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The chart is some 67 x 103 cms and is drawn on vellum and is attested “Bartolome Olives Mallorquin en Missina en Castillo del Salvador anno 1584”. It contains a standard wind rose with the setting out point situate between Sardinia and Italy precisely where Salvat de Pilestrina placed it on his chart of 1511, drawn in Majorca. It is obvious Salvat de Pilestrina trained both Jaume and Bartolomeu Olives as can be clearly shown by the fact they are drawn from the same pattern/template and thus this occurred on Majorca. There are some 17 charts and atlases attributed to Jaume Olives and some 24 charts and atlases to Bartolomeu Olives over a 50 year period from 1538 to 1588. The dates of production show a prodigious output in certain years with intervening gaps. However, studying the historical information given by Juan Ceva in his “The Cresques Project” texts for Bartolomeu Olives and converting it to a bar chart we can ascertain there were several Bartolomeu Olives but a clear pattern is found to indicate the interaction between these Olives and Salvat de Pilestrina and thus with time-lines assessed possible lines of research to follow and data to be analysed.



After perusing a chart, any chart, I normally look at the scale bar or bars and make a quick assessment of the value of each unit by utilising the West Coast of Iberia, which is geographically 6 latitudinal degrees from Cape St Vincent, 37N to Cape Finistere 43N. But Bartolomeu Olives has drawn a latitudinal scale on his chart in the west and although the 36N aligns to the Strait of Gibraltar the north coast of Iberia is set at 44/45N and hence from Cape St Vincent 37N Iberia is 7 or 8 degrees of latitude to that scale.

Alarm bells rang and I tested the next point which was well known for its correct latitude on the later Portolan Charts, Lands End England at 50N: but according to the chart latitudinal scale it was 52N and hence incorrect. However, that reading made the latitudinal scale completely senseless as it was the Latitude given by Claudius Ptolemy. Thus I tested the actual measurement of this scale with the four scale bars appended to the chart and found that they were all 70 sbu’s. This of course made immediate sense as it was an attempt to portray the scale of 500 stadia per degree of Claudius Ptolemy and not the 600 stadia per degree which gives either 75 Roman Miles or 90 Miliaria per degree. But it did not finish with that finding, strange as it was, but made sense of the curious drawing of the Jutland peninsula to Ptolemaic design.

ChBAO/1/D006A and ChBAO/1/D006B

The four scale bars appended to the chart are identical in size to those used by Jaume Olives 1553 chart and Salvat de Pilestrina 1511 chart, as the diagrams clearly indicate. The diagrams are the latitudinal/longitudinal assessment of Jaume Olive’s 1553 chart and the comparison to the 1511 chart. Then the Olives atlas page for the Uk and Iberia is compared to prove they are all from the same pattern/template. (Diagrams are in the appendix)

I have included the overlay chart composite which has those charts indicating the closeness of their draughtsmanship and hence the use of a single pattern/template. The 1584 chart by Bartolomeu Olives is the same basic chart and hence it is possible to re-schedule the latitudes according to the height of the Iberian Peninsula and thence to lands End. However it was necessary to maintain the 36N and 37N latitudes as marked because the Canary Isles have been drawn at 28N, correctly, but to the Ptolemaic scale. Thus from 36N the setting out of the latitudes changes in both directions, north and south as the diagram indicates. But study the Jaume Olives latitudes and they vary considerably from 75 to 83 sbu’s and an average of 80 sbu’s is achieved from 20N to 60N and hence may be considered to be the Spanish Mile measurement of 80/degree or 4 leagues /degree. Thus we see yet another quirk in the system introduced by Bartolomeu Olives to emphasize the work of Claudius Ptolemy even though the Fortunate Isles of Ptolemy were thought to be the Canary isles and drawn by Ptolemy between 10N and 17N. (They are in fact the Cape Verde Isles).

Having realised that the chart as drawn is probably manipulated to such an extent as to render any further analysis redundant I chose to look at the curious Toponyms instead. I did not think that confirming other Ptolemaic measurements would assist the main research.



