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A Venetian Book of Islands


Amelia Carolina Sparavigna
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy A Venetian sailor of the fifteenth century, Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti, composed an Isolario, that is, a Book of Islands, containing sonnets and charts of the Aegean Islands. Here, a discussion of it and of its historical context. A comparison between some maps of Isolario and the Google Earth images is also proposed. 1. Introduction The Books of Islands, the Isolarii, were produced during the 14th to 16th centuries [1]. They are maps of the Mediterranean islands usually displaying their coastlines, towns and mountain ranges and helping the sailors knowing where shallow waters and reefs might be found. In some cases, the maps are accompanied by geographical and historical information. In exceptional cases, the Isolarii have a poem-like structure, such as that dating from 1485, written by a Venetian, known as Bartolomeo Da Li Sonetti. He described the Aegean islands, Crete, Cyprus and the Negroponte. Here we discuss shortly the historical context, that is, the political and economic environment related to the historical moment that produced this book. We will also compare some of the maps in this Isolario with the satellite maps of Google Earth. 2. Isolarii and Maritime Republics Isolarii were a typical Italian renaissance invention, where the islands of the Mediterranean Sea, and in particular of the Aegean Sea, attracted the interest of their authors, who compiled these collections of maps which became popular readings in Europe. As remarked in the Ref.2, the interest for this sea was very high because it was vital for the security and the market interests of the naval powers of the time. These powers were the maritime republics, city-states which flourished in Italy and in the Dalmatia region during the Middle Ages. These republics were independent, however, most of them originated from territories once belonging to the Byzantine Empire. During the time of their independence, these cities preferred a government, in which the merchant class had considerable power. The best known of them are Venice, Genoa, Ragusa, Pisa and Amalfi. They were in competition with each other, and this competition was both commercial and military [3]. From the 10th to the 13th centuries the maritime republics built huge fleets of ships, for their own protection and to support an extensive trade networks across the sea. For this reason, these republics had a relevant role in the Crusades, because they were able providing transport and support to these military expeditions, taking also advantage of the political and trading opportunities. For instance, the Fourth Crusade, originally intended to "liberate" Jerusalem, favoured the Venetian in conquering Zara and Constantinople. As a result of their strategies, each of the maritime republics had dominion over different overseas lands, including many Mediterranean islands, Sardinia and Corsica, lands on the Adriatic, islands of the Aegean Sea, and the Crimea peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea. There were also commercial colonies in the Near East and North Africa. Among these states, the Republic of Venice was the only one that was able to maintain a large part of Greece, Cyprus, Istria and Dalmatia until the mid-17th century [3]. A.C. Sparavigna Pag. 1

A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

3. Venice The Most Serene Republic of Venice, a state in the north-eastern Italy, was one of the maritime republics. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. Venice has a modern reputation of economic and trading power; however it had also a long history of war and conquest. The province of Venice originated from lagoon communities linked for mutual defence from invading peoples, as the power of the Western Roman Empire declined. It seems that during the first decades of the 8th century, the people of the Byzantine province of Venice elected their first leader Ursus. Constantinople confirmed him as hypatus, that is consul, and dux [4]. He was the first historical Doge of Venice. By the Pax Nicephori (803), the two emperors, Charlemagne and Nikephoros I, recognised Venice as de-facto independent, however nominally subordinate to the Byzantine Empire. During the reign of the Participazio family, Venice grew into its modern form: Agnello, the first Participazio doge from 811 to 827, who was born in Eraclea, moved to Rialto and during his dogeship Venice began expanding towards the sea. Bridges, canals, fortifications and bulwarks, such as stone buildings, shipyards and docs were created. Agnello's son, Giustiniano, took the remains of Saint Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria to Venice, and made him the Republic's patron saint [4]. In the High Middle Ages, Venice became very rich through the control of trade between Europe and the Levant, and it began its expansion into the Adriatic Sea and beyond. As told in [4], during the 12th century, the Venetians gained several trading privileges in the Byzantine Empire, and their ships often provided the Empire with a navy. However, in 1182, there was a riot in Constantinople that targeted Latin people and, particularly, the Venetians. The Venetian property was seized, the owners imprisoned or banished. One year later, in 1183, the city of Zara successfully rebelled against the Venetian rule, putting itself under the protection of the Papacy and the king of Hungary. But, the Venetian fleet was crucial to the transportation of the Fourth Crusade; since the crusaders were not able to pay for the ships, Doge Enrico Dandolo offered transport to the crusaders if they had captured Zara. Upon the capture of Zara, the crusade was diverted to Constantinople, that was captured and sacked [4,5]. The plunder included the famous four bronze horses that were used to adorn St. Mark's basilica in Venice. Furthermore, as a result of the subsequent partition of the Byzantine Empire, Venice gained a great deal of territory in the Aegean Sea (see Figure 1), amounting to three-eighths of the Byzantine Empire [4], including the islands of Crete and Euboea (Negroponte). The city of Chania on Crete is largely of Venetian construction, built on the ruins of the ancient Cydonia [6]. The Aegean islands formed the Venetian Duchy of the Archipelago. Then, Venice was controlling all the Aegean Sea. Moreover, in February 1489, the island of Cyprus, previously a crusader state (the Kingdom of Cyprus), was annexed to Venice.

