey the authority of Emperor Charles V. The shorter title on the frontispiece is Opusculum de insignibus oppidis Germaniae Inferioris. He completed it in July 1524, during a summer vacation in the Abbey of Affligem, where he enjoyed the hospitality of his pupil, Charles de Croy. It was printed without delay in August 1524 at Louvain, along with the second edition of his Dialogi.5 It was reprinted frequently, also as an appendix to his history of the dukes of Brabant. 
    Exploring the purpose and the nature of Barlandus' survey, I will first argue that it was a piece of imperial propaganda, written in support of the Habsburg expansion in the Low Countries. The truce that had recently been achieved between Charles V and Charles of Guelders (June 1524) may have prompted Barlandus to complete his survey. The pamphlet reflected the aspiration pursued by successive Burgundian-Habsburg rulers of forcing unity upon the loose conglomerate of provinces in the Low Countries. From a later perspective, Barlandus anticipated the arrangement by which the emperor was to consolidate the Low Countries into the union of the Seventeen Provinces (1548). Secondly, I will focus on his descriptions of Brabant and Louvain as well as those of Holland and Zeeland and examine the sources upon which he drew for information. With respect to Holland an inventory is given of descriptions printed before Guicciardini published his survey of the Low Countries (1567). It will become apparent that Barlandus copied on a large scale from works by contemporary authors, namely Erasmus and, above all, Dorpius and Geldenhouwer.

Promoting the Habsburg expansion

Although Barlandus' short treatise was never published separately, it has the features of a pamphlet. As its title suggests, his purpose is to give an up-to-date survey of the Burgundian-Habsburg possessions. Using the Roman designation Germania Inferior, he is forced to make separate mention of the towns to the north of the Rhine. This explains the second element of the elaborate and even laborious title.6
    Barlandus' survey, which is primarily intended for students, is a homage to Habsburg expansion. Barlandus had already extolled the glory of Charles, king of Spain and aspiring emperor, in the close of his catalogue of the counts of Holland (De Hollandiae principibus, 1519). Later on, he would hail him as another Augustus, "whose rule extends to the Ocean, whose glory reaches to the stars": "Burgundus origine Caesar, / imperium Oceano, famam qui terminat astris".7 In the survey under discussion, he actually claims too much for his overlord. In fact, he includes at least one territory which around 1524 was still far from being subject to the emperor, namely Gelderland. Its militant duke, Charles of Guelders, thwarted Habsburg expansion in the north-eastern part of the Low Countries. Although his power was on the wane, he still held at least the town of Groningen and its Ommelanden.8 As regards Friesland, Barlandus rightly claims that it had been subdued the year before by Jan van Wassenaer.9 Van Wassenaer had been supreme commander of the Habsburg armies in Friesland since 1516. However, he died in battle against the Frisians and Gueldrians in December 1523.10 Barlandus himself mentions his untimely death. Barlandus was probably aware of the truce that had recently been achieved between the emperor and Charles of Guelders (June 1524).11 Yet he could not refrain from censuring the Gueldrians for their warlike disposition and their loyalty to their duke, "ut interim silentio praeteream quam bellicosum atque pugnacem habeat populum suoque principi valde fidelem (Gelria)."
Barlandus' view of the position of the cathedral city of Utrecht is worthy of note. He subsumes it under the province of Holland. He just mentions in passing a different opinion, which has it that the city is part of "Phrisia". (This name usually denoted the whole of Friesland and Groningen.) Either view must have annoyed the bishop. Barlandus may have relied on information found in Pope Pius II's treatise De Europa (ch. 36). Piccolomini (d. 1464) observes, in fact, that Utrecht sometimes used to belong to Holland and sometimes to Phrisia, while noting that in his own time the bishop of Utrecht was subject to the German emperor only.12
    It might seem surprising that he mentions Deventer in connection with Utrecht, but it may be recalled that Overijssel (the territory beyond the river IJssel) was part of the dominions of the bishop. It is strange that Barlandus omitted two other major trading towns on the same river, namely Zwolle and Kampen. Finally, as regards the southern Netherlands it is unclear why he left out Artois and its main city, Arras, as well as Luxemburg. Apart from these regions, his survey roughly covers the conglomerate of territories which Charles V in 1548 was to forge into a separate union, known as the Seventeen Provinces.
    Does he display patriotic feelings? Even though he views the territories described as a coherent whole of provinces that owe allegiance to Charles V as their natural overlord, he still makes it quite clear that he felt attached to just two places, namely Louvain and his native region, the island of Zuid-Beveland (and, to a lesser degree, Zeeland at large). It would be inadequate to label his tract in its entirety as a piece of "Heimatkunde", as Daxhelet does. To obtain a proper perspective, it is worth comparing contemporary Dutch humanists on this point. Erasmus "Roterodamus", allegedly a citizen of the world, identified himself with Holland - a strongly felt relationship which was dominated by negative feelings - and, to a lesser extent, with Zeeland, Flanders, and Brabant in particular.13 Maarten van Dorp strongly identified himself with his native Holland, which he celebrates as the ancient "Batavia", while cherishing feelings of admiration for his place of residence, Louvain. The historiographer Cornelius Aurelius of Gouda, unequalled as champion of Holland or "Batavia", considered the whole of Holland, Zeeland, and the Sticht of Utrecht as his homeland.14 

