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In HOC3/1/Ch38, page 987, is the very curious story of Pedro Reinel having to chase after his son Jorge as he had decamped from Lisbon to Seville. The text is as follows:
“The cartographic work of the Reinel family began with Pedro Reinel, the first Portuguese cartographer with signed maps, and his son Jorge Reinel. Their known charts extend from about 1485 until about 1540.72 According to Cortesao, Pedro Reinel and his son created the “School of Reinel”73. They worked almost exclusively in Lisbon, but in 1519 they were in Seville. Jorge Reinel collaborated in the preparation for the circumnavigation of Ferdinand Magellan in the service of Castile. Sebastiao Alvares, “feitor”, (consul) of Portugal, informed King Manuel that he had “seen the land of the Moluccas put on the globe and chart that the son of Reinel has made here, which was not finished when his father came here to fetch him, and his father finished it all and put these lands of the Moluccas (on it), and this is the standard for all other charts which are made by Diogo Ribeiro.”74
Jorge Reinel’s departure from Portugal seems to have been motivated by the insolence of youth. Pedro Reinel went to Seville to get his son and succeeded in taking him back to Lisbon without punishment.”
(End of quote).

The storyline as it unfolds is probably generally misunderstood as in that age c1500, a child under the age of 21 was fully under the control of the Father. But more importantly if Jorge was born in 1502, then in 1519 he would be only 17 years old. Thus to have left Lisbon at that age and being a “minor” the chance of him obtaining a commission for a chart and globe (see later for Poma-carta) in Seville are negligible, in fact so unlikely that the story line as explained is probably false due to misunderstandings by the authors of the letters used to gain the storyline.

“Normally, cartographers, like many other artisans started to learn their profession when they were about 11 years old and the formative period lasted at least 7 years. Thus 17 years old would be the very minimum age to have achieved professional independence, but still a minor. In fact, it was not normal at all to gain such an important contract being a minor of Legal Age, 21 in most places”.
(These are comments of a very well respected Cartographic Historian).

Please note that to cover these points without trying to be absolutely precise which is impossible, all my texts use 0 to 10 years, “Child”, and 10 to 20 years “Training” as illustrated on the Bar Chart attached for the Reinel and Homem Families.


The only satisfactory conclusion is that Jorge Reinel, who probably started his apprenticeship at the age of 10 or 11 and took the nominal 7 years he was either 17 or 18 in 1519. Thus it is more likely he left Lisbon (illegally) just having completed his term and took with him a chart and globe/Poma he had been working on. This would have been anathema to Pedro Reinel as the secrecy of these charts was paramount in the Portuguese world. Thus the timescale between Jorge departing and Pedro chasing after him was no doubt very short indeed and the fact that “Pedro finished it all” was merely to placate his wayward son and ensure he would immediately return to Lisbon without proper punishment. But what just does “finish it” mean? Dot some I’s, cross some T’s or extensive work on both the chart and Poma-chart. We do not know, but can be certain that Pedro would have wanted Jorge back in Lisbon a.s.a.p and thus talk of a long stay is again probably the result of mis-information.

Jean Denuce, “1908, Les origins de la cartographie portugaise et les cartes des Reinel” has on page 33 the following;
“L’ambassadeur portugais, Sebastian Alvarez, constate sans commentare la presence des Reinell a Seville. Leur entrée au Portugal, bientot après l’acte deloyal comme les auteurs portugaise appellant leur collaboration a l’equipement scientifique de l’expedition de Magallan, montre avec quelle independence ils travaillaient.”

Denuce includes a transcript of part of the letter “de l’ambassadeur Sebastian Alvarez”;
“A quaili terra Maluco eu vy asentada na poma e carta, que ca fez o filho de Reynell, a qual nom era acabada quando caa seu, pay veo por ele; e seu pay acabou tudo; e pos estas terras de Maluco, e por este padram se fazem todallas carteas; as quaees faz Diego Ribeiro.”

But would Pedro Reinel have allowed Diogo Ribeiro to use the chart and data as a standard, or did Jorge Reinel know he was in Seville, a Portuguese in the employ of King Charles V of Spain, and fled there to give it all away? How were two persons who committed an act disloyal to Portugal actually accepted back? Were they the only cosmographers at the time available to the King of Portugal and had he no choice until Lopo Homem was ready?

There is also the curious juxtaposition of the Reinel’s on one side and Ribeiro on the other side at the Badajos Junta of 1524; would they be there having given away the secrets?

But the storyline in HOC 3 states “Jorge Reinel collaborated in the preparation for the circumnavigation of Ferdinand Magellan in the service of Castile”. Not only is the timeline suspect but if Jorge was dragged back to Lisbon, how did that happen? Magellan moved to Seville c1516, married in 1518 and on 22/03/1518 was appointed Captain General of a fleet to explore a route westwards to the East Indies. The fleet left on 20/09/1519 and Jorge Reinel was then 17 years old and a minor. He therefore either went to Seville in 1519 and in a maximum of 9 months produced a large amount of information including the Poma e carta, or, he carried with him a nearly finished chart and pome e carta and that is the more likely. Thus the four paragraphs on page 987 of HOC 3 should be re-assessed and rewritten to a credible timescale and norms of the age with less jingoistic happenings.

But study the chart of c1522 (probably a wrong date and should be 1518 or earlier) held in the Topkapi Saray Library, Istanbul and the whole story line begins to make sense as it is one of the charts carried to Seville as is discussed later.

The Reinel extant work is as follows;

Pedro Reinel; Chart of the Atlantic/Med Sea basin, c 1485 held in the Archives Departmentales de la Gironde, Bordeaux France

The chart is headed “ihvs” and “Pedro Reinel me fez”, with a curious monogram below his name. The chart does not have a scale bar properly appended, but rather has indicative scale bars (4) in the outer frames of the chart. Curiously there are dots in the south which could be a first attempt to place a scale bar as there are no islands in that situation. The scale bars appear to show latitudinal degrees, which have been putatively appended to the diagrams to indicate the methodology and vary from 85 to 80 SBU’s which could indicate 4 leagues of 20 units as text ChMES/1 discusses.