Figure 1 - The Republic of Venice, Histoire de la Rpublique de Venise by P. Daru, Chez Firmin Didot, 1819.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands 4. Bartolomeo Da Li Sonetti He was a Venetian sailor of the fifteenth century, the author of the Isolario of the Aegean Sea. We know of him just what he wrote about himself in the preface to his work [7]. "Bon venitian", he was fifteen times captain on triremes, then ship-owner and sailed on behalf of some noble families of his city. He approached and visited several times the islands of Aegean Sea, and their perfect knowledge allowed him preparing a description in seventy sonnets, accompanied by forty-nine cartographic drawings. Bartolomeo is declaring that, besides his direct experience of the islands, he is also reporting what the ancient geographers Pomponius Mela and Strabo wrote on them. His descriptions aim to clarify the geographical, physical, human, social, economical and historical situation of Cyclades and Sporades. The sonnets, having in fact a little poetic value, are sometimes containing unique annotations [7]. The cartographic drawings of the islands adhere to the usual model of contemporary charts, originally without names. But, in some copies of the Isolario, names were added by hand, often with variations to the descriptive text, or without connection to it. The representation of the island is always bounded by a circle, with a rose of eight winds; Candia is an exception, because it is not wholly contained by the circumference. The succession of the islands is approximately described as follows: first the islands which are the southern edge of the Aegean Sea, that is, Cythera, Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes, and then, the Cyclades, and the Southern Sporades, those whose arc runs from east to west, such as Simi, Tilos, Nisari, Astypalaia, and so on, then a new arc, from west to east, with Sifnos, Mikonos and others. Then we have the Northern Sporades, with an eastern group, which includes among other Mytilini and Tenedos and a western group with Skyros, the Negroponte and others. The Isolario ends with the description of Cyprus [7]. The printed charts of the Isolario were engraved in wood: the book is available at Ref.8. It is believed that the volume was published in Venice, around 1485. The work is rare, even exceptionally rare, in Italy there are fifteen copies, others are located in Austria, Germany, France, United Kingdom, America and in the Vatican Library. The Isolario is a work which is between a nautical chart and a portolan chart, that is, a chart related to ports or harbours. Portolan chats flourished in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Probably, the Liber Insularum Archipelagi of Cristoforo Buondelmonti, composed probably between 1420 and 1422, served as a model to the book created by Bartolomeo [7,9]. Of the end of the same century, we have the Insularium Illustratum by Henry Hammer, that is Henricus Martellus, of German descent, active as a cartographer between about 1480 and 1496 in Florence [10]. Then we can remember the Isolario by Benedetto Bordone, printed in Venice in 1528 [11], and that by Tommaso Porcacchi, printed in Venice in 1590 [12]. The Isolario of Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti had a second edition in 1532, enriched by a globe of F. Roselli [7]. Let us see in the following some of the charts in the Isolario, accompanied by a related historical framework. The charts are compared with the Google Earth images; this program allows orienting the image as that we can see in the Isolario and then it is quite useful to understand how Bartolomeo was able to render the islands. 5. Crete The Figure 2 shows Crete as depicted in the Isolario. In the Figure 3 we can see the corresponding Google Earth image, rotated to have the same orientation of that in the previous figure. Crete was conquered for Rome in 69 BC, becoming, after the division, part of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. It lived quietly until it fell into the hands of Iberian Muslims under Abu Hafs in the 820s, who established an emirate on the island. Candia, the modern Heraklion, a city built by the Iberian Muslims, was made capital. The Emirate of Crete became centre of Muslim piratical activity in the Aegean, a problem for Byzantium [13].