The structure of Barlandus' survey and some further observations

I will now trace the successive stages of Barlandus' survey. Taking his starting-point from the Rhine in Germany, he moves west. He first describes two prominent and nearby German cities, namely Cologne (Colonia15) and Aachen (Aquisgranum), passes Liège (Leodium), Maastricht (Traiectum quod Superius nominant) and Namur (Namurcum), and then pauses to describe the duchy of Brabant. After giving due attention to Louvain, he passes Brussels (Bruxella), Mechlin (Mechlinia), Antwerp (Antverpia) and 's Hertogenbosch (Buscumducis). Pursuing his westerly course he arrives in Flanders (Flandria) to call attention to Ghent (Gandavum), Bruges (Brugae) and Tournai (Tornacum). He also adds a list of minor towns, including Aalst (Alostum, mentioned as the birthplace of the printer Dirk Martens), Oudenaarde (Aldernardum), Lille (Insulae), Ieper (Iperae), Dendermonde or Termonde (Terenamunda16) and Sluis (Slusa). The next stage is Hainault (Hannonia) with Mons (Bergae) and Valenciennes (Valencenae). 
He then turns north for a very brief overview of Friesland and Groningen (Phrisia), mentioning Leeuwarden (Leuardia) and the town of Groningen (Groninga). Descending to Gelderland (Gelria), he briefly describes the chief towns of its four districts, namely Nijmegen (Novimagum), Roermond (Ruremunda), Arnhem (Arnhemium) and Zutphen (Sutfania). He makes a much longer stop in the county of Holland, which in his view includes the city of Utrecht (Traiectum). Zigzagging via Dordrecht (Dordracum), Haarlem (Herlemum), Leiden (Leyda), Delft (Delfum) and The Hague (Haga, Haga Comitis), he ends up in Amsterdam (Amstelredamum). The order in which he describes these towns seems to be determined by their relative age and prestige, as he qualifies the last one as the most recent, "Hoc caeteris quae nominavi recentius oppidum genus hominum incolit pecuniae studiosius".17 He then adds a list of minor towns, namely Gorcum or Gorinchem (Goricum), Gouda, Alkmaar (Alcmaria), and Rotterdam, Erasmus' birthplace ("Roterodamum, eximii illius viri Erasmi Roterodami urbs nutricula"). Not by coincidence, he finally arrives in Zeeland (Selandia). This province to the south of Holland had been closely associated with it from the fourteenth century onwards. More importantly, Barlandus reserved it for last because it was his native region. He dwells with evident pride and delight on the island of "Suytbevelandia", which harbors his native village, Baarland. He also mentions Goes (Gousa) and Reimerswaal (Ruemerswalia).18 He further includes the island of Walcheren (Valachria) with Veere (Veria) and Middelburg (Middelburgum), and that of Schouwen (Schaldia) with Zierikzee (Ziricea). 
    The careful and systematic arrangement suggests that Barlandus consulted one or more maps, but it is impossible to document this. The great renewal in cartography was to come about just after Barlandus' lifetime.19 Nothing is known about his relations with his colleague Gemma Frisius, who in 1533 published his seminal treatise on triangulation. Very little has remained of maps of the Netherlands made before 1540. Contemporary maps of Gaul and Germania reveal a rough and distorted view of the Low Countries. Barlandus may have been familiar with Ptolemy's Cosmographia. The Strassburg 1513 edition of this famous work, which was prepared by Martin Waldseemüller among others, provided a set of modern maps in addition to the traditional Ptolemaic maps. Erasmus, in his letters, refers to some of these modern specimens.20 Even so, a quick glance makes it clear that Barlandus did not use them for his survey. In fact, his detailed catalogue makes a highly advanced impression when compared with Waldseemüller's primitive and inadequate representations of the Low Countries. 
    There is no evidence that Barlandus visited even a limited number of the towns described. In fact, he had anything but the makings of a traveller. He was rather the typical scholar who explores the world from his study and acquires his knowledge from books. To his mind, this was exactly the great advantage of historical works in particular. They allow us to scour the world while staying at home, without expense, without incurring danger: "Potest ne quicquam historia dulcius esse, per quam ... domi manentes sine sumptu, sine periculo orbem ipsum terrarum nobis peragrasse videmur?"21 The idea was not new. In Erasmus' dialogue The Old Men's Chat, which first appeared in the March 1524 edition of the Colloquies, Glycion feels that it is safer to explore the world by studying a map and more efficient to read historical works.22 In a colloquy of earlier date (1523), which is devoted to the theme of the contemplative life and its benefits, Erasmus puts the same view in the mouth of a Carthusian monk. "Here is the whole world, to my imagination, and this map shows the entire earth, over which I wander in thought more enjoyably and safely than the discoverer who sailed to the new islands."23 Whereas Glycion refers to the wanderings of Ulysses, the Carthusian alludes to the voyage of Columbus. As for Barlandus, he constantly remained in and around Louvain and readily relied on printed contemporary sources.
It is rare for Barlandus to give etymologies in his survey and other works. It is hard to say whether this indicates a critical attitude towards traditional lore and popular legends concerning the origins of towns and their founders. He does adopt the fanciful derivation of the name Haarlem from "Herlems stat", Lord Lem's town, which refers to a fictitious hero.24 He does not refer to ancient Roman history. He makes no mention even of the Batavians, the illustrious forebears of the Hollanders, who had given rise to a dispute at Louvain in recent years.25 
In eulogies devoted to cities, as in any eulogy, harsh censure and criticism would be out of place and would run counter to the conventions of the genre.26 Moreover, Barlandus wished to please the emperor. He also had a moral and educational purpose in mind, as he wrote for his students first and foremost, the readership to which his Dialogi are directed. Even so, these considerations do not account sufficiently for what to the modern reader is a striking omission in his descriptions as a whole: the salient feature, the characteristic detail, whether of a positive or a negative nature. The major part of his descriptions is monotonous, consisting of a succession of clichés, generalities, and commonplace observations: the attractive and fertile landscape, wonderful churches and buildings, honest inhabitants. On the whole, more specific information is found only in the sections on Brabant (especially that on Louvain), Holland, and Zeeland. This may seem obvious enough, inasmuch as he must have seen at least these regions with his own eyes. Yet it is by no means certain that he ever visited Holland. 

Brabantia

Barlandus' eulogy of Brabant also includes a characterization of its inhabitants. He praises their friendly and cheerful nature, indeed, they are particularly merry as well as insensitive to the burden of old age. This quality, he says, has given rise to the amusing expression `Hoe ouder Brabander, hoe zotter' (The older a Brabanter gets, the more foolish he is): 

Nulla est natio cui vel humanitate vel bonitate cesserint Brabanti, nulla gens quae minus gravem senectutem sentiat. Hoc illis perpetua praestat hilaritas. Unde videtur manasse iocus ille `Brabantus quo natu grandior, hoc stultior'.

Verifying the extent to which Barlandus' ethnic description is still valid in the present time lies outside the scope of this contribution. However, it seems to apply remarkably well to the native inhabitants of Antwerp, and to the `ketjes' and `kiekenfretters' who, though in ever dwindling numbers, live in the Marollen, a working-class area in Brussels. We may also recall the example and testimony of a Brussels nobleman who studied at Louvain University, namely Marnix of St. Aldegonde (1540-98). Fond of dancing even after his conversion to gloomy Calvinism, he felt bound to justify his favorite occupation in 1577 by pointing out that the Brabanters by nature are made for fun and conviviality ("iocos ac festivitatem"). His addressee, a Dutch clergyman, had censured him for indecent conduct at a wedding-party. Marnix protested that he would never give up dancing.27 The Dutch historian Emanuel van Meteren duly mentions (after Barlandus?) the cheerfulness of the Brabanters in his description of the Seventeen Provinces (1599).28 Instead of further documenting the Brabanters' fondness for parties and `gezelligheid', however, it seems somehow more appropriate to return to Barlandus' own time and to search for the sources of his description. The gentle reader may have sensed already what is to follow now, namely, a quotation from Erasmus' Praise of Folly, along with his (or, for that matter, Lister's) comment. Lady Stultitia argues in fact that the Brabanters are subject to her rule even more than other nations. This is confirmed in her view by the vernacular saying that `The older a Brabanter gets, the more foolish he is'. She finds that there are no people so companionable in everyday life or so little affected by the gloom of old age:

Atqui hac gente non est alia vel ad communem vitae consuetudinem festiuior vel quae minus sentiat senectutis tristitiam.29 

Barlandus has turned Stultitia's roguish remark into a serious ethnic characterization. In doing so he used the commentary which was printed with her speech from 1515 onwards. The commentator, intent on appeasing those readers who might feel offended by Stultitia's sallies, notes the following:

Nulla natio nec humanior nec melior quam Brabantorum, verum ob perpetuam hilaritatem, quam illis nec senecta adimit, dictum est hoc, ioco vulgari, prouerbium `Brabantus quo natu grandior, hoc stultior'.

So much then for the character of the Brabanters. It is true that Stultitia next pokes fun at the Hollanders, alluding to their notorious nickname `bot'30, but this is irrelevant here, as Barlandus never alludes to it.
The present author is not competent to deal properly with Barlandus' eulogy of Louvain. However, it cannot possibly be bypassed. Judging from its relative length and tone, it is in fact the central piece of his Germania Inferior, and the city itself is the centre of his tour d'horizon. Let me therefore try to give the reader at least a superficial impression. Louvain is the capital ("caput") of Brabant, distinguishing itself by its mild climate and the purity of its air, untainted by the plague. There are plenty of meadows, vineyards, gardens, and orchards even within the city walls. Among the many remarkable buildings and institutions that Barlandus mentions the University takes pride of place. It is superior to those of Paris and Orléans in that it offers programs in every branch of scholarship ("omnes scientiae"). Another peculiar feature is its management, as it is governed by one person only, the "rector". Like a Roman dictator, his term of office is limited to six months. It is his duty to protect the privileges of the University, to pass judgement, and to punish students found guilty of offence ("maleficii reos scholasticos"). On public occasions he is preceded by a beadle ("bedellus") and followed by servants. His prestige surpasses that of the burgomasters ("consules"). Barlandus uses the opportunity to pay homage to his friend Dorpius, who just happened to hold the supreme office at the time. In conclusion, there follows a list of healthy agricultural products. The area produces a special wine, which does not easily intoxicate the mind and therefore does not encourage fighting and encounters of an erotic nature. Barlandus feels that he can recommend it with a clear conscience, in particular to the clergy: 

vinum, cuius ea natura ut non facile inebriet, non facile ad arma protrudat et luctam veneream. Bibant hoc vinum initiati, quos divinae literae perpetuo sobrios et continentes esse volunt.

Not all "initiati" followed his sound advice. Erasmus, for one, continued to prefer strong burgundy, especially Beaune ("Belnense"), his daily medicine. He did not think much, it seems, of Louvain wine, "villum Louanio vernaculum", which he mentions in Conuiuium profanum, a colloquy of 1522.31
The impression that Barlandus' description of Louvain is based on personal experience, without the aid of written sources, would seem to be justified, but in the case of this humanist we cannot risk absolute certainty. Experto credas! Only in the final stage of my research did I turn to Dorpius' orations, easily accessible in IJsewijn's fine edition, to find that his Oratio in laudem omnium artium also includes a eulogy of the University and its environment.32 Barlandus clearly used it for his own description. Dorpius had delivered his oration in 1513 at the beginning of the academic year, a solemn and traditional occasion for celebrating the arts and sciences and urging the students to do their best. He uses the opportunity to eulogize the University in particular. To this end he sets out to praise its natural environment, using an exuberant and flowery style. Adopting a conventional process, he elaborates on a series of stock topics, to wit the mild climate, the purity of the air and the water, and the fertile soil. Digressing on the fauna, he mentions the abundance of warblers and bees. He then zooms in on the town of Louvain, which abounds in wide open spaces used as vineyards, gardens and orchards, mentioning also the modest but convenient buildings and the friendly inhabitants, who are not wealthy, but well-to-do. Finally, he focuses on the University, "sacra Lovaniensium Academia".
Barlandus took all the elements of his description of the natural resources of Brabant and Louvain from Dorpius' oration, with one exception: his praise of the local vintage seems to have flowed from his own pen. His list of remarkable buildings, ranging from St. Peter's Church and the town hall ("domus civica") to the hospital ("xenodochium") and the tower called Verloren Kost ("vulgo Impensa Perdita") is far more detailed than that of Dorpius, who only mentions the famous church.33 His description of the University, by contrast, owes much to that of Dorpius. The latter's profile of the rector (who is always a wise and venerable man) has prompted Barlandus to expatiate on this lofty office and to celebrate the merits of Dorpius himself.
After Barlandus' animated and even exuberant eulogies of Brabant and Louvain, the provinces which follow in his survey prove rather disappointing. This applies also to Holland, which nevertheless receives relatively ample attention, as the following comparison makes clear: Barlandus' description of Louvain alone takes up two pages, that of the county of Holland somewhat less than one page, his native province one page, whereas the other territories are given much less attention. 