The chart however does have a method to ensure that the coast of Africa from the Bight of Benin/Nigeria to the Zaire River with its Padrao Cross is included as that coastline is drawn inside the landmass of West Africa ensuring the Portuguese explorations were adequately portrayed. My text ChWAF/1 details those events of exploration. This chart is up to date for 1485 as it portrays the Castle at Elmina established in 1483 signified by the word “AMINA” and its Portuguese emblem.


Chart of the Med Sea Basin c1500 (attributed) Cod.icon. 140 sheet numbers 218/219

This chart as Diagram ChRH/1/D05 illustrates is held in Munich and is part of the Robert Dudley; Arcano del Mare, Tomo iii and has been photographed for Portugaliae Monumenta Cartografica, Plate 7.

It is attributed to Pedro Reinel but I believe has Wind Rose roundels in the fashion of Jaume Olives with double white dots to the main eight wind pointers. My paper ChLUL/1 diagram ChLUL/1/D06 illustrates the design clearly. However, the “JHS” is similar to the Reinel “JHS” as is the script “partes d Africa”. It has a latitudinal scale bar in the west and main scale bar in the south with a subsidiary in the North West. Having nine vignettes of cities it is decorated more than either the 1485 or 1504 charts by Pedro Reinel, but they are very simply drawn. (Please note that the simple city drawings appear again c1518 Indian Ocean chart) Being a folded chart from an Atlas, it is wise not to accept the join if taken from Cod.icon 140, although the photograph in PMC shows no sign of the join and has perhaps been adjusted.


Chart of the N Atlantic c1504. Held in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, Cod.icon 132, and is 90 x 62cms. Diagrams ChRH/1/D06 & D07.

It is stated as the earliest known chart with a scale of latitudes, but if the 1500 chart above is accepted as being by Pedro Reinel then that has the earliest latitudinal scale. This 1504 chart featured as part of the text ChMES/1 which is a text establishing the length of a degree of latitude and also contains an examination of the Jorge d’Aguiar chart. I opined ”the chart has what is considered a latitudinal scale bar set along the first wind rose sub-division line in the west. This would appear to be a later addition to the chart and is poorly drawn.” The later latitudinal scale bar is hard to evaluate as it is not aligned to putative latitudes or even to a known point precisely. It has a latitudinal spread of 16N to 62N along the Atlantic coastline and covers the western Mediterranean Sea as far east as Sicily.



On an original diagram ChMES/1/D05 now ChRH/1/D06, I have appended the putative latitudinal lines and thus it can be clearly seen that the chart positions of the Cape Verde Isles and the Canary isles are quite correct. At the North West corner of the chart another landmass is shown with a separate scale bar appended but it is not subject to investigation in this paper.

The scale bar has 11 SBU matching the 7 degrees from 36N to 43N along the Iberian coastline and thus each SBU = 17 leagues (16.97 at 4.175Km), and thus would give 26 2/3rd leagues per degree. From Gibraltar to Cape Bon the evaluation of the distance measure to the SBU longitudinally gives a figure of 15 leagues (14.99).

The ratio 17:15 SBU can be calculated as the Cosine for 28N, the Canary Isles.
Thus using the scale bar all we can show is that 48SBU equals 33 Latitudinal Degrees as drawn. Therefore the calculation is simply;
48 x 17 = 816 leagues and thus divided by 33 we have 24.73 leagues per degree. It is 4.494Km per league, and as such has no immediate recognition. This therefore is unsatisfactory research as the scale is indecisive, and perhaps as a later addition is not as accurate as the original, or even by the original cartographer.

Two charts of the Indian Ocean, c1517 and c1518. The 1517 is attributed and redrawn by Otto Progel (1843) and is held in Bnf Paris, Res Ge AA 565
Pedro Reinel 1517(facsimile) of the Indian Ocean,


In effect this chart is a continuation of the 1485 chart commencing with the west coast of Africa and continuing until the eastern islands of Indonesia which are plotted c110-120 degrees east geographical. Being a facsimile by Otto Progel makes the next point tenuous as both the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are drawn at 24 ½ degrees N/S of the Equator. However it is a Square Chart and appended are the geographical co-ordinates with scale bar comparisons. India is poorly represented longitudinally and as usual Africa is far too wide in the region of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Madagascar is unfortunately drawn with a NE slant. However, the real problem is that Africa is drawn slightly south and should be drawn with the 35S latitude marking the tip and thus the Island of Madagascar would move north slightly also to correct latitudes.


But, the real curiosity is in the East. Stretching from the furthest north of the chart to 5 degrees south is a long coastline without any text appended to identify it. The coast of Vietnam is likewise drawn as a north running alignment which is tantamount to Pedro Reinel stating he has heard of a great bay, Tonking, or probably the Yellow Sea and the land to the east he has drawn is probably the Korean Peninsula. Nicolo Conti (1414-1437) explored Sumatra, Java and north to Vietnam and the Portuguese under Mascasen has sailed north to Macao which had been explored in 1515 by Tome Pires with the Philippines being explored in 1512 by Abrea and Rodrigues. Thus the data arriving back in Portugal to allow Pedro Reinel to draw an accurate chart of this region c1517 is negligible. The next chart described is a corollary to that point.

Chart of the Indian Ocean c1518 attributed to Pedro Reinel, B.L. Add MS 9812



This chart and the c1517 chart are perhaps to be considered as meant to be the same drawing. However the 1517 chart has a more developed Far East than this chart which does not include a finished Island of Sumatra etc. This chart does have six plainly drawn city vignettes as well as Flags but only has one wind rose graticule. It is a Square Chart although the scale does vary slightly as the appended figures indicate.