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

In 961, Nikephoros Phokas reconquered Crete for the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines held the island until the Fourth Crusade (1204): after disputing the possession with the Republic of Genoa, the Venetians eventually consolidating their control after a few years [13].

Figure 2 Crete in the Isolario by Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti.

Figure 3- Crete in the Google Earth image, oriented as in the Figure 2 showing the chart of the Isolario.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

Despite frequent revolts by the native population, the Venetians retained the island until 1669, when the Ottoman Turks took possession of it, after the Cretan War (16451669). Then Venice held Crete, as the Kingdom of Candia, for more than four centuries. The most important of the many rebellions that broke out during that period was the one known as the revolt of St. Titus. It occurred in 1363, because Cretans and Venetian settlers were exasperated by the hard tax policy of Venice. People overthrew official Venetian authorities and declared an independent Cretan Republic. After five years, Venice was able to restore its control on the island. In any case, during Venetian rule, the population of Crete was exposed to Renaissance culture, producing the development of a literature in the Cretan dialect [13]. 6. The Kingdom of Negroponte Another chart in the Isolario is showing Euboea, in Italian Negroponte, here reproduced in the Figure 4. We can compare it with the Google Earth image again (see Figure 5). The name Negroponte comes from Euripus, the name of the strait that separates Euboea from the mainland; this name during the Middle Ages was corrupt in Evripo, Egripo, Egribos and was extended to the whole island. The Venetians called it Egriponte and finally Negroponte. Another etymological interpretation could be as follows: from the Latin niger, black, and pontus, sea, referring to the deep, dark sea that surrounds the island of Euboea [14]. During the Middle Ages, the island of Euboea hosted the Triarchy of Negroponte, a crusader state established on the after the partition of the Byzantine Empire following the Fourth Crusade. Partitioned into three baronies (terzieri) run by a few Lombard families, the island soon fell under the influence of Venice. From ca. 1390, the island became a regular Venetian colony as the Kingdom of Negroponte [15]. According to the division of Byzantine territory, Euboea was awarded to Boniface of Montferrat, King of Thessalonica, the leader of the Fourth Crusade. Boniface in turn assigned the island as a fief to Jacques d'Avesnes, who fortified Chalkis, the main town of the island. After his death, the island was ruled by three Lombard barons who divided the island into three triarchies (terzieri). The city of Chalkis or Negroponte served as overall capital of the island. By 1209 however, one of the barons (Ravano dalle Carceri) established himself as sole master of Euboea. This baron, in March 1209, signed an alliance with Venice, giving the Venetians significant commercial privileges. However, in the May of the same year, acting for political balancing, Ravano also acknowledged his vassalage to the Latin Empire, the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire [15]. After the death of Ravano in 1216, his heirs disagreed over the succession, allowing the Venetian administrative representative acting as a mediator. He partitioned each barony in two parts, creating thus six hexarchies (sestieri). According to the established rules, most sestieri were succeeded by their brothers, sons or nephews, keeping the baronies within the original Lombard families [15]. In 1255 however, the death of one of the hexarchs, Carintana dalle Carceri, led to the so-called "War of the Euboeote Succession", which involved Achaea and Venice. Finally, in August 1259, Doge Reniero Zeno negotiated a peace, followed by a treaty in 1262 [15]. By that time, however, the Empire of Nicaea had established itself as the foremost power in the area of the former Byzantine Empire, retrieving several territories. The Empire of Nicaea was the largest of the three Byzantine Greek successor states founded by the aristocracy of the Byzantine Empire that fled after Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade. The other successor states were the Despotate of Epirus and the Empire of Trebizond. The Nicaean Empire lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaean recovery of Constantinople re-established the Byzantine Empire, under the control of a strong ruler, Michael VIII Palaeologus.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

Figure 4 Negroponte in the Isolario by Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti.

