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The introduction, toward the end of the 15th century, of determining location using bearings taken by astronomical observation led to a much more precise knowledge of locations along the coast of West Africa. With the discovery of the New World, problems arose for nautical cartographers, such as taking bearings at sea, the loxodromic curve or rhumb line, and, in fact, the entire issue of the use of projections.
Because cartography furthered maritime exploration and the new geographical knowledge resulting from it, strong official support was forthcoming.
Under the designation partes de africa, a rather faded reference appears to the man who presumably owned the chart, a€?Anne de Sanzay Compte de Magnagne,a€? the son of Anne, Duke of Montmorency. Pedro Reinela€™s a€?oblique meridiana€? or a€?tilted latitude grida€? off the North American coast with its 22.5A° declination from true North is noteworthy.
To achieve this, cartographers had used two grids on different scales, which is what Claudius Clavus did in 1427, for example. Another cartographical innovation found on the Kuntsmann I map, an entirely new type of wind rose, had, as its main feature, a lily with a diamond-shaped central petal, lateral tendrils.
The continents, with the islands pertaining to them, almost reach the edges of the map, so that the ocean, as in most of the medieval manuscript maps, is limited to a narrow circle; there is however a large patch of ocean, but without any name, in the Gulf of Guinea.
Rivers are marked by plain lines corresponding to their actual or presumed course; often they flow from mountains, sometimes across them, which is in itself no absurdity though the representation of valleys is lacking.
Legends are confined to the most important indications, so that the map-picture is not overcrowded with an excessive number of names and legends, as was customary in most medieval maps. Regarding the outline of the coasts, a considerable improvement can be observed in respect of Europe in comparison with printed Ptolemaic maps of the 15th century, particularly in regard to the position of Italy which is altered to a more northwesterly and southeasterly direction, instead of the usual excessive west-easterly direction, and also in regard to the better representation of the British Isles, in particular, the omission of the northern part of the main island lying in a west-easterly direction at a right angle to England.
An obvious and retrograde feature of the map, when compared to earlier maps, is that no consideration is given to the discoveries made in East Asia by medieval Italian explorers.
From the latest data recorded on the map, in particular the representation of Guinea, bearing in mind that a certain interval in time had to elapse between the date of a discovery and its recording on a map, and from the technique of the copper-engraving and quality of the paper, the date of the appearance of the map can be fixed at the middle eighties of the 15th century. Summarizing, it can be said that this map, in spite of many discrepancies, represents an important milestone in the history of cartography. A work based on a critical and subtle combination of the available source-materials, and not on the copies of antique and medieval maps customary in those days, ought to be appreciated as a real achievement in geographic science. Use of the Licensed Material only as part of any kind and number of Pictures produced by the Customer. Places on the Mediterranean coast, on the other hand, were calculated several degrees too far to the north until as late as the 17th century. In the a€?small worlda€? of the Mediterranean, these problems, if recognized at all, had been of minor importance. It probably came into the possession of the Augsburg Konrad Peutinger (1465-1547) and thus found its way to Southern Germany and eventually to the collection of the Royal Bavarian State Library. The double Equator in the King Hamy map (#307.1) and the doubling of both the Equator and the Tropics, as seen in the maps of the Spanish cartographer Gutierrez, serve the same purpose. None of these types seem to be influenced by the advances in geographical knowledge which set in from the beginning of the 15th century, a€?the age of discoveriesa€?, particularly in regard to knowledge of West Africa, and which are recorded in many manuscript medieval maps; there is thus no group of printed maps based on Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian portolans, notwithstanding their proximity in time.
The paper is a fairly thick a€?incunablea€? paper with very thin longitudinal lines traced at rather more than one millimeter distance and thicker transverse lines at a distance of about 33 mm, without watermark. Its basis is the representation of Ptolemya€™s world map, although the author does not slavishly adhere to it. The ocean is represented by means of numerous lines parallel to the edge of the map, while the inland seas, among which even the Indian Ocean is found, are represented by horizontal, straight (W-E) and dense lines, so that the darker water surfaces stand out clearly on the lighter surface of the land.


