First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…
FOLIO XI recto
(a) Building of Noah’s Ark

8-13/16” X 7-1/2”

The initial illustration of the Second Age of the World portrays the building of the Ark. On the seashore in the foreground are two carpenters, one a plain workman, the other in tight fitting medieval hose and jacket, a dagger in his belt, and shod in pointed shoes. They are squaring a large timber, of “gopher wood” no doubt, with formidable implements suited to the purpose. At the right appears Noah, a small wand in his hand, directing the work. In the background, but occupying most of the illustration, is the Ark in the course of construction. Several men are engaged upon it. Someone at the stern is drawing water from the sea. Behind this person is a bearded man with a rather doleful expression, who hands over the rail as if, in anticipation of a rough voyage, he already feels peculiar symptoms, although the ship is still firmly fixed in its improvised berth of logs.

The little vessel with its promenade deck and elaborate rails hardly seems adequate for the occasion. Except for its super-structure it resembles a miniature Spanish galleon, built for a pleasurable voyage. Amidship is the door, in which stands a woman gesturing to a man apparently boarding the vessel by way of a ladder (possibly one of Noah’s sons and his wife). The door opens into the bilge or “stercoraria,” into which dung and other refuse are deposited. On the deck above are the “appotheca herbarum” and “appotheca specierum” – storerooms for the lodgment of food and supplies for man and beast. Amidship on the upper deck is the “habitacio hominum,” reserved for Noah and his family. On either side of this are reservations for wild and domestic animals. But the artist has made no provision for fowl, although we know that the Ark housed at least a dove and a raven. Above the uncompleted vessel the dove already returns with the olive branch, signifying that the flood has subsided and the dry land has appeared. And thus by artistic license we quickly span the 150 days of the Flood.

(b) The Rainbow

Below the foregoing is a small woodcut of the Rainbow which God placed in the sky in token of his covenant with Noah, as set forth in the accompanying text.

The notations within the circumference of the rainbow are successively the signs of the Zodiac. Zodiac in astronomy and astrology is the name given to a zone of the heavens within which lie the paths of the sun, moon, and principal planets. It is bounded by two circles equidistant from the ecliptic, about 18 degrees apart. It is divided into twelve signs, and marked by twelve constellations.

In the technical sense of the word the twelve “signs” are geometrical divisions 30 degrees in extent counting from the position of the sun at the vernal equinox. In the time of Hipparchus the signs corresponded fairly closely with the constellations; that is to say, the first sign (called Aries) corresponded with the constellation Aries. Owing to precession there is now a discrepancy amounting to the breadth of a whole sign, so that the sign Aries is occupied by the constellation Pisces.

FOLIO XI recto

The Second Age of the World begins with Noah after the Flood and continues to Abraham for a varying period of years as described in the beginning of this book. However, for a period of one hundred years before the Flood the Lord had already appeared to Noah.


Noah, the son of Lamech, and a lover of divine honor and of justice, and possessed of ingenuity and perfection, found favor with the Lord; for while men’s minds were bent upon evil, he always sought to influence them to the pursuit of righteousness. And as the end of all flesh approached, the Lord commanded Noah to build an ark of gopher wood, pitched within and without with pitch, three hundred cubits[The cubit, being at first a natural measure, like hand or foot, denoted the distance from the elbow to the end of the middle finger, varying from 18 to 21.888 inches. It was generally reckoned at 21 inches, or 1.75 feet. This would make the ark 525 feet long, 87½ feet wide, and 52½ feet high.] (of which one makes six of the ordinary cubits, as Orosius, Augustine, and Hugo say) in length, fifty wide, and thirty high, that is, from the ground to the roof below the eaves, and to be completed in one cubit. And he was commanded to make small chambers in it, rooms in which to eat, a window, and a door below in the side of it. And after 120 years Noah carried into the finished ark all that was necessary to the comforts of life; and of every sort of animal, to preserve its species, he led in two, a male and a female. Thereafter, on the first day of the month of April, he and his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons went into the ark. And although the flood came, and the Lord destroyed all flesh, Noah and his people were saved. And the ark stood on the highest mountains of Armenia; and the place was called Ararat. When they came out of the ark they thanked God and made an altar and sacrificed to him. (And God said) “This is the token of the covenant I give between me and you, and to every creature.” The rainbow has two principal colors; some say six or four. The watery one denotes the bygone flood; the fiery one, the future judgment of fire. With the first, one should no longer concern himself, but certainly wait for the other.

In this year of the Flood the first age (from Adam to the Flood) is finally concluded, and the second age begins, and it continues to the birth of Abraham.

Now as Noah and his sons, and his wife and the wives of his sons had gone out of the ark and very soon built an altar, they sacrificed to the Lord of every clean animal and fowl the whole. And the Lord smelled the sweet savor of their sacrifices. Therefore the Lord blessed them and said,

FOLIO XI verso

Grow and multiply.[Genesis 8:18-91.] And from that moment the earth returned to its former state. And Noah began to be a farmer and to cultivate the soil. And he released all the animals to pasture; and as he (so they say) released a goat on a mountain called Coricus, in Sicily, the goat ate of a grapevine; and he became drunk and began to buck the other animals with his horns. As Noah saw this he noted the strength of the wild grapevine; and he planted the same vine with lion’s, swine’s, lamb’s and monkey blossoms. The vine having been planted in a good vineyard, bore perfect fruit; and Noah picked it, But as Noah drank of the wine and offered a libation, he made a great disturbance; and he became drunk. Like a lamb overcome by sleep, he lay indecently exposed. As Chaz (Ham) his son (the father of Canaan) saw his father’s nakedness, he told his brothers about it and showed them their father to laugh at. As Sem (Shem) and Japheth heard this, they were moved by filial affection toward their father and placed a cloak upon their shoulders, and they went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their eyes were backward, and they saw not the private parts of their father. And as Noah learned of this he wished his other sons salvation; and although he did not curse Ham, he did curse his seed. Now as Noah lived 350 years after the Flood (which years he enjoyed in happiness), and had now reached the age of 950 years, he died.[Genesis 9:20-29.] In addition to Shem, Ham, Japheth and Jonicus, other sons and daughters were born to Noah after the Flood, and through these sons other sons, and sons of sons, and he saw his generations greatly multiplied.

After the division of tongues, many races and varieties of miraculous people appeared in various places in accordance with the will of God. For just as the Almighty graced this beautiful world with men of uniform likeness, so he also introduced therein miraculous creatures, some of whom are formed as is stated in what follows. Item: Some have but one eye, and that in the middle of the forehead. Some are a cubit in height, and do not live more than eight years. They live in the mountains of India, near the great sea, in a wholesome and ever verdant region. They conduct an unusual warfare against the cranes. Their wives bear at the age of five years.[] Item: Others have very large feet and legs, but no paunches, and are marvelously fleet of foot. In the summertime, while lying on their backs, they protect themselves against the sun by the shade of their feet.[] Item: Some are without heads, their eyes being in their shoulders.[] Item: Some have the heads of dogs.[ “On many of the mountains again, there is a tribe of men who have the heads of dogs, and clothe themselves with the skins of wild beasts. Instead of speaking, they bark; and furnished with claws, they live by hunting and catching birds. According to the story, as given by Ctesias, the number of these people is more than a hundred and twenty thousand.” (Pliny, , VII, ch. 2). This account probably originated in a species of monkey, with a projecting muzzle, called, from this circumstance, cynocephalus, or the “Dog’s head.” This account is repeated by Aulus Gellius, Bk. IX c. 4. The cynocephalus is generally considered to be the baboon.] In addition there are many and various other races of miraculous creatures that will be mentioned later in the text. Histories also record forms of people out of the ordinary course of nature, most of whom live far from the sea, and whom many considered miraculous and beyond belief. Who, without having seen them, would believe that such men as Ethiopians exist? And what person is not surprised when he sees one for the first time? Many things are considered impossible before they are seen. Item: In Scythia, the country to the north, in a district called Geskleithron, are people such as are depicted on the following page, and who have but one eye, and that in the center of the forehead, and who are constantly at war with the Griffins.

“In the vicinity also of those who dwell in the northern regions, and not far from the spot from which the north wind arises, and the place which is called the cave, and is known by the name of Geskleithron, the Arimaspi are said to exist, whom I have previously mentioned, a nation remarkable for having but one eye, and that placed in the middle of the forehead. This race is said to carry on a perpetual warfare with the Griffins, a kind of monster, with wings, as they are commonly represented, for the gold which they dig out of the mines, and which these wild beasts retain and keep watch over with a singular degree of cupidity, while the Arimaspi are equally desirous to get possession of it.” (Pliny, Natural History, VII, ch. 2). The figures of the Gryphons or Griffins are found not uncommonly on the friezes and walls at Pompeii. In the east, where there were no safe places of deposit for money, it was the custom to bury it in the earth; hence, for the purpose of scaring depredators, the story was circulated that hidden treasures were guarded by serpents and dragons. There can by little doubt that these stories, on arising in the western world, combined with the knowledge of the existence of gold in the Uralian chain and other mountains of the east, gave rise to the stories of the Griffins and the Arimaspi.

It has been conjectured that these fabulous tales of the combats of the Arimaspi with the Griffins were invented by the neighboring tribes who were anxious to throw a mystery over the origin of the gold, that they might preserve the traffic in their own hands. The Altai Mountains, in the north of Asia, contain many gold mines, which are still worked, as well as traces of former workings. The representation of an animal, somewhat similar to the Griffin, has been found among the sculptures of Persepolis, and is conceived to have had some allegorical allusion to the religion of the ancient inhabitants of the place. Aelian, Hist. Anim. B. iv. c.27, gives an account of the Griffin, and its contests with the Indians, for the gold, similar to that here given.

Item: In Scythia, in a valley of Mount Imaus (here called Timani)[The modern Himalaya range.] there is a vast country called Abarimon, the inhabitants of which are a savage race, whose feet are turned backwards; but they possess wonderful velocity, and wander about indiscriminately with the wild beasts. They cannot breathe in any other climate but their own, for which reason it is impossible to take them before any of the neighboring kings; nor could any of them be brought before Alexander the Great.[Pliny, , VII, c.2. Aulus Gellius also relates this, among other wonderful tales, in the chapter, “On the Miraculous Wonders of Barbarous Nations,” IX c.4. He cites among his authorities, Aristeas and Isigonus, whom he designates as “writers of no mean authority.”] Item: In India, and the region of Ethiopia in particular, the largest animals are produced, resembling dogs, but much larger. Also there are trees so high that they cannot be shot over. This is due to the singular fertility of the soil, the equable temperature of the atmosphere, and the abundance of water. The reeds here are also of such great length, that each section of them, between the joints, forms a tube out of which a boat can be made that is capable of holding three men.[Aelian, . XVI.c.11, and XVII.c.26, refers to the large size of many of the animals of India; and in book IV.c.19, he describes the size and fierceness of the Indian dog. The reed referred to is the bamboo cane that frequently grows to the height of tallest trees. The stem is hollow, and the parts between the join the joints are used for canoes by the natives. Herodotus mentions them (III.c.98). The text at this point is from Pliny, , VII.c.2.] On Mount Nulo (here called Milo) there is a race of men whose feet are turned backwards, with eight toes on each foot.[From Pliny, , VII.c.2.] Item: Among a certain race in India the females are pregnant but once in the course of their lives, and their children age rapidly.[] Item: some people have holes in their faces instead of nostrils. At the very extremity of India, on the eastern side, near the source of the river Ganges, there is a nation of people who have no mouths; their bodies are rough and hairy, and they cover themselves with a down plucked from the leaves of trees. These people subsist only by breathing and by the odors which they inhale through their nostrils. They take neither food nor drink. When they go on a long journey they carry with them only various odoriferous roots, flowers, and wild apples. Should they encounter an odor of unusual strength, they die.[Pliny, , VII.c.2.] Item: In those parts of India where there is no shadow, the bodies of men attain height of five cubits and two palms, and their life is prolonged for 130 years; they die without any symptoms of old age, and just as if they were in the middle period of life.[The cubit is 21 inches; the span, 9 inches; total, 10 feet 3inches.] Item: In another region of India are people who live 200 years. In youth their hair is white, and it becomes black in old age.[] Item: In the island of Taprobane life is prolonged to a great length, while the body is exempt from illness.[ “Artemidorus states that in the island of Taprobane life is prolonged to an extreme length, while, at the same time, the body is exempt from weakness,” (Pliny, , VII. c.2). This refers to the island of Ceylon, of which Pliny has given an account in his last book, c.24.] Item: A race of people, the Oritae (hero called Sorite), whom the river Arabis divides from the people of India, know no other food but fish, which they tear apart with their finger-nails, dry it in the sun, and make bread of it.[] Item: In the deserts of Africa a species of human beings men suddenly appears, and then vanishes in an instant.[The reference may be to mirages.] Many Greek historians have written concerning these miraculous and rare beings, and thus have acquainted us with the ingenuity of nature, discovering the powers by which she created such and similar beings for us to marvel at and to meditate upon. Some of these will appear in the illustrations that follow.[]


Pliny, Augustine and Isidore have written of variously shaped people, of whom mention will be made hereafter. In India are people with the heads of dogs, who bark when they speak. They sustain themselves by catching birds and clothe themselves in the skins of animals. Item: Some have but one eye, which is in the forehead above the nose. Their diet is restricted to animal flesh. Item: In Lybia some are born headless and have mouth and eyes. Some are double-sexed, the right breast male, the left one female. They are indiscriminate in their associations with one another and bear children. Item: Toward Paradise, by the River Ganges, are people who do not eat. Their mouths are so small that they are obliged to drink through a straw. They live upon the odor of fruits and flowers. They quickly die if they encounter evil odors. In this country there are also people without noses, their faces flat. Some have lower lips so large that they cover the entire face. Item: Some have no tongues, and speak to one another in winks, in the manner of the cloister people. Item: In Sicily some people have ears so large that they cover the whole body.

Item: In Ethiopia some wander about with their bodies bent downward in the manner of animals; and some of these live four hundred years. Item: Some have horns, long noses and goat’s feet; and these are spoken of throughout the legends of St. Anthony. Item: In Ethiopia, toward the west, are people with but one foot, which is very broad. They are so fleet that they pursue the wild animals. Item: In Soythia are people with hoofs like a horse. Item: And there are some people five cubits in length and who never sicken until death. Item: In the histories of Alexander the Great one reads of people in India who have six hands. Item: Some are naked and rough and live in the water; some have six digits on hands and feet. Others who live in the water are half man and half horse. Item: Women with beards extending down to their breasts, but their heads hairless and bald. Item: In Ethiopia, toward the west, some have four eyes. So in Eripia are people with necks like those of cranes, and bills for mouths. But it is unbelievable, as Augustine writes, that there are certain people in the region of the earth opposed to us and where the sun rises, who reverse the position of their feet when the sun sets. However, there is much dispute among writers as to just where people in general reside; for round about us people live everywhere upon the earth, directing their footsteps against one another, and standing upon the earth. And yet, they all turn the crowns of their heads toward heaven; and we wonder why we, or they who turn their heels toward us, do not fall. But that is the nature of things. For just as the seat of fire is nowhere than in the fire, that of water nowhere but in the water, and that of the spirit nowhere but in the spirit itself, so the seat of the earth is nowhere but within itself.


The illustrations to this subject, (textually treated at Folio XI verso and Folio XII recto), are arranged in three narrow vertical panels, two of which appear at Folio XII recto and one at Folio XII verso. The panels are slightly over 14” in height and exactly 2¼” in width. Each panel contains seven illustrations, making a total of twenty-one various types of freaks described in the text:

  1. A dog-headed man, seated, violently gesturing with his hands, and conversing in empathetic barks.
  2. A one-eyed individual, kneeling and holding up one hands in gesture of a blessing.
  3. Headless figure, seated; his face in his chest. He gestures with his right hand while he uproots a plant with his left.
  4. Seated figure, feet reversed; gesturing.
  5. A being, half woman and half man.
  6. One-legged man lying on his back in the sunshine, and shading himself with an enormous foot, the only one he has.
  7. Man with mouth so small that he is obliged to drink from a tumbler through a straw.
  1. A noseless creature, seated on the greensward, and gesticulating as if in conversation.
  2. Kneeling figure, large open mouth, lower lip extended to size and shape of a saucer.
  3. Seated figure with elephantine ears extending below the hips.
  4. A gesticulating figure, with two long horns, long nose and cloven feet.
  5. A fleet individual, pursuing a deer which he grasps by the antlers.
  6. Seated figure, talking and gesticulating. He has horses hoofs in place of feet.
  7. Man with shield and club attacking a group of protesting cranes.
  1. Kneeling figure, violently gesticulating with six arms.
  2. Hairy woman, seated and gesticulating.
  3. Man, moving along in a kneeling crouch and gesturing with six-fingered hands.
  4. A creature, half horse and half man, gesturing.
  5. Kneeling figure of a bearded lady; head bald; gesturing.
  6. Four-eyed creature, resting on one knee; one hand extended as if to emphasize speech.
  7. Seated figure, long S-shaped neck; beak in lieu of mouth; gesturing with both hands.