A wind rose graticule is four squares having 92 sub-divisions each in proportion to the main 22 ½ degree divisions of a circle and are 35/30/20/7 units each. But this graticule is not set out using the charts four scale bars as is the norm, but using the Ptolemaic Latitude markers. Divide 35/30/20/7 by 5 and you have 7/6/4/1 ½ (1 2/5 actually) and that is the wind rose graticule as drawn. Thus both the Latitudinal Scale and the Wind Rose are drawn from the Claudius Ptolemy system of world measurement, but Bartolomeu Olives has made a trade off setting out his chart.

Convert 90 Miliaria at 600 stadia to 500 stadia and it should be 75 Miliaria, but Bartolomeu Olives has chosen 70 units as drawn to allow the overall latitudes he requires to be shown. On the basis of 70 per degree the height of the vellum allows for a latitudinal spread from 17N to 66N, but if the 75 measurement had been used the northern point would reduce to 60N and thus be non-Ptolemaic.

This fact changed my whole philosophy regarding why the chart was drawn with such a strange mixture of titles and major place-names. It was obviously a standard Portolan chart for the most part adapted to portray a storyline, but given by whom for what purpose?




There are nine Latin texts on the chart, all in the eastern section and vary from simple notes to descriptive texts. They are illustrated on two diagrams taken from the chart and are numbered accordingly. Number 10 is an extra and included as it illustrates a historical fact.

Firstly I must state plainly they are Medieval Latin and more than one translation is a possibility, a variant only, and is easy to make. Texts 1 to 6 are descriptive of the Ottoman Empires hold upon the east and the beginnings of its westward march and at present only Greece is included there-in and not the final extent for the empire of 1584. This subject will be discussed again later in the text when the probable origination of these texts is discussed.

Text One; “Not saline rha fluniu quen in tartarie edil vocant”. This will be discussed later for reasons that will become so very apparent
Text two; “Hanc regionem habitant circhassi Cristiani qui alias venales cairum ad magnum soldanu(m) portabatuz”. It translates as, “The Christian Circassians inhabit this region who were sometimes transported to Cairo as articles for sale to the Great Sultan”
Text Three; It simply states “Suleyman Sach Imperator Turcaru” and refers to Suleiman the Magnificent, 1520-1566.
Text Four; “hic bayazetes alanbulane captus et metris est” It translates as “here Bayazet was captured and defeated by Tamerlane”. Bayazet or Bayezid 1st , 1339-1402, or Bazartes 1st.
This refers to the sudden and massive Ottoman defeat in 1402 by the Central asian and Iranian Turkish Ruler, Emir Timur; Tamerlane, at Ankara which allowed the Mongols to overrun Anatolia. However, it did not prevent the Ottomans from establishing their position in Rumelia by 1415. That is Turkish Rumelia , the land of the Romans or Byzantines sometimes called Romania of the Ottoman Empire and is of indefinite limits, but possibly include Albania, Macedonia and Thrace.
Text Five; The fifth text actually gives the whole storyline in a historical context;
“Hotomanus primus rex turcarum, Aranes secundus, Anmurates tercius, Bazartes quartus, Maometh quintus, Anmurates sextus, Maometh septimus, Bazaites octavius, Selinus nonus, Solunarius turca(rum) decimus.

Here is the list of Ottoman Rulers with those omitted from above noted only as there are 19 between 1299 and 1574. The last possible Ruler for the chart is Selim 2nd 1566-1574.

1) Osman 1st, 1299-1326 = Hotomanus
2) Orhan 1326-1362 = Aranes
3) Murad 1st, 1362-1389 = Anmurates
4) Bayezid 1st, 1389-1402= Bazartes, and here there is a break and three are omitted.
5) Mehmed Celebi, 1403-1406 = Maometh with two omitted
6) Murad 2nd, 1413- 1444 = Anmurates with one omitted
7) Murad 3rd, 1446 – 1451 = Maometh with one omitted
8) Bayezielli 1481 – 1512 = Bazartes with one omitted
9) Selim 1st, 1512-1520 = Selmus
10) Suleiman 1st. 1520 – 1566 = Solinarius (The magnificent)