Hollandia

Barlandus opens his description of Holland by revealing the origin of its name, which he correctly derives from `holtland', woodland. He then considers the natural environment of the region, which is covered with grasses and willows. He does not fail to mention that corn is supplied from outside, alluding no doubt to his beloved Zeeland first and foremost, as he highly commends the wheat produced there in the close of his survey.34 Discussing the character of the Hollanders, he describes them as industrious and involved with business as well as straightforward and particularly kind. Even though they value moral excellence above scholarly expertise, they do appreciate education. They are even remarkably proficient in learning classics - provided that they are sent to school at a very early age. (Barlandus himself was sent to a school at Ghent at the age of eleven.) He then launches into a different subject, namely the Dutch interior, to praise its shining and polished furnishings. Which leads him to the theme of the Dutch housewife, commendable for her milk-white beauty and industrious disposition: she is either involved with business, like the men, or occupies herself with spinning. He then returns to his initial subject, the natural environment of the region, which is intersected by rivers full of fish and which abounds in rich pastures. Another remarkable feature is the great number of towns, which are not large, but are quite neat and pretty. Surprisingly, however, Barlandus concludes on a doleful note. He feels compelled to remark how sad it is that this prosperous region is so supportive of Luther and his followers. 
His complaint comes as a surprise, for criticism is a rare phenomenon in his eulogies. It indicates that he abhorred the Lutheran heresy, the "contagio Saxonica", as he calls it in his Dialogi.35 He was aware, of course, of the repression campaign launched by Charles V, who had issued the first placard against the Lutherans in 1521. The worst, the `Bauernkrieg' (1524-25), was yet to come. At the end of the Chronica Brabantiae ducum (1526) Barlandus gives an impressive account of the "tumultus Germanorum" and concludes with an ardent appeal to Luther to come to his senses. Another censure is aimed at the rebellious Gueldrians, whom he treats with relative mildness, as we have seen. In his Chronica, by contrast, he reports repeatedly on the atrocities committed by these ferocious people. Finally, he also rebukes the inhabitants of Tournai, whom he accuses of conniving with the French ("Gallicarum semper esse partium"). This town had been French until recently; Charles V incorporated it into the Netherlands in 1521.
Barlandus took the derivation of Holland from "holtland" - a plausible etymology which is confirmed by the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal - from Dorpius' Dialogus.36 Dorpius mentions an age-old chronicle ("annales"), seen by him in the library of the Abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Egmond. In it Holland is consistently referred to as "Holtlandia", Woodland. This name is derived, Dorpius says, "a lignorum copia, quam illinc Frisii, gens vetustissima nec minus nobilis, sibi solent conquirere." He apparently assumes that the name originated with the (West) Frisians. The "annales" in question are probably the Annales Egmundenses. "Holtlandia" is in fact the standard form used throughout a large part of this medieval chronicle.37
Not surprisingly, Barlandus borrowed a number of details from Erasmus' praise of Holland in the adage-essay A Batavian Ear.38 A third and even more important source is an account by one Chrysostomus Neapolitanus of a sightseeing tour through Holland (1514). Barlandus knew it through Dorpius, who was the first to publish it, along with his Dialogus already mentioned.39 Relatively little is known about the Italian traveller himself. He is to be identified with Crisostomo Colonna (1455/56-1539), a native of Caggiano near Salerno, who became teacher and secretary to Ferrantino, duke of Calabria.40 As he himself informs us, at the age of sixty ("homo iam sexagenarius"), and having already spent sixteen months away from home, he traversed watery Holland in six days, prompted by curiosity and a hunger for knowledge. His elaborate report is addressed to a "comes Nugarolus", Count Lodovico Nogarola of Verona, that is.41 Crisostomo's enthusiasm is irresistible. He leaves no doubt that "Olandia" is a marvellous country indeed: constantly threatened by the Ocean and criss-crossed with rivers and channels, it is still densely populated and prosperous. Its inhabitants live like amphibians, and yet their houses are trimmed and pretty, not to mention the women. He indulges in a digression on a charming little town named Roterodamum, "urbecula apprime concinna", which he celebrates as the birthplace of Erasmus, the glory of Germania. He certainly would have liked to stay longer in the area, he says in his epilogue, but an outbreak of the plague forced him to leave.
The text of Barlandus' description is given hereafter.


Hollandia

(1) Quam nunc Hollandiam dicimus olim Holtlandia nominata est a copiis lignorum, ut habent annales quidam. (2) Huius regionis herbis et salictis maxime consitus est ager. (3) Frumentum quo utuntur navigiis aliunde invehitur. (4) Homines hic industrii, negotiosi, simplices et ad omnem humanitatem benignitatemque propensissimi. (5) Alios videas ad parandam vel rerum vel linguarum cognitionem diversa Christiani orbis adire gymnasia, Hollandis vero magis honoratur egregia morum integritas. (6) Quamquam nec ipsa negligunt studia, praecipue literarum meliorum, quas aliquanto felicius quam caeteri discunt, si modo a teneris annis praeceptoribus tradantur. (7) In vasorum nitore, mensarum lautitia, mantilium atque mapparum candore, munditia denique rerum omnium superant alias nationes. (8) Mulierum genus pulchrum et lacteum aut negotiatur ut viri aut linificio lanificiove dat operam. (9) Hollandia et piscosis interluitur amnibus et pascuis abundat uberrimis, neque regio esse creditur alia in orbe quae simili spatio tot habeat oppida mediocriter quidem magna, sed apprime polita et concinna. (10) Pagos quoque regio sumptu passim aedificatos videas. (11) Dolendum hanc tam nobilem, tam florentem provinciam Luteranae factioni tantopere favere.
_____________________
Sources
(1) Dorpius, Dialogus (f. Fiiv): "Nam vocabulo nativo Holtlandia vocata est ac deinde, quod asperius id vastiusque sonaret, ceptum est dici Hollandia. Siquidem in patroni mei domini abbatis Hecmundensis insigni bibliotheca annales vidi multis iam saeculis asservatos, in quibus nunquam non inveni Holtlandiam annotatam idque a lignorum copia, quam illinc Frisii, gens vetustissima nec minus nobilis, sibi solent conquirere."
(2) Cris. Colonna (ibid., f. Giv): "herbaeque ipse ac salicta, quibus Olandinus ager maxime consitus est, olere nescio quid amabilius videbatur."
(4) Cris. Colonna (f. Gi): "Hominum genus, ut plane inspexisse videor, maxime industrium et negociosum, sed versutum et callidum." Erasmus, Adagia: "Non alia gens est ad humanitatem, ad benignitatem propensior ... Ingenium simplex et ab insidiis omnique fuco alienum."
(5)-(6) Erasmus, Adagia: "Ad exquisitam eruditionem, praesertim antiquam, quo non perinde multi perueniant, aut vitae luxus in causa est aut quod apud illos plus honoris habetur egregiae morum integritati quam egregiae doctrinae."
(7) Erasmus, Adagia: "In domesticae supellectilis nitore palmam vni concedunt Hollandiae negociatores quibus pleraque pars orbis est peragrata." Cris. Colonna (f. Gi): "Bone Deus, quis vasorum nitor, quae lectulorum, quae mensarum lauticia, quis mantilium, quis mapparum candor! Qui sedium ornatus, quae denique parietum, quae soli, quae rerum omnium mundicia!"
(8) Cris. Colonna (ibid.): "Mulieres ut pulchrae, ut lacteae, ut simplici mundicia omnes, ita partim mercaturae pertractandae, partim lanificio aut linificio potius dies et noctes intentae."
(9) Erasmus, Adagia: "quae (Hollandia) passim nauigabilibus ac piscosis interluatur fluuiis, pascuis vberrimis abundet ... Proinde negant aliam inueniri regionem quae simili spacio tantum oppidorum contineat mediocri quidem magnitudine, sed incredibili politia."
(10) Cris. Colonna (f. Fivv): "Pagi et villae, quae neque magnitudine neque cultu quibusvis oppidis cedant, supra sex et triginta."