As we analyze and compare these twenty-one figures, we find that most of them have one thing in common: gesticulation. And we wonder why so much action was introduced. The artist may have had several motives: (a) To give the figures human attributes, through speech and gesture, to indicate that they are deformed humans and not animals of the lower orders; (b) to exhibit their hands for the same reason; (c) to make the figures attract our attention, as figures in action always do. They are not mere stolid portraits.

General Division of the World

The world is called a circumference because it is formed like a globe. It is divided into three parts—Asia, Africa, and Europe. The divisions are not equal, for Asia extends from the South, through the East, to the North; Europe from the North to the West; and Africa from the South to the West. Asia alone


comprehends half of the inhabited world; Africa and Europe, the other ha1f. These are separated by a common sea that runs out of the Great Ocean. Now, if you divide the world into two parts, as the East and the West, Asia will be in one part and Africa and Europe in the other. And so the sons of Noah divided it after the Flood: Shem and his descendants took Asia; Japheth, Europe; and Ham, Africa; as the Scriptures, Chrysostom, Isidore, and Pliny say.

FOLIO XII verso and XIII recto
Map of the World

This map extends over two pages. The shape is irregular. The upper and lower bounds are concentrically circular, the sides straight and vertical for a short distance, and then converging at an obtuse angle in straight lines to the circular bounds at the top of the map. The map is held by Japheth, Shem and Ham, the three sons of Noah, who divided the continents between them. They occupy three corners of the woodcut. A wide band or frame surrounds the map, and in this frame appear twelve heads with cheeks distended, blowing from as many different directions toward the world. All the heads are very similar—round faces, pug-noses, and unruly hair—with one exception: the wind-god who blows from the direction of Shem is of a decidedly Semitic type, having a pronounced nose and thick black hair. An exception might have been made to the general design in case of the cold north winds which, by reason of their savage inclemency, are often pictured as rude barbarians with heavy beards; but this was not done.

Ancient superstitions, mythology, and literature have all contributed additional and special names for the winds blowing from the different quarters of the earth. The Greeks personified the winds as divine beings under the control of Zeus and Poseidon (Neptune). The principal ones were Boreas, the north wind; Eurus, the east wind; Notus, the south wind, and Zephyrus, the west wind. All were the offspring of Eos and Astraeus. The character and appearance ascribes to each of these deities was such as to suggest the phenomena of each wind, such as the strength and fury of the north wind, the genial warmth of the south west wind. Some were thought of as male, some as female, and all were winged. Eurus, who brought warmth and rain from the east, was usually represented as holding an inverted vase, as if pouring rain from it Zephyrus, coming from the warm, mild west, was lightly clad, and carried a quantity of flowers in a scarf.

Just as we find Roman names for most of the Greek deities, so with the winds. Among the Latins the north wind was also known as Seprentrio (Septrentrio, or Septemptrio), and as Aparcias; the east wind, also as Subsolanus (erroneously referred to in the Chronicle, folio V verso, as Bubsolanus); the south wind, as Auster; the west wind, as Favonius. Septemptrio and its variable forms simply designate direction, as septentrianos venti (north wind). Subsolanus, the designation of the east wind, is simply a personification of subsolar, under the sun; specifically, tropical. Auster is simply a Latin designation of direction and not a personification.

The prevalence in particular districts of winds blowing from this or that point between the chief quarters, gave rise to further names in order to distinguish these special winds: Aquilo or Aquilon, the north or northeast wind; Euronotus (erroneously spelled Euronothus in the Chronicle), Euroauster, and Vulturnus, the shoutheast wind; Africus, Lips and Libonotus, as well as Apliotes, all personifications of the southwesters; and Caurus, or Corus (Chorus, in the Chronicle), for northwesters. Aquilo is to be connected with Aquilus, the black stormy one. Euronotus and Euroauster are easily recognized as compounds of Eurus (east wind), and Notus or Auster (south wind); hence southeast. Vulturnus is so called from the Roman Vultur, a mountain dividing Apulia and Lucania, near Venusia, and which is a branch of the Appenines. This mountain is celebrated by Horace as one of the haunts of youth. Africus requires no explanation. Lips, designating the southwest wind, is not to be confused with Libs, the west-southwest wind. Libonotus is easily recognized as a combining form. Apeliotes, also a personification of the southwest wind, is represented as carrying fruits of many kinds and not so lightly clad as Zephyrus.

All the winds contained in the border of this map bear names—some single, others in the alternative. Beginning at the center of the upper portion of this border, the winds are designated as follows:

  1. Seprentrio vel Aparcias
    , the north wind.
    is the Latin for the alternative “or.”
  2. Aquilo vel Boreas
    , also the north wind, according to the Latin and the Greek names.
  3. Vulturnus
    (Latin) southeast wind.
  4. Subsolanus
    (Latin) east wind.
  5. Eurues
    (Latin adaptation from the Greek), and also meaning east wind.
  6. Euronothus
    , southeast wind.
  7. Auster vel Nothus
    , the south wind, Auster being the Latin and Nothus the Greek names.
  8. Libanotus vel Euroauster
    . Although the artist considers these names synonymous, they are not the same: Libonotus is a south by southwest wind; Euoauster is a southeast wind.
  9. Afficus vel Lips
    . The former is a southwest wind; the latter, a west by southwest wind.
  10. Favonius
    , synonyms for west wind.
  11. Chorus qui et Agrestes
    : The northwest wind, which is wild or savage. Correctly spelled Caurus or Corus.
  12. Circius
    vel Tracias
    (Thracias): Circius has been defined as a violent wind blowing in Gallia Narbonensis; perhaps from circus, on account of its circular motion. To the Romans it meant a west-northwest wind. Thrascias (Thracias, or Tracias, as it is spelled in the Chronicle), is the north-northwest wind, and is therefore not exactly synonymous with Circius, a west-northwest wind. The name Thrascias probably had its origin in the fact that Boreas and his satellites had their home in Thrace, from whence they blew for better or for worse.

Map Inscription

Japheth, Shem and Ham not being sufficient in number to cover the four corners of the map, the fourth corner was filled with the following inscription in Latin:

Ventorum quatuor cardinales sunt Primum, septentrio flat rectus ab axe, faciens frigora et nubes; huic dexter circius nives et grandines. A sinistris Boreas constringens. Secundus, subsolanus ab ortu temperatus; vulturnus deluctans eurus nubes generans. Tertium, auster humidus fulmineus. A dextris euro auster calidus; a sinistris euro nothus tempestuosis. Quartus, Zephyrus, hiemem resolvens producens flores; a latere affricus generans fulmins et corpus nubile faciens.

Translation of Map Inscription

The four cardinal winds are: Firstly, Septrentrio, which blows straight from the Pole, producing cold and clouds; at its right Circius, snow and hail; at its left Boreas, constricts by freezing. Secondly, Subsolanus, is tempered by its origin; Vulturnus is a dry wind; Eurus produces clouds. Thirdly, Auster is moust and produces lightening; at its right Euro, hot; at its left Euronotus, stormy. Fourthly, Zephyrus, putting an end to winter and bringing forth blossoms; at its side Africus, generating thunderstorms and producing clouds in masses.

Place Names on the Map
ARABIA FELIXS.E. Arabia, anciently
COLLONE HERCULESPillars of Hercules
FELIXArabia Felix
GALICIAGallaecia (A province in N.W. Spain)
INDIA EE GANGEM India beyond the Ganges
INDIA INTRA GANGEMIndia within the Ganges
INSULE FORTUNATEFortunate Islands (Canaries)
LIVONIALivonia (now partly in Latvia)
MAURITANIAMauretania (now Morocco and part of Algeria)
PALUS MAEOTISSwamps of Maeotis (Sea of Azov)

A tract of country in the eastern part of Asia inhabited by people called Seres. According to Ptolemy, it was bounded on the west by Scythia extra Imaum, on the northeast by an unknown land, on the east by the Sinae, and on the south by India. Modern opinions vary respecting its site, but the best geographers concur in placing it at the northwest angle of the present empire of China. The name of Serica as a country was not known before the first century of our era, though there are earlier accounts of the people called Seres.

The first silk reached the Greeks and Romans from this region. The words “silk” and “serge” are certainly from Latin Seres (“the Chinese”); a word probably of Chinese origin, notwithstanding the fact that the Chinese do not employ the letter ‘r.’



Asia derived its name from a woman who, according to the ancients, was the ruler of the Orient.[The origin of the names of Europe and Asia is lost in antiquity. The Greek writers give two derivations. First, according to their system of referring the names of tribes and countries to a person as eponymus, they tell of a nymph named Asia, one of the Oceanids, daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, the wife of Iapetus, and the mother of Prometheus. In this mythical genealogy Asia is connected with the Titanic deities, and Europe with the race of Zeus. The other class of derivations connects Asia with Lydia, which some of the grammarians distinctly state to have been at first called Asia; an opinion which Strabo (XIII) ascribes to the school of Demetrius of Scepsis. We are told of a city called Asia, near Mount Tmolus, where the Lydian lyre was invented. Acording to Herodotus, the Lydians derived the name of Asia from their ancient king, Asies, son of Cotys, and grandson of Manes, who also have name to the tribe Asias at Sardis.] Asia has many countries, provinces and districts, and therein lies the earthly Paradise which, according to the Greek and Hebrew tongues, means Garden of Pleasure. Item: In this part of Asia lie the countries and regions hereinafter named: India is so called after the river Indus, which is on the west. It flows from the southern sea[Indian Ocean ( Indicus Oceanus ).] to the east, and to the north as far as the Caucasus Mountains. It has many peoples and cities, and an island named Thephana,[ Probably the island of Patala, which, according to Pliny, lay at the mouth of the Indus, triangular in form, and 220 miles in breadth ( VI. c.23). It is by some supposed to have been Lower Scinde, in the vicinity of Kurrachee, with its capital Potala.] abounding in precious stones and elephants; also the islands of Chryse and Argyre,[ “Beyond the mouth of the Indus are the islands of Chrise and Argyre, abounding in metals, I believe; but as to what some persons have stated, that the soil consists of gold and silver, I am not so willing to give a ready credence to that,” (Pliny, VI. c.24). Ansart suggests that these may be the Laccadives. Their name means the “gold” and “silver” islands.] rich in gold and silver; and the “tylem” tree,[Probably the linden (Latin ).] which is never without leaves. India has three rivers, the Ganges, Indus, and the Hypanis.[Should be Hypasis, most eastern and most important of the five rivers that water the Punjab. The modern name is Sutlej. It bore various names in ancient and modern times. Pliny calls it Hypasis; Ptolemy, Bibasis; Strabo, Hypanis.] The weather and climate in India are so good, and the soil is so fertile that there are two harvests in the year. The cool winds of midnight take the place of winter. India produces colored people, large elephants, unicorns, parrots, ebony wood, cinnamon reeds, pepper, calamus, the noble liverwort, ivory, precious stones, such as beryl, chrysoprasus,[A precious stone of golden yellow and leek-green color.] diamonds, carbuncles, ligures, fine small pearls, and large individual ones, which the noble ladies passionately crave. There are also mountains of gold that no one dares approach because of dragons, griffins and giants. In Asia are the countries of Parthia, Assyria, Media, Persia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Chaldea, Arabia, or Sabai,[Now called Yemen, in Arabia. The Sabeans were noted for their enterprise and wealth.] and Syria. Item: Syria comprises many lands, such as Comagene,[The most easterly district of Syria.] Phoenicia, and Palestine, in which lies Judea. In Phoenicia is the city of Tyre. Judea derived its name from Judah, out of whose stock Judea drew its ruling kings. It lies in Palestine, and was formerly called Canaan, after the son of Cain, or after the Cainitic line that was driven from it and supplanted by the Jews with the help of God. In the midst of this country of Judea lies Jerusalem, a land wealthy in possessions and estates, productive of fruits, surrounded by water and endowed with balsams. Item: Samaria lies in Palestine, and the capital is also called Samaria. There the kings of Israel maintained their royal seats, just as the kings of Judea ruled from Jerusalem. Galilee also lies in Palestine. The land of Pentapolis[Pentapolis here refers to the five “cities of the plain,” to which the name is applied in the apocryphal (X. 6); namely Sodom, Gomorrha, Adama, Zeboim, and Zoar, all of which (except the last, which was spared at the intercession of Lot) were destroyed by fire from heaven, and the valley in which they stood was buried beneath the waters of the dead sea.] lies in the vicinity of Arabia and Palestine, and has five cities, as Sodom, Gomorrha, etc. Nabathae[The Nabathae were an Arabian people, descended from the eldest son of Ishmael, and had their original abodes in the northwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The Nabathaeans of Greek and Roman history occupied nearly the whole of the Arabian Petraea, along the northeast coast of the Red Sea; and here was their capital, Petra. At first a pastoral people, they later became successful traders, and set up a powerful monarchy. Under Augustus they were nominal subjects of the Roman Empire. Under Trajan, Arabia Petraea became a Roman province (105-107 CE). In the fourth century it was considered part of Palestine. The Muslim conquest finally overthrew the power of the Nabathaeans, long on the wane. The country soon became a haunt for wandering Arabs, and their very name disappeared.] lies between Judea and Arabia. Item: The country called Egypt also lies in Asia. There is little rain. Its only river, the Nile, overflows and inundates the land, making it so fertile that it supplies all the world with its produce. Item: Scythia, Hyrcania,[Hyrcania, a province of the ancient Persian empire, on the Caspian or Hyrcanian Sea, and separated by mountains from Media, Parthia, and Margiana.] Albania, Armenia, Iberia,[Iberia (southern Georgia) a country of Asia in the center of isthmus between the Black and Caspian seas; bounded on the north by the Caucasus, on the west by Colchis, on the east by Albania, on the south by Armenia.] and Cappadocia are also in Asia. Item: Asia Minor is bounded on the east by Cappadocia, and the remainder is surrounded by the sea. It comprehends Bithynia, Phrygia, Galatia, Lydia, Carts, Pamphylia, Isauria, Lycia, and Oicilia. Bithynia, which is also called Greater Phrygia, lies to the east of the sea. It has a city called Nicomedia[Nicomedia, capital city of Bithynia.] to which Hannibal fled, and where he afterward died by poisoned drink. In Phrygia, or Dardania, is Troy,[In fact a city founded by Dardanus on the Hellespont, southwest of Abydos; whence its modern name of Dardanelles.] which Tros,[ Tros, a king of Phrygia, after whom Troy was named. He was the son of Ericthonius, and grandson of Dardanus. The country and the people of Troy derived their name from him.] the king, named after himself. Now, there are two Phrygias, the greater embracing Smyrna; the smaller, Ilium and Pycaonia. Pamphylia was taken into the country of Cicilia. Selucia is the capital of Isauria. Tarsus is the capital of Cicilia. In Lycia is the marvelous Mount Chimaera,[Chimaera, a fire-breathing monster, the fore part of whose body was that of a lion, the hind part that of a dragon, and the middle that of a goat. According to Hesiod, she was the daughter of Typhaon and Echidna. She made great havoc in Lycia and the surrounding countries, and was at length killed by Bellerophon. The origin of the notion may be sought in the volcano of the name of Chimaera near Phaselis, in Lycia. In works of art discovered at Lycia, several representations of the Chimaera were found, in the simple forms of a species of lion still occurring in that country.] which emits fire, like Mount Aetna in Sicily, and Zwickau, in Germany.

Europe is named after the daughter of Agenor, king of Libya,[ Libya is the Greek name of the continent of Africa in general.] whom Jupiter abducted from Africa and carried off to the island of Crete.[Jupiter, in the form of a bull, carried off Europa according to Greek mythology.] One third of the world was named for her.[ Opinions vary as to the origin of the name Europe. One is that the appellation is derived from Europa, daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor. This neither satisfied geographers generally, nor Herodotus in particular, who indeed wonders (IV.45) how it should come to pass that the three main divisions of the earth were named for three females—Asia, Libya, and Europa. The connection of Europe with Phoenicia is obvious; for Tyrian and Sidonian mariners were the earliest explorers of the bays and coast of the Mediterranean, and among the first colonizers of its principal islands and its western shores. They were the first also who passed through the Pillars of Hercules, surveyed the coasts of Spain and Gaul, and entered the German Ocean, and perhaps the Baltic Sea. The name Europa bears a close resemblance to the Semitic word Oreb —the land of sunset. Such a name the Phoenicians of Asia might well give to the regions westward of the Aegean, even as the Italian navigators in the Middle Ages, looking from the opposite quarter, called the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean the Levant, or the region of sunrise. Another theory is that the root of Europa is the wife of Zeus, while Asia is the sister or wife of Prometheus. And thus, apparently the line of Zeus and the Olympian divinities is connected with the continent of Europe; and the line of Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas, etc., or the Titanic powers, with Asia and Libya.] Europe begins at the river Tanais, extends to the northern ocean, and westward to Spain. The first region of Europe is Lower Scythia, which begins with the sand sea, or swamps, known in Latin as Palus Maeotis ,[Now the Sea of Azov.] and extending from the Danube to the northern ocean, reaches westward to Germany; and because of the character and manners of the inhabitants, it is called Barbaria. Of this region Gothia,[Country of the Goths, the greatest northern tribe of Germany.] afterwards Germania, or Germany, is the first part; and therein the inhabitants were mostly of the Suevi.[The Suevi were one of the greatest and most powerful peoples of Germany. The name applied collectively to a great number of German tribes, grouped together on account of their migratory life. The Suevi are described by the ancients as occupying the greater half of Germany. Later this collective name disappeared, and the different tribes were called by their distinctive names. In the third century, however, we again find a people called Suevi, dwelling between the mount of the Main and the Black Forest, whose name is still preserved in the modern Swabia; but it is said, this people were merely a body of bold adventurers, who assumed the celebrated name of the Suevi, because they possessed no distinctive appellation of their own.] Germany, beyond Lower Scythia, is bounded or enclosed by the Danube, between the Rhine and the Sea. This is a powerful country, and it is populated with a great number of earnest people. Because of its fertility and fruitfulness it is called Germania, which signifies the bearing one.

