Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Before Benincasa. Santiago on 1459 Map?

Island Santiago on 1459 map?

Had Fra Mauro (died 1460) knowledge of the Cape Verde Islands in 1459? In a rubric near the west coast of Africa he writes (source): "everywhere they found the coast not dangerous, with the soundings good, convenient for navigation and with no risk from storms . . . they have framed new charts of these regions and given names to the rivers, bays, capes, and ports. I have many of these charts in my possession . . ."

Is this island Santiago on the Fra Mauro Map of the World? The map he made for King Afonso V of Portugal.

Source whole map here; detail here.

Knowledge via Cadamosto or Antonio de Noli? Hennig's conclusion in his 'Terrae Incognitae, band IV' (page 180):
Translated (from German by JD): "My proposal, Gomes' discovery claims completely to reject and to accept that Cadamosto in july 1456 examined the islands briefly and that Antonio de Noli about 1458 explored the islands thorough."

Cadamosto's report of his discovery in 'Terrae Incognitae, band IV' (page 163-166) in German:

Source: Google Books

Cadamosto tells us - in the report above - that he found the islands, in 1456, after a storm of 2 nights and 3 days on his way to explore the Gambia river. He and his crew were very surprised to find land there. They called the first island they saw Bonavista. They sailed around the island until they found a good anchorage. With a well-armed boot a few crewman landed on the island. They concluded that the island was uninhabited: no trace of human beings. They gave one other islands a name too: Jacob.

P.S. I wrote about Hennig in this earlier blogpost 'You!'

1 comment:

  1. It makes you wonder what other snippets of discovery information are hidden away in "long lost" editions remaining closed on book shelves?! :)