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DESCRIPTION: While some earlier scholars would have labeled these maps as a€?the epitome of medieval European cartographya€?, due to the very ecclesiastical form and content, they were, indeed, an exception in this perioda€™s mapmaking.
In his recent book, Body-Worlds, Opinicus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination, Karl Whittington writes that on the 31st of March, 1334, this Italian priest named Opinicus de Canistris fell sick. As mentioned above, Opicinusa€™ drawings survive in two manuscripts, both kept in the Vatican Library in Rome. There is no way of knowing how many other drawings Opicinus completed, and certainly no reason to believe that all or even a majority of his works have survived. Victoria Morsea€™s 1996 doctoral dissertation for the first time performed a large-scale study in order to demonstrate the logic of Opicinusa€™ works.
It was not unusual during the later Middle Ages to bring together the body and the earth in pictorial representations.
The relationship on the page between texts, diagrams, and pictures throughout Opicinusa€™ work is an especially important issue. According to Whittington the captions on most of the drawings seem to interact with them in the following way: Opicinus created the visual material first, usually to address a particular theological question or theme.
The elaborate, complex, and beautiful drawings that Opicinus created in the years following his illness and vision are the subject of this monograph. What we see, then, is an embodied map a€” a picture of the eartha€™s surface that is also a depiction of human bodies. Opicinusa€™ beliefs and hypotheses about the earthly, the heavenly, and the human are encoded in the very structures of his drawings. Over half of Opicinusa€™ 80 drawings in the Vaticanus and Palatinus manuscripts include at least part of a portolan chart. Opicinusa€™ body-maps are far more complicated than any of the examples above, and the question of what they mean is more difficult to answer. In a number of drawings, Opicinus used the most basic form of the body-worlds - presumably the one that he describes having received in his 1334 vision. As in all of Opicinusa€™ drawings of the body-worlds, each figure takes on a specific identity, though in this example these identities are complex. It seems most likely that the figure depicts a sort of hybrid a€” a personification of Christianity, with Christ at its head and its heart, surrounded by elements of the cosmic order.
Its chest is bare (we can see the cloak falling away from the shoulder on the northern coast of France), but the lower roundel covers the place where a breast is often revealed in Opicinusa€™ female European figures.
In three folios near the end of the Vaticanus manuscript, Opicinusa€™ cartographic drawings add one more layer of meaning on top of the basic arrangement outlined above: he superimposes a gridded local map of Pavia, his hometown, on top of a single portolan chart. According to Whittington the precise placement and scale of the two maps is certainly not accidental; the maps have been placed in a precise relation to one another in order to create and explain correspondences between them. In contrast to this relatively simple correspondence, another caption shows how complicated his spatial interpretations could become.
As a final word on this drawing, I want to return to one more visual feature: the form of the local city grid. In the two previous examples, Opicinus constructed a drawing using only one portolan chart; on fol.
This doubling and mirroring of the portolan chart served a specific purpose: as Victoria Morse has argued, it allowed Opicinus to contrast the world as it was seen and known with the possibility of an alternate world converted to a state of grace.
Each of the four land-figures bears an emblem on its chest a€” these signify the intention or motivation of each character. On the bottom half of the page, however, similar captions placed on the white chart actually point to cities on that chart, rather than on the one below.
Even after all of the figures in the drawing have been identified, its meaning remains elusive.
There is one caption on the page that offers a tantalizing comment on its form and content.
This quoted caption outlines the general principle that Opicinus follows in these drawings that employ mirroring or correspondence a€” that the multiplied forms are generators of multiple truths and realities. Many Vaticanus drawings contain more explicit imagery of birth and reproduction; metaphors of birth and rebirth seem to have been one of Opicinusa€™ primary ways of expressing the spiritual transformation that he underwent following his illness of 1334. The interest in the local ramifications of the pregnancy of the European figure is explored even more closely in two drawings in which Europe is actually pregnant with a tiny map a€” fols. DESCRIPTION: A good example of Protestant theologian Heinrich Buntinga€™s Europa, Europe as a Queen. To the extent that it is based on the portolan [nautical] chart tradition, there are rhumb-lines (thirty-two out of each of sixteen centers) and two unlabeled scales; also the map features shields and flags over Europe and kings in tents elsewhere. The language of the fifty-two legends, apart from the one in Latin on the Canaries, is Catalan. The oldest of the portolan charts to survive are of Italian origin, made at Genoa and Pisa; those dating from the latter half of the 14th century are mainly Catalan. Scarcely less valuable and certainly more interesting for the student of geographical theory, are the Catalan speculations concerning the unexplored territories of the earth. However, on one matter the mapmaker could hardly refrain from speculating, for this reason: land exploration had for a long time now outrun oceanic discovery, and so, concerning Africa, for example, much more was known of the Sudan by the end of the 14th century than was known of the oceanic fringe in the same latitudes. The shape of Africa on this map is unique, and it is much enlarged in relation to Europe and Asia. That the great western gulf reflects some knowledge of the Gulf of Guinea is more probable. Some surprise has been expressed that a map of 1450 should contain relatively up-to-date details coupled with antiquated ideas in other areas, and this has produced some rather involved explanations.