There have been various speculations as to the origin of the name Germania. The reason which the author here assigns, namely, that because of its fertility and fruitfulness, the country was called Germania, “which signifies the bearing one,” I have not found in any other work. As a Latin scholar Schedel would have had the Latin root (germen) for germinate in mind; but the name was not original with the Romans. The name did not become current with the Romans until the time of Caesar, who learned it from the Gauls. It is said that the name is of Celtic origin, and most probably meant woodsmen, or forest-dwellers, which name the Gauls applied to the uncultured people of Celtic or Germanic origin in the region of the Maas and the Lower Rhine, who did not live in cities. Finally the name was confined to the latter, but came to designate collectively the great nation beyond the Rhine—the Germani. The Germanic peoples themselves probably first learned the name from the Gauls, and only applied it to themselves in commerce with foreigners, particularly the Romans. The name never became popular with them; but at a later time the learned seized upon the name, and gave it a wider scope than it originally enjoyed. There are other writers who derive the word from the German ger, gwer, Heer, Wehr, so that the word would be equivalent to Wehrman, Wehrmanner, that is, warriors.

Germania was bounded by the Rhine on the West, by the Vistula and Carpathian mountains on the East, by the Danube on the South, and by the German Ocean and the Baltic Sea on the North. This area the Romans called Germania Magna, or Germania Transrhenana, or Germania Barbara, and this must be carefully distinguished from the Roman province of Germania Cisrhenana, which designated the regions on the westerly side of the Rhine, which was occupied by peoples of Germanic origin. At first these regions were reckoned as part of Gallia Belgica; but under Augustus they were called Germania after the occupants, and were divided into two parts: Germania Superior or Germania Prima, from the Jura Mountains to the Nahe, and Germania Inferior or Germania Secunda, from the Nahe to the sea.

It has precious stones, crystals, and electrum. Now there is an Upper Germany, by the northern ocean, and a Lower Germany, by the Rhine—the land which the Danube divides from the Barbarian Sea to the sea which divides the earth.


Moesia,[Moesia, an ancient Roman province; the modern Bulgaria and Serbia.] Pannonia,[Pannonia, an ancient Roman province between the Danube and the Save rivers.] Rhaetia,[Rhaetia, an ancient Roman province, conquered in 15 BCE, embracing part of modern Tyrol and the Grisons, and later extended to the Danube.] then Thrace,[Thrace, a region of indefinite extent in northeastern Macedonia. Roman Thrace extended as far north as the Balkan mountains.] with Constantinople to the east, and Macedonia to the west—in these countries various people lived: the Moesians, the Getae,[The Getae were related to or identical with the Dacians; a Thracian nation or tribe. Originally occupied the territory between the Haemus and the Ister, but crowded to the north side of the river by the Macedonians.] the Sarmatians, the Scythians, and others. Item: Greece has on the east, Dalmatia, Epirus, Hellas, Thessaly, Macedonia, Achaoa, and Illyria. And all Greece and Dalmatia was named after Delim,[Delim, probably refers to Dalminium or Delminium. It was the capital from which Dalmatia derived its name. In ancient times the country nearly corresponded to the modern Dalmatia.] the largest city of these provinces. In Epirus lies Chaonia, formerly called Molossia. Item: Bellas, also called Attica, is the real Greece, and Athens, the city, is the mother of letters and the nourisher of the wise. But Hellas consists of two provinces, Boetia and Thessaly, wherein golden coins were first minted, and the taming of horses was first conceived of. Item: Macedonia, formerly called Emathia,[The original Emathia, as mentioned by Homer, is coupled with Pieria as lying between the Hellenic cities of Thessaly and Paeonia, and Thrace.] is near Media which is to the north. It was the country of Alexander the Great’s father.[Philip of Macedon.] It is rich in veins of gold and silver. In it is Mt. Olympus, which is so high that on its peak are found neither air nor clouds. Item: Achaia is almost an island, and in it lies the capital city of Corinth, an honor to Greece. Item: Arcadia, or Sicaonia, has the mineral asbestos, which when once ignited, can never be extinguished.[According to Pliny, “Asbestos is found in the mountains of Arcadia, and is of an iron color,” (, XXXVII. c.54). At another place Pliny calls it amianthus, and says that it resembles aluminum in appearance, and that it suffers no diminution from the action of fire (Book XXXVI). And he adds, “This substance effectually counteracts all noxious spells, those wrought by magicians in particular.” It is apparent that Schedel had no personal knowledge of asbestos. He states that once ignited, it can never be extinguished. Of course, we know that asbestos does not burn, and we can account for Schedel’s misinformation by calling to mind the asbestos wicks of the inextinguishable lamps of the Middle Ages, the existence of which was generally believed in at the time.] Item: Pannonia, so called from the Italian mountains which divide it from Italy, is a powerful country, and a good and happy land. Istria is named after the river Danube, which is also called the Ister. Pannonia is north of the river. Italy was once called Magna Graecia, and later on Latium. Finally it was called Italia, being named after Italus, its king.[Italus, a king of the Pelasgians, after whom, according to Roman mythology, Italy was named. At the time of Augustus the chief divisions of Italy were (1) Upper Italy, (2) Central Italy, or Italia Propria, and (3) Lower Italy, called Magna Graecia. At this time Latium was but one of the five provinces of Central Italy.] This country is most beautiful in every respect; it is fertile, and productive of wholesome and agreeable foodstuffs. It has three seas, Benacus[Lake Garda.], Alumnus,[Probably Lemanus Lacus, or Lake Leman (Lake of Geneva).] and Lucerne. It also has two rivers, the Eridanus, also called Padus,[Eridanus is the mythical and poetical name of the Po, Italy’s largest river.] and the Tiber. Italy produces precious stones, pearls, silks, corals, ligures, and snakes which are called boas. Italy and Spain are also called Hesperia.[Hesperia means Western Land. The name was given to Italy by the Greek poets because it lay west of Greece. In imitation the Roman poets gave the name of Hesperia to Spain, which they sometimes called Ultima Hesperia, to distinguish it from Italy, which they occasionally called Hesperia Magna. Hesperus is the evening star.] Tuscany is a part of Italy, and Umbria is a part of Tuscany; and Tuscany lies on the heights of the Italian mountains in the southern part of Italy. Etruria is a part of Italy. Item: Apulia. Item: Campania is a province of Italy which is verdant in summer and winter; for there the sun is bountiful, the climate temperate, and the air clear. Item: Gaul is protected on the east by high mountains, and it has the sea on the west. To the south are the Pyrenees and Spain; to the north are the Rhine and Germany.

It begins at Belgica,[In Caesar’s time Gaul was divided into three parts, Aquitania, Celtica and Belgica, according to the three different races by which it was inhabited. The Aquitani dwelt in the southwest between the Pyrenees and the Garumna, now the Garone; the Celtae, or Galli proper, in the center and west between the Garumna and the Sequana (now the Seine) and the Matrona, now the Marne; and the Belgae in the northeast, between the two last mentioned rivers and the Rhine.] and extends to Aquitania. This region is fertile, produces good food and fodder, and is well watered by rivers and springs. There are two rivers, the Rhine and the Rhone. Belgica is a state in Gaul, from which the country of Belgium derived its name. Hispania was first called Iberia after the river of the same name, and was thereafter called Hispania.[The name in general used among the Greeks during the historical period was Iberia, which was understood to be derived from the Iberus (now the Ebro), the principal river in northeastern Spain. It rises among the mountains of the Cantabri, flows southeast through a great plain, and falls into the Mediterranean near Dertosa, after forming a delta. This Iberia is not to be confused with the ancient Iberia in Asia, conquered by the Arabs in the 7th century, and which is now the country of Georgia. The name Hispania, for Spain, came into use after the Romans began to have a direct connection with the country, and this has remained the prevailing appellative ever since. The genuine form of the name is probably Span or Sapan, the vowel sound being prefixed for easier pronunciation, as is common in southern and eastern languages when and initial “s” is followed by another consonant. The origin of the name is uncertain. One author derives it from the Phoenicin and Hebrew word tsapan , which means a rabbit; and arguments are adduced in favor of this etymology from the numerous testimonies of the ancients to the abundance of these animals in the country (Strabo III. pp. 144, 168; Pliny VIII. c. 58, and XI. c. 37), as well as from a medal of Hadrian, on the reverse side of which is seen a female figure, as the personification of Spain, with a rabbit at her feet. W. von Humboldt, in his invaluable essay on the primitive history of Spain, maintains that it was a native name, and that its genuine form, vowel prefix and all, is preserved almost unaltered in the modern native name España, which he derives from the Basque Ezpaña, a border, margin, edge, denoting that the peninsula was the margin of Europe toward the ocean. The old Greek name Hesperia, chiefly used by the poets, was also used in connection with the notion that the world consisted of four parts: Libya, the southern; Asia, the eastern; Europe, the northern; and Hesperia, the western.] It lies between Gaul and Africa, and is bounded on the west by the Pyrenees, and at all other points by the sea. It has a clear atmosphere and good climate, produces all kinds of fruits, and is rich in precious stones and metals. Through it flow the rivers Baetus, Minius, Iberus, and Tagus.[The Baetus is now the Guadelquiver; the Minius is now the Minho, or Mino; the Iberus is the Ebro, while the Tagus has retained its ancient name.] It has six provinces, Tarraconensia, Carthaginiensis, Lusitania, Gallaecia, Baetica, and across the straits in Africa, Tingitana. There are two Hispanias—Hispania Citerior, and Hispania Ulterior.[Spain’s provincial constitution under the Romans dates from the year of the expulsion of the Carthaginians in 205 BCE; and at the same time the division of the peninsula into two parts was made a part of the political constitution; so that the peninsula formed, from the first down to the time of Augustus, two provinces, the eastern, called Hispania Citerior, and the western, called Hispania Ulterior, the river Ebro (Iberus) being adopted as the natural boundary between the two. This boundary varied at different times. Polybius, having in mind the old Greek distinction between the country of the Celts and that of the Iberians, calls the eastern province Cetiberia and the western Iberia. Other writers use Celtiberia as a synonym for Hither Spain, as distinguished from Further Spain. Lastly, some late writers used the terms Great and Little Spain as equivalent respectively to Hither and Further Spain. Hispania Ulterior included Baetica and Lusitania.]

Some hold that Africa derived its name from the fact that it is favorably situated with reference to the heavens and the sun, and does not suffer through frost. Others say it is named after Affer, a descendant of Abraham.[ No authoritative origin has been given for the name Africa. It was first used by Aeneas before the Second Punic War and was applied only to Carthage and its environs. However in the time of the Empire, the name meant the entire continent, which the Greeks had designated by the Semitic name Libya, by which was at one time meant only the northern rim of Africa. According to Genesis 26:1-3, Abraham took another wife named Keturah, and she bore him a number of sons, among them Midian; and to Midian sons were born, among them one Epher. Josephus (I. c. 25, s. 1) gives the same genealogy with a variation in the spelling of the manes, and calls Epher Ophran. He relates that his grandchildren, when they inherited it, called it from his name Africa. Citing other authorities, Josephus says: “Cleodamus the prophet, who was also called Malchus, who wrote a history of the Jews in agreement with the history of Moses, their legislator, relates that there were some sons born to Abraham by Keturah: Nay, he names three of them, Apher, Surim, and Japhran. That from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that from the other two, Apher and Japhran, the country of Africa took its name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and Antasus.”] It begins at the border of Egypt and extends southerly through Ethiopia to the Atlas Mountains. On the north it is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore these lands are called Libyan Cyrenaica, and they are so called from the name of its capital city.[Cyrenaica was the name of the district, which, from the time of the Ptolemies, was called Pentapolis because it included the five cities, Cyrene, the capital, and Apollonia, Ptolemais, Arsinoë, and Berenice.] Item: Pentapolis has been so-called because of its five cities. One of these cities is Ptolemais, and another is Berenice; their names are derived from their rulers.[Pentapolis is a name for any association of five cities and was applied specifically to two groups: The first has already been mentioned (Folio XIII verso, and note). The second group consisted of the five great cities of Cyrenaica in N. Africa, namely, Cyrene, Berenice, Arsinoë, Ptolemeita, and Apollonia. Arsinoë was the daughter of Ptolemy I (Lagi) and Berenice. She married Lysimachus, king of Thrace in 300 BCE; after the death of Lysimachus she married her half-brother, Ptolemy Ceraunus, who murdered her children by Lysimachus; and lastly she married her own brother, Ptolemy II (Philadelphus). He gave her name to several cities. She was exceedingly beloved of him though she gave him no children, and he also named a district of Egypt after her. Cyrene, the chief city of Cyrenaica in North Africa was founded by Battus (631 BCE) over a fountain consecrated to Apollo, and called Cyre, which supplied the city with water. Berenice was named after Berenice, the mother of Ptolemy II and his sister-wife Arsinoë. This Ptolemy built the city. Ptolemeita took its name from one of the Ptolemys, but which one is not known. Apollonia was the harbor of Cyrene and no doubt its name has some connection with the fountain of Apollo over which Cyrene was founded.] Item: Tripoli, Bizancius, Carthago, Numidia and Mauretania, or land of the Moore. Tingitania, and in the heat of the sun, Ethiopia. Tingitania is named after the capital city (Tingis) of the province.[Bizanoius, more correctly Byzacium, or Byzacena Regio, was the south portion of the Roman province of Africa. It corresponds to the southern part of Tunis. Carthago (Carthage) was one of the most celebrated cities of the ancient world, and lay N.E. of Tunis on a large bay. In ancient times it stood upon a peninsula surrounded on all sides, except by the west, by the sea. The coast of this part of Africa has been much changed by the deposits of the river Bagrades and the sand driven seaward by the northwest winds. Numidia, a country in N. Africa, lay on the Mediterranean, between Mauretania on the west and the territory of Carthage on the east. On the south it extended to the Atlas Mountains. Mauretania was the most westerly of the principal divisions of Africa. It lay along the Mediterranean and extended like a marrow band from the Atlantic on the west to Numidia on the east.] This region[Tingis is a place of very great antiquity on the south coast of the Straits of Gibraltar. Augustus made it a free city. Claudius made it a colony and the capital of Mauretania-Tingitania.] abounds in wild apes, dragons, ostriches, and some elephants, but at present these are found only in India. Item: Garrania is a province, and therein is a spring, cold in the heat of the day and warm in the cold of the night.[Possibly Garimantes, in the interior of Africa, to the east of the Libyan desert, and inhabited by a powerful tribe. Pliny, in speaking of Cyrenaica (V. c. 5), says: “Beyond it is the desert, and then Talgae, a city of the Garamantes, and Debris, at which place there is a spring, the waters of which, from noon to midnight, are at boiling heat, and then freeze for as many hours until the following noon; Garana too, that most famous capital of the Garamantes; all which places have been subdued by the Roman arms.”] Ethiopia is so called from the heat[No doubt the chronicler refers to the name Ham, or rather Cham, which is from a single root signifying to by hot, and hence burnt, black. The Hamites are dark-skinned people, dwelling mainly in the torrid zone. The first three sons of Ham settled in northern Africa.] suffered by the people, who suffer by reason of the nearness of the sun; for there the heat is constant. Here are many people of different features and of wonderful physique. The country is full of wild animals and snakes. There are also one-horned animals, cameleopards, basilisks,[Basilisk, a fabulous serpent, lizard or dragon, whose hissing would drive away all other serpents, and whose breath and even look was fatal. Today the term is applied to any of several tropical American lizards of the genus basiliscus.] and great dragons. Gems, iacinctus[Hyacinth, a precious stone of the ancients, of a blue color, perhaps the sapphire.] and chrysoprase,[Chrysoprase, an apple-green variety of chalcedony, of a dull, flinty luster, esteemed in jewelry.] and also reeds of cinnamon are found there. There are two Ethiopias, one to the East, the other to the West, in Mauretania. Now in addition to the three parts of the world above described there is a fourth one within the inner (Mediterranean) sea, which, because of the heat, is unknown to us. There, according to various writers, are said to live the people who turn their feet against us. [Antipodes is a term applied strictly to any two people or places on opposite sides of the earth, so situated that a line drawn from one to the other passes through the center of the globe and forms a globe diameter; derived from the Greek words anti (opposed) and podes (feet). Any two places having this relation must be distant from each other by 180 degrees of latitude, and one must be as many degrees north of the equator as the other is to the south; in other words, the latitudes are numerically equal, but on is north and the other south. At the antipodes the seasons and day and night are reversed, but in calculation of days and nights, midnight on the one side may be regarded as corresponding to noon either of the previous or following day. People living in opposed regions of the earth, like these, are said to have their feet turned toward each other, the zenith of the one being the nadir of the other.]