Sixth text; “El deserto che passo el gran turcho Soltan Soli per andar al cairo” and should require no translation.
Seventh Text/ Eighth Text. Text 7, “Mons Sinay ubi Deus de dit lesem Moisi” and Text 8 has, “Atar porto del Sol dan”. These lead to the “Christian” (biblical) texts 9 and 10.
Text 9 has “Regina Saba”, Moroe reggio el saba odie dicitur iqua divium matheum evangelium predicasse forunt ha ce iosepho teste est illa saba ende ad Salamonem profecta est regina” The story line of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon giving rise to a dynasty and interspersed with St Matthew and Joseph, written rather strangely even for this format.
But Latin text or rather heading Ten is not Latin at all; “Preteinai De Las Indias”. It is actually Pretre Gianni of the Indies and is a mixture of Italian, Preteiani, using the diminutive of Giovanni or John for Prester John and then De Las Indias is actually Spanish. That is not surprising as this was drawn in Messina Sicily which in 1584 was a Spanish possession. The Italian probably comes from the book “Cosmograhia Universale”, page 1136, written by Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) where he discusses Pretre Giovanni.




In 2019, Imago mundi published a text by Giampiero Bellingeri and Marica Milanesi entitled, “The re-appearance of the lost map of Muscovy by Paolo Giovio (1525)”.
(see Imago Mundi Vol 72, part No 1; 47-51)

The first author wrote on Turkological research and found this comparative treatise of the Nogai Horde and the Venetians system of governance from 1525 entitled, “Libellus de Legatione Basilii” written by Paolo Giovio ( 1483-1552) and noted that at the beginning of page 1v it stated “ Regionis,,,, situs,,,, in tabula typis excusa figuabitur”, meaning “ the territory will be depicted in a printed map”, but no map accompanied the text. It was not found until 2006 in Venice’s Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and hence this text was formed. It is referenced as C214, C108.1 and has several Latin texts there-on. But to my mind it has all the hall marks of being a map by Gastaldi who also produced maps for the treatise by G B Ramusio which were later engraved and published in his text (see Ch RAM/1). Following the first page written by G Bellingeri, Marica Milanesi writes two pages of descriptive text and includes 17 end notes of some import, but the seventh is that which opens the door to the possible origination of the Bartolomeu Olives Latin texts on his 1584 chart.

7) The inscriptions include (a) top left in a scroll; “In istis motib(us) capi/ut nobliss(imos) falcoes” [In these mountains there are the most noble falcons]. (b) to the right of Viborg,” “Supra has siluas habj/tant Lapones feri”, [Beyond these forests live the savage Lapps].
(c) east of Meotides Paludes, “Hanc regionem habitant cir/cassi Christiani qui alias ve/nales Cayrum ad magnum/ Soldanum portabantur2 [ “This region is inhabited by the Circassian Christains who once were brought to sell to the great sultan in Cairo”] (d) in Galatia, “ Hic Bayazetes a Tamburlane/ captus et victus est” [Here Bayazet was captured and defeated by Tamerlane].

Within the text it is noted that “tula ex laide (sic) cunstrata” for “Tula ex Lapide constructa” or Tula made of Stone. But, not mentioned is the short text written under Trapezanda and adjacent to Amasia; “In questa cita de Amasia nague(?) el gran turcha sultan Selim el gran turcho”
However, identified within this text is also the Atlas map “Moschviae Tabula” which is one of 35 sheets by Battista Agnese, also held in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice, reference MS It 62 (=5067), Atlante di 33 carte, 1554-1556. This Agnese map is similar to and obviously based upon the “Giovio” map, although it extends much farther east to include the Caspian/Hyrcanian Sea of Claudius Ptolemy and is covered with not only the above Latin texts but new texts expanding the history of the region.

Thus comparing the Battista Agnese 1554 map and the Bartolomeu Olives 1584 Portolan Chart we can immediately conclude the origination of the information on the 1584 chart. But, it is not the same pattern/template being used for Agnese and Olives as the marked differences visible indicate, but textually it is a copy, including major Toponyms. Even simple errors are copied, such as “Magnus Princps” for “Magnus Princeps” and a miscopy of Precopite Tartari = Percopite Tartari by Olives which refers to the Perekop Tartars, a town north of the Crimea on the isthmus to the mainland: Why is another matter!