Mountains are represented by conventional signs in perspective, of different length and height, and are mostly drawn as rows of mountains stretching from west to east (they are left white in my copy, but in Hinda€™s they are colored); only the Appenines, Alps, Karst and Balkans are characterized, in conformity with their crooked outline, by a connected chain of mountains. From an orthographic point of view, the names are unusually correct; the Latin a€?A¦a€™ is mostly transcribed, as was then customary in Italy, by a€?ea€™.
Also Scandinavia, which was usually lacking or, as in the Ulm edition of Ptolemy (#119, Book I) in a special map of the northern countries, was represented as an island, appears here for the first time on a printed map in the shape of a natural peninsula. In the representation of Africa the author was evidently guided by two leading principles: on the one hand, adherence to Ptolemya€™s viewpoint as regards the land connection of South Africa and East Asia, and on the other hand, consideration of the recent discoveries made by the Portuguese on the west coast of Africa, which, however, in no way contradicts Ptolemya€™s conception. Copper-engraved maps were not produced in any other country in the Middle Ages and, besides, at that time Italy was the only country where cartographic style had, under the influence of the Renaissance, developed such clear and classical lines and rejected all Gothic ornaments, as shown in this circular world map. It is the first (and perhaps the only 15th century) printed world map showing a part of the New World (Greenland), though somewhat incorrectly drawn, and the discoveries of the Portuguese on the west coast of Africa. This was due to the magnetic declination in the Mediterranean, and it had its effect on the cartography of portolan charts. It depicts the western and central Mediterranean, the coasts of Western Europe and the British Isles, Northwest Africa, and of particular interesta€”part of southeastern North America, based on the discoveries made by Miguel Caspar Corte-Real on their voyages of exploration (1500-1502), and the eastern coast of Newfoundland and what is now Labrador as far south as the Hudson River. Since it was first described by Johann Schmeller, it has been the object of much interest to specialists in American studies, mainly in connection with its early representation of parts of North America.
The use of this device is connected with early depictions of North America and especially with the peculiar, and erroneous, way of delineating the coastline of southeastern and eastern North America, as running from west to east. Pedro Reinela€™s map is not only important because it is the earliest signed Portuguese chart, but also because it demonstrates the underlying sense of the a€?oblique meridian,a€? which was at times misunderstood by later cartographers. The reason for this may be sought in the fact that such portolan [nautical] charts were kept secret by the rival powers in the interests of colonial policy. Rather he has in mind the medieval Christian belief in an earthly Paradise with four rivers flowing from it; but he takes special account of advances in knowledge of the three parts of the world made since Ptolemy.
The few towns indicated in the map are represented by towered buildings of different sizes. The cardinal points are indicated in the ocean in their respective places by Septentrio, Oriens, Auster and Occidens. The representation of Greenland, depicted as a peninsula of the Eurasian continent bearing the name of Engrovelant (bearing for the first time a name on a printed map) almost conforms to that in the above cited special map of the North. The effort to compare separate bays and points of the West African coast on the map with the actual ones in order to find out how much of the Portuguese discoveries were known to our author would be in vain. Deviating from the ordinary type of map with the hardly understandable Ptolemaic projection and from the Gothic map of the monastic type overcrowded with ornaments, this map gives us, on a small scale, an idea of the outline of the world, as it presented itself in the last phase of the Middle Ages. That is a portolan [nautical] type of chart, covering Western Europe and part of Africa, and already reflecting the explorations made by Diogo CA?o in 1482-1485.
In a region where the magnetic declination was particularly strong, however, information was indicated on the charts that could or had to be taken into consideration by navigators.
He succeeded, for example, a€?in solving the problem of locating places and regions by their latitude and longitude in the northern as well as the tropical zonesa€?.
In Lisbon and Seville, institutes sprang up for the purpose of collecting geographical data and preparing and updating navigational charts.
In 1859 Kunstmann and his collaborators made the first color reproduction of this map, and it has been known to scholars as the Kunstmann I ever since. The tilted latitude grid means that the region involveda€”and this is invariably Newfoundland and Labradora€”must be turned to the left until this line is vertical.