As both the 1517 and 1518 charts are unsigned and not dated it would be prudent to place this chart at c1517 and the facsimile at c1518, bearing in mind the geography.

Note; given the problems surrounding the 1519 world chart I have discussed it at the conclusion of these charts.

Chart of the southern Hemisphere, c1522 attributed to Pedro Reinel


Firstly it should be clearly stated that as this storyline unfolds and it is called the Magellan Chart, then as he left Seville late 1519 a date of 1522 is null and void.

This chart is the subject of a large text by Marcel Destombes dated 1955 where-in he describes finding a Polar projection of the Southern Hemisphere in the Topkapi Saray Library, Istanbul. It is at present 70 x 70 cms with a circular Equator of 69cms diameter. It appears to be only half of the original chart as the equivalent northern section has been cut away.

M Destombes writes, “At the Geographical Congress, Amsterdam 1938, I elaborated orally my points and resume, and concluded that the two “planisferies” referred to by Castenhada were polar projection charts by Reinel and were the same as the POMA-CARTA made by Pedro and Jorge Reinel at Seville in 1519”. Thus the previous discussion apropos Jorge Reinel with a Chart and a Globe is negated as Poma-carta equals a circular chart.

This Poma-Carta indicates the east coast of S America; the southern portion of Africa and Madagascar and then Sumatra and the Moluccas Islands showing them within the Portuguese half of the world. The error in naming the Tropic of Capricorn as Cancer actually appears on many charts and atlases. That it was a chart drawn for Magellan to use on his voyage of discovery is quite possible and is one of many drawn to aid that voyage and thus must be before 1519.

Pedro Reinel Chart of the N Atlantic Ocean c1535


By now Europe and Africa were well known and had been drawn many times such that there should be no idiosyncrasies’ in their plot. This chart is a Square Chart as indicated. It is a moot point if the latitudinal scale bar position represents the Line of Demarcation as the crosses in S America indicate it should possibly be further west. The West Indies are well drawn but the coast of S America is totally the wrong shape from the mouth of the Amazon River to Trinidad; it is not a straight coastline but a rather large curved bulge.

The coast of N America must be the subject of a separate text as its angular disposition on the chart is totally awry, although certain features are discernible.


(?) Reinel world Planisphere c 1519


This chart is known as “Kuntsman IV” and the original has been missing from Munich since 1945. A copy was drawn and is now held in the BnF Paris. The chart is unsigned but is believed to have been drawn by Jorge Reinel, stated by Ivan Kupcik on page 41 of his text “Munich Portolan Charts, 2000”, Page 43 states, “In all likelihood the chart was composed of different parts, the eastern part with its compass rose south of Madagascar, suggest the handwriting of a different author.” And later “the chart is attributed to Jorge Reinel because of certain comparisons with charts in the Parisian Miller Atlas of c1519, on which both Reinel are believed to have assisted Lopo Homem—-. On the Munich map—. In the atlas the letters are slim, on Kuntsman they are squat—-. Thus there is the possibility that both were the work of the same author. It could be that the younger Reinel was aided by his Father Pedro in the final corrections. Moving the Moluccas toward the western edge of the chart was probably due to Pedro.”


But page 47 has, “because of the great similarity to the (baron) Ricasoli Firidelfi chart, 1540, signed by Jorge Reinel, there is no doubt that this map is also his work. According to confirmed reports, the younger Reinel lived and worked for a while as a cartographer in Seville. In 1519 he was a cosmographer for Castile and designed a “poma”, a globe. Above all he prepared and made planispheres and sea charts for the Spanish expeditions of Rui Faleiro (d1523) and Fernando Magellan. These were used as models by Diogo Ribeiro, the first cosmographer of the Casa de Contratacion. Jorge Reinel died after 1572.”



It would be a nice story if so much of the foregoing was not contradicted by Cortesao and HOC3/1/40, appendix 40.1, Cosmographers and allied professionals at the Casa de la Contratacion, 1503-1603”.

The fact that Pedro Reinel went to Seville specifically to return his son Jorge, a minor, to Lisbon and stop him being prosecuted should have stopped the foregoing text. Appendices 40.2 and 40.3 also equally apply to contradict the above text.

THE MILLER ATLAS; dated 1519 and attributed by some to a joint effort by Pedro Reinel and Lopo Homem assisted by Jorge Reinel and Antonio de Holanda. This is actually now refuted and is only thought to be by lopo Homem and decorated by Antonio de Holanda, but as the controversy has not been finally settled it is here-in included.

The year 1519 was rather dramatic for Pedro Reinel as just explained. But the Miller Atlas is dated 1519 and given as a collaborative effort. Firstly the dates given for Lopo Homem seem awry as they appear to infer he was given a Royal Charter when he was a 20 year old minor and had probably only just finished his apprenticeship. Secondly it would mean Lopo Homem was a mere 18 years old when his first son Diogo was born and he was still training! See diagram ChRH/1/D01 for the timelines information.

This is all wishful thinking, however, if the dates are revised for Lopo Homem to 1490-1565 as my timeline chart indicates then Lopo obtained his charter aged 27 and was 29 when he produces the Miller Atlas. Surely the King of Portugal would not accept a minor as his adviser nor give him a charter ignoring all the protocols of the era! If it was executed at the request of King Manuel of Portugal then the storyline so far is balderdash.

Antonio de Holanda is dated 1480-1557 (77) and in 1519 would be 39 years old and by then a very proficient illuminator and miniaturist.

Charts from the Miller Atlas are discussed later, Folio’s 10 and 11.

Jorge Reinel 1540 N Atlantic Chart,


This chart has all the hallmarks of being an updated 1535 chart as the similarities are in the West Indies and a slightly improved coast of S America. The coast of N America has been simplified but it is not a Square Chart as the West Indies are longitudinally well over scale. It is quite possibly not drawn to the same scale as the rest of the chart for emphasis?