Strabo in his Geography, 7:3:19 Has the following text; “after this island (Berazan) situated opposite the mouth of the Dneiper in sailing towards the east we arrive at the cape of the Course of Achilles (Czile). Then we arrive at the course of Achilles, a low peninsula; for it is a certain tongue of land about a 1000 stadia length running out towards the east and its width is about 2 stadia in the broadest part and about 4 plethra in the narrowest. It is distant from the mainland which runs out on both sides of the neck about 60 stadia. It is sandy, but water is drawn by digging. About the midst of the Course of Achilles is the neck of the isthmus joining it to the mainland. It is about 40 stadia in breadth and terminates in a headland which they call Tamyraca”. Perekop is Taphros and the people called Taphrians, the original name of the Greek settlement. The equivalent name Or Qapi in the Crimean Tartar language meaning OR = Trench and QAPI = Gate and thus subsequently Perekop in the Slavic languages which literally means an over dug locality.


ChBAO/1/D013A and ChBAO/1/D013B


This area is basically the whole of Europe and the northern Mediterranean littoral from Greece westwards. The land area is covered with toponyms writ large in red ink and must have a story to tell as they are so very different from any other portolan chart. Why they have been chosen is at first viewing unfathomable until the whole are investigated and a story appears. There are the standard coastal toponyms around the whole chart as per a normal portolan chart and also some standard country names such as Frislandia, Irlanda, Escosia and Ingalatera as well as in Scandinavia where instead of just the country name they are denoted as kingdoms as follows; Rx Norveste; Rx Svecia; Rx Gottie and a mis-written Rx Dacia for Rx Dania, Denmark.

However, in the western section of Europe we read of singular areas/countries/dukedoms not normally thought applicable to a portolan chart which is generally about the Littorals with a scattering of internal towns and sometimes vignettes of Kings and major cities.

Commencing in the north there is Saxonia, named three times in an area about the River Albi, our Elbe, and once would have sufficed. Saxonia, the land of the Saxons is originally north of the River Albi ( under the Windrose) and did not extend south of the river until the 6th century, becoming a Dukedom in the 9th with in 919AD, Henry 1st, Duke of Saxony becoming King and beginning the Ottonian Dynasty. Not exactly a major occurrence in history but obviously meaningful to B Olives, or whomever provided these toponyms to be copied onto the chart for at present an unknown reason.



But B Olives has written a name for the whole area “Magna Germania”, the territory of the Romans as named by Claudius Ptolemy and illustrated here on diagram D14. Curiously there are many towns named but in fact this is the only area in the “Geographike Hyphegesis of Claudius Ptolemy” that did not have these towns denoted by latitude and longitude but instead they are positioned in the ancient division of CLIMA. Thus this could be the raison d’être for the naming, a nod to the original latitudinal division of the earth

There is also at this position a mis-placed Frisia which should be in the area north of the Zuyder Zee, that is north of its named position. But everything changed in c962 when Otto 1st, The Great, was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and thereafter this section of Europe basically north of the Kingdom of Italy became a series of Dukedoms fragmenting larger areas.

The first Duchy named is Ducatus Gueldate, which appears in the north of the HRE as a dual area. The Duchy was named after the town of Gelderu (Gelder) in present day Germany. The county emerged in 1096 and in 1339 was a duchy with the last independent Duke being Charles of Egmond, 1467-1538 who was raised in the Burgundian court of Charles the Bold. But the Burgundian Netherlands is formed c1363 when the Grand Dukes of Burgundy established a powerful state that stretched between France and the HRE. They purchased the Duchy of Guelders from Arnold, Duke of Guelderland which included not only that Duchy but also Veluve and the County of Zutphen.