Noah, son of Lamech, the tenth from Adam, was born according to Genesis, in the 182nd year of his father, and, according to the Hebrew, in the 1056th year of the world, but according to the writings of Orosius,[Paulus Orosius, historian and theologian, was born in Spain toward the close of the fourth century, and flourished about 415. His was undertaken at the suggestion of Augustine, to whom it was dedicated. Beside the Old and the New Testament he appears to have consulted Caesar, Livy, Justin, Tacitus, Suetonius, Florus, and a cosmography, attaching also great value to Jerome’s translation of the of Eusebius.] Bede,[Bede, or Beda, (673-735), commonly called “the Venerable Bede,” was an English monk and known as “the father of English learning.” He was the author of an . For his biography see Folio CLVIII verso and note.] and the LXX,[The Seventy, briefly written LXX, or more exactly 72, translators were sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria by the high priest Eleazar, at the request of Ptolemy II (Philadelphus) (288-247 BCE) to translate the Old Testament into the Greek. This was the earliest Greek translation and is called the Septuagint (Latin , LXX.). The king’s share in the business was quite secondary, but we know that he was a ruler of eclectic literary tastes, and that he may well have encouraged an enterprise that not only appealed to his own curiosity, but would promote the use of Greek among the large Jewish population of the city. That population had been steadily increasing, and while loyal to the Hebrew faith, had lost its knowledge of the Hebrew tongue. Faced by sheer necessity, the pious Jews of Alexandria were resolved to understand the Scriptures read in their own synagogues, and they overcame the age long prejudice of the authorities at Jerusalem against the writing of Scripture in any language but Hebrew. The early Christians generally accepted the LXX canon.] in the 1642nd year of the world. His name signifies “rest,” for under him all things rested after the flood, and he first conceived tillage of the soil with beasts of the field. Accordingly it is written that he will comfort us in our labors, etc.; for at first the people themselves plowed, but afterward the beasts tilled the soil. Noah was a farmer, and Augustine[St. Augustine (354-430), Latin Father of the Church, was born in Numidia, and became bishop of Hippo, Africa. For his biography see Folio CXXXVI recto and note.] elevates farming to a sacred occupation, a labor set up by God above all other handicrafts, dignities and arts.[ The name Noah signifies “rest.” Noah was the ninth in descent from Adam, according to Genesis 5:3-30.]

From Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three Sons of Noah, seventy-two peoples descended; and to symbolize these, the Lord Jesus sent seventy-two disciples before him. Augustine says that many others were born who are not remembered, for although they exceeded others in the number of their descendants, they did not create nations. The names of some of these people survived, and we know whence they came—such as the Assyrians out of Asshur, the Hebrews out of Heber. Some were changed or altered in the course of time to such an extent that the most learned and informed historians have been able to trace but a few of these peoples to their origin. All things considered, more names were changed than remained.

Jonicus, fourth son of Noah, was born in the third year of the Flood; but as to him Moses is silent. Jonicus first discovered the science of astronomy, and he prophesied future events. After his father had endowed him he went to the land of Etham, and there he lived and originated a people; and this is the land, called the Land of the Sun, to which went a number of distinguished men, Sons of Japhoth. And Jonicus built a city called Heliopolis.[Heliopolis (City of the Sun) was a celebrated city of Syria and chief seat of the worship of Baal, one of whose symbols was the sun which the Greeks identified with Apollo as well as with Zeus; hence the Greek name of the city. Its location made it a place of great commercial importance, being the direct route from Egypt and the Red Sea and from Tyre to Syria, Asia Minor, and Europe. Hence the wealth of the city, to which its ruins still testify. The priests of Heliopolis were renowned for their learning.] It is said that he also advised Nimrod how to rule. He was a man celebrated for his ingenuity and a great observer of the stars, their courses and attributes; wherefore he prognosticated and preached the origin and decline of the four principal empires. His son Cosdron survived him.

Cush was Ham’s son, from whom (according to Josephus) sprang the Ethiopians. These were first called Cushites, but later Ethiopians. From them Ethiopia derived its name. This is beyond the country called Mauretania, and there, in the East, lies the Great Desert. Of Canaan, the son of Ham, were born[No mention is made of Sidon, the first born. Heth was the ancestor of the Hittites, who, in the time of Abraham, occupied the hill country about Hebron. They afterwards spread northward and their name became synonymous with Canaanite. The Jebusites, a mountain tribe, dwelt in Hebus, afterward Mount Zion. After countless centuries of independence they were finally subdued by David. The Amorites were the most powerful and widespread of the Canaanitish tribes. They founded powerful kingdoms on both banks of the Jordan, the eastern Amorites being conquered by Moses, and the western by Joshua. The Hivites were a people who lived in Shechem in the time of Japheth. Their chief seat at the time of the conquest of Canaan seems to have been northwestern Palestine, about Hermon and Lebanon. The Girgasites were a tribe of whom, as Josephus says, only the name remains. The Arkites dwelt on the Mediterranean north of Sidon. Their name is still preserved in the modern Arka, famous as the birthplace of the emperor Alexander Severus. Its ruins are scattered about a lofty mound twelve miles north of Tripoli. The Sinites seem to have left their relics in the mountain fortress of Sinna, mentioned by Strabo, and the town of Sini, or Syn, north of Arka. The Arvadites inhabited the island of Arvad or Arad, and the adjacent shore. Arvad was a rocky island fortress, two miles from the shore, north of Arka and Sini. It was colonized from Sidon, and was the mother of Tarsus, ranking at one time next to Tyre. It is still inhavited by a maritime population bearing the name of Ruad, and retains some well preserved remnants of Phoenician walls. The Zemarites have not been identified by any historical or geographical traces. Perhaps the town of Sumra, or Shoumra, at the foot of Lebanon, between Arka and the sea, is one of the memorials of this tribe. The Hamathites inhabited Hamath, or Chamath Rabba, that is, Chamath the Great, a city on the Orontes, now known by the same name, in the great valley between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. This valley is known in the Old Testament as “the entering in of Hamath,” and formed the northern boundary of the promised land. These descendants of Canaan are set forth in Genesis 10:15-18.] Etheus (Heth), Jebusius (Jebusite), Amoreus (Amorite), Gergeseus (Girgashite), Eveus (Hivite). and Archeus (Arkite); and after each of them certain people is named; as for Eteus, the Hittites; for Jebusius, the Jebusites; for Amoreus, the Amorites; for Gergeseus, the Girgasites; for Eveus, the Hivites, or Gabaonites; (for Areheus, the Arkites). Archeus built the city of Arka, below Mount Libanus. From Canaan, the first son of Ham, came the Canaanites; and Canaan had eleven sons, who inhabited the country of the Canaanites, the promised land (now Judea), and called Canaan after him. Cineus (Sinite). Aradius, after whom were named the Arvadites, who possessed the island of Aradus, which is separated from Phoenicia by a small sea. Zemarite, of whom came the noble city of Simyra, which is called Aeolis. Amatheus, after whom the Hamathites are named. Of Phut, the second son of Ham, came Libya, the country; Atlante, the mountain of Mauretania, and after him the country was called Phut.[Phut, progenitor of the African people, was the third son of Ham. In the wide sense of the word Phut is synonymous with Libya, or Libyans. Jeremiah (46:9) associates Phut (Libyans) with Cush (Ethiopians) as rising up against Pharaoh-necho. Atlante refers to Mount Atlas, and is used as a designation of West African Libya. Atlas is a high mountain in Mauretania, on which heaven was said to rest.] Of Mizraim, the third son, came the Egyptians, also called Mizraim, after their prince.[ “And Mizraim begat Ludin, and Namim, and Lehebim, and Naphtuhin, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim,” (Genesis 10:13-14). The descendants of Mizraim formed the Egyptian nation, and Mizraim is the Hebrew name for Egypt and Egyptian. It is a geographical word meaning narrows, a narrow strip of verdure threaded by the Nile.] Lydia and the Lydians were named after Lidin, and there is St. John’s seat.[Lydia is not in Africa nor in Egypt, but in Asia Minor and is out of place at this point of the text. “Lidin” no doubt refers to Lud, fourth son of Shem, and not a son of Ham, and who is probably the progenitor of the Lydians of Asia Minor. The first son of Mizraim was Ludim, and his tribe was a warlike people of Mauretania, associated by the prophets with the Libyans and Ethiopians. John the Evangelist made Ephesus the center of his operations, and it lies in Lydia.] From Anamim came the Anamites;[The Anamites inhabited the Nile Delta.] From Lehabim[The Lehabim were Egyptian Libyans who dwelt on the west of the Nile Delta. Nahum and Daniel associate them with the Ethiopians. All these names ending in im are plurals.] came the Cubarii, and other unknown peoples exterminated by the Ethiopian wars; and their names have been lost.[In addition to the descendants of Mizraim specifically mentioned, Genesis gives the Naphtuhim, or Middle Egyptians; they were the people of Ptah, the name of an Egyptian god, whose dwelling was Memphis; Pathrusim, inhabitants of Pathros, an Egyptian word meaning southern region, Upper Egyptian; Casluhim, Northeast Egyptians, in the region of Mount Casius; Caphtorim, the Copts of modern Egypt.] Mizraim, the second son of Ham, was the progenitor of seven peoples, of whom the sixth were the Palestinians. Their land is Syria, bordering on Arabia, and from the city of Philistia they were called Philistines.[According to Genesis the Philistines came out of Casluhim, the sixth descendant of Mizraim. They are the Palestinians, as Philistia was the original Palestine, a name which afterward came to mean the same as Canaan. Amos (9:7) and Jeremiah (47:4) describe the Philistines as coming from Caphtor. Knobel believes the Philistines to have been descendants of Shem through Lud.] From Sabtah came the Sabatha, by the Greeks called Astabari.[This begins the line of Cush, whose sons were Sebah, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtechah, and the sons of Raamah, namely Sheba and Dedan; and Cush also begat Nimrod (Genesis 10:7-8). The Sebah were the inhabitants of Meroe of the Upper Nile, situated on the peninsula formed by the Astaboras and the Nile.] Raumah (Rhegma) had two sons, and thereafter the Sabatha lost their old name. From them originated Ethiopian races in the West. From Saba came the Sabii—Arabs, and from them Arabia, and they live by the Libyan Mountains. From Dada came Ethiopians. Havilah was the other son of Gush, who was a son of Ham; and after him were named the Havilites and the Getuli, who live in the remote parts of Africa, Nimrod, the other son of Cush, who was a son of Ham, was a giant of great stature, and the most daring of the sons of Noah. He fomented trouble with the Babylonians.[The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. We are here concerned with the issue of Cush, namely, Sebah, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, Sabtechah, and Nimrod. The chronicler seems confused in the names, which in some instances are very similar. The sons of Cush were the Cushite Ethiopians and Arabians. The Sebah, as already stated, were the inhabitants of Meroe of the Upper Nile, situated on the peninsula formed by the Astaboras and the Nile. The Havilah were the Macrobian Ethiopians, who dwelt in what is now Abyssinia. There was also a Shemitic Havilah in Arabia. The Sabtah were the progenitors of the Ethiopians of Hadramont in South Arabia, and their chief city was Sabta, Sabota, or Sabotha. The name Raamah still remains in southeastern Arabia, the Rhegma of the old geographers, where, according to Pliny and Ptolemy, dwelt a fish-eating people. The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan (Genesis 10:7). The Cushite Sheba was on the Persian Gulf, traces of which may perhaps be found in the modern Saba, the thoroughfare of the Hebrew commerce with India. Dedan is probably traceable in Dodan on the east coast of Arabia. The Sabtechah are the dark-skinned Carmanians. They had a river and a city called Sabis. As distinguished from the preceding tribal or place names, that of Nimrod is clearly that of a person, a mighty hunter. He was an Asiatic Cushite.]

FOLIO XIIII verso and XV recto
First Section

These genealogies are of importance, not as family trees, but as histories of the origin and course of tribes and nations, their relations to each other, and the intermingling of populations. The words “father” and “son” as used in these tables seldom represent individuals. To this Noah was probably an exception, as was Nimrod. Many of the Biblical names are personifications of nations, tribes and places, grouped together to convey some idea of the bond by which they were believed to be connected. Gomer, Javan, Tubal, Mesheck, and Tiras, sons of Japheth, were nations, as were many others.

The Hebraic idea of the tables was to demonstrate purity of descent. In the time of Josephus every priest, so it is said, was required to prove his descent, and perhaps from the time of Ezra lists were carefully kept. The genealogies of Jesus at the beginning of two of the Gospels are intended to prove his descent from David. While in Matthew Jesus is traced to Abraham, in Luke he is traced to Adam.

The foregoing analysis is in accord with the progress of the genealogies as given in the Scriptures, Japheth, Ham, Shem, although the order of the three sons of Noah is Shem, Ham and Japheth. The Chronicle, on the other hand, apparently in obedience to a medieval custom of beginning in the middle, selects Ham and his descendants for first consideration.

At Folio XIV verso we find Noah, the patriarch, represented by a woodcut 2¼” x 6-3/8”. From him branch off Ham, his second son (portrayed with his wife, Cathaflua), and Jonicus, his alleged fourth son (of whom Moses makes no mention), portrayed as an astronomer, diligently examining a globe. Apparently this star-gazer was without descendants.

On the same page (Folio XIV verso) a branch runs off to Cush (Chus), who is described as the fourth, instead of the first son of Ham (Cham), and is shown in a dual portrait with his wife. The descendants of Cush extend across Folio XV recto: Sabtechah (Sabata); Raamah (Regma) and his spouse, from whom a branch proceeds to their sons Sheba (Sabaa) and Dedan (Dadan); Havilah (Evila), Seba (Saba), and Nimrod (Nemrot). Sabtah is not portrayed.

Although Cush, the son of Ham, and the descendants of Cush symbolize the Ethiopians, none of the portraits in this branch of the family tree show Ethiopian characteristics except in the case of Dedan, who has negroid features and close cropped, kinky hair.

A second branch proceeds out of Ham. It bears a lone leaf—Phut (Phuh), the third son of Ham, who, through the ancestor of the Libyans, remains uncredited with issue in this gallery of portraits.

Immediately beside Phut is his Egyptian brother, Mizraim (Messaraym), second son of Ham, posed in a dual portrait with his spouse. And out of this pair come forth Ludim (Lydin), Anamim (Annanim), Lebahim (Laabun), and Naphtuhim (Thussim), and Casluhim (Celluin). But Mizraim had seven descendants, not five. Parthusim, progenitor of the people of Pathros (Upper Egyptians) and Caphtorim have been omitted.

And now for the upper branch, proceeding from Ham through his son Canaan, ancestor of the Canaanites, here represented with his wife and eleven sons, arranged in two solid horizontal tiers, five in one row, six in the other. Leafing from the upper branch are Sidon (Sydon), Heth (Etheus), the Jebusite (Jebuseus), the Amorite (Amorreus), and the Girgasite (Bergeseus or Gergeseus). In the lower branch are the Hivite (Eveus), the Arkite (Aratheus), the Sinite (Cyneus), the Arvadite (Aradius), the Zemarite (Samarites), and the Hemathite (Amatheus).

The lineage of Noah through Ham is the first branch of the Generations of Noah illustrated in the Chronicle and occupies a good portion of Folios XIV verso and XV recto, to the exclusion of all text on the latter. None of the portraits in this composite are given personal or national characteristics, and even the picturesque giant hunter Nimrod carries none of the accessories of the chase.

FOLIO XV verso

Shem, the first son of Noah, was born in the 50th year of his father and in the 2244th year of the world, and 2957th year before the birth of Christ; and he lived 600 years, and bore Arphaxad two years before the Flood; and it is said he was Melchisedek, who firstly after the Flood built Salem, that is, Jerusalem. And twenty-seven peoples sprang from him. But Shem bore five sons of whom five separate peoples sprang. The first was Elam, progenitor of the Elamites, the princes of Persia. And Shem in his hundredth year bore Arphaxad and other sons and daughters, and died.

This Aeshur, the second [referring to the accompanying woodcut] of whom the kingdom of Assyria originated, declined to join Nimrod in striving against God in the building of the Tower of Babel. And he fled from the land of Shinar far into an uninhabited region, which from his name was called Assyria. And thereafter he built the city of Nineveh, the capital of the kingdom of’ Assyria. This people stand accused of great cruelty.

Aram, the fourth son of Shorn, had four sons, and in him Syria originated. Of this Damascus is the capital. Therefore, in the Hebrew Syria is called Aram.

The first son of Aram was Uz of the land of Traconida, which lies between Palestine and Coele-Syria.[ “Hollow Syria” is properly the great hollow running N. and S. between the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges.] In this Judean land lay Uz, out of which came Job, the prophet.

Arphaxad, the third son of Shorn, was born in the 2344th year of the world, according to the seventy interpreters, and he lived 338 years and died. Of this Arphaxad came the Chaldaeans, after whom the land of Chaldaea was named. It lies in Asia, borders on Arabia, is level and arid. It was the great Babylonia.