The merit of the Catalan cartographers lay in the skill with which they employed the best contemporary sources to modify the traditional world picture, rarely proceeding further than the evidence warranted.
In the case of the Catalan-Estense map, whose date was earlier conjectured to be 14th century, the determining area would appear to be the west coast of Africa. Further south, no discoveries are evident in the Gulf of Guinea later than a friara€™s journey, ca. A prominent feature of this map is the very long extension of the Gulf of Guinea eastwards, linked apparently by a river to the Indian Ocean, which is given a gulf south of the Horn of Africa. Africa contains half a dozen reigning monarchs, from Musamelli to Prester John, sitting in splendor in their royal tents. The course of the Atlas Mountains is very similar to that on the Catalan Atlas of 1375, even including a curved northern prong in the central area. With the development of Portuguese seafaring in the 15th century and the subsequent widening if the southern horizon, the a€?harmonizinga€™ problem became increasingly acute.
The circular Catalan-Estense map, measuring 113 cm in diameter, is very colorful with a large number of princes shown throughout Africa (where Prester John has been placed), 52 legends, castellated towns for major settlements, loxodromes, ships, mermaids, domesticated reindeer and horses. The northern portions of Asia and Europe on the Estense map, which lay outside the limits of the Catalan Atlas, significantly, contain very little detail. Recollections of medieval maps include the Earthly Paradise with Adam and Eve and the tree, here not in Mesopotamia but in Abyssinia, between the eastern branch of the Nile and the Red Sea, at a spring from which the four medieval rivers of Paradise flow. In the hinterland of Asia the most prominent feature is the Caspian Sea, orientated northwest-southeast as in the Topkapu Siray fragment, but similar in shape to Ptolemya€™s. The account of China is also derived from Marco Polo, who mentions charts and gives occasional bearings, and from whose voyages the map that existed in 1459 in the Palace of the Doges, Venice, was drawn.
To the generally good delineation of European coasts there are exceptions, especially in more northern areas. In the 14th century the Catalonia-Valencia-Majorca region was a flourishing center of trade and culture where Arab and Jewish elements blended with Christian culture. The far north in Europe and Asia is more frightening than Africa, showing a naked giant pursuing a fox, a nine-headed idol being adored by two worshippers, and a strange hanging head, which appears on several other 15th century world maps. The entire map has been shifted to the east in its circular frame, thus making more room in the Atlantic for its islands.
The combination of archaism and modernism is an outstanding characteristic of this map, and it is interesting to note that the cultured and humanistic Duke of Ferrara, Ercole da€™Este, the owner of this map, also had in his library a copy of Ptolemya€™s Geography, edited by Nicholas Germanus.
According to Chet Van Duzer, a legend that says that there are three types of sirens in the Indian Ocean on the Catalan Estense mappamundi.
Destombes, M., a€?Fragments of two Medieval world maps at the Topkapu Saray Library,a€? Imago Mundi 12 (1955), pp.
Stevenson, Edward Luther, Marine chart of Nicolo de Canerio Januensis, 1502 (circa) (New York: American Geographical Society and Hispanic Society of America, 1908). Andrews, Michael Corbet, a€?The boundary between England and Scotland in the portolan charts,a€? Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh, ser. Andrews, Michael Corbet, a€?The British Isles in the nautical charts of the XIVth and XVth centuries,a€? The Geographical Journal, London, LXVIII (1926), pp.
Crone, Gerald Roe, Maps and their makers, an introduction to the history of cartography (London: Hutchinsona€™s University Library, 1953), pp. Destombes, Marcel, a€?Fragments of two medieval world maps at the Top Kapu Saray Library,a€? Imago Mundi, XII (1955), p. Taylor, Eva Germaine Remington, a€?Pactolus, river of gold,a€? Scottish Geographical Magazine, Edinburgh, pp, 129-144.
Uzielli, Gustavo and Amat di Filippo, Pietro, Mappamondi, cartenautiche, portolani ed altre monumenti cartografici specialmente italiani dei secoli XIII-XVII, 2nd ed. Winter, Heinrich, a€?The changing face of Scandinavia and the Baltic in cartography up to 1522,a€? Imago Mundi, XII (1955), p. Located near the territory of Prester John between Nubia and the city of Arin [Civitasarim], the latter prominently marked and centrally placed in the Horn of Africa, not far from the Indian Ocean in which six islands of various sixes and colors are depicted. The circular Catalan-Estense map, measuring 113 cm in diameter, is very colorful with a large number of princes shown throughout Africa (where Prester John has been placed), 52 legends, castellated towns for major settlements, loxodromes, ships, mermaids, domesticated reindeer and horses.A A  Although almost a hundred years later, it is clearly related to the pivotal Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235). DESCRIPTION: Although few ancient Chinese maps are extant, it is evident from various descriptions in early geographical literature and Korean copies and imitations of old Chinese maps that the Terrestrial Continent was centered around China, encircled by a large ring of water quite similar to Homera€™s Oceanus, and further enclosed by an imaginary outer continent (#105, #254, #255, #256). The subject of this monograph is a map referred to as Yoktae chewang honil kangnido [Map of historical emperors and kings and of integrated borders and terrain], also known as the Honil kangni yoktae kukto chi to [Map of integrated regions and terrains and of historical countries and capitals], and hereafter will be simply referred to as the Kangnido. According to the preface found in China€™s Yangcha€™on chip, the map is a synthesis of two earlier Chinese maps, an early 14th century (~1330) map by Li Tse-min [Zemin] and another map from the late 14th century (~1370) by Cha€™ing Cha€™n [Qing Jun], both maps now lost however. The place to begin discussion of this very unusual map is with its preface, the crucial part of which is translated here from the text on the Ryukoku copy, with reference to the closely similar version in Cha€™A?an Chin's collected works, the Yangcha€™on chip. Takahashi Tadashi has shown that the Kangnidoa€™s Chinese transcriptions of place-names in southwest Asia, Africa, and Europe come from Persianized Arabic originals. The European part of the map, which is said to contain some 100 names, has not yet been the object of an individual study, and no details of this section of the Kangnido seem to have been published.
