[ISHMap-List] Dating the Carte Pisane

Tony Campbell tonycampbellockendon at gmail.com
Mon Mar 2 15:24:33 CET 2015

I would like to announce a new online publication:

"A detailed reassessment of the Carte Pisane: a late and inferior copy, 
or the lone survivor from the portolan charts' formative period?"

(An extended essay, supported by tables and an updated version of the 
comprehensive toponymic listing - apparently the first systematic and 
wide-ranging examination of the Carte Pisane's content)


The Abstract or the Conclusions page might be the easiest ways in:



This is the first formal response, as far as I know, to the dramatic 
claim made by Ramon Pujades at the Paris conference in December 2012 
that the Carte Pisane is much younger than the late 13th-century date 
usually given it, namely the late 14th century or even the 1420s or 1430s.


On the basis of the chart's toponymy, hydrography, constructional method 
and drafting conventions I conclude that it should be returned to a 
position well before 1311, to a suggested c.1290.

It is essential that there is general agreement about the dating of the 
Carte Pisane since without that we are left with two contradictory 
narratives about the early history of the portolan charts. There is the 
traditional view that sees the Carte Pisane as the earliest survivor and 
the sole witness to the start of a 40-year period during which 
simplified Atlantic coastlines were added to fully recognisable 
Mediterranean and Black Sea outlines as part of the final phase of the 
charts' initial development. Pujades's alternative proposition would 
banish the Carte Pisane, along with its associates, the Cortona and 
Lucca charts, to the irrelevance of a late 14th or 15th-century date. 
How can we leave it in limbo, with a possible 13th, 14th or 15th century 
date unresolved?

I would be glad of comments about the content of the essay and 
notification of any errors or navigation difficulties you might find.

Tony Campbell

tony at tonycampbell.info


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