Shem, who is the progenitor of the Semitic or Asiatic branch of the human race, had five sons: Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. Elam represents the Elymaeans, who originally peopled the country west of Persia, between it and Mesopotamia, Elymaia, stretching from the Caspian to the Persian Gulf. The old geographers called it Susiana; Herodotus calls it Cissia. It became important in the time of Abraham. Asshur is the eponym for Assyria. The name Arphaxad has been interpreted to mean fortress or country of the Chaldees. Others have identified the name with Arrapachitia, a region on the east band of the Tigris, north of the primitive Assyria and joining Armenia. Lud is supposed to stand for the Lydians, a warlike race that spread westward into Asia Minor, and there founded a powerful kingdom, which was conquered by Cyrus, and swallowed up in the Persian Empire. But the matter is uncertain. The Arabic historians assign to Lud the Amalekites and the primitive Arabs, being younger branches of the nation. It is possible that the primitive Amorites and Philistines were Semitic people of the stock of Lud. Aram represents Aramea, or Syria, especially that part north of Palestine. Mesopotamia is the Aram of the two rivers, that is, Euphrates streams. The Semitic languages, Syraic and Chaldee, originated in Aram.

Uz gave name to the country of Job, in the north of Arabia Deserta. Hul, Gether and Mash are not identified to any degree of certainty.

Noah planted a vineyard, and after he drank of the wine he became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. Now when Ham saw the nakedness of his father, he told his two brothers about it. But they laid upon his shoulders a garment to cover his nakedness, and turned away their eyes and they did not see their father’s nakedness. Now as Noah wanted to curse Ham, whom God had blessed, he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham, because Ham had laughed at his father, as has previously been written. [The narrative is not exactly in accord with the text of Genesis 10:20-26.]

FOLIO XV verso and XVI recto
Second Section

This foliated design begins with a dual portrait of Shem (Sem) and his wife. Out of them to the right grows a continuous branch bearing their sons, Elam (the first born), Asshur (Assur), Lud (Luth) and Aram (Aran). Arphaxad (Arfaxat), the remaining son of Shem, is shown on a separate branch From Aram proceed his sons Uz (Hus), Hul, Gether and Mash (Mel). The long line of descendants of Arphaxad (Genesis 10:24-29) is not shown. The thick branch representing this line has been abruptly cut off by the artist immediately below Arphaxad’s waist. In short, the composite represents only the five sons of Shem and the issue of Aram; for room had to be left for

Noah in the Vineyard

This illustration depicts Genesis 9:20-27.

Here we see Noah asleep in the open vineyard. The artist gave no thought to the tent mentioned in Genesis. The vines are burdened with tempting clusters of luscious grapes, too powerful for the unsophisticated farmer. The powerful drink has overcome him, and there he lies to the amusement of his younger son Ham (Chem) who is meddling with his father’s garments, and attempting to interest his elder brothers in the action. But Shem and Japheth are horrified and turn away from the scene; but they are not attempting to cover up their father’s nakedness, as Genesis says they did.


Japheth, the third son of Noah, had seven sons. He possessed Europe, and for his nobleness of character he was blessed by his father, who also expressed a wish for his enlargement.[Having recovered from his drunkenness, and cursed Ham’s son Canaan for his father’s filial disrespect, Noah spoke again: “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant,” (Genesis 10:26-27).] From Japheth sprang fifteen peoples, and from his sons seven. Gomer, first born of Japheth, came to Europe and established the Gomerites, whom the Greeks called the Galatians; and after them the country was named Galatia. This country borders on Hispania and Lusitania, which lie to the south. The Atlantic Ocean is to the west and north, and on the east are the Sequana (Seine) and the country of the Germans.[The chronicler appears to refer to those earliest inhabitants of Europe who came from Asia into Gallaecia, the most northwesterly province in Spain. He does not refer to Galatia, a province of Asia Minor, inhabited by the Galatians to whom Paul wrote. He has followed Josephus, who says, “For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians (Galls), but were then called Gomerites,” (Josephus, B. 1, c. 6, s. 1).] The Galatians are from Gomer, first son of Japheth, and from him came Galatia. And Gomer had four sons; the first was Askenaz, of whom came the Sarmatians, a Scythian people who lived in the depths of the swamps of Maeotis, an inhospitable region of poor vegetation.[According to Josephus, “Askenaz founded the Aschanasians, who are now called by the Greeks Rheginians.” The Askenaz lived in the northwest of Asia Minor, in the region of the Black Sea. The swamps of Maeotis (Palus Maeotis), appear on the Map of the World (Folios XII verso and XIII recto). The Scythians occupied the lands on the shores of Lake Maeotis (Sea of Azov). The Sarmatians were a people who settled an ancient territory in southern Russia, and after them called Sarmatia. From them sprang the present stock of Slavs. Sarmatia is poetically applied to Poland and the Poles.] The second son was Riphath, or Raphaa, of whom came the Paphlagonians and the country called Paphlagonia, in Asia Minor.[Josephus says, “So did the Riphath founded the Ripheans, now called Paphlagonians,” (Josephus, B. 1, c. 6, s. 1). Paphlagonia is a rugged country on the Euxine, between Bithynia and Partus.] The third son was Togarmah, from whom came the Phrygians and the country of Phrygia in Asia Minor. It was first called Dardania, and later Troy.[Togarmah is claimed by the Armenians as their founder. This people originally dwelt in Armenia and Asia Minor, but they poured across the Hellespont into Europe before the dawn of history, and spread across the Mediterranean peninsula, even to Spain. ] Of Magog, second son of Japheth, came the Scythians, and from them the Goths.[Magog probably means “the place” or region of Gog. The Arabians applied the name to the region between the Caspian and Black Seas.] Of Madar, or Madai, third son [of Japhet], came the Medes, and from them Media, a country near Assyria and Persia.[The Medes were a powerful nation to the south and southwest of the Caspian, and the east of Armenia and Assyria.] Of Javan, fourth (son of Japheth), came the Greeks; and Javan had four sons. And this same Javan made the Ionians or Greeks. Ionia was a region of the Greeks, between Caria and Colia, now called Thurgia.[Ionia, a western province of Asia Minor, was early colonized by the Greeks.] Of Elishah, the first [son of Javan] came Elis, afterward called Aeolia. And the Aeolian Islands are said to be 25,000 paces from Italy.[The Aeolians (Elis), occupied three-fourths of Greece, and spread to the coasts and isles of Asia Minor.] Tarshish, second [son of Javan], made Tarsus, in Asia Minor, formerly called Cilicia, which was St. Paul’s fatherland.[Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul, is a town and seaport in southeastern Asia Minor; chief city of ancient Cicilia (Acts 9:11).] From Kittim [Cethimus], the third [son of Javan] comes Cyprus, the island formerly called Cithinia.[Josephus says, “Cethimus possessed the island of Cethimia; it is now called Cyprus,” (Josephus, I, c. 6, s. 1).] From Dodanim, fourth [son of Javan], came Burgundy. He came into the island of Rhodes, and wished to be called Rhodius.[Dodanim refers to the Dardanians, or Trojans.] From Tubal, fifth (son of Japheth), came Hispania, a very large country. From Meschech, sixth (son of Japheth), came the Cappadocians and the land of Cappadocia which lies near Greater Asia.[Tubal and Meschech stand for two peoples who are constantly associated together. Josephus identifies Tubal with the Iberians, who once dwelt between the Caspian and the Euxine. The Mosci were the ancestors of the Muscovites, builders of Moscow, and still give Russia its name throughout the East.] Tiras, seventh (son of Japheth), called his people Thracians; and of them came Thrace, in the land of Scythia. [The Thracians dwelt between Mount Haemus and the Aegean, on the southwest shores of the Black Sea.]

Second Section

This composite contains eighteen portraits, and, in arrangement and execution, is one of the best in the series. The main stem proceeds downward in the manner of most genealogies, which, for convenience of design, uproot the “family tree” and invert it.

Of the eighteen persons represented, all wear headdresses except Japheth, his youngest son Tiras, and his grandson Elishah. In the case of Japheth the cap was probably omitted to show his venerable bald head. But Tiras, progenitor of the Thracians, has a good crop of kinky hair. However, we see that he is manipulating a “globe,” and it may have been assumed that he is in his study where no cranial protection is necessary. The head of Elishah, progenitor of the Aeolians, was left bare perhaps in order to make way for the rather sparse crown of laurels which the artist has bestowed upon him as god of the winds in lieu of an Aeolian harp.


Salah, who is also called Canaan, the son of Arphaxad, was born in the 35th year of his father, and in the 2379th year of the world. He built the city first called Salem, naming it after himself. It was later called Jerusalem. He lived 433 years.[Salah was the son of Arphaxad and the father of Heber, and the name symbolizes sending forth, the gradual extension of the Semitic races. The line of Arphaxad is here continued from Folio XV verso, according to Genesis 10:24-29, as that with which the narrative is chiefly concerned. Arphaxad begot Salah, Salah begot Heber, or Eber, who had two sons, Peleg and Joktan, and in their day “the earth was divided.” Peleg begot Reu, while Joktan begot theirteen sons, Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; progenitors of tribes peopling southern Arabia, many of whom are clearly identified with historical tribes. These thirteen sons are not mentioned in the text, but are pictorially treated in the genealogy.]

Augustine states that from the blessing of the sons of Noah up to Abraham no mention is made of righteous persons, although I believe this period was not without them. However, to recall all of them would take too long, and would involve more historical zeal than prophetic prudence.

Heber (Eber), son of Salah, was born in the 30th year of his father, and in the 2509th year of the world. He lived 464 years, and from him the Hebrews have their name; for after the dispersion of tongues, the Hebrew tongue alone remained in his house. Before the dispersion this was not called Hebrew, but was the language of all mankind. Yet it is also named after Abraham by reason of circumstances which the learned understand.[ The last statement apparently refers to Jerusalem and not to Heber. The origin of the name Jerusalem, and the identity of Salem and Jerusalem have been the subject of much controversy. The rabbis state that the name Salem was bestowed on Jerusalem by Shem (identified in their traditions with Melchizedek), and the name Jireh by Abraham, after the deliverance of Isaac on Mt. Moham, and that the two were afterwards combined, lest displeasure should be felt by either of the two saints at the exclusion of the other. Josephus says that Salem and Jerusalem are the same; Jerome, that they are not; but it is natural to identify one with the other, since the Tell el-Amarna tablets show that Urusalim existed as a name for that city even before the Israelite immigration.]

Joktan, son of Heber, had thirteen sons, and each created a tribe; but their names, as Jerome states, are unknown to us because they are too remote, or because of the dispersion of the people.[Genesis 10:26-29.]

Peleg, the son of Heber, was born in the 2643rd year of the world, and attained the age of 239 years. His name means one who has been divided from the rest; for although in his day occurred the division of the tongues, and he did not remain in the same clan, yet the same tongue continued to be spoken in his house. Augustine states that no small measure of righteousness remained in this house, and consequently it remained free from punishment, not having participated in the wrong. The number of tongues was according to the number of tribes, namely 72. However, the number of tribes increased beyond the number of tongues, and we find many peoples who all speak the same language. [Peleg was the son of Heber, and the brother of Joktan. His name means division, relating, as is generally believed, to the division of tongues, recorded in Genesis 11, immediately following, for “in his days was the earth divided. This does not refer to the general dispersion of the human family after the Deluge, but to a division of the family of Heber himself, the younger branch of whom (the Joktanids) migrated into southern Arabia, while the elder remained in Mesopotamia.]

Reu, or Regau, son of Peleg, was born in the 2773rd year of the world, and he lived 302 years, It is said that in his time many temples were first built for the worship of the princes of the people.[Reu was the son of Peleg, and the name is said to correspond with Roha, the Arabic name for Edessa; but a closer resemblance might be found between Reu and Rhagae, a large town of Media.]


This section of genealogies is based upon two chapters of Genesis: firstly, Chapter 10:24-30; secondly, Chapter 11:12-18. In the former the descendants of Joktan are given; in the latter, the descendants of his brother Peleg. At Folio XV verso the composite portrait ends with Arphaxad, and here, at the right of the page, we begin with his son Salah (Sale). The Lord blessed him with a wife and a son named Heber, but the artist forgot the wife. The line proceeds downward to Eber (Heber) and his spouse, and thence to their son Peleg, the father of Reu (or Regau). The severed branch below Reu indicates that we may expect something of him in the future. Here ends the right hand column, or composite of at least seven woodcuts, including four portraits and three intermediate floral ornaments.

From Heber, on the right, a horizontal branch (two woodcuts) proceeds to the left hand column of the page, devoted to Joktan and his descendants. He was the ancestor of the old Arabian tribes as represented by his thirteen sons. This list of “sons” is probably not to be taken as a scientific or geographical classification of the tribes or districts of Arabia, but as an attempt to incorporate in the table such Arabian races as were known.

At the top of this formidable line of sons of the desert (cut from a single block) appears Joktan and his dutiful spouse. We have some difficulty in reading the names on the portraits, which in most instances vary substantially from the names as given in the English Bible. Nor is the Chronicle text of any help, as it speaks only of the line of Joktan’s brother shown on the opposite side of the page. Yet there is a definite order. The sons are arranged in six groups of two each plus a thirteen man at the bottom of the page. The names appear in the same order as they appear in the Bible. We begin with Almodad (Elimodoch), the first born, at the upper left, and follow a left-right order with each pair to the end. This leaves only one case in doubt, that of Hadoram, whose place is filled by one “Jareth”—a far cry to Hadoram. There is nothing in any one of these portraits to remind one of the Arabs or their country, in feature, costume, or accessories. Of the thirteen sons seven wear head dresses, the rest do not; nine are bearded, four not. All appear to be worried about one thing or another.


Jerusalem, located in the land of Palestine and the capital city of the Jews, was first called Jebus, later Salem, thirdly Hierosolima, and finally Helia.[ The Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe, and Jebus was their chief city. And so, it is said, Jerusalem was called at the time of the Israelites’ conquest under Joshua. The Jebusites were not entirely driven out of the land until c. 985 BCE when David took the city and made it the capital of the kingdom of Israel. By the erection of the temple of Solomon it also became the permanent center of the Jewish religion. After the division of the kingdom, it remained the capital of the kingdom of Judah until it was entirely destroyed and its inhabitants were carried off into Babylonian captivity (588 BCE). Fifty-two years later Cyrus permitted the exiles to return, and they rebuilt the city. In 332 BCE Jerusalem submitted to Alexander and it remained under Greek rule until the conquest of Palestine by Antiochus the Great of Syria, 198 BCE. In 70 CE the Jews rebelled against the Romans, who put them to the sword or sold them as slaves and razed their temples to the ground. Having revolted again, Hadrian resolved to destroy the last vestiges of their national and religious peculiarities. To this end he established a new Roman colony on the ground where Jerusalem had stood; and he named it Aelia Capitolina. This is the Helia to which the chronicler refers. In 135 CE Hadrian built a temple to Jupiter on the site of the temple of Jehovah. Jerusalem was not restored to its sacred character until Rome itself accepted Christianity. The origin of Jerusalem is shrouded in obscurity. The first reference that may be connected with it is the incident of the mysterious Melchizedek, king of Salem (Genesis 14:18). But there is no ancient authority for applying this name to Jerusalem. The name Jebus as an alternative name for the city, as suggested in certain biblical passages, is also shrouded in obscurity and remains unverified.] The city’s first builder was Canaan, who was called a righteous king, and his name was Melchizedek, a priest of the Most High God. In course of time he built a temple there, and be called it Solimas. The Solymi were a people living in the mountains by the land of Lycia.[Lycia is a small, but interesting district in the southern part of Asia Minor, jutting out into the Mediterranean. The mountains, called Solyma, are on its eastern border. Lycia was colonized by the Hellenic race (probably from Crete) at a very early period. Its historical inhabitants were Greeks, though with a mixture of native blood. The earlier names were preserved in the district in the north of the country called Milyas, and in the mountains called Solyma. Josephus (VII, c. 3, 2) states that under Abraham, Jerusalem was called Salem or Solyma. Some say that Homer mentions it by the name of Solyma; for he named the Temple of Solyma, according to the Hebrew language, which denotes security. Some copies of Josephus here have Solyma, or Salem, and others, Hierosolyma, or Jerusalem.] They called Hierosolima after themselves. The city was inhabited by the Canaanites up to David’s time. Joshua, the Jewish ruler, did not expel the Canaanites and Jebusites. When David rebuilt the city, after driving out the Jebusitea, he called it Hierosolima, that is, the most secure one. Its location is rocky, and it was fortified by a triple wall, a surplus of water within, but entirely dry without. It was surrounded by a moat, cut out of the rock 40 feet deep and 250 wide. With the rock thereby secured, the pinnacles and walls of the most renowned temple were built. This most celebrated of all the cities of the East was built upon two hills. And as one hill was higher than the other, so was one part of the city more elevated than the other. The other hill was called David’s Citadel. It contained a lower city, and this was lower in all respects. The valley in the middle belonged to Siloam, the sweet spring. The city was greatly beautified through the industry of David, Solomon, and other kings. Agrippa also added to city and enlarged it.[About 465 acres are said to have been enclosed in the Holy city during the period of its greatest extent, after the third wall had been built by Agrippa; but the old walls of Solomon and Zerubbabel included a small area of but 155 acres.] And so from time to time, as the population increased, it extended beyond its walls. The addition was called the New City. The whole city was 33 furlongs in circumference. Although the whole city was wonderful, the third wall was even more so, particularly because of its towers, standing in an angle toward the north and west. From these could be seen Arabia and the sea as far as the region of the Hebrews. And there was much costly shining marble in and about the king’s hall. But the death of Christ sanctified this city, for there is the temple of his teachings; the place of his bitter suffering for our redemption; the grave of his most sacred body; the mount of his ascension to heaven from whence he will return for the Judgment. Item: There the Lord selected the poor uneducated fishermen to capture emperors and kings with their lines and nets. There he made the blind to see, cured the leper, made the lame to walk, awakened the dead, and performed many other divine miracles; and, all this so that the world might come to recognize the light of truth and virtue.