Wonderful Holland: other descriptions

There was no lack of glowing descriptions of Holland in the sixteenth century. A few years later than Crisostomo Colonna, another meridionale arrived, namely Don Antonio de Beatis, a native of Molfetta (Bari). A secretary to Cardinal Luigi d'Aragona, he accompanied him on a tour through Germany, Holland, the southern Netherlands, and France (1517-18). His Italian travel journal is full of personal impressions. He makes no distinction between Flanders and Holland in his description of customs and traditions of these regions.42 Barlandus could also have used a letter by Luigi Marliano. A native of Milan, Marliano (d. 1521) stayed in the southern Netherlands as a physician to the future Charles V.43 As early as 1508 he composed an exuberant eulogy of the Low Countries, with which he intended to please a prominent humanist at Louvain, Jérôme de Busleyden. Taking a broad view, he first speaks highly of the prosperity of the territories on either side of the Rhine and the Maas, "Gallia Belgica" and "Germania". It is the first territory in particular that holds his attention. He then focuses on Holland, the "insula Batavorum", informing Busleyden that the towns there surpass those of Brabant and Flanders in splendor and cleanliness: 

Nitidi idcirco mundique et elegantes sunt Belgae, si omnibus conferas, praeterquam Batavis.

Marliano then expands on this theme, focusing on the Dutch interior - "everything inside is quite neat and pretty" ("Intus omnia sunt summe elegantia"). From a cultural-historical point of view, this is interesting, because it is the first instance in which Dutch cleanliness is mentioned explicitly. Crisostomo Colonna was struck by the same feature.44 This aspect of Dutch life-style and mentality apparently predates the rise of Calvinism, with which it is generally associated in modern historiography. One may also note that, in Marliano's view, Holland was closely connected with the Netherlands to the south of the Rhine and the Maas, as he extols the virtues of both territories with the intention of pleasing Busleyden. Apparently, they were conceived as a coherent whole rather than as contrasting entities at the time.45 Lastly, his use of the name "Belgae" deserves attention. Whereas "Belgium" usually denotes the Low Countries at large,46 he uses it to designate a particular territory, namely the southern Netherlands, "Gallia Belgica", and so does Marnix of St. Aldegonde (mentioned above) in at least two letters, dated Middelburg, 1576.47 Jacobus Lydius, by contrast, a native of Dordrecht, reserves it for the northern Netherlands in his history entitled Belgium gloriosum; a translation appeared in the same year with the title 't Verheerlijckt Nederland (Dordrecht, 1668).48 Apparently, the name Belgium was used in various ways. 
Busleyden was pleased indeed with Marliano's letter. The eulogy of Holland increased his desire to go and see for himself, he says in his reply. Unlike the Italian he had never been there. Yet he remarks somewhat sourly, "If only the Dutch produced not just wealth and affluence, but also talented men!" - a remark which reflects the common cliché of the uncivilized Batavian49 -

Quae (insula Batavorum) quidem utinam, citra tantam affluentiam rerum abs te memoratarum, tantum etiam faceret proventum clarissimorum ingeniorum.

Barlandus was probably familiar with Marliano's letter. It circulated among humanists in Louvain. Dorpius had a copy, which he sent to a compatriot, Cornelius Aurelius of Gouda. The latter included it in his treatise on the island of the Batavians, Defensorium gloriae Batavinae (completed after October 1509).50 A champion of Holland's exclusive right to the Roman designation "insula Batavorum", Aurelius used the letter for his own purposes. As if Marliano had not done sufficient justice to the glory of Holland, he contributed additional praise in the form of his own eulogy to the character of the region and its natural resources, "Bataviae nostrae commoda et delitias". A few years later, he expatiated on the same theme in his native tongue. Going into considerable detail, he mentions herring, cattle, cheese, butter, rabbit skins, and the revenues thereof. He included this eulogy in his voluminous history of Holland, which is commonly known as Divisiekroniek (1517).51 Barlandus disregarded all these materials.


Concluding remarks. Barlandus' native region

We have seen that Barlandus' descriptions of Brabant, Louvain, and Holland in particular consist of collages of quotations from the work of a number of his contemporaries. He copied blithely from Erasmus and, in particular, Dorpius. Although he does not mention his sources explicitly, it is true that he pays homage to these authors in his survey.
There is one instance in which Barlandus gives credit explicitly, namely in his eulogy of Zeeland. At the outset, he mentions a letter about his native region by Gerard Geldenhouwer of Nijmegen. Barlandus did indeed borrow all the elements of his description from this source, which was familiar to him, again, through Dorpius. In his Dialogus, Crisostomo's eulogy of Holland is followed by Geldenhouwer's letter about Zeeland. It would seem that only Barlandus' eulogy of Zuid-Beveland (Suytbevelandia) derives from his own hand. However, a reservation should be made on this point too, for he copied the passage on the rich variety of birds fluttering around on his island from Dorpius' eulogy of Louvain.52 More original and certainly more daring is the close of his survey, in which he compares Baarland, his native village on the Westerschelde, "patria mea Barlandia", to ancient Baiae, praised by Horace and Martial! True enough, Baarland was, in its own way, a seaside resort. 
By way of conclusion, a few words may be said on the historical value of Barlandus' little work. Unlike the other eulogies discussed, his descriptions are mere compilations. A major distinctive feature is the political nature of his pamphlet. It is the first survey to encompass the Burgundian Netherlands, viewed as a coherent whole of provinces under one monarch, Charles V. It reflects the policy pursued by the Burgundian-Habsburg rulers to forge the Low Countries into a separate administrative unit, a policy which led to the union of the Seventeen Provinces. In terms of outlook and structure Barlandus' short survey is to be linked with Guicciardini's far more impressive Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi.53