The next toponyms, Brabat and Luxebur are both Dukedoms in the period to 1477 but in 1493 Burgundy is divided between France and the House of Habsburg and gradually the whole area changes hands with Charles 5th becoming King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor. Actually the Duchy of Brabant along with Flanders were the richest principalities of the medieval Netherland and the boundary stretched from Hainault County to the south and Maas to the north, bordered to the west by Flanders and to the east by Gueldre. Charles the Bold, Duke, 1467-1477, hoped to join Franche-Comte in Burgundy to the Burgundian Netherlands. It is Charles 5th who integrates the territories of the Dukes of Burgundy into one state and begun the fight in 1517 against the Protestants, about which there is more to follow.

France, represented by Loxraine, Lefraccontesui, Savoia, Delpinate, Provesia, Picardia, Normadia, Limoxin, Gasconia and Lenguedoc was in 1337-1415 and then 1415-1453 subject to the Hundred Years War and its two phases. The Burgundian Territories are divided, Flanders and Artois to the Habsburgs and to France Burgundy, Nevers and Picardy. The Catholics and Huguenots fought the French Wars of religion from 1562 to 1598 and in 1572 many Huguenots are slaughtered in the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. However Lorraine, Le Franche-Comte, Savoy and the Dauphinate are front line in the Battle for Italy fought between France and Spain. The County of Savoy was detached “de Jure” from the Kingdom of Arles by Charles 5th HRE in 1361. He acquired the County of Nice in 1388 and in 1401 added the county of Geneva, the area not the city. Savoy was important to France because it provided access to Italy and to Spain because it served as a buffer between France and the Spanish held lands in Italy. The Dauphinate was also part of the route to Italy and in 1562 the Duke of Savoy, Emmanuel Philibert took up arms against the Calvanists in the wars of Religion which led to the massacre. Gascony was the home of Henry 3rd of Navarre, later King Henry 4th of France, but Catholic Provence after the death of King Henry 3rd of France along with a majority of France refused Henry of Navarre because he was a protestant and this actually triggered the Eighth war of religion. Navarre was for the Huguenots and Calvanists in that war but to remain as King, King Henry 4th actually converted.

In shorthand format the history of the last four departments of France named can be assessed as follows; Normadia, obviously Normandy and its past from the invasion of the Norse men/Vikings; the fights with the “French” who had to grant the Dukedom, and they then attacked the British Isles and set up a kingdom, but it was a staunchly Protestant population who fought the Catholics. Next is Limoxin, the Limousin and not an inspiring history to compare. It was part of the English domains in France and its main claim to fame appears to be that it is part of the route for pilgrims from the north to Santiago de Compostella and hence with the number of Churches built on that route may be considered catholic.
Gasconia or Gascony was the heartland of the English in France and fought over for years and included many older subdivisions of France. It was basically south of the larger area of Aquitaine and included the old regions of Navarre, Bearn, Armagnac and Albret.
The Lenguedoc or Languedoc was the birthplace of the Cathar religion which was brutally suppressed and in fact a reaction against the decadence and laxity of the Catholic Priests. It was also a battle between the northern Dukes against the southern Dukes, particularly the Count of Toulouse, Raymond 6th and this all led to the Albigensian Crusades against the Cathars, the slaughter of 30,000 residents of Beziers and in the second crusade the Cathars were finally exterminated in their castle fortress’s. This is another unedifying chapter in the history of Catholicism in France and the Low Countries to control the populace.

THE IBERIAN PENINSULA; there are but four toponyms, Rex Ispanie, Rx Ispanie, Rx Portugalie and Rx Navarre, with the inclusion of Navarre perhaps confirming the growing historical reason behind this Portolan Chart’s format. The Kingdom of Navarre was founded in 824AD and is a disjointed Kingdom north and south of the Franco-Spanish border. In 1515 the southern part was ceded to Castille and with the King of Navarre having a claim to the French throne the problems mentioned began. As Henry 4th of France he was noted as a protestant and the inclusion of Navarre would appear to be a reminder of the tussle between the Holy Roman Empire and states wishing to be independent and not dictated to by Rome. The northern states wanted rid of Spain and Italy was a battle ground.