Size 7-7/16” x 9-7/8”

This woodcut occupies over half a page. It represents the city of Jerusalem, a fact made known to us be the inscription in ecclesiastical Latin, Hierosolima. The city is securely and very compactly lodged in the confines of three successive circular walls, perfectly concentric and giving it the appearance of the labyrinth. The whole is dominated by the prematurely introduced Temple of Solomon (Templum Salomois). Its oriental architecture is rather out of harmony with its medieval setting.

The whole is represented as a very much overbuilt medieval city of Europe—no standing room, except on the temple steps—not a soul in sight. Not a tree or shrub shows its head within the walls.

The fortifications of Jerusalem are more fully described in the Nehemiah than elsewhere. Starting at the head of the Wady er-Rabadi, or Valley of Hinnom, is the southwest corner of the wall. Then comes the Valley Gate, half way down the valley. At the bottom of the valley where it joined the Kedron was the Dung Gate, outside of which has been found what appears to have been a cesspit. Turning northward, we come upon the Fountain Gate; and the Water Gate on Ophel, over the ‘Virgin’s Fountain.’ The gates on the northeast and north side of the wall seem to have been in order the Horse Gate, the East Gate, the Gate Hammiphkad, after which came the corner of the wall. Then on the north side the Sheep Gate, the Fish Gate, and somewhere on the north or northwest side, the Old Gate. Probably the Ephraim and Corner gates were somewhere in this neighborhood.

Beside these gates the Temple was provided with entrances, some of whose names are preserved. Such was the gate Sur and the Gate of the Guard, the Shallecheth Gate at the west, Parbar and the East Gate. The Beautiful Gate was probably the same as the Nicanor gate, between the Women’s and the Priests’ Court.

The gates named on the woodcut are those leading into the city. The artist has given the city but six of these, although Nehemiah mentions at least twice that number.


The three princes, Joktan (Jectan), Nimrod (Nemroth), and Suphena, as well as their people, feared that the Flood might come again and drown them. So they assembled in the field of Shinar[The region where the people, after the Flood, made bricks and used slime (bitumen) for mortar (Genesis 11:2-3). It was probably the Hebrew name for the plain of Mesopotamia, on the Euphrates and the Tigris. It would seem originally to have denoted the northern part of Babylonia, as Chaldea denoted the southern; but subsequently, like Chaldea, it was sometimes used for the whole.] and decided to build a tower that would reach to heaven, etc. But as God saw that they would not abstain from carrying out this foolhardy plan, he divided or confused their tongues so that the people were scattered throughout the world.

Babylon was the beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom. After the confusion of tongues he gave his realm to his son Belus and moved on to Persia. But Augustine says that Nimrod was driven from there, and that the sons of Aashur ruled the kingdom for 1305 years.

Belus is said to have ruled in obscurity, for he had but a small dominion. He was the first who through the error of mankind was regarded as a god. Different people called him by various names, such as Bel, Baal, Baalim, Beelphegor, and Beelzebub.

Many kingdoms now sprang up: Firstly, that of Sictarum (Scythia), which, although the oldest, is not reckoned among the most renowned, because of the coarseness of its people as hereafter stated. It is the first part of Europe. Secondly, the kingdom of the Masungetharum (Massagetae).[ A Scythian people to the east of the Caspian Sea, in the modern Sangaria and Mongolia.] The third, Sichiomorum (Sicyonia), of which Varro[Marcus Terentius Varro (116-27 BCE) was an antiquarian and a man of letters, and not only “the most learned of the Romans,” but also the most voluminous Roman writer. The scope of his endeavors may be gathered from Cicero’s tribute: “You have revealed to us the age of our fatherland, its chronology, the laws of its religion and priesthoods, the plan of our home and foreign administration, the position of our territories and districts, the titles and descriptions of all things divine and human, with the duties and principles attaching to them, and you have shed a vast amount of light on our poets, and on Latin literature in general, and on the Latin vocabulary,” etc. Sicyon was an ancient city, near Corinth, Greece.] wrote in ancient times, and which extended to Athens and afterwards to the Latin countries. The fourth was the kingdom of the Egyptians. Of all those and of others more will be said on the following page.

Among other kingdoms, as Augustine says, there are two principal ones—the Assyrian and the Roman empires. The kingdom of the Assyrians was the first to originate in the East; that of Rome, in the West. When the Assyrian empire ended, the Roman began. Now the other king of the Assyrians and first sole ruler was Ninus, who through greed to rule, made war upon his neighbors and created disturbances among them. Because of their lack of skill in war, he soon subjugated them, and so the whole of Asia. And he conquered half the earth, and enlarged the great city of Nineveh, which Asshur had built, and gave it his own name. Ninus was the first inventor of idolatry. He made an image of his deceased father Belus in order to ease his sorrows. And to all evildoers who fled to it he granted security and freedom. In this way the image came to be worshipped. After it, others also made statues of the dead, into which the devil entered and gave answers from them. Through these images they endeavored to secure divine favor. This same idol and its temple were afterward destroyed by Daniel the prophet when he was led captive to Babylonia.


This illustration, very tall and narrow, is well suited to its purpose. The tower of Babel shown under construction. Four stories have been completed, each with a balcony and receding toward the top. A building block is being raised, and one of the workmen is signaling, apparently to the operators of the crane below. A second man reaches for the stone to put it into place. Two or three other workmen are seen on top of the structure. The sharp tongs that grip the suspended block seem ill suited to the purpose. A large blooming plant has already reared itself at the base of the tower.


Nimrod, a man with a strong hand, was, after the death of Noah, his lord, fired with a desire to rule. His kingdom had its beginning in the field of Shinar. There this same most indigent and talkative man held a meeting. And in order to draw the people away from their fear of God, he advised them to bake bricks and to erect a tall tower whose steeples should touch the sky, so that they might ascend to heaven thereby. Now, as they were building the tower and thus raising themselves against God, the Lord struck down their folly and pride with a single punishment, whereby the seventy-two peoples who had gathered together there, and who descended from the three sons of Noah and spoke one tongue, were divided into as many tongues; and they could no longer understand one another. And so the assembly was dissolved, and the people were scattered upon the face of the earth. Where this tower once stood is clear to but few people. They say that in the beginning, a noble commercial or manufacturing city of the Chaldeans, called Baldach, stood upon the banks of the Euphrates. Its inhabitants say that not far from this city is to be seen a large rock pile, inaccessible because of the sharp rocks and poisonous animals. And there they say the tower stood, and from hence all things were carried out of Babylonia into their city. Bede says that this tower was 1174 paces high. And it was called Babel, that is, division or dispersion; for although there was one language throughout the world until then, the Lord thus scattered the people through all parts of the earth.[The Tower of Babel is named in the Bible but once, and is then referred to as incomplete (Genesis 11:4-5). It was apparently built of burnt bricks and bitumen was used for mortar. Jewish traditions and early profane writers say that the tower was destroyed. The captive Jews at Babylon thought they recognized it, however, in the famous Temple of Belus, which some would identify with the temple of Nebo at Borsippa, the modern Birs Nimrud. The Birs Nimrud is one of the most striking ruins on the plain and is six miles southwest of Hillah, on the Euphrates. This great mound is about 2300 feet in circumference and 250 feet high, and was built of burnt bricks, each 12 inches square and 4 inches thick. Several of these bear the inscription of Nebuchadnezzar. The tower is represented as in the form of a pyramid, built in seven receding stories, each of the first three being 26 feet high, each of the last four being 15 feet high. On the seventh story was a temple or ark, perhaps with a statue of the god Belus. The Birs Nimrud is most probably the Tower of Babel of , and seems to have been a temple dedicated to the heavenly bodies.]

The kingdom of Scythia (Scytharum) had its beginning in the region toward the north. There first ruled Tanai (Thanay), after whom was named the great river, Tanais, which flows into the swamps called Palus Maeotis. And this region is divided by that same river. A portion of the region is in Europe, while the rest extends into Asia.[The river Tanais rises in the north of Sarmatia Euopaea (about the center of Russia) and flows to the southeast till it nears the Volga, when it turns to the southwest, and falls into the northeast angle of the Palus Maeotis (Sea of Azov) by two principal mouths and several smaller ones. It was usually considered the boundary between Europe and Asia.] The European part ends at Thracia.[ Thracia, in early times, was a vast space of country bounded on the north by the Danube, on the south by the Propontis (Sea of Marmora) and the Aegean, on the east by the Pontus Euxine (Black Sea) and on the west by the river Strymon and the most easterly of the Illyrian tribes. It was divided into two parts by the Haemus mountains (Balkans) running from east to west. At a later time the name Thrace was applied to a more limited area.] It contains but a small amount of animal life and is uninterrupted by water-ways. But the part which stretches eastward into Asia is inhabited by various peoples. In general all Scythians use the bow, ride horses, and sustain themselves, not with the plow, but by the chase. Although this land is the oldest, yet as its people are coarse, it is not reckoned as one of the four principal and more advanced countries. Yet these Scythian people never allowed themselves to be subdued in battle. They drove off Darius, the king of Persia. They killed Cyrus. They destroyed Syphirionas, the general of Alexander the Great; repulsed and drove to flight the king of Egypt and his army with all its implements of war. They defeated Asia three times and compelled it to pay tribute for many years. Out of these Scythians came many who accomplished great things. Firstly, the Amazons, the highly celebrated women, who apparently performed great deeds in battle. Bactria and Parthia came out of them; also the great Attila (and others), who subjugated Pannonia, and sacked Aquilaeia, and committed much waste in Germany, also descended from them. Zeliorbis, the Hungarian king, who rose up against Emperor Justinian, had his origin in Scythia. The Hungarians, Catalauni, and all the Goths also had their origin there, as did the Dani and the Turks. The country had its beginning in Magog, the grandson of Noah. Its people are coarse and have no regard for justice or equality. They worship snakes and are idolatrous, and are involved in many indecent cravings.[Scythia is a name applied to very different countries at different times. The Scythia of Herodotus comprises the southeastern parts of Europe between the Carpathian mountains and the river Tanäis (Don). Herodotus believed these people to be of Asiatic origin, and his description of them leaves no doubt that they were a part of the great Mongol race who wandered from unknown antiquity, over the steppes of Central Asia. He further states that they were driven from Asia by the Massagetae. The Scythians were a nomadic people (shepherds or herdsmen), with no fixed habitation. They roamed over great areas living in covered wagons. They kept large troops of horses and were extremely skilled in cavalry exercises and archery. When Darius invaded their country he found it almost impossible to act against them due to their shifting tactics. Their government was a sort of patriarchal monarchy or chieftainship.]

The kingdom of the Assyrians, in the East, had its inception in the 25th year of the life of Baruch[The amanuensis of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 36:4).] (as Eusebius states),[Eusebius, surnamed Pamphili, to commemorate his devoted friendship for Pamphilus, bishop of Caesarea, was born in Palestine about 264 CE, was himself made bishop of Caesarea in 315, and died about 340. He was a man of great learning. His of five volumes from the creation of the world, which he places at 5499 BCE to 221 CE, has been lost. This first volume of Eusebius gives lists of kings and other magistrates, with short accounts of remarkable events from the creation to his own time. The second book consists of synchronological tables, with similar catalogues of rulers and striking occurrences, from the time of Abraham to the celebration of Constantine’s Vicennalia, 327-8 CE, held in commemoration of the twentieth year of his reign. The Greek text of the is lost, but a Latin translation of part of it by Jerome survived. It was published at Leiden in 1616, and an enlarged edition at Amsterdam in 1658. There is also an Armenian translation, discovered at Constantinople, and published at Milan in 1818. Eusebius wrote other important works, such as his , in 15 volumes, a collection of facts and quotations from old writers, and by this it was supposed the mind would be prepared to receive Christianity. This book is almost as important in the study of ancient philosophy, as the is with reference to history, for in it are preserved excerpts from the writings of every philosopher of note whose works are not now extant. Eusebius supplemented this 15-volume work with his in 20 books (of which only 10 remain). It was addressed principally to the Jews. He also wrote an Ecclesiastical History in 10 books, containing the history of Christianity from the birth of Christ to 324 CE. His is an account of the persecutions under Diocletian and Maximin from 303 to 310.] and among all others, it was the most eminent and renowned. The time from Belus, its first king, to Sardanapolis, its last one, is 1302 years. During this period it had 37 kings. Assyria lies in Asia. The Euphrates is on its east, and it extends west to our (Mediterranean) sea and Egypt. To the north are Armenia and Cappadocia. On the south is Arabia. And this is Syria.


The Amazonian kingdom of the women had its origin (as they say) in the time of Regau (Reu) between Scythia and Albania. And these were Scythian women. They first lived by the river Tanais (Don), and later came to the river Termodonta;[The Thermodon, a river of Pontus, in the district of Themiscyra, the reputed country of the Amazons. It rises in a mountain called Amazonius (and still Mason Dagh) near Phanaroea, and falls into the sea about 30 miles east of the mouth of the Iris, after a short course, but with so large a volume of water that its breadth, according to Zenephon, was three plethra (more than 300 feet); and it was navigable. At its mouth was the city of Themiscyra Pontus, the most northeasterly district of Asia Minor, along the coast of the Euxine or Black Sea, having no specific name. It was spoken of as the country on the Pontus (Euxine), and so acquired the name Pontus.] and after them some have called this region Amazonia. They afterward moved forward and succeeded in subjugating a large part of Asia. Their first two queens were Marthesia and Lampedona, who said they were descended from Mars, the god of war. Now as they proceeded from Europe into Asia and conquered much Asiatic territory, they built Ephesus, Smyrna and many other cities. They neither associated nor intermingled with men until spring, when they cohabited with them until they found themselves pregnant. If the child was a boy, they killed it. If it was a girl, they seared and cut off the right breast, and brought her up and trained her in the art of war. From this custom they derived the name Amazons, for according to the Latin, this means without a breast. Hercules and Bellerophon, the king of Corinth, fought with these women and defeated them. Concerning this Justinus and Diodorus Siculus have written accounts.

Mythology describes the Amazons as a race or nation of female warriors on the northerly coast of Asia Minor, and with whom the Greeks repeatedly warred. Bellerophon, the Greek hero who slew the Chimera and perished in the attempt to scale heaven on the winged horse Pegasus, engaged the Amazons during his career. Hercules and Theseus each conducted battled with them; while Achilles slew their queen Penthesileia, when the Amazons came to the aid of the besieged Trojans. It is considered that the temple servants of the great Anatolian goddess may have originally been armed women and so have given rise to these Greek legends. Although the Amazons did not tolerate men among them, they were in touch with a neighboring tribe for the purpose of propagating their race. The boys who were born to them they killed or sent back to their fathers; the girls they retained. From these they removed the right breasts, as these interfered with the drawing of the bow and the hurling of the spear. In consequence the name Amazon ( a or ab [without] and mazos [breast]) is given to them in the mythology of the Greeks.

Justinus, whom the chronicler cites, is a historian, orf uncertain date, but who did not live later than the fourth or fifth century of our era. He is the author of an extant work, Historiarum Philippicarum Libri XLIV. It is taken from the Historiae Phillipicae of Trogus Pompeius, who lived in the time of Augustus. The title Phillipicae was given the work because its main object was to give the history of the Macedonian monarchy, with all its branches; but Trogus indulged in so many excursions that the work formed a kind of universal history. The work of Justinus is a selection of such parts of Trogus as seemed worthy of being generally known. The original work of Trogus, which was one of great value, is lost.

Diodorus Siculus, of Agyrium in Sicily, the chronicler’s second authority, was a contemporary of Julius Caesar and Augustus. He traveled over a great part of Europe and Asia, and spent thirty years upon his work entitled the Historical Library. It embraced the period from the earliest mythical ages to the beginning of Caesar’s Gallic wars. It was divided into three great sections and into forty books. It is constructed upon the plan of annals, the events of each year being placed one after the other without internal connection. The author simply collected what he found in his different authorities, resulting in a mixture of history, myth and fiction. He frequently misunderstood authorities, and often contradicts himself. However, the compilation is of great importance because of the great mass of materials he collected from writers whose works have perished.