1. É. Daxhelet, Adrien Barlandus. Humaniste belge, 1486-1538 (Louvain, 1938); P.G. Bietenholz and T.B. Deutscher, Contemporaries of Erasmus, 3 vols. (Toronto, 1985-1987), s.v.; M. de Schepper - C.L. Heesakkers, Bibliographie de l'humanisme des anciens Pays-Bas. Supplément 1970-1985 (Bruxelles, 1988), s.v.; P.J. Meertens, Letterkundig leven in Zeeland in de zestiende en de eerste helft der zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1943), pp. 40-41, 52.
For support in preparing this essay I am indebted to the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). I wish to thank Fred Nichols for correcting my English.
2. See the dedicatory letter of his Dialogi, addressed to Charles de Croy (also found in Daxhelet, Barlandus, pp. 294-295).
3. See Daxhelet, Barlandus, passim; F. vander Haeghen - M.-T. Lenger, Bibliotheca Belgica. Bibliographie générale des Pays-Bas, I (Bruxelles, 1964), B 250-290.
4. See C. Sorgeloos, `Les sources imprimées de la "Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi"', in: P. Jodogne, ed., Lodovico Guicciardini (1521-1589) (Louvain, 1991), p. 82.
5. Daxhelet, Barlandus, pp. 106-109, 158-159, 298-299. Cf. E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier - G.A.C. van der Lem, Repertorium van geschiedschrijvers in Nederland, 1500-1800 (Den Haag, 1990), no. 27.
Concerning the date of composition one may note the following. In his dedicatory letter (addressed to his pupil Adriaan van der Beken), Barlandus says that he wrote the survey in last July. As regards the year there is conflicting evidence. He mentions Jan van Wassenaer's untimely death, which must have occurred in December 1523 (see below). This points to 1524. On the other hand, he informs us in his description of Louvain that, while he was writing ("haec nobis commentantibus"), Maarten van Dorp was rector of the University. Dorpius held this office in 1523 (February 28-August 31); see E. Reusens, Documents relatifs à l'histoire de l'Université de Louvain (1425-1797) (Louvain, 1893-1902), I, p. 264; H. de Vocht, Monumenta Humanistica Lovaniensia. Texts and Studies about Louvain Humanists in the first half of the XVIth century (Louvain, 1934), p. 245. Hence, Daxhelet (who disregards the reference to Jan van Wassenaer) wrongly assumes that the survey was written in 1523. Perhaps, one must assume that Barlandus made a draft of his description of Louvain in 1523. 
6. He occasionally uses the name Burgundians ("Burgundiones", "Burgundica domus"), thereby denoting the Habsburgs.
7. This high-flown characterization is taken from Vergil, Aeneis I, 287; it concludes the list of "nomina Brabantiae ducum" at the beginning of Chronica Brabantiae ducum (1526).
8. See J.E.A.L. Struick, Gelre en Habsburg, 1492-1528 (Arnhem, 1960), pp. 291-295 and, for a general outline, W. Prevenier and W. Blockmans, The Burgundian Netherlands (Cambridge, 1986), esp. pp. 390-391. 
9. "Hos populos [i.e. the "Phrisii"] anno superiore ad Caroli Caesaris obsequium retraxit clarissimus belli dux Ioannes a Wassener. Quem si fata virum nobis servassent, validas Gelriae venisset ad urbes." 
10. Johannes Isacius Pontanus, Historia Gelrica (Harderwijk, 1639), p. 712; Nieuw Nederlandsch biografisch woordenboek, 10 vols. (Leiden, 1911-1937), II, 1528-1529; H.F.K. van Nierop, The nobility of Holland. From knights to regents, 1500-1650 (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 1-5; K. Tilmans, Historiography and Humanism in Holland in the Age of Erasmus: Aurelius and the `Divisiekroniek' of 1517 (Nieuwkoop, 1992), pp. 58-60.
11. See Struick, Gelre, p. 295. For Charles of Guelders see also Contemporaries of Erasmus, s.v. Egmond (Karel van). Erasmus censured the warlike Gueldrians on several occasions; see J.D. Tracy, The Politics of Erasmus. A Pacifist Intellectual and His Political Milieu (Toronto, 1978), ch. 4, and A. Wesseling, `"A young courtier, an old outcast." Dutch Proverbs and Phrases in Erasmus' Colloquies and Letters', Renaissance Quarterly, forthcoming.
12. "Nec desunt qui Traiectum nobilem urbem in Holandia sitam dicant. Nobis haud alienum esse videtur aliquando Phrisiae Traiectenses, aliquando Holandiae traditos esse, ut saepe regionum terminos dominantium imperia mutant. Nostra quidem aetate neque Phrisiae neque Holandiae dantur. Principatus ecclesiae Traiectensis Imperatori tantum subiicitur." Barlandus certainly read this passage, for his statement on the military potential of the bishop, "tam dives ac potens ut, si quando sit necesse, quadraginta hominum milia ad bellum possit armare", is clearly taken from the same section (ch. 36). An anonymous chronicle of Holland, which was apparently completed during the reign of Maximilian I of Habsburg, refers to Utrecht as the main city of Holland, "principalis civitas (Hollandiae) est Trajectum inferius"; see Cronica de Hollant et eius comitatu, in: A. Matthaeus, ed., Veteris aevi analecta, 5 vols. (Hagae Comitum, 1738), V, 523-614, 525 (cf. M. Carasso-Kok, Repertorium van verhalende historische bronnen in de middeleeuwen ['s-Gravenhage, 1981], no. 317). Medieval historiographers testify to the original unity of Holland and Utrecht; see Tilmans, Historiography, pp. 202-203. Cornelius Aurelius considered Holland, Zeeland, West-Friesland, and the Sticht of Utrecht as an organic whole, his homeland in fact (`our own country', Divisiekroniek, I, 9).
13. See A. Wesseling, `Are the Dutch Uncivilized? Erasmus on the Batavians and His National Identity', Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook, 13 (1993), 68-102, esp. 84, and the close of J.J. Poelhekke's study `The Nameless Homeland of Erasmus', Acta Historiae Neerlandicae, 7 (1974), 54-87.
14. For Dorpius see below, p. *** and esp. his Dialogus, f. Fii. For Aurelius see above, n. 12. 
15. Barlandus' praise of Cologne with its innumerable relics, in particular those of the Magi, has elements in common with that by Johannes Cochlaeus in his Brevis Germanie descriptio (1512); see the edition by K. Langosch (Darmstadt, 1960), 8, 33.
16. The usual form is Teneramunda.
17. At first sight it would seem that Barlandus has listed the six great cities that had voting rights in the States of Holland, but The Hague (which he correctly qualifies as a "pagus" or village) was not among them, unlike Gouda, which he relegated to his list of minor towns. For the towns of Holland see J.D. Tracy, Holland under Habsburg Rule, 1506-1566. The Formation of a Body Politic (Berkeley, 1990), esp. p. 30.
18. Reimerswaal, a prosperous commercial town in Barlandus' times, was swallowed up by the Oosterschelde around the turn of the century. It is not to be identified with modern Reimerswaal. 
19. See C. Koeman, Geschiedenis van de kartografie van Nederland. Zes eeuwen land- en zeekaarten en stadsplattegronden (Alphen aan den Rijn, 1983), esp. pp. 104-105; H.A.M. van der Heijden, The Oldest Maps of the Netherlands. An Illustrated and Annotated Carto-bibliography of the 16th Century Maps of the XVII Provinces (Utrecht, 1987).
20. He used the maps in question for his argument that the territory which the Batavians had occupied in Roman times - his native region in fact - belonged to both Germania and Gaul. See Wesseling, `Are the Dutch Uncivilized? Erasmus on the Batavians and His National Identity', Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook, 13 (1993), 77-83; `"Or Else I Become a Gaul": A Note on Erasmus and the German Reformation', ibid., 15 (1995), 96-98.
21. Quoted from the dedicatory letter of Libelli tres (Louvain, 1532). It is also found in Daxhelet, Barlandus, pp. 326-328.
22. Erasmus, Opera omnia (Amsterdam, 1969-, henceforth cited as ASD), I, 3, p. 380, lines 166-168 "Mihi videor tutius totum orbem obire in tabula geographica, neque paulo plus videre in historiis, quam si viginti totos annos ad Vlyssis exemplum per omneis terras mariaque volitarem." The same idea is expressed in a letter of 1529 (Ep. 2161) **** toev. Allen? "Ex philosophiae praeceptis et cosmographia, ex historiis plus vere sapientiae tibi parabis vno anno, idque tuto, quam Vlysses annis plus quam viginti, vix credendis calamitatibus ac periculis agitatus, collegit."