Cha€™A?an Chin observed in his preface that the Kuang yu ta€™u had only sketchy treatment of the area east of the Liao River and of Korea.
The last major element of the map to be supplied, as far as the Koreans were concerned, was Japan. It is generally assumed by Korean cartographical specialists that this map, brought back in 1401, was the basis for the representation of Japan on the Kangnido. The northeastern coast of Africa, as well as Arabia, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean Sea with Italy and Spain were, as a whole, known to the Chinese from the 12th century, either by description, or, in the case of the African and Arabian coasts, from their own experience. Prior to the Age of Great Discoveries, the African world below the Sahara, by all indications, was essentially an enigma to geographers in Europe. From the other side, the Arabs undoubtedly possessed considerable advantages that enabled them to venture across the dry lands and beyond. While numerous places in North Africa were mentioned by Chinese authors of the 8th and 9th centuries, it is more difficult to establish a clear milestone for the advance of Chinaa€™s knowledge concerning tropical Africa. Returning to Cha€™A?an Chin and Li Huia€™s map, the delineation of the southern half of Africa is of particular interest.
The fact that the names of the Chinese cities on China€™s map are all the same as on the maps from 1320, further substantiates that the basic content of the map, as a whole, must date back to the famous Chinese cartographer Chu Ssu-pena€™s own time.
Whatever the emphasis of the cartographer, rivers as a rule, were the most prominent landmarks in every Chinese map; and for the inland areas (central Asia especially) China€™s map is a good example of the Korean conformity to Chinese tradition, and we see the magnitude of rivers and other water bodies greatly exaggerated. Another contributing factor in the mapa€™s remarkable knowledge of the West is that which was obtained as a result of the near conquest of the entire known [inhabited] world, or oikoumene, by the Mongols during the 13th century. The overall disposition and bulk of the different components of the Kangnido at first make an odd appearance. Little is known about how the Kangnido came to Japan, but it probably arrived there independently on three separate occasions. The graphic above illustrates a proposed hypothetical development or a€?transitiona€? of the Korean world map, beginning with the Kangnido of 1402 through to the Cha€™onhado [map of all under heaven] in the 16th century (see #231).
This information permits the conclusion that the Kangnido was probably often copied in Korea during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Thus Japan is righted and put in its proper place, the respective masses of Korea, China, and Africa are brought into more accurate relation, and England and Scandinavia emerge from Europe. Movable type printing with cast metal movable type, which Korea had pioneered among the East Asian nations in 1242, underwent considerable development and refinement under the 15th century kings; by the time Gutenberg perfected his press in 1454, hundreds of editions of books in Chinese and several in Korean had been printed in Korea with movable type. The spirit that animated all of these projects, and that marks the 15th century as perhaps Koreaa€™s greatest, was both national and international in character, and showed a high degree of independent thinking. In addition to practical administrative concerns, mapmaking served to strengthen the national prestige and royal power. The Honil kangni yoktae kukto chi to [Map of Integrated Lands and Regions of Historical Countries and Capitals, short name Kangnido] is a world map that was made in Korea in 1402, the second year of the reign of Taejong of Joseon. It is the second oldest surviving world map from East Asia, after the similar Chinese Da Ming Hun Yi Tu, part of a tradition begun in the 1320s when geographical information about western countries became available via Islamic geographers in the Mongol empire.
Chin had returned from a trip to China in the summer of 1399, probably bringing the two Chinese maps with him, and both ministers had just completed reporting on land surveys of Koreaa€™s northern frontiers to the royal court. In the fourth year of the Jianwen era (1402), Gim Sahyeong and Yi Mu, and later Li Hui, analyzed the two Chinese maps and combined these two maps into a single map. The map depicts the general form of the Old World, from Africa and Europe in the west to Japan in the east although the western portion is much smaller than its actual size. Place names based on traditional Chinese knowledge and Islamic knowledge coexist separately. Chinese Exploration: Some have used this map as evidence of early global exploration by China.
It is one of the oldest surviving world maps from East Asia although the exact date of creation remains unknown.