Curiously the name is so written with a large gap, an un-necessary gap, and there is no other toponym within its bounds except Venesia. This is the only city to have any form of drawn identity as the diagram illustrates and could be a clue to the origin of the data?

Basically from 1454 onwards we see the creation of Italian regional states occurring with the Dukedoms of Savoy & Milan, the Republics of Venice, Genoa and Florence, the Papal States and in the south what will become the Kingdoms of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia, at this time ruled by Aragon but by the mid 16th century Spanish kingdoms.

The Republic of Venice expanded in the 15th century to include the hinterland surrounding the City,” La Serenissima”. In the 16th century it was defeated at the Battle of Agnadello, 14/05/1509, when the League of Cambrai was victorious but by 1517 Venice had won back most of its mainland territories. In fact from the 1600’s to the 1800’s Venice was the only Italian State to remain entirely free of Spanish Control and thus it is celebrated on this chart which details the religious and territorial battles for Europe.


Commencing with the coastal toponyms writ large, not the standard ports, the first is Rx Morocus written where Marrakech is geographically. The area has a varied history from Berber control, then the Roman province of Mauretania, divided into Tingitana (qv) and Ceasariensis and the Arab invasion of the 7th century AD. It became an independent Kingdom under the Berber Almoravid Dynasty in the 11th century.

The next is Rx Fes, which is technically Morroco, but was one of the sacred cities of Islam founded in the 8th century by Idris 2nd when after the Roman period sub parts were formed of various territories.

Rx Tremesen refers to Tlemcen, Algeria and was part of the Berber Kingdom.

Rx Tunis, a former Barbary State, south of Carthage and a Roman Province, was conquered by the Arabs with the rest of N Africa. It was attacked by King Louis 9th of France in 1270 and then by the HRE Charles 5th in 1575. The City of Tunis under the Abbasid and then the Hafid Dynasties became one of the leading cities of the Muslim world, but as noted was captured by Spain in 1575 and ceded to the Ottomans in 1574.

The title Mauretania Tingitana has been written far to the south of the original Roman Province position. It occupied the Atlantic Coast from Tangier (Tingis) to approximately 34N at Ad Mercurios just south of Rabat and along the Mediterranean coast from Tingis to the River Mulucha, with Tlemcen just to the east over the river. Thus with Rx Marocus occupying the Marrakech latitude the title should be adjacent to Rx Fes. The Antonine Itinerary covers the coastal routes south and east from Tingis and has written at Flumen Mulva ( Flumen Mulva dirimit Mauritania duas; incipit Caesariensis) and includes Siga Municipum in Caesariensis which is Tlemsen.

Tripol refers to the Roman Province of Tripolitana, or Regio Syria and is named for its three chief cities, OEA (Tripoli), LEPTIS MAGNA and SABRATA. It was under the control of various Islamic Arab and Berber Dynasties, but was captured by King Ferdinand 2nd of Aragon in 1510 and then became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1551.


This is in fact a standard coastal toponym found on Portolan Charts from the first extant, Carta Pisana and Carta Cortona, to the latest chart being now investigated. That it is used as a Regional Title requires much investigation and explanation.


Firstly the toponyms for the Carta Pisana and Carta Cortona listed from Alexandria westwards are as follows

izula……urca Insula partriarea
porto de barda scoi de barda
cavo de rasatantini Rasaltin
p. sacinol (?) ——
p. xa caforsel (?) Forcel(?)
isola carse carse
bonandrea Bonandres
tolmeta Tolometa
bernic Bernico

But within the main three extant “PORTOLANO”, Liber de Extensia Riveriarum; Lo Conpasso de Navigare and Grazia Pauli it takes on a rather major role in the Toponyms.

Liber lines 18-22; 411+; 429/432; 438 to 442, are as follows;
Ad Tripolim ad Rascareni introitum sinus Tiny ml. cc.
Sinus Tiny uoluitur usque ad Rasuthem per ml. dccc.
Ad Bonandream in aquiline iterum lx

A Tripolim a tribus ciuitatibus dicta Ocasa, Berethe et leptis Magna, que respicit insulam Lampatosam inter septemtrionem et circium per ml. ccl. Et Bonandream ultra sinum Tini que dicuntur Sirtes maiores, infra orientem ab aquiline per ml. dcc. Et in aquilonem capud Spade insule Cretis per ml. dcc. Usque ad ciuitatem Suhec computantur ml. clxxx.