23. Militis et Cartusiani, ASD I, 3, p. 315, lines 44-46 "Imaginor hic totum esse mundum, et haec tabula mihi totum terrarum orbem repraesentat, quam ego cogitatione iucundius simul et tutius perambulo quam is qui nauigauit ad nouas insulas." See Thompson's comments in Colloquies, translated and annotated by C.R. Thompson, Collected Works of Erasmus, 39 (Toronto, 1997), pp. 337-338. A very early allusion (November 1492) to Columbus' voyage is found in Angelo Poliziano, Lamia, ed. A. Wesseling (Leiden, 1986), p. 11, lines 1-2. 
24. He probably took it from Cornelius Aurelius' Divisiekroniek (below, n. 48), II, 26 ("Heere Lems stede"). He also explains the name Holland (see below, p. ***).
25. Recently, Geldenhouwer (Noviomagus) had challenged the current view that the ancient "insula Batavorum" was identical with Holland, arguing (correctly) that the Betuwe in his native Gelderland had been part of the Batavian island. His Lucubratiuncula de Bathavorum insula had appeared in 1520 at Antwerp. See Wesseling, `Are the Dutch Uncivilized?', 75-77, and I. Bejczy, `Drie humanisten en een mythe. De betekenis van Erasmus, Aurelius en Geldenhouwer voor de Bataafse kwestie', Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis, 109 (1996), 467-484.
26. See Erasmus' guidelines for describing a region in De conscribendis epistolis, ASD I, 2, pp. 514-515. For ancient literary theory on epideictic descriptions see F.P.T. Slits, Het Latijnse stededicht. Oorsprong en ontwikkeling tot in de zeventiende eeuw (Amsterdam, 1990). See also C.J. Classen, Die Stadt im Spiegel der Descriptiones und Laudes urbium in der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur bis zum Ende des zwölften Jahrhunderts (Hildesheim, 1980).
27. See A. Gerlo - R. De Smet, ed., Marnixi epistulae. De briefwisseling van Marnix van Sint Aldegonde (Bruxelles, 1990-), II, no. 81, pp. 82-83, esp. line 146.
28. "De Inwoonders [zijn] van natuere vrolijck"; Belgische ofte Nederlantsche historie van onsen tijden (Delft, 1599).
29. Moriae encomium, ed. C. Miller, ASD IV, 3, p. 84, lines 251-253.
30. See A. Wesseling, `Dutch Proverbs and Ancient Sources in Erasmus's Praise of Folly', Renaissance Quarterly, 47 (1994), 352-355.
31. ASD I, 3, p. 199, 2401-2402; see C.R. Thompson's comment ad loc., Collected Works of Erasmus, 39 (Toronto, 1997), p. 155, n. 16.
32. Martinus Dorpius, Orationes IV, ed. I. IJsewijn (Leipzig, 1986), pp. 25-60, esp. 52-56 (ch. 22-24). The title on the frontispiece is De laudibus sigillatim cuiusque disciplinarum ac amenissimi Lovanii academiaeque Lovaniensis. It was printed in October 1513 by Dirk Martens. IJsewijn's commentary provides much information which is equally relevant for Barlandus' description.
33. In Dorpius' description of St. Peter's, "non immani illud quidem magnitudine, sed incredibili politie" (23, 2), one catches an echo of Erasmus' Auris Bataua, where the towns of Holland are said to be "mediocri quidem magnitudine, sed incredibili politie". (The form "politia" appears first in the 1523 edition; see Adagia 3535, ASD II, 8, p. 42, lines 469 f.) - The Kostverloren Toren or Toren van Verloren-Cost (demolished in 1787) served as an observation tower. In Flanders, towers of this kind were not uncommonly called "Kostverloren" (wasted effort or money), supposedly because they were rarely used, if at all. The same nickname was given to certain defensive works in Holland. See E. van Even, Louvain dans le passé et dans le présent (Louvain, 1895), pp. 150-152; E. Verwijs - J. Verdam, Middelnederlandsch woordenboek, III, 1968; Woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal, VII, 5762 f. 