Overall the chart is expanded longitudinally such that 17W to 95W is drawn as 83 latitudinal degrees and 50W to 95W is 55 degrees latitudinal, which indicates the basic latitudinal measure is 75 units per degree and the longitude is 80 units per degree.

In fact the HOC3 page 987 footnote 72 actually has the audacity to state the following;”Jorge(?) Reinel’s chart of the Indian Ocean c1510”: He would have been 8 years old! These are the 1517 and 1518 charts already described.


The extant charts by the Reinel family are as follows;
c1485; Chart of the Atlantic and Mediterranean
c1500; Chart of the Mediterranean
c1504; Chart of the North Atlantic
c1517; Chart of the Indian Ocean
c1518; Chart of the Indian Ocean
c1522; Circular chart of the Southern hemisphere ( Ferdinand Magellan Chart)
c1535; Chart of the Atlantic
c1540; Chart of the Atlantic by Jorge Reinel


The magnus opus of A. Cartesao and Avelino Teixeirado Mota, “Portugaliae Monumenta Cartographica”, published in Lisbon, 1960/1961 contains six volumes; five being concerned with the actual cartographers and the sixth an index. For our purposes Volume two is only discussed in a rather overview manner as it covers the whole oeuvre of Diogo Homem. Then there were 23 known works comprising 11 charts and 12 atlases of which 7 were of Europe and the Mediterranean sea and 5 atlases are of the then known world. They date from 1557 to 1578 and are always stated as a most prodigious work load for the timescale; however, questions arise concerning the overall picture.

The second text is by Marcel Destombes, 1970, and is entitled “Une Carte Inedite de Diogo Homem, circa 1566” and this brings the total known so far extant to 24, being 12 charts and 12 atlases.

The third text is of course HOC volume 3, Part1, chapter38, “Portuguese Cartography in the Renaissance” with pages 988 and 989 dealing with the Homem Family.

Two barely known texts are taken from ”The Mariner’s Mirror” the publication of “The Journal of the Society for Nautical Research”. The first is from May 1942, Volume 28(2) pages 148-160 and is by John W Blake entitled “New light on Diogo Homem Portuguese Cartographer” and it should be noted that PMC has it mentioned on page 5 as note 3. The second text is by Charles Relly Beard, May 1945 Volume 31(2) pages 51-55, entitled, “An unrecorded Map by Diogo Homem”

Again PMC has a record of the text.
PMC volume 2 page 5 of the introduction does have a good record of the text by John W Blake recording the details of a court case. But strangely it calls the 8 sheets, described in the court documents as a chart as an atlas, “A remarkable Atlas of the world”. In fact in the foot note 2, page 5 continuing on page 6 Blake is shown arguing plainly it is a chart and never considers it an Atlas. The foot note is verbatim from the Blake text.

A considerable number of charts are segmental and 8 such is not unusual and thus I think perhaps a touch of nationalism occurred here as wishful thinking.

We should also remember that Lopo Homem drew large segmented charts and Andreas Homem’s extant chart is on 10 folios of c60 x 75Cm making an overall chart of 150 x 294 cms. Thus there is no reason to suspect that the handwritten Court text is faulty in its description.



LOPO HOMEM; we know of charts as follows; Lopo Homem and J Reinel(?) family atlas 1519; a Mediterranean chart c1550; an attributed chart of the N Atlantic c1550; a world map of 1550 and another world map dated 1554, held in Florence. His career is determined by extant Royal Charters, and his involvement in the Elvas-Badajoz Junta details of which are given in HOC page 988, foot note 79.
From these dates it is possible to produce a bar chart which better explains the intricacy of the family situation and movements in and out of Portugal.

DIOGO HOMEM; the extant texts only produce a known start date of 1544 when he is condemned for a murder and exiled (which did not happen). His father Lopo posted bail of 20 crusados which ended on 31/07/1545, and thus was posted 31/07/1544, not long after the murder and determination that he should be exiled for a year to Africa. However a letter of pardon dated 04/08/1547 clearly states “he is at present in the Kingdom of England, son of Lopo Homem”

The court case in the 1942 text is dated 19/4/1547 and is about a large chart of 8 sections and we can assume it was drawn at the latest during 1546 as there had to be a period of discussions between Diogo Homem and his client Aloisius Blancus trying to resolve the purchase prior to the necessity of going to court. Therefore we can also assume that Diogo Homem arrived in London c1545 to obtain a commission and that is directly after the granting of Bail.

Now the problem of the missing years ensues because from after the court case until 1556 his whereabouts are unknown. But from his extant charts we have knowledge that in 1557 until 1576 he is in Venice except for an excursion to England in September 1567 when he arrived in London and was arrested. But that does not account for the so called Queen Mary Atlas. This so called Atlas is signed and dated 1558 with a cosmological wheel dated 1540. Curiously why should an atlas dated 1558 have an item dated 1540? But more importantly if Queen Mary or one of her Ministers arranged for an atlas to be drawn then as Queen from July 1553; marries Philip of Spain 1554 and did not see him again until 1557; she died before it was finished in 1558, thus it became the property of Queen Elizabeth 1.

That implies from 1553 to 1558 Diogo Homem was in London slowly drawing the excellent pages of this Atlas now held in the British library. There are also charts dated 1557, 1558 and 1558 as well as the atlas. The real answer comes from studying the lifeline chart when in 1540 Diogo Homem would be 25 years old, finished his training and is able to make his own decisions; rather poorly it seems at first.

I have already indicated that the dates given for Lopo Homem are awry and that I doubt Pedro Reinel was involved in the works for the Miller atlas.

Andreas Homem is likewise an elusive person and there is only a single chart, rather large by even the standards of the day at 150 x 294cms, but nevertheless an extraordinary and excellent work.