The tilted latitude grid with a length of no more than 15A°, which runs parallel to or at an angle to the main scale, can be seen from 1504 until the end of the 17th century on some thirty charts.
It is, probably a mutilation of the name due to the copyista€™s error, a frequent occurrence in the 15th century. The general impression can be gathered, however, that the navigation round the Bay of Biafra (1475: Cabo de Catarina 22 degrees south latitude was reached by Ruy Sequeira) was the last achievement in the exploration of the west coast of Africa recorded by the map. In the new regions shown on the map, there are several geographical names and notes in Portuguese. Then the general orientation of the coastline, which runs vertically on the maps, will also be correct at NNW.
The noticeably marked magnetic field deviation (declination) of the magnetic needle from true North and the resulting errors in the dead reckoning of the latitude gave rise to this expedient device. The nomenclature is given in the Latin language, as used in the age of the Roman Empire, and is executed in Roman type. In Asia, we are surprised at the correct representation of the Caspian Sea, unlike that in all other manuscript maps. Later discoveries, made by Diogo CA?o (1482-85) as far as Cape Cross (approximately 22 degrees south latitude) were certainly unknown to the author of the map.
Its maker, in contrast to his contemporaries Hanns Rust and Hanns Sporer (#253), must have been not only a highly educated humanist, but even a person of independent opinions, who, notwithstanding his belief in the tradition of the Bible and his veneration of Ptolemya€™s authority, was receptive to the progress in knowledge of the late Middle Ages. Its maker, in contrast to his contemporaries Hanns Rust and Hanns Sporer (#253), must have been not only a highly educated humanist, but even a person of independent opinions, who, notwithstanding his belief in the tradition of the Bible and his veneration of Ptolemya€™s authority, was receptive to the progress in knowledge of the late Middle Ages.A  He had naturally made use of all the data available to him from verbal, literary and cartographic sources, access to which was probably attended with great difficulty considering that many of the maps (portolans) extant in those days, particularly manuscript, were kept secret. The phenomenon of declination was probably discovered in about the middle of the 15th century and was also taken into account by Columbus.
Even in Fra Mauroa€™s map of 1450 (#249) only the shape, but not the orientation, of this sea is true to reality. Because of the increase in magnetic deviation from true North, navigators who sailed by dead reckoning followed a course, which inclined, farther to the west, the farther they were from Europe. The inclusion of an earthly Paradise at the easternmost limit of the explored world and the four rivers taking their sources there conform to the medieval Christian conception of the world and is encountered in nearly all manuscript maps from Cosmas Indicopleustes (sixth century, #202) to Andrea Bianco (1436, #241), as well as in map-incunabula of the monastic type. The author did not share the view of some of the medieval cartographers, as known to us, that Africa was divided from Asia by a more or less wide and open ocean, because he probably regarded Ptolemy as more trustworthy than Herodotus or Idrisi; for the rest, the difference between his representation of Africa and that of Idrisi and his adherents, regarding the southern extremity of Africa protruding far out to the east and the chain of islands adjacent to it stretching out in the direction of southeastern Asia, is not so great. Other renowned cartographers, such as Juan Diaz de Solis, Sebastian(o), Cabot(o), and Diogo Ribeiro followed him in this post.
The representation of the south coast of Asia differs considerably from that in most contemporary medieval maps, especially in Ptolemaic maps; in this respect the author approaches the Arab Idrisia€™s conception (Book II, #219), that of the 1450 Catalan-Estense world map (#246), and that of Fra Mauroa€™s map (#249), for he represents only the smaller Indian peninsulas and not the big Ptolemaic Aurea Chersonesus.
With his son Jorge Reinel and the cartographer Lopo Homem (#389), he participated in the construction of the well-known Miller Atlas of 1519 (#329.1). 1504 is the earliest known nautical chart with a scale of latitudes, and the first to depict a wind rose with a clearly drawn fleur-de-lys (an iris flower used symbolically).



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