Figure 5- Euboea in the Google Earth image, oriented as in the Figure 4 showing the chart of the Isolario.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

The Palaeologus sought to control again the remaining Latin territories in southern Greece. To this end, he accepted the services of Licario, an Italian renegade. Under Licario's command, the Byzantine troops soon conquered most of Euboea, except Chalkis. But, after the departure of Licario, sometime after 1280, with Venetian aid, the island gradually returned to Latin control. In 1296, Bonifazio da Verona, a triarch, had completely expelled the Byzantines from Euboea [15]. In 1317, a city of Euboea, Karystos, fell under the control of Catalan Don Alfonso Fadrique, vicargeneral of the duchy of Athens. In 1319, a peace treaty was signed between Venice and Don Alfonso, whereby he retained Karystos, which the Venetians acquired in 1365. When the last triarchs, Niccolo III dalle Carceri and Giorgio III Ghisi, died in 1383 and 1390 respectively, they left their territories to Venice, which thus established complete predominance over the island. The triarchic system was maintained, with Venetian families appointed to the positions of terzieri, with the Venetian podest resided at Chalkis. Venice's rule lasted until 1470, when, during the Ottoman Venetian War of 14631479, Sultan Mehmed II campaigned against Chalkis. With the fall of the city on 12 July, the whole island came under Ottoman control [15]. 7. Rhodes One of the island that we find in the Isolario is Rhodes (Figures 6 and 7). Rhodes was an island of the Byzantine Empire; after 600 AD, the influence of this island in maritime issues is evidenced by the collection of maritime laws, known as "Rhodian Sea Law, that were accepted throughout the Mediterranean Sea and used throughout Byzantine times [16]. Rhodes was occupied by the Islamic Umayyad forces of Muawiyah I in 654, who removed the remains of the Colossus of Rhodes. When their fleet was destroyed by storms and Greek fire, the island was evacuated. From the early 8th to the 12th centuries, Rhodes belonged to the Cibyrrhaeot Theme, an administrative division of the Byzantine Empire. It became a centre for shipbuilding and commerce. About 1090, Rhodes was occupied by the Muslim forces again and, after, it was recaptured by Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, during the First Crusade [16]. As Byzantine central power weakened under the Angeloi emperors, in the first half of the 13th century, Rhodes became the centre of an independent domain under Leo Gabalas and his brother John, until it was occupied by the Republic of Genoa in 12481250. Genoese were evicted by the Empire of Nicaea. The island became a regular province of the Nicaean state, and later of the restored Byzantine Empire. In 1305, the island was given as a fief to Andrea Morisco, a Genoese adventurer who had entered Byzantine service [16]. In 1309, Rhodes was occupied by the forces of the Knights Hospitaller. The Hospitallers, as reported in [17], probably arose as a group of individuals associated with an Amalfitan hospital in a district of Jerusalem, which was dedicated to St John the Baptist and founded around 1023 to take care for poor, sick or injured pilgrims to the Holy Land. After the Western Christian conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the organisation became a religious and military order, charged with the care and defence of the Holy Land. After the Islamic rule was established again on the Holy Land, the Order started operating from Rhodes, and later from Malta [17]. Under the rule of the Knights Hospitaller, newly named "Knights of Rhodes", the city was rebuilt as an European medieval city. Many of its famous monuments, including the Palace of the Grand Master, were built during this period. The strong walls created by the knights were able to withstand the attacks of the Sultan of Egypt in 1444, and of Ottomans under Mehmed II in 1480. Eventually, however, Rhodes fell to the large army of Suleiman the Magnificent in December 1522. The few surviving knights retired to the Kingdom of Sicily, from where they moved to Malta. Rhodes was thereafter a possession of the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries [17]. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes in the city of Rhodes, and its walls are depicted in the chart reproduced in the Figure 6.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands

Figure 6 Rhodes in the Isolario by Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti.