Volume 2 of PMC contains 143 plates, 10 colour and 86 signed or attributed to Diogo Homem, that is counting atlas pages singly. Whilst reading the text I was struck by the wording of note 1, page XIV which reads as follows;
“As we have already explained in the introduction to Vol 1(!!!!) the present volume was necessarily first to be printed and finished and therefore had to be planned before we had the opportunity to study properly the whole of the vast mass of material now assembled, some of which had just been discovered and never been photographed. Etc etc.” The problem they identified was the photo engraving which was onerous. I have already written a text which discusses within it (text “ChDR/1”) the special photo engraving method developed in London by W Griggs, who produced photo engravings on Limestone blocks of a fantastic quality, and I was curious as to the methodology used for PMC.


I enquired of the National Library of Portugal and the University of Lisbon to find the original engravings and how and where it was all carried out. Unfortunately the “Bibliotecas/Arquivo Historico” although we corresponded at length in the end I was left with little information. This is the final email from the Archivist who could not have been more helpful;

Bonjour Mr Michael J Ferrar; J’espere que tout va bien avec votre recherché. En complement a l’informationdeja envoyee, nous avons des elements xupplemantaires obtenus avec une collegue conservatrice qui tarvaille avec les collections photographiques, notamment avec le material provenant du Centre d’etudes Histoiques d’outre-Mer ou les auters de PMC ont surtout travaille a l’epoque.
Elle a pu observe quelques des originaux ey a conclu que:
a) Nous n’avons pas des photographies des Familles Reinel ou Homem
b) Certains negatives en verre ( 13 x 18cm et 18 x 24cm) restent aux emballages originaux, permettent avoir une idée de la marquee du negative ( fondamentalement provenant d’Italie). Sont des images en negative (noir et blanc).
c) Nous ne savons pas si les negatives ont fait part de la publication de la PMC. Il etait necessaire comparer les images avec la publication et verifier la coincidence. Cette collection a etait deplace avec l’integration du IICT a l’Universite de Lisbonne, la documentation textual a etait separee de la photographique, et ells ne sont pas encore decrites di etudies. En attachement quelques images pui peuvent un peu expliquer.

What that produced are 6 photos of glass plate boxes, two are included here and an envelope headed NEOGRAVURA LDA Lisbon. I thought I could therefore trace the originals through this company only to find it had ceased to exist in 2012, and thus this investigation died a death.

However through the good offices of “B.N. Reproducoes of the National Library” I was able to obtain some scans of the charts reproduced in PMC Volume 2 because obtaining copies of the originals in this strange time (2020/2021) proved to be very difficult and impossible for some.

I still believe that somewhere in Portugal the original plates and engravings must exist.


A timeline chart listing all of the extant charts,(and atlases) their place of production and any other dating materials contained there-on. It indicates that dates may not be quite correct.



The oldest extant chart is held in the Museo Storico Navale, Venice and is unfortunately not in the best condition. I obtained a copy from the Museo and have carried out a basic analysis such that each subsequent Portolan chart can be analysed in a similar manner for a visual comparison to be evidenced for differences.

“Diegus home cosmographus me fecit ano dm 1557”.

It is actually a highly decorated Portolan Chart with townscape vignettes, mountains and a plethora of flags and emblems, and if dated 1557 then it is likely to have been drawn in London. The wind rose has highly decorated roundels with varying north point designs. There is a separate 32 point roundel in the west with the letters I.H.S. in a scroll. There are some animals drawn in Africa and Mount Calvary to the north of the Red Sea is shown. The lettering is beautifully executed with the attribution below the latitudinal scale bar in the south-east. The scale bars are hard to establish and thus I have used the latitudinal scale in the west to compare the change of measurement as the chart progresses easterly as per the standard deviations seen on the Portolan Charts for + 200 years.


Profiles that should be noted are; Ireland, Britain, Jutland and the Crimea along with the major islands because as the charts proceed in age the changes are most noticeable.


When the Charts are studied it is perhaps wise to include the 1558 Queen Mary atlas pages, Diogo Homem’s world chart which is surrounded by a latitudinal scale bar as the overlay diagrams indicate. Again though the Mediterranean Sea may appear at first correct, in fact it is awry as per the others. It is a fantastic chart and I have included the geographical longitudes for reference.

The planisphere within the atlas is a Square Chart, the latitudes and Longitudes are equal and I have indicated in BLUE figures the measurements between geographical points. However bearing in mind the small size of the Planisphere and the fact that it shows the full 360 degree Equator and 180 degree Latitudinal spread with plenty of sheet spare, I do not think too much should be read into them.


However as an atlas page made to inform two monarchs of the known world c1558 it is sadly lagging behind the knowledge of the day. That is probably caused by the fact the atlas was in all probability drawn over 5 years and thus this planisphere could be any date from 1553 to 1558, with an earlier date than the endorsement. Curiously though in numerous latitudinal alignments the countries of the world of Europe, Asia and the Far East are listed , and it therefore begs the question; just what is the planisphere for, its raison d’être? It is obvious the atlas is biased towards the Spanish possessions as it was intended for King Philip II as a wedding gift from Queen Mary, but the area just discussed is not Spanish.



The second chart, dated 1559, is held privately in England and the family would not allow me to have it photographed or scanned for posterity. On it immediately seen is the fact that, Ireland, Britain, Jutland and the Crimea are very differently drawn from the 1557 chart, as is the Peloponnese, Greece. The chart suffers from a central area where water damage has occurred, but it is very similar in decoration to the former, although far more “Shields” are used. Again, difficulty reading the scale bar divisions has led to the use of the latitudinal scale. Curiously the word Barbaria has been written BRBRIA and the missing “A’s” are hidden within the two “B’s”. The chart is attributed between the letters I and E of Meridies, but the date is now partly erased. “Diegus home cosmographus fecit alla a partu virginis 1559”. The lettering of the chart is the same as above.