A Rasuthen, ubi est ciuitas que dicitur Barcha unde incipiuntur montes Barchi tenentes usque ad Rasaltin, extenditur riueria inter orientem et aquilonem et occasum et africum, computantur usque ad Bonandream ml. lx.

A Bonandrea, faciendo parum sinum in faciem orientis dilatatur riueria extra orientem parum uersus eurum usque ad Raselchinisie, introitus sinus Rasorii longe ab Alexandria ml. cc. per ml. d. Infra que hec didicimus,
A Bonadrea ad Derniam, ubi est portus ml. lxl(sic)


Lo Conpasso de Navigare, sections; 52v-21; 53r-1&3; 94v-14
De Carse a lo porto de Bonandrea xxx millara per ponente. Lo dicto Bonandrea e porto. E per meco lo porto a I castello et a da ponente I valle et e qua la mita de li monti de Barca. De Bonandrea a rasausem c millara per ponente.
De lo dicto Goco a Bonandrea ccxx millara entre meccoiorno e garbino e plui ver lo garbino

Grazia Pauli; 72-10; 107-15; 116-13
E da Charse a Buonadrea a Miglia XXX per ponette. A buonadrea e porto buono ed, per mezzo lo porto e chastello uno ad ave, di ver ponette, valle una, e locho e montate de li monti (de Barca)
E da Buonandrea a Rasaucello, lo chuale e chapo de la montagnie di ver ponette, a Miglia C per ponette.
E di chapo Pasara a buona Andrea a Miglia DCCLXXV intra levante e iscelocho
E di Gozo a Buona Drea a Miglia CCXX per lebecie (from Crete)




However today there is a Ras Bonondrea, a small point to the east of Marsa Susah (Apollonia) at 320 55’N; 220 10’E, which does not accord with the description “A Buondrea e porto buono ed per mezzo lo porto e chastello”


Study Apollonia and what is left of the great city port following the inundation from the earthquake of 365AD when part of the port gradually sunk, but still retained enough to be a port. It has surrounding city walls to the south with many towers both round and square which from the sea would give the distinct impression of a fort and thus another explanation is required for the name. This is a historical depiction on a Portolan chart and the author is making a definite statement that Bonandrea is important and thus would not be a simple point, a small headland where the coast turns south to a bay. Thus it appears to me to be evident that at some time in the Roman Period Apollonia had a surname like many Roman African cities and was thus Apollonia Bonandrea, with the two becoming separated when these texts and the Portolan Charts were first drawn. The fact that the area came under the Arab and then Ottoman Empires with the name change no doubt compounded this break-up of the original Roman name.




In this section of the chart the large toponyms are set out in two horizontal rows across the chart and will be investigated in that order.
Rx Gilofi. This refers to the Jolof or Wolof Kingdom which is actually centered around Cape Vert and thus should be at c14N not c25N as drawn; it is part of Senegal.
Rx Mantinga. This refers to the Mandingo Kingdom of Southern M ali, E Guinea and the N Ivory Coast and they are descendants of the Mali Empire. It should thus be drawn south of the Jolof Empire as the diagram illustrates. It is in fact positioned in a similar area to that drawn by Gastaldi on his superb chart/map of Africa drawn on 8 sheets and held in the BNF Paris.
Rx Sapi. The Kingdom area is of coastal Sierra Leone and was given the name by the Portuguese traders in the late 15th century. It is basically from Conakry, passes Freetown and ends on the Sierra Leone border.
Rx Mandi Masa. This is the Kings name, not the Kingdom, which is Mali and lasted from1290-1670. He is well documented and in 1324 whilst ruler of Mali went on Hajj to Mecca (hence a reason for Meccha to be squeezed onto the chart).