The place names of China on the map reflect the political situation in 1389, or the 22nd year of the reign of the Hongwu Emperor. Relationship to other maps: Maps had for centuries played an important role in the government of such a vast country, and surviving examples on stone dating from AD 1137 (Book II, #218) but based on much earlier surveys, show great accuracy, using a grid system. By the early years of the 14th century, when Mongol domination over much of Eurasia created favorable conditions for east-west communication, Islamic maps of Europe and Africa had found their way to China, encouraging Chinese cartographers to create world maps incorporating the new information. Scholars consider that the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu was ultimately based on a world map named Shengjiao Guangbei Tu (e???•™a»?e?«a?–). Compared to the Kangnido, the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu provides more detailed information on Mongolia and Central Asia and India. It replicates the curvature of the Earth by compression of areas furthest away from China (most obviously the extreme horizontal squeeze of Europe), their reduced size making both a geographical and a political statement. The European coverage goes only as far as the new portolan mapping, showing the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas. Hunyi jiangli lidai guodu zhi tu[General map of the distances and the historic capitals]: Honkoo-ji Tokiwa Museum of Historical Materials, Shimabara, Nagasaki prefecture. Chinaa€™s towns and cities, its river systems, and the Great Wall are all shown on the map. Cha€™A?ana€™s own role was probably important, even though he insists that he only stood in the background and a€?enjoyably watched the making of the map.a€? But he was being modest and tactful, since he was younger in age and junior in rank to the two ministers.
A A A  The European part of the map, which is said to contain some 100 names, has not yet been the object of an individual study, and no details of this section of the Kangnido seem to have been published.
Opicinus was a minor functionary and scribe at the papal court, which had moved to Avignon some thirty years earlier, and luckily for us he kept a kind of day-book that still survives. Numerous scholars such as Camille, Kris and Salomon point to Opicinusa€™ a€?frequenta€? self-representation in the drawings. Medieval mappaemundi often organized the land-forms of the earth around the shape of a crucifix (sometimes even a cruciform body), medieval astrological drawings commonly showed human figures at the center of cosmic and planetary networks, and the concepts of macrocosm and microcosm had been fully developed for a millennium. It is possible, and productive, to partially separate Opicinusa€™ texts from his diagrams and pictures, especially those that represent his body-worlds vision. Opicinusa€™ works present a conundrum when it comes to audience and reception, since there is no textual or visual evidence that anyone ever actually saw the drawings.
Their unusual forms complicate our most basic assumptions about what and how medieval artists could represent.
These structures form the core of the drawingsa€™ disorientation and strangeness a€” maps are piled on top of other maps, sometimes transparent and sometimes opaque, in a seemingly endless play of permeability and superimposition. Some drawings contain one chart, others up to four; sometimes the continents and seas are embodied, while other times they are left plain.
His drawings are so diverse and disorienting that generalizations about their design or meaning are difficult and often misleading. These drawings depict a single Africa and a single Europe, separated by the Mediterranean Sea.
The figure of Africa appears to be a woman; she is labeled Babilon maledicta [cursed Babylon] by the small caption above her forehead.
Captions suggest various identities: Christ, Opicinus, and a female personification of prudence are all indicated. The face is smooth and beardless (many male figures in Opicinusa€™ work wear beards), and has long, flowing hair. According to Whittington it is mainly a confrontation between two figures: a figure of Babylon (probably representing Islam) and a figure of Christianity. This interplay between the local and the global is not unusual within Opicinusa€™ texts and captions on other drawings, which often comment on the everyday world of his youth and family (we must remember that he made these drawings in Avignon, not Pavia), but the specific visual alignment of parts of Pavia with parts of the Mediterranean region is unique in these three drawings. In the bottom right corner of the page is a caption that reads, a€?Just as the islands of purgatory pay a tax to the Roman Church, so too the Chapel of St. Opicinus seems to say that when any two maps are placed in relation to each other, if they are true empirical representations of Goda€™s created earth, one will find correspondences between them. One interprets the significance of the placement of Opicinusa€™ home parish district, around the Chapel of Saint Mary, delineated with a red outline near Tunisia and Sicily on the lower map. 84v each part of Opicinusa€™ hometown is given multiple interpretations, usually based on its placement on the portolan chart, but other times simply based on etymological connections, family stories, dreams, or coincidence.
Certainly the drawing contains multiple levels of reality: it is an allegorical depiction of three body-world characters in contact and dialogue, a depiction of the structural connections between local and regional realities, and a series of interpretive musings about the significance of these connections for Opicinusa€™ own life and family. As the reader may already have noticed, this grid strongly evokes the rhumb-line grids that were placed over contemporary portolan charts.
61r he uses the skeletons of two portolan charts of the Mediterranean region, which have been rotated and overlapped to form one image.
61r, parts of each of the charts remain intact, while others are distorted or hidden by the overlapping forms.
In this particular example, the map shows the natural world at the bottom and the spiritual world at the top: labels on the drawing indicate that Affrica naturalis ypocrita and Europa naturalis occupy the continents of the smaller chart while Affrica spiritualis and Europa spiritualis talk to each other in the larger chart above. Europa naturalis bears a tarasque (a river demon from the Rhone) and Europa spiritualis contains an image of Christ showing his wounds, his side-wound situated suggestively close to Avignon, where Opicinus was living when he made the drawing. The message itself is simple enough: one must abandon the external senses that lead to sin in order to follow the internal senses to redemption. 58r of the Vaticanus Opicinus combines four small embodied portolan charts to create juxtapositions between the four seasons, the four cardinal directions, and the four states of the soul. 82r, we see many of the principles and techniques of the other drawings pushed to the limits of recognition and interpretability.