It is unfortunate that A Cortesao has chosen to write the following paragraph’s;
“The most interesting feature of this chart is that it is the first of all Diogo Homem’s charts to represent the axis of the Mediterranean Sea oriented west east almost along the parallel of latitude as it should be, instead of west-southwest and east-northeast as in other contemporary charts. In these the Mediterranean was drawn according to compass rhumbs without taking into account the magnetic variation in which that period was a few degrees east, with the result that the charts appeared rotated anti-clockwise.

The planispheres of Diego Ribeiro of 1527 and 1529 (plates 37, 38, 39) are the first Portuguese charts to show the Mediterranean oriented to true latitudes not compass rhumbs. Curiously though Diogo Homem never used this pattern in any of his other single charts; but it is found again in the similar charts of Europe and the Mediterranean in his three next atlases of the world. A) 1561 in Vienna (plate 122 top) B0 c1525 in Leningrad (plate 171 bottom) and C) 1568 in Dresden (plate 141A). In these four charts the parallel that runs through the Straits of Gibraltar and the coast of Asia Minor opposite the north of Cyprus is tilted less than two degrees; in others of Diogo Homem’s charts this tilting is between five and six degrees”

On the overlay to the chart I have drawn two blue lines; one the direct line from 36N latitude scale point, which actually passes across Cape Bon at 37N, then at 36N above Crete, then 35N through Cyprus and Syria. The second blue line, the direct alignment from the 36N latitude to the Syrian Coast is for much of its length actually the 37N latitude.

My text ChBC/1 has an appendix which deals with this paragraph explicitly as it has been quoted in a 2021 text and has now clearly been shown to be incorrect.



There are two charts with a possible 1560 date. The first held in the Biblioteca Marciana Venice, is signed and dated; the second is held by the Biblioteca Guarnacci, Volterra, and although signed the date is erased. Both charts are treated the same and the putative latitudes are drawn there-on. There is a marked difference in some of the profiles as already seen with two totally different Red Sea’s drawn. The Biblioteca Marciana has a copy online but the Biblioteca Guarnacci does not provide one and I could not obtain assistance.



The next chart I have decided to investigate is from 1563, signed and dated and held in the National library, Florence, Hence it is possible to see the changes in the charts draughtsmanship, not all for the better, but clearly illustrating excellent skills.



The final chart being discussed is that “discovered” by Marcel Destombes and is dated c1566 and held in Coimbra. This chart is probably the only Diogo Homem chart sans latitudinal scale bar, but given the shape of the vellum and the charts proximity to its edges the short scale bar appended in the west may have been thought to be sufficient. I have appended a latitudinal scale bar from 30N to 59N to enable the full analysis of the chart. The British Isles are retrograde as is the Jutland Peninsula, but the residue of the chart is acceptable given its date c1566. It is not a square chart and appears to be basically 88/90 latitude and 80 longitude with its wind rose centrally positioned in Italy and is thus a typical Diogo Homem offering.


Diogo Homem and the Copper engraving dated October 1569 by Paolo Forlani.
This engraving has three known copies available; BnF Paris; NMM Greenwich and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA. The first is black and white, the second has vignettes and is full colour and the third has coloured coastlines.

The diagrams are ChRH/1/D42, D43, D44, D45, with D46 and D47 the texts there-on.

In a text by David Woodward regarding the engraving he discusses that held by BnF Paris of an unknown chart by Diogo Homem. That charts contains a cartouche and the text is as per the diagram attached.

However, it appears that up until today the original chart from which the engraving was taken is still unknown and thus a comparison of preceding charts and atlases was carried out in an endeavour to establish if it was a typical Diogo Homem chart and if it could have been commissioned as a “one off” to be engraved and published, or was it just “borrowed” and an atelier copy?

The engraving is of high quality and has features readily seen on other charts. The 1560 Marciana chart has the Jutland Peninsula and a similar North Sea coast but little else could be considered the fore-runner.





The 1559 chart (Kent) is similar but the 1560 Guarnacci held chart has few similarities. Then the 1547 Museo Storica Navale chart appears to have no similarities at all. The 1561 Parma chart is not available to comment upon but the 1563 Florence held chart, full colour, has the Jutland Peninsula similar as is the Egyptian coastline, but UK/Ireland and the Aegean Sea are not applicable. Finally the 1569 chart held in Rome is of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea only and does not provide a template.

Thus the engraving is perhaps described as a pastiche of charts given the phraseology “la desctittione dell’Europa et parte dell’Africa, et dell’Asia second l’uso de naviganti del S. Giacomo Homem, portughese”. Thus he has “obtained”, not a chart “drawn by Diogo Homem” but probably a chart from his studio as already surmised, as the British isles format is quite constant by D Homem, the Jutland Peninsula develops and the coastal profiles of the Islands are rather poorly drawn, or poorly engraved here.


Four publishers are named as being in Venice, although P Forlani did print and publish. But, probably the most likely is Claudio Duchetti a print dealer and publisher, who was active in Venice 1565-1572 (subsequently in Rome) and is named as the publisher of the Univ Wisc-Milw coloured copy. Thus, the question must be asked, did P Forlani just engrave and print the copies and the publisher arrange for the colouring and vignettes to suit the client? The NMM Greenwich copy is curious in that it has large vignettes of Genoa, Venice and Ragusa, hinting at the client being a trader out of those places. The other smaller vignettes are townscapes with either 4 or 5 towers but do not appear to indicate other trade ports. Thus perhaps this will remain as an unsolved original chart.