Figure 7 - Rhodes in the Google Earth image, oriented as in the Figure 4 showing the chart of the Isolario.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands 8. Cyprus In the Isolario, the last chart is devoted to Cyprus (see Figures 8 and 9). When the Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and Western parts in 395, Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire, and remained part of it until the Crusades. Under the Byzantine rule, it developed strong Hellenistic-Christian features that continue to be a hallmark of the Greek Cypriot community [18]. From 649, Cyprus suffered because of the devastating raids of Arab armies from the Levant, which continued for the next 300 years. Many were quick piratical raids, but others were large-scale attacks [18]. And in fact, there are no Byzantine churches which survive from this period; many cities, such as Salamis, were destroyed and never rebuilt. Byzantine rule was restored in 965 by the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas.

Figure 8 Cyprus in the Isolario by Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti.

In 1191, during the Third Crusade, Richard I of England captured the island from Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus, and used it as a major supply base, relatively safe from the Saracens. A year later, Richard sold the island to the Knights Templar, who in turn sold it to Guy of Lusignan. His brother and successor Amalric was recognized as King of Cyprus by Henry VI, of the Holy Roman Emperor. After the death in 1473 of James II of Lusignan, the Republic of Venice assumed the control of this island, while the late king's Venetian widow, Queen Catherine Cornaro, was reigning. Venice formally annexed Cyprus in 1489, after Catherine abdicated [18].

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands The Venetians fortified Nicosia by building the Venetian Walls, and used it as an important commercial hub. Throughout Venetian rule, the Ottoman Empire frequently raided Cyprus. In 1539 the Ottomans destroyed Limassol, and then the Venetians also fortified Famagusta and Kyrenia. In 1570, a strong Ottoman assault brought the island under Ottoman control, despite the resistance of Nicosia and Famagusta [18].

Figure 9 - Cyprus in the Google Earth image, oriented as in the Figure 6 showing the chart of the Isolario.

9. Compass and rose of winds In Reference 19, it is told that Bartolomeo De Li Sonetti had drawn the charts from his personal observation with the aid of a compass: Et ho pi volte ogninsula chalcatta / e porti e vale e scogli i sporchi e i netti / col bosolo per venti ho i capi retti / col stilo in charte ciaschuna segnatta. The bosolo per venti is the compass with the directions of winds, as we can see in the following Figure 10 [20,21]. In Italian, bosolo, bossolo, bussolo della calamita or bussola is the magnetic compass [22].

Figure 10 - A bossolo per venti from Ref.22.

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands In 1269, Europe knew the magnetic compass for sure, as shown by the Epistola de magnete, written by Petrus Peregrinus of Maricourt. This letter describes a floating compass for astronomical purposes as well as a dry compass for seafaring [23]. In the Mediterranean, the introduction of the compass, the improvements in dead reckoning methods and the development of charts, leaded to an increase of navigation during winter months in the second half of the 13th century [23]. In ancient times, there were no voyages between October and April, because clear skies are rare during the winter. The use of the compass prolonged the sailing season, and therefore increased the shipping movement so that, at the end of the thirteenth century, the sailing season could start in late January or February, and end in December. As remarked in Ref.23, the additional months for sailing, gained by means of improved instruments for navigation, were of considerable economic importance, enabling for instance, the Venetian convoys to make two round trips a year to the Levant, instead of one. After this discussion, it is clear the use of a rose of winds in the charts of Bartolomeos Isolario. Let us note that in the maps of the sixteenth century, where initials for the winds are used, they are invariably those of the Italian names of the winds. However, the Tramontana is sometimes marked with a star or a dart, or later with the fleur-de-lis, and the Levante almost invariably with a cross. In the Isolario, the eight initials, or symbols, were placed around the circle having its centre coincident with the centre of the loxodromic system of lines. After, the rose of wind evolved creating a set of eight, sixteen, or thirty-two points, drawn as a star with eight rhomboidal rays for the eight principal winds, and with smaller rhombuses or triangles between them for the half-winds and quarter-winds [24]. 10. Conclusion In this paper we have discussed a Venetian book of islands, from 1485, created by Bartolomeo Da Li Sonetti, in the framework of a historical context. We have also linked it to the new instruments and methods for seafaring. Let us conclude mentioning some remarks that we can find in Ref.1. There, it is told that according to Tony Campbell [25], map dealer in the British Library Map Library, the Isolario is an extraordinary item because it was the first printed book of islands and one of the earliest printed collection of charts. But, Campbell is stressing another important feature of this book: it contains the first printed maps supposedly based on actual observation, and it is the first printed collection of maps to owe no debt to Ptolemy.

