[ISHMap-List] New book on the origin of portolan charts

Roel Nicolai rnicolai at xs4all.nl
Wed Jun 1 20:12:32 CEST 2016



I am pleased to announce the publication by Brill, Leiden of my book:


"The Enigma of the Origin of Portolan Charts. A Geodetic Analysis of the
Hypothesis of a Medieval Origin"



.         ISBN-10: 9004282971

.         ISBN-13: 978-9004282971


The book is a revised and updated version of my dissertation from 2014.



The sudden appearance of portolan charts, realistic nautical charts of the
Mediterranean and Black Sea, at the end of the thirteenth century is one of
the most significant occurrences in the history of cartography. Using
geodetic and statistical analysis techniques these charts are shown to be
mosaics of partial charts that are considerably more accurate than has been
assumed. Their accuracy exceeds medieval mapping capabilities. These
sub-charts show a remarkably good agreement with the Mercator map
projection. It is demonstrated that this map projection can only have been
an intentional feature of the charts' construction. Through geodetic
analysis the author eliminates the possibility that the charts are original
products of a medieval Mediterranean nautical culture, which until now they
have been widely believed to be.


Best regards,

Roel Nicolai

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