However, in PMC Vol 2, Cortesao mentions a “fourth document” as follows;
“We should mention yet a fourth document which may refer to Diogo Homem; but we cannot be certain, and therefore what we have to say about it is speculative, It is a chart of North and South America with the Pacific as far as Japan and north-east China, and the eastern part of the Eastern Archipelago, engraved by Paolo Forlani and dated 14/12/1574. Winsor was the first to mention it, with the following note; “The map has an Italian inscription which is to this effect. “”I met some months since in Venice a certain Don Diego Hermano, a gentleman of noble family, and had with him some talks on geography. He presented to me a sketch showing voyages of exploration and this drawing I have engraved”

Forlani’s description actually says “Don Diego Hermano de Toledo”
It has often been mentioned, e.g. by Teleki, and the engraving was reproduced and discussed at great length by “Caracci” in 1926. On the one hand, there was no cartographer or notable Spaniard called Diego Hermano or Diego Hermano di Toledo; on the other, it is very probable that Diogo Homem was in Venice in 1574 and could appropriately be called “a gentleman of noble family”—“”gentil’huomo di nobilissime qualita””, as the inscription says. It is possible that Diego Hermano was a mere owner of the sketch, but it seems more likely that Forlani wrote Hermano and Toledo for Homem and Lisboa, either inadvertently (query) or deliberately. If this is so, if it was indeed Diogo Homem who presented Forlani with the sketch showing voyages of exploration, the fact remains that the 1574 engraving does not correspond to any chart of that part of the world drawn by the former, as shown, for example, by its cartographic representation of Japan. Forlani may have combined the sketch received from this mysterious acquaintance with an already well know-known and engraved pattern; in this way (mentioning a reliable person) he could add a certain value and a kind of novelty to an engraving that only partly deserves them and could also make it more saleable as suggested by Caracci. “It is possible that Forlani intentionally misspelt the name of Diogo Homem, whom he in any case certainly knew well, as shown by the engraving of Homem’s chart of 1569 (plate145) which he published a few years earlier. Be that as it may it is almost certain that Diogo Homem was in Venice in 1574 but he had probably been there before 1568, and either remained in Italy or went away and returned later, as suggested by his presence in London in September 1567.”End of quote.

It is perhaps bizarre to consider Paolo Forlani would not clearly state that it was Diogo Homem who donated the sketch that he has engraved!


Investigating the works of Paolo Forlani I happened upon a chart held in BnF Paris, reference GE C 11071. It is entitled, ”Navigatione dell’Europa con parte dell’Africa et dell’Asia che con essa confinano.” It includes a cartouche which is signed, “Di Roma li 8 settembre 1606, Filippo Thomassino, Intagliatore Franzese”, but in the SE corner it has an endorsement “”Gionlacoma(?) Rossi formis Rome 1648 all Parc””.

It is actually a direct copy of the Paolo Forlani engraving dated 1/10/1569.



It would seem feasible that Claudio Duchetti the publisher in Venice 1565-1572 and subsequently in Rome either took with him copies of the engraving or sent to Venice for them. Thus in 1606 F Thomassino came across one of these copies and being an engraver no doubt thought to make an extra living, copied the Forlani engraving and actually endorsed it as his design. Read the cartouche carefully as it is rather sycophantic and takes more liberties with Forlani’s work. The differences are minute and it is nearly a 100% copy. It is without doubt a very good copy and I can only spot alterations such as the name Mare Germanico and the graticule line above “Moscovia” missing on the Forlani version has been drawn properly. I assume the new engraving plate was therefore available in Rome for it still to be printed in 1648. Thus from 1569 to 1648 this engraving has been selling in the market places of Rome.


The three Lopo Homem charts illustrated, two from the Miller Atlas and his 1554 Planisphere are discussed in an order which enables easier comparisons. Thus it is Sheet 11, Sheet10 and then the 1554 chart


The Miller Atlas is referenced, GE D-26179 (Res); GE DD-683 (2-5Res) and GE AA -640 (Res) and can be viewed in absolute clarity at ;

The second folio has the dedication above the Portuguese Arms, “Lupus Home cosmographus in clarissima Olisipone” and a date of 1519.


The sheet is a quadruple folded entity of artistic skill and cosmography. A joint effort by Lopo Homem and Antonio de Holanda it illustrates features found on Sheet 10 as will be discussed later, namely “Clima”. The Mediterranean Sea is a square chart with distance measures for the latitudes taken from the scale bar in the west. The actual Mediterranean Sea longitude is very slightly less than 45 degrees being just over 42 degrees latitudinal and that has impacted on the Black Sea position which is drawn longitudinally 14 degrees for an actual geographical 14 degrees longitude.


The chart is sub-divided by horizontal lines which represent “Clima”, but they are not named/numbered and from the scale bar are set at 33 ½, 39(Lisbon), 43 ½, 47 ¼, 50 ½, and 54 ½ degrees latitude. The texts running along the north and south edges of the sheet are meant to explain the raison d’être for these lines and are as follows;
the upper line reads;
the lower line reads;

The origin of “clima” is best traced via the work of Claudius Ptolemy who set down in his text “Geographike Hyphegesis” the “Clima” for each part of the known world by latitudinal divisions and the matching longest day hours split into ¼ hour segments.

But “Clima” is in fact a band of degrees which traverses the whole globe of 360 degrees and does not have a “Setentrionalis pars Orientalis” or Meredionalis pars Oriens” position unless the globe has been flattened out to a plain map format such that there is a NE and SE quotient. The NE portion of Sheet 11 contains the Volga River and Caspian Sea and that is portrayed upon the “Ptolemaic” map VII, Asia described in Book IX of his text. On that map we read “Decimusnon9 Paralellus Differ tab eqnocli hor 6 hns max die hor 18” and it is set at 58N. We also read; “Septimus Paralellus Difert hor 1 ½ ¼ hns maxim die che hor ½ ¼. But on Map IV, Libya, Book 4 we read “Septim parallel Differ tab eqnoli hor 1 ½ ¼ hns che max hor 13 ½ ¼” and it is part of Clima 3 at 30N and the Sinus Persicus which is in the SE corner of Sheet 11. The two Ptolemy maps are in the appendix.