It is a very large and wealthy empire and the Catalan Atlas section III has; “Äquest senyor negre es appellat Musse Melly”(etc) which is, “The Black lord is called Musse Melly and is sovereign of the land of the negroes of Ginera (Ghana). This king is the richest and noblest of all these lands due to the abundance of gold that is extracted from his lands”. This is again sadly well misplaced.


Rx DeGuinea. This is the southernmost Kingdom and stretches along the southern shores of West Africa, with the adjacent sea called the Gulf of Guinea. However the actual boundaries are quite nebulous as there were some 20 independent states along the Gold Coast. It is purely by chance the closest major toponym to its geographical location.
Rx Demina. Elmina, Ghana was the first trading post of Portugal established in 1482 and is known as Castello de Sao Jorge da Mina. That it had an overlord is noted but as a Kingdom it did not exist by that name and was in fact part of Guinea.
Rx Denubia. This is probably the most inaccurate positioning possible for Nubia, which Gastaldi has on the west bank of the River Nile and the Catatlan Atlas is similar and states;
“Ciutat de Nubia (sheet v) City of Nubia; the King of Nubia ia always at war with the Christians of Nubia who are under the dominion of the Emperor of Ethiopia and the land of Prester John”.
Rx Devrgana. Catalan Atlas sheet IV; Aci sanyoresa lo rey Organa (etc)
Here rules the King of Organa, a Saracen, that constantly battles with the Sracens of the coast and with the Arabs. (on the atlas it is placed south of the Gulf of Sirte with Nubia to its east.)
Etiopia. Placed far to the south of Bonandrea of the Pentapolis and would be better situated adjacent to the Scirocco Wind.
Regina Saba and Preteiani de Las Indias are dealt with as Latin Texts 9 and 10.
Meccha. It would be churlish not to mention this toponym as it is positioned correctly on the east bank of the Red Sea and has been squeezed onto the chart as far south as is possible. It is obviously part of the story line of the Islamic Conquest of North Africa.



The 1584 chart has been set down quite deliberately to illustrate several facets of history surrounding the Mediterranean Sea Basin and Europe. It commences with the Roman period, which can be taken in this instance to be around the start of our common era and proceeds to illustrate the knowledge, right or wrong, promulgated by Claudius Ptolemy in his Geographike Hyphegesis regarding the latitudinal measurement of the earth.

It is curious that Bartolomeu Olives or his unknown Client on this chart has set down such a historical document, which means it was not meant for a Merchant or perhaps even a highly place client but in all likelihood for a University or School of History, a teaching aid.

Having chosen Magna Germania/Denmark to illustrate the form of Claudius Ptolemy’s world there is also the possibility it was used to discuss the CLIMA noted as Magna Germania is the only area within the Geographike Hyphegesis not to be determined by Latitude/longitude co-ordinates but by CLIMA. It can be argued that that was by chance as it is also perhaps the easiest section of a portolan Chart to be manipulated without it being unduly non geographical and thus avoiding criticism.

The residue of the chart is a standard Portolan with coastal toponyms, a wind rose and the Italian wind names etc.

At this juncture in the concluding comments it is possible to argue that the publication of “Libellus de Legatione Basili” in 1525, written by Paolo Giovio (1485-1552) which compared the regime governing the NOGAI HORDE with the VENETIAN’S Oligarchic Government, led to a Historian analysing the European Systems and illustrating the major differences not only in Europe but the Arab world adjacent, and producing this chart as an explanatory teaching aid.

Hence it would appear to be a collaborative exercise with Bartolomeu Olives drawing the amended chart, using his template for the most part and copying the portion of Claudius Ptolemy’s work as illustrated by Donnus Nicolas Germanus to produce the earliest possible chart details to include the Roman Empire. I would hazard a guess that the collaborator wrote down the titles to be appended and left it to Bartolomeu Olives to fit them onto the chart as best possible, avoiding the rivers but in Africa they just became a horizontal list written as given. Thus we have a possible teaching aid for the history of the whole area set down on one simple chart.


ChBAO/1/D002A and ChBAO/1/D002AB

ChBAO/1/D003A and ChBAO/1/D003AB

ChBAO/1/D004A and ChBAO/1/D004AB