On its surface lie two complete portolan outlines that retain the white color of the paper. On the upper half of the page, the brown labels all point out the location of cities on the colored chart, even though all lie on the space of the white chart; they indicate the continued presence of the map below, even when it is obscured by the upper chart. At the precise center of the drawing, a cruciform shape is formed by the two mirrored shapes of Asia Minor and the Holy Land; Asia Minor forms the two arms, and the land below forms the body of a cruciform vestment. While other drawings seem designed to convey a single allegory or a primary confrontation between figures (which are often reinforced by the particular cartographic forms that Opicinus chose for the drawing), this drawing resists this type of analysis. According to the letter, this is a heretical position, since one species cannot be transformed into another. 84v, there are several depictions (or suggestions) of male genitalia in the Vaticanus manuscript, each of which is unique. 1350), a Pavian who worked at the papal court in Avignon, drew a series of imaginative maps, while acknowledging in a text written between 1334 and 1338 his use of nautical charts. Unlike many medieval scholars the draftsmen of Majorca showed a praiseworthy restraint in this respect. The earlier draftsmen insisted upon cutting the continent short just beyond the limit of coastal knowledge, that is, in the vicinity of Cape Bojador. Below the Gulf of Guinea, which nearly cuts the continent in two, is a large crescent-shaped appendage extending to the east and forming a southern shore for the Indian Ocean.
The continent ends in a great arc, conforming to the circular frame of the map, and extending eastwards to form the southern boundary of the Indian Ocean.
The design of the northern half of the continent in general resembles that of the other Catalan charts, but the northwestern coast embodies some details of contemporary Portuguese voyages as far as C.
Taking into consideration the lack of details and names in the southern regions of Africa, we may plausibly conjecture that, as an exception to the usual conservatism, the draftsman, in Africa at least, had removed all the detail for which he had no evidence, to obtain a framework on which to insert the latest Portuguese discoveries. In the same spirit they removed from the map most of the traditional fables which had been accepted for centuries, and preferred, for example, to omit the northern and southern regions entirely, or to leave southern Africa a blank rather than to fill it with the Anthropagi and other monsters which adorn so many medieval maps. The map names Cape Verde, which was discovered by Dias in 1444 and whose first recorded mapping is by Andrea Bianco in 1448 (#241).
1350, recorded in a book called Libro del conoscimiento de todos los reynos y tierras [Book of knowledge of all kingdoms and lands]. A waterway linking east and west Africa is reminiscent of the tradition going back to Crates of Mallos (168 BC, Book I, #113) and Macrobius (AD 400, Book II, #201), according to whom northern and southern Africa were separated near the equator by a body of water. The mapmaker omits the usual array of monsters in Africa, and the only animal depicted is a camel with a rider, sedately proceeding along the caravan route to the sea. The continent widens out again enormously, and the peninsula presents a curved south coast roughly parallel to a surrounding sea.
Kimble calls a€?harmonizinga€™ established facts with long-held a€?traditionsa€™; a practice which became very popular from the 14th century onwards. On the southern coastline of Asia there are some differences, generally slight, between the two maps. A legend of the Genoese world map of 1457 (#248) in the Central National Library of Florence (Port.
Southern Asia, separated from Africa by a Red Sea colored red, has a flattened and too northerly coastline.
This refers not to Sri Lanka which appears as Silan (so is not the Ptolemy Taprobane) but to Sumatra, called by the Genoese world map of 1457 Taprobane and Ciamutera and by Fra Mauro Siomatra or Taprobana. The Catalan Atlas of 1375 is the earliest still surviving to incorporate material from Marco Poloa€™s text.
Britain, as in many medieval maps, is shown split in two, or almost so, by a stretch of water, which may or may not reach the east coast between Scardenburgh [Scarborough] and Bernie [Berwick]. Countless maps by this cartographic school have survived, including the Estense world map featuring characteristics typical of portolans - rhumb lines, and flags and coats of arms to identify kingdoms and cities - but not obviously this map was made a€‹a€‹as a navigation aid. On the edge of the Gulf of Guinea, a river or strait connects the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans and an enormous land mass emerge to fill the base of the map.
As mentioned above, Jerusalem is not in the center and has no city vignette; it is simply marked San Sepulera and located on the River Jordan. Circular in shape, with different religious and legendary motifs along with certain Arab influence, it retains the rigor of portolans. The three types of sirens are half-woman half-fish, half-woman half-bird, and half-woman half-horse, and all three types of sirens are depicted below. Heinrich, a€?Die katalanische Weltkarte der Biblioteca Estense zu Modena,a€? Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fA?r Erdkunde zu Berlin, Berlin, XXXII (1897), pp. Heinrich, a€?Die katalanische Weltkarte der Biblioteca Estense zu Modena,a€? Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fA?r Erdkunde zu Berlin, Berlin, XXXII (1897), no. This resemblance in the content of the two maps strengthens the contention that the latter was derived from a circular prototype.