Thus Sheet 11 commences at Clima 2, with the latitudinal degrees 30 to 33 1/4N geographical and then has Clima’s 3 to 7 and after Clima 7, 46-49N Ptolomaic reverts to Paralellus.

Lopo Homem has thus used the eastern extremity of his chart to illustrate the longest day on the 7th and 19th parallels by referring to the NE, Caspian Sea and SE, Persian Gulf and merely copied the Claudius Ptolemy hours for each.

The chart has obviously two longitudinal scales as is so very apparent from the actual drawing of the Atlantic Coast from Africa to the British Isles and then the enormous spread of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Verde, 17W, to Trinidad, 60W and then the oversized West Indies from 60W to 85W geographical. The three texts describe N America, “hanc regionem lusitanis” and “faunas ac satyrosis” “et montans”; then “mundus novus” and “brasilie”; finally “In ista aurillia4 castelle Regis Parte auri mineratia inveniuntur”.

Tribute must be paid to Antonio de Holanda for the enchanting scenes applied to the whole map making it a real feast for the eyes.



This planisphere has the Atlantic Coast of Europe/Africa from the British Isles to the Equator, includes the West Indies/S America and has two disjointed sections of N America.

There is a latitudinal scale in the Atlantic, reading from 4S to 64N and a vertical distance scale bar with 24 divisions stretching from 20 1/2N to 31N and thus each degree is 1 1/3rd units. The scale bar would thus appear to be either 67.66 Miliaria of 90 per degree; 56.39 Roman Miles of 75 per degrees, which is probably the measurement promulgated by Alfraganus and C Columbus.


The southernmost latitude noted is the Equator and thence there are 12 further latitudinal divisions with the Tropic of Cancer within “Clima Secundus”. The original Climates promulgated by Claudius Ptolemy are seven in number as follows;
1) 16 27’, Meroe Island, 13hours
2) 23 57’, Soene/Aswan, 13 1/2 hours
3) 30 22’, Lower Egypt, 14 hours
4) 36 00’, Rhodes, 14 ½ hours
5) 40 50’, Hellespont, 15 hours
6) 45 01’, Middle Black Sea, 15 ½ hours
7) 48 32’, Mouth of the Borysthenes River, 16 hours.

There then follows the parallels from 17 hours to 23 hours at hourly intervals.

If we study the Miller Atlas Sheet 10 it is possible to estimate the alignments that Lopo Homem was in fact indicating, some of which are obviously Portuguese.

5 45’   River Cess Tradetown Liberia
13 00’   Gambia River
13 28’
River Casamance
12 54’
20 30’   Cape Blanc Banc d’Arquin
20 10’
27 30’   Canary isles S of Gran Canaria
33 45’   Casablanca Casablanca
33 46’
39 00’   Lisbon Lisbon
38 42’
43 30′   La Corunna La Corunna
43 20’
47 15’   River Loire River Loire
50 30’   Le Havre Torquay
55 00’   Merseyside Solway firth
59 00’   Isle of Lewis or Cape Wrath

It should be noted that Denuce page 48 has a table of the seven “clima” with differing degrees for the alignments, but includes a matching parallel table, following the Ptolemaic pattern.



In comparison to the Miller Atlas this is a very simple planisphere drawn no doubt to show the extent of the known world, but for 1554 it is actually considerably out of date in the west and for the “Spice Islands” plot.

Lopo Homem has reverted to older world latitudinal divisions with the Zones of Temperature set between the Tropics and “Circles”. It is a square chart having Latitudes and Longitudes equal which can be confirmed by the use of the two scale bars split at the Equator. It is clearly meant to be a chart which identifies that the “Moluccas” are within the Portuguese “half” of the world and places the western line of demarcation in the mouth of the Amazon River, geographically 50W and the eastern line of demarcation is centered on the Korean Peninsula, 127E geographically and hence the overall measurement is intended to be 180 degrees.



This chart held in the BNF Paris, reference CPL GE CC-2719 (RES) has much in common with the Lopo Homem 1554 planisphere in that it portrays the known world similarly. However, in drawing a full 360 degree Equator, the two 180 degree lines are very differently drawn and thus I do not believe they actually indicate the same geography. The eastern edge is typical with geographical features appearing for Singapore to the Yellow Sea but unfortunately does not include the Korean Peninsula. However, the western edge is not capable of being joined to the eastern edge as the chart clearly indicates having “CATHAYA” and in the ocean, “Ynsula Siamagu” and south of that “Ynsulae Quedicun Turle quiosi”. The island of Nova Guinea is shown alongside this strange coastline and thus it is not of the latest data but probably an infill to provide the 180 degree alignment in the west.

It is possible that this chart has the western section drawn to a different scale but there are no features which could be used to measure any differences.

Regardless of these idiosyncrasies’ it is a tour de force being drawn on 10 sheets and finally being 150 x 194 cms in size making it one of the largest planispheres in existence. The line of demarcation is possibly the central point close by the Amazon Estuary and by virtue of placing Nova Guinea in the west, drawn rather strangely; the Moluccas in the east are within the Portuguese sphere of influence. The four cosmological circles which are Solar declinations on a perpetual calendar format with their decorated scale bars reading Leagues are situated at the extremities of the Wind Rose symmetrically placed about the centre with a cartouche at the southern central point containing explanatory text which begins;


The curiosity that this chart really shows is the probability the Andreas Homem was left handed as the SW corner attribution text slopes decidedly to the left and is written thus;

It is squeezed into the SE corner but the slope of the letters is completely un-necessary unless Andreas Homem is left handed.



They are, Map 7, Asia indicating the 19th parallel and Map 6, Asia, indicating the 7th parallel.