[ISHMap-List] Carte Pisane reconsidered

Török Zsolt Győző zoltorok at ludens.elte.hu
Mon Mar 2 17:13:43 CET 2015

Dear ISHMap-Listers,

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) http://www.maphistory.info/CartePisaneMenu.html

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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