This map of the world was made in Korea in 1402, the second year of the reign of Taejong of Joseon. Li Tse-min, of whom we know nothing save that he flourished around 1330, produced a ShA?ng-chiao kuang-pei ta€™u [Map for the Diffusion of Instruction].
We do not know how many tens of millions of li there are from China in the center to the four seas at the outer limits, but in compressing and mapping it on a folio sheet several feet in size, it is indeed difficult to achieve precision; that is why [the results of] the mapmakers have generally been either too diffuse or too abbreviated.
But the real cartographer, even though Cha€™A?an minimizes his role, was Li Hui, whose entire career was in rather low-ranking but often special positions. While some of Takahashia€™s matches do not command credence in early-modern Chinese phonological terms, he generally makes a convincing case. The Mediterranean is clearly recognizable, as are the Iberian and Italian peninsulas and the Adriatic, but until the place-names can be read and interpreted it will be impossible to come to any firm understanding of it.
His language suggests that some image of Korea, however deficient, was on the original Kuang yu ta€™u (#227) and that this was supplemented or replaced by Li Hui. At this particular moment in time, Koreaa€™s relations with the Japanese were very difficult owing to the continuing problem of Japanese marauders, who were beyond the ability of the Ashikaga Shogunate to control. As maps of Japan go in this period, the outline on this one is unusually good: the positioning of Kyushu with respect to Honshu is quite accurate, and the bend north of the Kanto area is indicated better than on many of the Gyoki - style maps then current. Aside from the effect of the inhospitable barriers surrounding the region, two great retarding factors that hindered the Europeans from crossing the immense waste, or from sailing into the tropical waters, was their belief in the Ocean of Darkness [Atlantic] and the fear of extreme heat on land and in the water further south.
The earliest Chinese reference to North Africa can be found in the Ching-hsing-chi [An Account of Travels and Experiences], written by Ta Huan in 762 A.D.
In the first place, the shape of the continent, which is basically triangular, and its general orientation, south, are clearly recognizable. However, the Kangnido map of the world presents a totally different emphasis from that of Chu Ssu-pen.
Similarly along the coast from China to Africa, major rivers such as the Red, Mekong, Menam, Salween, Ganges, Indus, Tigris, and Euphrates are laid out in an unmistakable sequence in order to bring forth the locations of the many states and cities between them.a€?The treatment of the western regions is also very interesting in that it includes about 100 place-names for Europe and about 35 for Africa (unfortunately, though, it has not been possible for scholars to identify many of them). And a final point of interest concerning this remarkable map is that it could not possibly have benefited from the information which the Chinese explorer Cheng Ho certainly had brought back five years later concerning the peninsularity of India. On the one hand, there is nothing formulaic or mandated about its structure, such as the traditional European T-in-O scheme, or the wheel arrangement of the quasi-cosmographic cha€™onhado of later Korean popularity (see #231). China and India, like a monstrous cell that had not yet divided, make up a dominating mass that overfills the entire center of the map.
A map whose composition was guided by the nation's top educator and Confucian ideologist, and presided over by two ministers of state, was surely destined for display in a prominent, central place in the capital.
Both the Ryukoku and Honmyo-ji copies were evidently part of the loot from Hideyoshia€™s invasion of Korea (1592-1598).
However, there are some scholars that will argue that this illustration should be reversed and that the Cha€™onhado design preceded the Kangnido world concept, at least in China. But the map as a whole, and particularly its treatment of India and Africa, strongly evokes the Kangnido.
Finally, King Sejong in 1443 invented the Korean alphabet, an amazingly original and scientific system which still serves as the writing system of Korea and which is the only indigenous alphabetic system in use among the East Asian countries. Koreans did not merely copy the Chinese culture they imported, but recast and it into forms and institutions that were distinctively different from Chinaa€™s. At this time, Joseon needed comprehensive maps for the reform of administrative districts and a move of the capital.
It depicts the general form of the Old World, from Africa and Europe in the west to Japan in the east.
The map currently in RyA«koku University (hereafter referred to as the RyA«koku map) has gathered scholarly attention since the early 20th century.
Since Li Zemina€™s map had problems, they added the enlarged Korea, and also appended a map of Japan. It contains the cartographic knowledge of Afro-Eurasia that cannot be found in the east in the pre-Mongol period. These areas are depicted in great detail while place names are sparsely distributed in northwestern Eurasia. The knowledge of the contour of Africa predates the European explorations of Vasco da Gama.
China began to explore the territories to the west from the embassy of Zhang Qian in 126 B.C. The original text was written in classical Chinese, but Manchu labels were later superimposed on them. It depicts the general form of the Old World, placing China in the center and stretching northward to Mongolia, southward to Java, eastward to central Japan, and westward to Africa and Europe. Japanese scholar Miya Noriko speculated on the motivation behind it: Although the Hongwu Emperor, first of the Ming dynasty, drove the Mongol Yuan Dynasty out of China in 1368, Mongols maintained military power that posed a real threat to the new dynasty. By then the Chinese had also developed the magnetic compass, and in the 13th century western versions of that device allowed European cartography, almost abandoned after the fall of the western Roman Empire, to catch up with Chinese standards of accuracy. In Manchuria, Changbai Mountain, where the foundation myth of the Manchu Aisin Gioro imperial family was set, is overly portrayed.