References [1] The Caird Library, National Maritime Museum of Greenwich, Bartolomeo Dalli Sonetti: Isolario, at http://www.rmg.co.uk/researchers/collections/by-type/archive-and-library/item-of-themonth/previous/bartolomeo-dalli-sonetti-isolario [2] Nopi Ploutoglou, Maria Pazarli and Kostas Papadopoulos, The Digital Rotational and Scale Fitting of Bordones Isolario in a Continuous Insular Map of Greece, e-Perimetron, Vol.2, No. 3, Summer 2007, pages 173-184. [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_republics [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Venice [5] Jonathan Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople, Random House, 2011. [6] C. Michael Hogan, Cydonia, Modern Antiquarian, January 23, 2008. [7] Angela Codazzi, Bartolomeo da li Sonetti, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol.6, 1964. [8] Bartolommeo dalli Sonetti, Isolario, Venice, ca. 1485, available on Archive.org, archive.org/details/isolario00bart [9] http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristoforo_Buondelmonti

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A.C. Sparavigna A Venetian Book of Islands [10] Peter H. Meurer, Cartography in the German Lands, 1450 1650, in the History of Cartography, Vol.3, Cartography in the European Renaissance, Edited by David Woodward, The University of Chicago Press Home, 2007. [11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benedetto_Bordone [12] Tommaso Porcacchi, L'isole piu famose del mondo descritte da Thomaso Porcacchi da Castiglione arretino e intagliate da Girolamo Porro padouano con l'aggiunta di molte isole. In Venetia: appresso gli heredi di Simon Galignani, 1590. [13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Crete [14] http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eubea#Etimologia [15] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triarchy_of_Negroponte [16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes#History [17] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Hospitaller [18] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus [19] Eila M. J. Campbell, Material of Nautical Cartography from C 1550 to 1650 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, UC Biblioteca Geral 1, 1984. [20] http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixidis_nautica [21] Girolamo Maggi, Jacomo Castriotto, Giovacchino da Coniano and Francesco Montemellino, Della Fortificatione delle Citta, del capitan Jacomo Castriotto, Libri 3, Discorso del capitan Francesco Montemellino sopra la fortificatione del Borgo di Roma. Trattato dell' Ordinanze, overo Battaglie del Capitan Giovacchino da Coniano, etc., Camillo Borgominiero, 1583. [22] Dal Glossario Italiano di Filippo Camerota, Bossolo: Strumento di orientamento usato nella navigazione fin dal Medioevo e elaborato nel Rinascimento come strumento per il rilevamento topografico. E' composto da un cerchio goniometrico munito di diottra e ago magnetico. La circonferenza divisa in 8 parti principali corrispondenti alle direzioni dei venti (Tramontana, Greco, Levante, Scirocco, Austro, Libeccio, Ponente, Maestro), e ciascuna parte divisa generalmente in 45, per un totale di 360. L'angolo di posizione di un luogo viene letto in riferimento alla direzione del vento che domina in quel settore di circonferenza entro cui si trova la diottra. [23] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compass#History [24] S.P. Thompson, The Rose of the Winds: the Origin and Development of the Compass-card, Oxford University Press, 1914. [25] Tony Campbell, The Earliest Printed Maps 1472-1500, London: The British Library, 1987.

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