Egypt had its beginning in the time of Regau (Reu). According to Eusebius its first king was Soros.[As Menes was the founder of the first Egyptian dynasty, and therefore its first king, this note probably refers to the mythological Horus (or Horos, here erroneously called Soros), the sun-god, from whom the historical kings of Egypt claim to have descended.] This country (as we read) was affected by manifold and various changes and uprisings, of which the Holy Scriptures make frequent mention. This continued to the time of Augustus Octavianus.[Born September 23, 63 BCE; died August 29, 14 CE, at the age of 76.] Mizraim, son of Ham, was the first to take up residence there. Egypt lies in Africa and derived its name (as some would be pleased to have it) from Aegyptus, the brother of Danaus.[Belus had two sons, the twin brothers Aegyptus and Danaüs. To the former he assigned Arabia; to the latter Libya. But Aegyptus subdued the country of the Melampodes, which he called Aegypt after his own name. Aegyptus by his several wives had 50 sons, and his brother Danaüs 50 daughters. Danaüs had reason to fear the sons of his brother and fled with his daughters to Argos in Peloponesus. There he was followed by the sons of Aegyptus, who demanded his daughters for their wives, and promised faithful alliance. Danaüs complied and distributed his daughters among them; but to each he gave a dagger with which to kill their husbands on the bridal night. All the sons of Aegyptus were thus murdered with the exception of Lynceus, who was saved by Hypermnestra. The Danaides buried the heads of their murdered husbands in Lerna, and their bodies outside the town, and were afterwards purified of their crime by Athena and Hermes at the command of Zeus. According to the poets the Danaides were punished in Hades by being compelled to everlastingly pour water into a sieve. From Danaüs the Argives (people of Argos or Argolis, as their country was called) were called Danai, which name like that of the Argives was often applied by the poets (especially Homer) to the collective Greeks.] According to Pliny it borders on Ethiopia on the south. To the north is the Egyptian [Mediterranean] Sea. It seldom rains there, but the land is watered and made productive by the river Nile, as has been earlier told.

The kingdom of Sicyonia had its beginning in Achata in the seventy-fourth year of the life of Nachor[Nahor, grandson of Reu and grandfather of Abraham (Genesis 11:21-26).] (as Eusebius states), and there Aegilaeus first ruled. After him it was called Aegilaea. It was afterward named Danaa, and later Achaia. In the same country was the highly renowned city of Corinth. The region (as Pliny states) abounds in oil orchards or oil vegetation. So also was Lycaonia called. Augustine writes that this country was very small once upon a time. Varro and other ancient writers have also said much about it. It was taken over by the Athenians, later by the Latins, the Romans, and finally by the Turks. It endured for a period of 826 years under twenty-five kings, to the time of Heli the priest.[Eli (1226-1128 BCE), a high priest and judge (1 Samuel 4, 13-18).] After him the priests were called Carni.[Sicyonia is a small district bounded on the east by the territory of Corinth, on the west by Achaia, on the south by the territory of Philius and Cleonae, and on the north by the Gulf of Corinth. The area was probably less than 100 square miles. The land was fertile and produced excellent oil. Its almonds and fish were also prized. Its chief town was Sicyon, one of the most ancient cities of Greece. It is said to have been originally called Aegialea or Aegiali after an ancient king, Aegialeus, and finally to have been named Sycion from an Athenian of this name.]


Islands are so called according to the Latin Tongue because they lie in the sea. The following are the most notable and the largest, namely, Britain, generally called England. It lies off France and opposite Spain, and has many rivers and warm springs; also coal, and many metals and valuable minerals. Item: Thanathos, an island in the Great Sea, is separated from Britain in many places by the Gallic Sea.[Probably the Isle of Thanet, or extreme northeastern portion of Kent, England, insulated by the two branches of the river Stour. Its name is said to have been derived from the Saxon tene , a beacon or fire, probably from the number of watch-fires maintained on this easily ravaged coast.] Item: Thyle [Tile], the last island of the Great Sea.[Probably Thule, according to ancient geography, the most northern land of the world; so named by the voyager Pytheas Massilia, and variously identified by moderns with Norway, Iceland, and the Shetland and Orkney Islands; often called Ultima Thule, or farthest Thule.] Item: Tylos is an island in India,[Tylos is the modern island of Bahrain, according to Brotier, still famous for its pearl-fisheries. It is mentioned by Pliny (, vi.c.32; xll.c.21). Bahrain is really an archipelago named from its chief island, in the gulf of the same name, occupying the angle formed by the Qatar peninsula and the Hasa coast of Arabia. Bahrain island is 27 miles long and 10 miles wide. The archipelago is the headquarters of the Persian Gulf pearl trade, in which over a thousand sailing boats are engaged, and employ some twenty-thousand men.] as Solinus says,[C. Julius Solinus was the author of a geographical compendium, containing a brief sketch of the world as known to the ancients, diversified by historical notices, remarks on the origin, habits, religious rites, and social conditions of various nations, together with details regarding the remarkable productions of each region, animal, vegetable, and mineral. The material is derived almost exclusively from Pliny’s , although the writer nowhere indicates his source. There is no information with reference to Solinus himself, nor to what country he belonged. His time is also doubtful. He is quoted by Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine, who belong to the end of the fourth century. Solinus was much studied in the Middle Ages, and many editions appeared in the infancy of printing. The first came from the press of Jenson (Venet. 1473).] which has palms, oil, and vineyards; and it exceeds the wonders of all other lands in the single fact that its trees are never without leaves. There also are the Caucasus Mountains, which with their loftiness and peaks penetrate the greater part of the world. There are also pepper trees similar to juniper bushes.Item: The Orchades[Probably the Orkneys, an island group north of Pentland Firth, Scotland.] are islands of the Great Sea, and they lie in Britain. Of these ten are wastelands, and ten are habitable. Item: Scotland, or Hibernia (Ireland), an island, lies near Britain. Although it is a limited territory, it is very productive by reason of its location. It stretches from Africa on the left in a northerly direction.[Apparently the author thinks Scotland and Ireland to be identical, and he appears to not know the legend of St. Patrick.] There are no snakes or bees, and seldom a bird.

Item: The island of Gades lies at the end of the country of Baetica, and divides Europe from Africa. Therein are the Pillars of Hercules.[Gades, the Cadiz of our day, is a very ancient town in Hispania Baetica, west of the Pillars of Hercules. It was founded by the Phoenicians and was one of the chief seats of their commerce in the west of Europe. It was situated on a small island of the same name (I. de Leon), separated from the mainland by a small channel. Gades gave its name to the Fretum Gadiatanum , which we know as the Straits of Gibraltar.] Item: Certain islands are called the Fortunate Islands, which means the Islands of the Blessed, because of the abundance of their fruits. Through a mistake of the pagans they are considered to be Paradise. The first is called Membronia; the second, Minona; the third, Capraria; the fourth, Thoode; and the fifth, Vinaria.[The early Greeks, according to Homer, placed the Elysian Fields into which favored heroes passed without dying, at the extremity of the earth, near the river Oceanus. In later poems an island is clearly spoken of as their abode. It was placed beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Hence, when, just after the time of the Marian civil wars, certain islands were discovered in the Ocean off the west coast of Africa, they were called Fortunatae Insulae (‘The Fortunate Islands’). As to the names of the individual islands and the exact identification of them by their modern names, there are difficulties. But it is safe to say that the Fortunatae Insulae of Pliny, Ptolemy and others, are the Canary Islands, and probably the Madeira group. Quoting Juba, Pliny says that the first of these islands is Ombrios; the second, Junonia; the third, Capraria; the fourth, Ninguaria; and another, Canaria, which, he says, contains vast multitudes of dogs, of very large size. While all these islands abound in fruits and birds of every kind, this one produces in great numbers the date palm, which bears the caryota, also pine nuts. Honey too abounds here, and in the rivers papyrus, and the fish called silurus are found. These islands are greatly annoyed by the putrefying bodies of monsters, which are constantly thrown up by the sea (Pliny, , vi. c. 38).] They lie in the Great Sea to the left of the country of Mauretania.

The Gorgodes [Gorgondes] are islands in the ocean.[Probably refers to Gorgon or Urgo, the Gorgona of Ptolemy, a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea between the coast of Etruria and Corsica, and distant about twenty miles from the mainland. It is only about eight miles in circumference, but elevated and rocky, rising abruptly out of the sea, which renders it conspicuous from a distance.] Item: Espidum, Crise[Probably refers to Crisa, an ancient town of Phocis, on the sea, now Crissa.] and Argire[This may refer to Argyre, the capital of the large island of Jabadiu, which Ptolemy places south of the Malay Peninsula, and supposed by some to be Sumatra, and by others Java.] also Taprophana.[Taprobane is the ancient name for Ceylon, a great island of the Indian Ocean, opposite the southern extremity of India intra Ganges. The Greeks first became acquainted with it through the researches of Onesicritus in the time of Alexander, and through information obtained by residents in India. Information was also obtained from an embassy sent from the island to Rome in the reign of Claudius. Ptolemy makes it very much too large, and the peninsula of India too small.] So in the ocean lie other islands from the Hellespont[The Dardanelles.] to the Gorgodes. Firstly, Cyprus, also called Paphos, highly cele¬brated for its wealth, particularly in minerals, for there ore was first found and used.[Cyprus is the largest island in the Mediterranean. It has born a multitude of names. Its mountains contained copper (Pliny XII, 60, and XXXIV, 20) as well as gold and silver. Its precious stones were famous in antiquity (Pliny XXXVII, 15), and the land is described as flowing with wine, oil, and honey (Pliny XI, 14).] Item: Crete, the island of Greece, a great part of which lies against the Peloponnesus. It has about 100 cities, for which reason it is also called Centopolis, after their number. It is wealthy in shipping and weapons. It first reduced the law to writing. It first taught horsemanship. It discovered certain forms of poetry. It is full of moun¬tain goats, but lacking in deer. It does not produce the wolf, fox, or other destructive wild animal; nor snakes, nor night owls. And when they are taken, they soon die. It is also generous in vines and trees. There the root diptannus grows, and large poisonous spiders are found there.

Crete has been known by various names, Cretaeus, Cretanus, Cretensis, Creticus, Cretis, and Kriti. The common European name of Candia is unknown in the island. The Saracenic “Khandax” became in the Venetian writers Candia. The city is situated in the Aegean basin of the Mediterranean. Mt. Ida, connected in an ancient story with metallurgy, was, as its name implied, covered with wood, which was extensively used in forging and smelting. The forests boasted of the fruit-bearing poplar trees, the cypress, palm, and cedar. According to Pliny everything grew better in Crete than elsewhere. Among the medicinal herbs for which it was famed was the “dictamnon,” (here called diptannus) so celebrated among physicians, naturalists, and poets. Dittany is a plant of the rue family, as the dittany of Crete, or the bastard dittany, named after Dikte, a mountain in Crete. The name also applies to a small American perennial of the mint family. Rue is a small bushy shrub with bitter acrid leaves, formerly much used in medicine for its stimulating effects. It was formerly also an emblem of bitterness or grief.

The ancients frequently speak of Cretan wines. The island of was free from all wild beasts and noxious animals (Pliny VIII, 83), a blessing that it owed to Hercules. But the Cretan dogs could vie with the hounds of Sparta, and the Cretan wild goat is the supposed origin of all our domestic varieties.

Item: Abydos, an island, of Europe.[Abydos is an ancient town of Mysia, Asia Minor, on the Hellespont, here scarcely a mile broad. Originally it was probably a Thracian town, afterward colonized by Milesians. Here Xerxes in 480 BCE crossed the strait on his bridge of boats when he invaded Greece. The city is celebrated for its resistance to Philip V of Macedon, in 200 BCE, and is famed in story for the loves of Hero and Leander. In later years its importance was transferred to the Dardanelles. I have found no mention of it as an island, except here.] Item: Cos,[Cos (or Stanko) is an island not far from the southwestern corner of Asia Minor, off the Gulf of Ceramus. It was settled by Dorian colonists who worshipped Aesculapius, whose sanctuary became a health-resort and the first school of scientific medicine. In the Hellenistic age Cos owed its prosperity to the friendship of the Greek dynasty of Egypt, who valued it as a naval outpost. As a seat of learning it was adopted for the education of the Ptolemaic princes; among its most famous men were Hippocrates, the most celebrated physician of antiquity (born 460 BCE), the painter Apelles, and the poets Philetas and Theocritus. The temple of Aesculapias, a sanctuary, was anciently the greatest object of interest in the island. A school of physicians was attached to it, and its great collection of votive models made it almost a museum of anatomy and pathology. Strabo describes the temple as standing in the suburb of the town; but the site has never been positively identified.] an island which lies off Attica, and where Hippocrates, the physician, was born; and here (accord¬ing to Varro) spinning was first invented as a feminine adornment. Item: Fifty-three islands lie in the Great Sea, which some Greeks call the Cyclades.[A group of islands in the Aegean Sea.] Among these Rhodes is the principal one.

In the midst of these islands is another called Delos, which in the Greek tongue means revealed; and it was so named because when the flood occurred in the time of Ogygys the king, and the world was in continual darkness for many months, this was the first land to receive the light of the sun, and therefore it was the first to be revealed.[Ogygys, or Ogyges, is said to have been the first ruler of the territory of Thebes, which was called after him Ogygia. In his reign the waters of Lake Copais rose above its banks and inundated the whole valley of Boeotia. This flood is usually called after him the Oxygian. They name of Ogyges is also connected with Attic mythological history, for in Attica an Ogygian flood is likewise mentioned, and he is described as the father of the Attic hero Eleusis, and as the father of Daira, the daughter of Oceanus.] This island was also called Ortigia. There the partridges were first seen.

Item: Rhodes is the first among the above mentioned islands; after it Carpathos.[Carpathos lies between Crete and Rhodes. Its chief towns were Posidium and Nisyrus.] Item: Cytherea. Item: Ycharia.[Ycharia, probably Icarus or Icaria, an island of the Aegean Sea; one of the Sporades, and west of Samos. Its name was derived from the myth of Icarus.]

Item: Samnia,[Samnia, probably Samos, one of the principal islands in the Aegean Sea, lying in that portion of it called the Icarian Sea, off Ionia, from which it is separated by a narrow strait. The Samians obtained great power at sea and founded many colonies. Their commerce extended to Egypt and the interior of Africa. They were members of the Athenian Confederacy until 440 BCE, when Pericles reduced them to subjection and deprived them of their fleet. Samos was one of the chief centers of Ionian manners, science and art. Its pottery was celebrated throughout the ancient world. It was illustrious in painting and literature. In the time of Herodotus, its capital Samos was reckoned one of the finest cities of the world, filled with works of art, which were plundered first by the pirates in the Mithridatic war, then by Verres, and lastly by M. Antonius. Nothing is left of it but traces of the foundations.] in which earthenware was first made. Item: Sicilia [Sicily] was named after Sichanus, the king of Sicania; and thereafter it was called Sicilia from Siculus. But before that time it was called Trinacria or Trinacia, after its three mountains. This is¬land is separated from Italy by a small sea. The land is productive and windy and full of sulphur. For that reason Mt. Aetna was ignited. In the Sea of Sicily are a mountain and a whirlpool, which are very dangerous to shipping, caus¬ing damage and loss by shipwreck. Sicily was the fatherland of those who had one eye in their foreheads, and was the sup¬porter of tyrants. The capital is Syracuse. Its sea bears corals; and it produces the agate. Its circumference is three thousand furlongs.[Sicily was supposed by the ancients to be the same as the Homeric island Thrinacia, and it was therefore frequently called Thrinacia, Trinacia, or Trinacris, a name which was believed to be derived from the triangular form of the island. Its more usual name came from its later inhabitants, the Siceli, whence it was called Sicelia, which the Romans changed to Sicilia. The sea besides the island was called Mare Siculum . Sicily originally was part of Italy, it is said, but was separated from it by volcanic eruption. Its most important mountain is Aetna. It was so celebrated even in early times for its grains that it was held sacred to Ceres. It also produces excellent wine, saffron, honey, almonds and other fruits. It was the birthplace of the philosophers Empedocles, Epicharmus, Dicaearchus; of the mathematician, Archimedes; of the physicians Herodicus and Acron; of the historians Diodorus, Antiochus, Philistus, and Tamaeus; of the rhetorician Gorgias, and the poets Stesichorus and Theocritus.] There are nine islands off Sicily. Those were for¬merly called Solie [Aeoli] after Aeolus the former ruler of these islands. The same Aeolus could by his arts prophesy winds and storms out of the mists and damps. For that reason the vulgar folk looked upon him as a ruler of wind and weather. The same island is also called Vulcan [now Volcano]. There are nine islands which have names of their own, namely, Lipparis [Lipara], Trafia,

Aeoliae Insulae (Lipari Islands) lie northeast of Sicily, where Aeolus, the god of the winds, reigned. Homer mentions only one Aeolian island, and Virgil speaks of only one Aeolia where Aeolus reigned, supposed to be Strongyle or Lipara. These islands were also called Vulcaniae, because Vulcan was supposed to have had his workshop in one of them called Hiera. They are also named Liparenses from Lipara, the largest of them. The names of these islands were Lipara (Lipari); Hiera (Volcano); Strongyle (Stromboli); Phoenicusa (Felicundi); Ericusa (Alicudi); Euonymus (Panaria); Didyme (Salina); Hicesia (Lisca Bianca); Basilidia (Basilizzo); Osteodes (Ustica). Pliny the following observation (Natural History, III, c. 14): “On this side of Sicily, etc., are seven islands, called the Aeolian, as also the Liparaean islands; by the Greeks they are called the Hephaestiades, and by other writers the Vulcanian Isles; they are called ‘Aeolian’ because in the Trojan times Aeolus was king there.”