Outside China, sub-Saharan Africa is depicted in a good approximation of the correct shape, complete with mountains near the southern tip. Unlike the African lake, those seas are not shaded with wave symbols, and nor is the nearby Caspian Sea, mapped in Islamic style with two islands, suggesting that the whole area is based on a single Islamic map. In a passage that describes what sounds like a stroke, Opicinus details how his body slowly became paralyzed; he temporarily lost his ability to speak, and much of his memory. Opicinus almost always dated the Vaticanus drawings, which were composed between June and November of 1337. The passage describes a visionary experience: through oculus meis interioribus, Opicinus is granted a new view of the earth, one in which the land and the sea take on human attributes.
Most examples, however, lie in the realm of the theoretical, the academic, or the theological. A significant problem with many previous studies of Opicinusa€™ drawings is that they take a few lines of text, from folios of the Palatinus, or from distant pages of text in the Vaticanus, and use them to a€?explaina€? the content of Opicinusa€™ strangest imagery.
The captions (and some of the texts), then, are often the evidence of Opicinusa€™ self-analysis a€” he uses himself as a case study, personalizing the drawings through the text. Simply put, we do not know if they were ever viewed as more than a curiosity by those who encountered them. Visual parallels to these drawings certainly exist: body-maps have been produced in numerous periods, including such famous examples as the Ebstorf Map (#224, Book II, a medieval world map that placed Christa€™s body in the corners of the earth), the Leo Belgicus (a map of the Netherlands and Belgium formed into the shape of a lion, the earliest example of which dates from 1583), or the Europa Regina, a depiction of Europe as a royal female (see below).
In these drawings, Opicinus was not trying to express a single concept or doctrine, but rather to visualize the possibilities raised by an entire new way of looking at the world, based on what he had seen during his visionary experience of 1334.
The varied formats of these diagrams cannot be taken for granted a€” their arrangements form a crucial and underexplored aspect of their meaning. But looking at them as a group, perhaps the first thing one notices is that the map itself is incredibly accurate. The drawings in this first a€?categorya€? are not all alike, and there is no evidence that Opicinus thought of them as a group, but finding language to describe and categorize their forms is a critical first step in their interpretation.


This folio includes a cartographic picture in the upper two-thirds of the page, and text at the bottom. She is a rare example of a figure with a distinct racial identity: Opicinus darkened her skin with a grey-brown wash, in a clear reference to an African or Middle-Eastern skin tone. One could even identify Europe in this drawing as a kind of conglomerate figure of Christianity. The strongest indicator that the figure is female is the small child lying over Lombardy a€” the area always associated with the womb of the European figure. The simplicity of this contrast stands out despite the extensive texts and interpretations written around it. Binary themes in similar drawings include a contrast between the mouth of hell and the temple of the Lord (fol. Opicinus played with this arrangement differently in each of the three drawings, changing the scales and position of the two maps, presumably seeking different correspondences. On the page we see the body-worlds with which we are now familiar: here, a female Europe confronts a female Africa, and the Mediterranean devil lies between them, his head to the east. 84r, in which the scale of the portolan chart is completely different (much smaller in comparison to the grid of Pavia); here, Opicinus identifies different correspondences and comes to different conclusions as a result of the change in scale. Yet the drawing is all about experimentation, layering, and play; to claim that creating or interpreting a drawing like this is a burden or struggle may be a modern misperception. But Opicinus piles on meanings, multiplies forms, and plays with realities seemingly as a form of experimentation. The grid may offer a clue to Opicinusa€™ working process, or the way he was inspired to create these drawings. Each of the two charts is rendered in a different scale, with a larger one oriented toward the top of the page and a smaller one pointed toward the bottom. On each map, the western Mediterranean retains its integrity a€” France, Spain, and the northwestern coast of Africa are clearly visible both at the top and the bottom of the page. In the Italian peninsula of the upper map, for example, which is overlapped by the eastern Mediterranean of the lower map, we see the word Roma written over the sea (on the sea-mana€™s forehead), signaling where the city would have been on the map below. Both figures of the a€?natural worlda€? are male (a bearded, older figure in Europe and a tonsured monk in Africa), while both of the a€?spirituala€? figures are female (Africa is a robed nun and Europe is a younger woman with long, flowing hair).
The question, just as in the previous examples, is how its meaning is changed, activated, complicated, or simplified by its construction within the doubled and overlapped forms of the portolan charts.
Within the drawing, small lines suggest points of correspondence between elements in each of the four quadrants.
The three previous drawings were characteristic of a particular type; in contrast, this drawing is unique in Opicinusa€™ oeuvre. At the top of the page are two labels for Europe and Africa: Europe is the aduena rector novus, the strange new priest, and Africa is the parrochia aliena, the parish of another. This is labeled in a caption on the right side of the page, which reads a€?behold the vestment of the Church soaked in blood.a€? Opicinus accentuated the form of the vestment by adding a small cutout for the neck. The longer captions on this folio do not always contain a single focus, and many make no comment at all on the drawing. But spiritually there is truth in this mirror [i.e., in this drawing], since no heresy, fiction or allegory can be found that in this mirror does not give birth, at least in part, to a certain truth? Here, Opicinus seems to say that men do not transition literally into angels of light or darkness a€” the figures of the priest and parish at the top of the page do not actually become the figures at the bottom of the page.
