Urban Monte 1587 Map of the World

Urban Monte’s 1587 map of the world comes with incredible detail. A single image on the above scale doesn’t come anywhere near to showing the intricate detail of the map.

This post is dedicated to exploring the detail and translating content where possible. (Work in progress).

Urban Monte Map of the World 1587.

You can zoom in to all the segments using the Luna Imaging tool on David Rumsey’s magnificent cartography site.

The plan is to completely translate this extraordinary map, piece by piece. I’ll add annotations to the map as and when a translation is added. Numbered sections are mapped in red below.

urbano-monte-1587 Annotated v3
Red marks the translated sections – Urban Monte 1587 World Map

Section 1: Nuño de Guzman / New Galicia

Nuño de Guzman / New Galicia

Section 1 Translation – Courtesy of Exchange Student via Telegram Group contact.

Nuño de Guzman conquered <something> xalisco and called it “New Galicia” because it was a really bitter land and the strong people edified “Compostella” to conform its name with the one in Spain, people of Guadalajara, because he was native of that in Spain. The women dress to the feet, the men wear short cloaks, almost all the women of that land are beautiful and willing, the men are vigorous and belligerent, the masters and the captains don’t bring weapons to war except for some sticks that they use to beat who doesn’t fight or disband or doesn’t follow the orders, when there’s no war they do … (these words are not Italian and i can’t find them anywhere). The country is fertile and full of silver wax and apples, they worship the idols, eat human meat and had other many sins, after this the Spanish lived there

Section 2: Quivira


Section 2 Translation – Courtesy of Exchange Student via Telegram Group contact.

The country of Quivira is flat, without trees and rocks. The men wear clothes and shoes made of leather, the women dabble to have their hair long and they cover their head and the “shameful” part with leather. They don’t have bread of any kind of grain, their main food is meat, which they mostly eat raw, either cause it’s a costume or cause they don’t have wood (to cook it), they eat the breast raw since they get it out of the ox, they don’t cook (not sure?) meat if they have pine cones (? still not sure) but they grill it or the warm it up on the fire of dung of the ox.

They travel from site to site with their sheep, the good ones have a hump on their shoulders and have more hair on the front than the back (i think) and they get fine wool from it, they run like horses, and the owner don’t have any other wealth, they live and dress because of them. There are other animals big like horses which have horns, and with fine wool, they’re called the “castrated” because of that. There also are dogs, that when the shepherds have to move to another place with the sheep, they make them carry stuff/weight on their backs.

Section 3: Delle Scitie

Monte Map Section 3
Delle Scitie

Section 3 Translation – Using Google Translate

First, here is the Italian source based on my understanding of the Cursive Script. If you can do a better mapping, then please forward in the comments.

Le scitie sono due una di qua e L’attra di la dal monte imao.
Li popoli di niuna cosa sono piu nominati che di crudelta’ et e’ gentaglia che sempre viue senza a hauer luoghi habitati, e’ senza politia di viuere ma a gmisa di fiere vano viuendo per i boschi, et nellecampagne robando et mangiando carner humana,de canalli cruda, de pesci, et si faffe cose, sono fra li scifi li popoli. Aloni feroussini Tanto per natura, che anco icani de quei paesi sono i pin fieri che quei d’ogni altro paesi quasi di Tutto il mondo.
oggi Tutti i popoli di scitia si comprendono sotto il general nome de Tartari, et sono tutti sogetti al gran Cam de Tartaria, Il quale per grandeppa se Infitola Re dei Re et signore de i signori

The English translation along the lines of the following:

There are two Scythians, one on this side and one on the other side of Mount Imao.
The peoples of nothing are more named than of cruelty and is scum that always live without inhabited places, and without politics of life but in the middle of wild beasts they go through the woods, and in the animals in the countryside eat human meat, Of raw canals, of fish, and of doing things, they are among the peoples. Feroussian haloes. So much by nature, that even the dogs of those countries are the proudest ones that those of every other country almost all over the world.

Today All the peoples of Scythia are understood under the general name of the Tartars, and they are all subject to the great Cam de Tartaria, who for grandeur is the King of kings and lord of the lords.


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