There are now eleven of these islands instead of seven, some of which are supposed to have risen from the sea since the time of Pliny. The name Vulcanian originated from Vulcan, a god of fire, the Greek Hephaestus. Referring to Lipara, Pliny says: “Lipara is so called from Liparus, a former king, who succeeded Aeolus, it having been previously called Melogonis, or Meligunis . . . Between this island and Sicily is another, Therasia, now called Hiera, because it is sacred to Vulcan (now Volcano); it contains a hill which at night vomits forth flames. The third island is Strongyle (now Stromboli), lying one mile to the east of Lipara; it differs only from Lipara in the superior brilliancy of its flames. From the smoke of this volcano it is said that some of the inhabitants are able to predict three days beforehand what winds are to blow; hence arose the notion that the winds are governed by Aeolus.”

etc. Item: Sardinia, the island, is named after Sardus, the son of Hercules, who came from Libya with an army and conquered Sardinia. It produces neither snakes nor wolves. It has warm springs which give health to the sick, and the thieves who use its waters are blinded.[Sardinia is the largest island in the Mediterranean. As the chronicler states, the ancients derived its name from Sardus, the son of Hercules, who was worshipped in the island under the name of Sardus pater (‘Father Sardus’). Among the products of the island one of the most celebrated was the Sardonica herba, a poisonous plant, which was said to produce fatal convulsions in the person who ate of it. These convulsions agitated and distorted the mouth, so that the person appeared to laugh although in excruciating pain; hence the well-known risus Sardonicus (sardonic laugh). No plant possessing these properties is now found in Sardinia.] Item: Corsica, the island, has its origin from its inhabitants, the Lugurians, who call them¬selves after their duke. Aebosus[Ebusus (Iviza) is the largest island of the Pityusae Insule, off the east coast of Spain, reckoned by some writers among the Baleares. It was celebrated for its excellent figs.] is an island of Hispania. Item: There are two other islands in His¬pania, called the Baleares. Here the throwing of stones by means of a sling was first invented.[The Baleares, or Balearic Islands, are off the coast of Spain. There are two, distinguished by the names Major and Minor, whence their modern names of Majorca (Mallorca) and Minorca. Their inhabitants were celebrated as slingers, as the chronicler states, and were employed as such in the armies of the Carthaginians and Romans. In consequence of their piracies they provoked the hostility of the Romans, and were finally subdued 123 BCE by Q. Metellus, who assumed accordingly the surname Balearicus.] And there are many other islands; but as they are uninhabited they are not counted.


Amazonia, the country that lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe, near Albania, was so called after the Amazons. These were the wives of the Goths who came out of lower Sircia (as Isidore states)[Isidore. There were a number of men of learning by this name. Isidorus of Aegae, a Greek poet who wrote epigrams; Isidorus of Charox, a geographical writer, who probably lived under the early Roman emperors; Isidorus of Gaza, a neo-Platonic philosopher; Isidorus of Pelusium, a Christian exegetical writer, a native of Alexandria, who died about 450 CE; Isidorus of Miletus, the elder and the younger, eminent architects in the reign of Justinian. But the chronicler probably refers to Isidorus (better known in English as Isidore), Bishop of Hispalis (Seville), from 600 to 636 CE, one of the most learned men of his age, and an ardent cultivator of ancient literature. A great number of his works are still extant, but by far the most important is his . It is an encyclopedia of Arts of Sciences, and treats of all subjects in literature, science and religion that were studied at that time. It was much used in the Middle Ages.] and were betrayed and put to death. The wives took up their husbands' arms in just revenge. They slew all male persons with the sword, kept the women, and divided the booty of the enemy. After taking counsel they decided to live without association with men, and as their husbands had been ruled by two kings, they now elected two women to rule over them, namely, Marsepia and Lampeta. The one took it upon herself to fight against the enemy with her troops, while the other looked after the general welfare at home. In a short space of time they became such powerful warriors that for almost one hun¬dred years they held in subjection and ruled over the greater part of Asia. And they allowed no male person to live among them. How¬ever, in order to bear children they selected men from a neighboring people. With these they had intercourse at certain times; and when they conceived, they forced the men to leave them. Boys which were born to them they put to death, or sent them to their fathers at the proper time. The girls they kept and reared to shoot and hunt. At the age of seven they seared off the right breast of the girls, so they would not be hindered in their military practices. Hercules, and later Achilles, tamed these women in their barbarous cruelties. But they accomplished this rather through friendship than by force, as may be learned from the histories of the Greeks and of these women. But Isidore states that through Alexander the Great they were completely wiped out. However, Alexander’s history does not say so, but states that when Alexander demanded tribute, the queens replied: O king, your wisdom in daring to strive with women is a matter of wonderment; for if luck is with us and we succeed in overcoming you, you will be justly debased as one defeated by women. But if the gods are unfavorable to us and we do not succeed in overcoming you, it will be small honor to you that you have prevailed over women etc. The high¬born king was amazed at this reply, and concluded that women are not to be won over by the sword and by wrath, but with love. Therefore he left them their liberty, and made them obedient to his wishes not by force but by friendship.

It is said that the Amazons once a year met the Gargareans in Mount Caucasus for the purpose of propagation. The Greeks believed in the existence of the Amazons as a real historical race down to the late period; and hence it is said that Thalestris, their queen, hastened to Alexander, in order to become a mother by the conqueror of Asia.

The following are the chief mythical adventures of the Amazons: They are said to have invaded Lycia in the reign of the Iobates, but were destroyed by Bellerophontes, who happened to be staying at the king’s court. They also invaded Phrygia, and fought with the Phrygians and Trojans when Priam was a young man. The ninth of the labors imposed upon Hercules was to take from Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons, her girdle, the ensign of her kingly power, which she had received from Ares (Mars). In the reign of Theseus they invaded Attica. Toward the end of the Trojan War, the Amazons under their queen, Penthesileia, came to the assistance of Priam, but she was killed by Achilles. The Amazons and their battles are frequently represented in the remains of ancient Greek art.

(A) The Amazons (Size 3” x 4”).

A triple bust portrait of three of these women. Each wears a turban, but is otherwise clad in medieval armor. One bears a sword, another a battle-axe, the third a dagger. The central figure lifts a finger of warning. The expressions are serious but not warlike.

(B) Themiscyria (Size 5-7/16” x 8-11/16”):

Here, by suggestion of the text and a long stretch of the imagination we have the ancient city of the Amazons, located a short distance from the Black Sea, at the mouth of the Thermodon. Diodorus states that it was built by the founder of the Amazon kingdom. After the retreat of Mithridates from Cyzicus, Themiscyra was besieged by Lucullus. The inhabitants on that occasion defended themselves with great valor, and when the walls were undermined, they sent bears and other wild beasts, and even swarms of bees, against the workmen of Lucullus. Notwithstanding their gallant defense, the town seems to have perished on that occasion.

FOLIO XX recto

Nobility originated at this time, and it became established for many reasons. To begin with, it was a necessity; for as people multiplied and became addicted to evil, it became necessary to protect the pious against the evildoers. Therefore a pious man of righteous counsel was chosen by the rest as the head of the community, to give preference to the virtuous, to protect the middle classes, and to punish the evildoers. A nobleman, therefore, is one who is distinguished by his virtues; and for that reason, as Jerome says, the nobility should not allow itself to be diverted from its privileges. The second reason is that the vulgar were not competent to form a correct judgment, for they were too benighted to comprehend matters of greatness and courage beyond the ordinary public welfare. So, to preserve the peace among them, it was necessary that there should be princes of noble birth. The third reason was certain strength; for when at times certain communities were harassed by enemies, they caused it to be proclaimed that he who would relieve them should be vested with the rights of nobility for himself and his heirs forever. And in this manner they were ennobled. The fourth reason was the possession of abundant wealth; for in time many persons became so impoverished that they gave themselves up with their possessions to some wealthy person to mitigate their need. And they came to recognize him as noble, and as their lord. In certain cases nobility was also the result of divine grant; and with some this nobility remained, as in the case of David, while in others it lapsed, as with Saul, Rehoboam, etc. Frequently, nobility was the result of conquest and tyranny. Of these some were completely destroyed, while others remained. According to ancient historians the noble lineages of pagan times were seldom or never perpetuated because of the arrogance and tyranny of the nobles themselves. But this was also true among the Christians for like reasons; for the Scriptures say that the Lord broke up the seats of the haughty and on them placed the gentle. Item: No one every scorned nobility, for in itself it is a desirable estate; but many pious men fled from it because of the burdens and dangers concealed in it. This appeared in the case of the holy prophet David, whom God himself selected for humble service.

Nineveh, a great city of three days’ journey, was built by Ninus, the Assyrian king, after the death of his father, and he made it the capital of this kingdom. He led a restless life, and in his passion for novelty and new possessions, he changed all the ancient and pagan customs. He warred on his neighbors and soon subdued these untrained people. And as his power increased by these conquests and the subjugation of his neighbors, he also overran other peoples; and as each new conquest became an instrument for further acquisitions, he finally brought all the people of the West under his domination. He warred with Zoroaster, the king of Bactria, but when the latter was slain, Ninus died also, leaving him surviving his wife, Semiramis, and Ninyas, a son. To this city Jonah, the prophet, was sent; and as he interpreted the prophecy to mean that the sinners of the city would receive God’s mercy in the end, he was loath to appear untruthful in making known the city’s doom; and so he decided to flee from the face of God. For this he was drowned in the sea and swallowed by a whale.[According to the Book of Jonah, the prophet was commanded by God to go to Nineveh and cry out against its wickedness and to announce its impending doom. The fear that God would repent of his purpose and spare the city caused him to seek escape from his immediate jurisdiction. He went down to Joppa, and took passage on a ship. A violent storm came up. The prayers of the sailors to their gods were of no avail, and they concluded that some one on board had offended some deity. They cast lots to discover the culprit, and the lot fell to Jonah. He admitted his guilt and at his own request they reluctantly cast him into the sea. The storm at once subsided, but Jonah was swallowed by a fish appointed to the purpose by God. There he remained for three days and nights. His prayers while in the belly of the fish fill the greater part of the book. The fish then cast him upon land, and he was commanded to discharge his neglected duty. He went to Nineveh and spread his message over one third of the city. The king and the people repented, fasted and prayed. Their prayers and penitence were accepted, much to Jonah’s disgust.]

The most vicious sin, that of idolatry, which is the root of all evil, had its origin in these times; and this from three considerations, which (as we may gather from ancient writings) influenced the people in that direction, namely, fear, flattery, and the industry or art of producing images.


5-5/8” x 8-7/8”

The pictures of cities and towns in the Chronicle may be divided into two classes: (1) those which were made to actually represent some particular municipality, like Nuremberg, Rome, Florence, etc., and which can be readily identified; and (2) those which are purely imaginative, and were used to represent any city, one woodcut often being used to represent various places.

We have here a typical fortified medieval city of Europe, with its grim walls and turrets. The approach is by the usual tower gate, surmounted by a statue of a medieval king in his robes of state, crowned, and holding a scepter in his extended right hand. The figure is large and out of proportion to the architecture about it. Within the walls and to the left on an elevation is the castle or burg, resembling that which towers over the city of Nuremberg. To the right is a huge structure, apparently a church, provided with towers, without spires, but terminating in domes of various proportions. The circular walls of the city sweep inward toward the recessed city gates, giving those on the battlements at either side full command of the approach.

FOLIO XX verso

Nahor, the second son of Terah, and Melcha his wife, begot eight sons in all. Of these the last was Bethuel, who begot Rebecca, a daughter, and Laban, a son. Hus was the first son of Nahor, and Job was the son of Jus. The second son of Nahor was Bus, and Bus had two sons: the first, Beor; the second, Balaam. Bethuel, the third[Should be the eighth.] son of Nahor, had one son and one daughter.[Laban and Rebecca.] Laban had two daughters, whom he gave as wives to Jacob, the son of his sister, Rebecca, after fourteen years service. Leah, the first daughter of Rebecca,[Should read, “the first daughter of Laban.”] and who had running eyes, begot six sons and one daughter.

Laban was Rebecca’s brother, with whom Jacob served for these two daughters, Leah and Rachel. The second daughter, Rachel, Jacob’s wife, who had been barren, begot two sons, but died in childbirth, and was buried at Bethel. Rebecca was the first wife of Isaac. With her consent she was brought by Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, from Haran, Mesopotamia, to Isaac in the land of Canaan. From this arises the custom of asking brides for their consent. Camuel was the fourth son of Nahor; Caseth, the fifth; Aran, the sixth; Pheldas, the seventh; Bela, the eighth.[This does not agree with Genesis 22:20-23, where the descendants of Nahor are given thus: Huz, Buz, Kemuel (Camuel), Chesed (Caseth), Hazo, Pildash (Pheldas), Jidlaph, and Bethuel.]

FOLIO XX verso and XXI recto

This section of the genealogy, beginning with Saruch (Serug), son of Regau (Reu; whom we left at Folio XVI verso), spreads itself over two pages, beginning at the left of Folio XXI recto and proceeding right and left over this and the opposite page (Folio XX verso). It contains seventeen single portraits and eight double ones of husbands and wives. Outside of two minor connecting ornaments only three woodblocks were used to represent this total of thirty-three portraits: One comprehending Saruch, Nachor (Nahor), and Thare (Terah) and his spouse; the second, consisting of the descendants of Haran, the first son of Thare, being eight portraits, including two spouses; and a third, which includes the descendants of Nachor, the second son of Thare, consisting of twenty-one portraits, including spouses.

The Chronicle illustration agrees with the Chronicle text, but both vary from the account given in Genesis as far as the heirs of Nachor are concerned:

1. Huz1. Hus (Huz)
2. Buz2. Bus (Buz)
3. Kemuel3. Batuel (Bethuel)
4. Chesed4. Camuel (Kemuel)
5. Hazo5. Caseth (Chesed)
6. Pildash6. Aran
7. Jidlaph7. Pheldash (Pildash)
8. Bethuel8. Bela

Compare and observe:

  1. That Camuel (Kemuel) appears in Genesis as the third son; in the Chronicle as the fourth.
  2. That Batuel (Bethuel) according to Genesis is the eight and last son of Nachor (Nahor); but he is the third according to the Chronicle in one passage, and the eighth according to another.
  3. Hazo and Jidlaph, mentioned in Genesis, do not appear in the Chronicle; while Aran and Bela, who are mentioned in the Chronicle, do not appear in Genesis.

Saruch, the son of Regau, was born in the 2905th year of the world, lived 230 years, and died.

Nachor, the first son of Saruch, was born in the 3035 year of the world, lived 148 years, and died.

Thare, the son of Nachor, was born in the 3114th year of the world, lived 205 years, and had three sons, Abraham, Nachor, and Haran. Haran, the third son of Thare, had a son and two daughters: Sarah, Abraham’s wife; Melcha, Nachor’s wife; and Lot, who had two sons: Moab, the first son, and father of the Moabites; and Ammon, the second son, father of the Amonites.

After Haran bore Lot, his son, and Sarah and Melcha, his daughters, he died among the Chaldeans, in the Chaldean city of Ur; and his brothers took his daughters as wives: Nachor took Melcha; and Abraham took Sarah. Now Thare despised the land of the Chaldeans because of its idolatry (for they worshipped fire) and also because of mourning for his son Haran. Therefore he migrated with his people to Haran, a city in Mesopotamia. And there he finally died at the age of 205 years; for now the term of life among the people began to decline, and gradually decreased to the time of Moses.

Sodom and Gomorrah and other cities (as the Scriptures state) were fired by the Lord in his wrath against their shameful and unbridled sins. Lot and his two daughters and his wife alone were saved. The conduct of these cities toward all persons who came to them was disgraceful. So God decided to destroy this entire region. Abraham was now ninety-nine years old, and he had accepted circumcision; and the birth of Isaac had been foretold to him. At this same time Lot, while standing at the city gate of Sodom, saw two angels approach in the persons of two young men. And he took them into his house for lodging. And as they went in, the people of Sodom surrounded the house of Lot, and demanded the young men, that they might abuse them. And although Lot offered them his daughter, they were not satisfied. As they were about to break down the door, the angels led Lot back into his house; and they blinded all the Sodomites so that they could not find the door; and they predicted the overthrow of the city. And although Lot made this known to the husbands of his daughters, they disregarded the warning. The angels led Lot, his wife, and his two daughters from the city, with the injunction that they stay in the mountains and do not look back. But Lot’s wife disregarded the injunction of the angels and saw the catastrophe that befell the city; whereupon she was changed into a sea of salt, called the Dead Sea. And up in the mountains the daughters of Lot caused their father to become drunk, and they had intercourse with him. The larger bore him a son, Moab, and the smaller one a son, Ammon; and from these came the Moabites and the Ammonites, the same two people who lived in the valley of Syria.[Genesis 19:1-38.]


5-1/16” x 8-7/8”

This illustration concludes the Second Age of the World. One of the angels who had been the guest of Lot at Sodom is leading the old man by the hand and pointing to the distant mountains. Lot’s two daughters follow closely behind, but his wife has tarried, and contrary to injunction, has turned about to witness the catastrophe. And here just outside the city gate she has been changed to a pillar of salt. Her body has become a well-rounded cone, while her head and even her headdress remain unchanged. Within the walls fire and brimstone are raining down upon the city as from a bursting sun. Medieval steeples are falling from their foundations, and the city is in flames.