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Partium τῆς οἰκουμένης symbola.

The symbols of the parts of the world.

Ad Hubertum Goltzium antiquarium.[1]

Est regio quaevis climate certo
Ario distincta, & commoditate.
Quaelibet haud quidvis terra feretque.
Africa monstrosa est semper habendo
Antea quod nemo viderat usquam.
Fert Asia immanes frigidiore
Nempe solo apros, & nimbigera ursos:
Sed reliquas vincit viribus omnes
Belua, quam Europae temperat ar.
Taurus ut est fortis, bufalus un.
Ergo sit Europae taurus alumnus,
Africae at insigne sitque Chimaera.
Sint Asiae immites ursus, aperque.

Each region has a certain climate, and a distinct advantage through its atmosphere. Not every region can bear anything you please. Africa is always to be regarded as an extraordinary continent, because nobody has ever seen it before. Storm-bringing Asia with its rather cold soil indeed brings huge wild boars and bears. But all the others are beaten in force by the beast that Europe’s air controls. It is strong like a bull and a buffalo together. Therefore let the native bull be the sign of Europe, but the secretive chimaera that of Africa. Let the merciless wild boar and bear be the mark of Asia.


1. Hubert Goltzius: Flemish humanist, printmaker, publisher, painter and numismatist, active in Antwerp (d. 1583).

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