34. For the historical background of his description see Tracy, Holland under Habsburg Rule.
35. See Dialogi, "Discipulus ac praeceptor" and, at the close of the same collection, "Colloquium Amandi et Severini". On the early Reformation see Tracy, Holland under Habsburg Rule, pp. 147-160 and C. Rooze-Stouthamer, Hervorming in Zeeland (ca. 1520-1572) (Goes, 1996).
36. Dialogus, in quo Venus et Cupido omnes adhibent versutias (Lovanii [1514]), f. Fiiv. Tilmans, Historiography, p. 306, mistakenly assumes that Barlandus took his information from Aurelius' Divisiekroniek. - For the etymology itself see also R.E. Künzel et al., ed., Lexicon van nederlandse toponiemen tot 1200 (Amsterdam, 19892), s.v. Holland.
37. The Annales Egmundenses appear in O. Oppermann, ed., Fontes Egmundenses (Utrecht, 1933), pp. 111-208. `Holtlandia' is the form used throughout a large part, but `Hollandia' is found in the last section (pp. 181-208). - For Dorpius' strange use of "solent" instead of "solebant", see J. Trapman, `Solet Instead of solebat in Erasmus and other Neo-Latin Authors', Humanistica Lovaniensia, 44 (1995), 197-201. - For the Abbot of Egmond (Meynard Man, that is) see Bietenholz, Contemporaries, s.v.; Tilmans, Historiography, pp. 86-87, and `De Hollandse kroniek van Willem Hermans ontdekt. Een Egmondse codex uit ca. 1514', in: Heiligenlevens, Annalen en Kronieken. Geschiedschrijving in middeleeuws Egmond, ed. G.N.M. Vis et al. (Hilversum, 1990), pp. 177-181.
38. Adagia 3535 (Auris Bataua), ASD II, 8, pp. 36-44. Erasmus composed it in 1508. The text also appears, with a translation and a commentary, in Wesseling, `Are the Dutch Uncivilized?', pp. 89-102. Its reception in Dutch historiography is discussed by M.E.H.N. Mout, "`Het Bataafse oor'. De lotgevallen van Erasmus' adagium `Auris Batava' in de Nederlandse geschiedschrijving", Mededelingen van de Afdeling Letterkunde van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, 56 (1993), 76-102. The author disregards Barlandus' pamphlet. Other treatises that may be included in her survey are: Ioh. Isacius Pontanus, Rerum et urbis Amstelodamensium historia (Amsterdam, 1611; see book II, ch. 28); Marcus Zuerius Boxhornius, Theatrum sive Hollandiae comitatus et urbium nova descriptio (Amsterdam [1632]); and Jacobus Lydius, Belgium gloriosum (Dordrecht, 1668; see p. 4). Lastly, one may note that Conrad Busken Huet took Erasmus' adage as a starting-point for his famous work Het land van Rembrand. Studien over de Noordnederlandsche beschaving in de zeventiende eeuw (Haarlem, 1882; see book I, p. 7).
39. Ff. Fiii-Giii. Subsequently, Gerard Geldenhouwer (Geldenhaurius Noviomagus) included Crisostomo's letter in his Historia Batavica (Coloniae, 1541), pp. 74-82. 
40. See C. Minieri Riccio, Biografie degli Accademici Alfonsini (Napoli, 1981), p. 186; A. Lauri, Dizionario dei cittadini notevoli di Terra di Lavoro (Sora, 1915), p. 160, and G. Lamattina, Tra gli umanisti e i reali di Napoli (Salerno, Dottrinari ed., 1982). I owe this key reference to Prof. IJsewijn. In recent Dutch historiography, Chrysostomus Neapolitanus is incorrectly designated as "Panfilo Zancho" or "Zanchius". The origin of this erroneous identification can be traced to a volume published in 1603 at Cologne, in which Crisostomo's letter appears with the title De Hollandiae et Zelandiae situ et moribus Chrysostomi Zanchii epistola; see Historica Hadriani Barlandi ... nunc primum collecta simulque edita (Coloniae, 1603), pp. 254-260; cf. Vander Haeghen, Bibliotheca Belgica, I, B 288, p. 165. Subsequently, Petrus Scriverius gave the name as Chrysostomus Sanctius Neapolitanus; see Scriverius, ed., Batavia illustrata (Leiden, 1609).
41. He produced Latin translations of Greek treatises and tracts on current theological issues. He was present at the Council of Trent. He died in 1554. See Scipione Maffei, Verona illustrata (Verona, 1731-32), II, 170-174. I owe this reference to Prof. Tournoy.
42. See J.R. Hale, ed., The Travel Journal of Antonio de Beatis: Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, France, and Italy 1517-1518 (London, 1979); Dizionario biografico degli italiani, 33, s.v. De Beatis.
43. See Bietenholz, Contemporaries, s.v. Marliano.
44. See above. On Dutch cleanliness in later times see S. Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: an Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (New York, 1987), ch. 6.
45. The current approach in Dutch historiography is to emphasize the unity of Brabant, Flanders, Holland and Zeeland in this period rather than particularistic tendencies, while rejecting the anachronistic opposition between the northern and the southern Netherlands; see H. de Schepper, `Belgium Nostrum' 1500-1650. Over Integratie en Desintegratie van het Nederland (Antwerp, 1987).
46. See J. IJsewijn, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies, I (Louvain, 1990), p. 148; II (1998), pp. 401-402.
47. Marnixi Epistulae (above, n. 26), I, no. 61, line 9 "literas me accepisse ex Belgio"; and no. 63, line 6. In other letters, "Belgium" seems to refer to the Netherlands at large. 
48. See Haitsma Mulier - Van der Lem, Repertorium, no. 318.
49. See Wesseling, `Are the Dutch Uncivilized?', 73, 98, 100; and `Dutch Proverbs and Ancient Sources', 353-354.

50. See Tilmans, Historiography, pp. 199 ff. and 222. Aurelius' treatise was first printed in 1586 at Leiden, in a volume entitled Batavia (ed. Bonaventura Vulcanius). Marliano's eulogy is found on pp. 70-76. It also appears, following a letter from Busleyden to Marliano (1508), in: H. de Vocht, Jerome de Busleyden, founder of the Louvain Collegium Trilingue. His life and writings (Turnhout, 1950), pp. 379-382. Busleyden's reply is found ibid., pp. 383-389; for Holland see pp. 387-388.

51. Die cronycke van Hollandt Zeelandt ende Vrieslant (Leiden, 1517), I, 19, ff. 14v-15r. Another eulogy is found in I, 10. Barlandus used this work frequently in his own historical treatises; see Daxhelet, Barlandus, pp. 92-93, 99-104, 113-116, 120, followed by Tilmans, Historiography, p. 306. - For the sake of completeness, mention may be made here of Reyner Snoy, like Aurelius a native of Gouda, whose history of Holland (completed in 1519) was not published until 1620 (Reneri Snoi De rebus Batavicis or Rerum Batavarum libri XIII, in F. Sweertius Antverpianus [ed.], Rerum Belgicarum annales [Frankfurt, 1620]). Its first book includes a description of Holland (pp. 10-13), which largely consists of fragments taken from the letters by Crisostomo Colonna and Luigi Marliano and from Erasmus' Auris Bataua. See S. de Hemptinne, `Annius de Viterbe comme source dans le "De rebus Batavicis" de Renier Snoy', Humanistica Lovaniensia, 38 (1989), 110-123.

52. See Dorpius' Oratio (above, n. 30), 22, 9 "Ibi omne avium genus subsiliunt, circumvolitant, colludunt, deliciantur."
53. Guicciardini refers to Barlandus in his description of Zeeland (XIII, 3, 18; see the critical edition by D. Aristodemo [Amsterdam, dissertation, 1994], p. 420). As far as I can see, elements of Barlandus' survey are found only in Guicciardini's description of Louvain (VI, 2, 8 and 18).

Last Modified: 12-3-2010 13:19