Even as Opicinusa€™ drawings make use of the natural world and empirical science, the arrangement of their forms expresses the detachment from reality that characterizes a dream. At first, we would not identify these as genitalia a€” they are simply two small, robed bodies that stand within the genital region of the European body. Four of these drawings depict the body-worlds, and the reproduction always takes place within the body of the European figure. In each of these drawings, Opicinus drew a small copy of the body-worlds over the area of Lombardy, even extending it slightly into the sea near Genoa. The map aims at covering all the lands of the Old World, but including the whole of Africa.
Textually comparable are the legends on the Catalan map at the Central National Library, Florence Port. It is more than that; for while the latter is essentially a sailing guide concerned with coastwise navigation, the Catalan map is really a world map built up around the portolan chart. Thus we may look almost in vain for those fanciful creatures with which the cosmographers of that age filled their empty continents. A thin canal across its narrow waist implies a passage between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. On the west, a long narrow gulf from the circumfluent ocean almost severs this southerly projection from northern Africa.
It must remain debatable whether the outline of the southern extremity represents some knowledge of the Cape. Though drawings of men and animals still figure on their works they are in the main those for which there was some contemporary, or nearly contemporary, warrant; for example, Mansa Musa, the lord of Guinea, whose pilgrimage to Mecca created a sensation in 1324, or Olub bein, the ruler of the Tatars. The Cape Verde islands, which although discovered in 1444 also appear cartographically in Benincasaa€™s map of 1468, are not featured on the Catalan-Estense map.
Nevertheless it is interesting that his islands Gropis and Quible reappear on the Catalan-Estense map in the west-east order of the friara€™s navigation (the cartographer does not change the order to east-west as Kimble implies). South of the narrowest point, rather irrelevantly, is a legend which may be translated: Africa begins at the R. The Saharan cities that appeared on the Catalan Atlas also appear here; among them are Siguilmese, Tenduch, Tagort, Buda, and Melli. 1) tells us that some have put Paradise in this part of Africa, while others have said it is beyond India. The description of its alleged cannibals comes from Marco Polo (III,10), as does the similar description of Java, here named as Jana. The Catalan-Estense map not only incorporates no new material, but some omission and corruption have occurred. One may wonder if this originated as a misunderstanding of Hadriana€™s Wall or of a line of hills, for example the Cheviots. It can be considered to be a paradigm of the artista€™s technique, logical extensions of historical vision extending beyond the Mediterranean to the frontiers of the known world.
Stylistically speaking, the most noteworthy characteristic of the Catalan school is the series of portraits of the lords of the desert in their tents, some of whom are actual sultans and others legendary figures.
Other than the coastal cities, only the Dead Sea (Mar Gomora), Judea, and the Jordan are mentioned. Next to the Canaries, a long Latin text, drawn from Isidore and the voyage of Saint Brendan, describes the Fortunate Islands of antique fame.
The duke owned a copy of Mandevillea€™s Travels as well, which he must have treasured, as there survives a letter he wrote demanding its return from a borrower.
The half-woman half-fish siren holds a mirror, symbolically indicating beauty but also vanity. On the contrary with real but heedless enthusiasm they set about the task of pouring the new wine into the old skins, an occupation offering more and more difficulties as exploration extended the known world. The nomenclature and the numerous legends on the Catalan-Estense, mostly in Catalan with a few in corrupt Latin, are often very similar to those of the 1375 Atlas.
It easily predates any world map known from either China or Japan and is therefore the oldest such work surviving in the East Asian cartographical tradition, and the only one prior to the Ricci world maps of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The map by the Tiantai monk Cha€™ing ChA?n (1328-1392) must have been made some forty or fifty years later; it was called Hun-i chiang-li ta€™u [Map of the Territories of the One World]. His map of Korea, which was separately known, was almost certainly the basis for the Korean part of the world map. One of the more interesting correspondences is the name placed by the mountains near the Ptolemaic twin lakes that are the source of the Nile. Li is known to have produced a map of Korea, called the Pa€™altodo, [Map of the Eight Provinces], and it was probably a version of this that appears today on the Kangnido. Diplomatic initiatives were in progress, and coastal defenses and strategies were undergoing constant development.
But for the joining of Shikoku to Honshu, the three main islands (adding Kyushu; Hokkaido, of course, not included at that time) make a very decent appearance. As a matter of fact, the first terrestrial globe ever manufactured in China (1267) owes its existence to the Arabic scholar Djamal-ud-Din.
In spite of the dangers, real and imagined, adventurers from the Greco-Roman days down to the time of Henry the Navigator persisted in probing the unknown beyond the Canaries, some passing by Cape Verde and others reaching as far as the coast of Sierre Leone.
As the map title suggests, it aims at showing the locations of a€?all the countries and major cities in history in a comprehensive coveragea€?.
For those areas that are identifiable, in the northern part of Africa the Sahara is colored in black, like the Gobi in so many Chinese maps (including the famous Kuang Yu Ta€™u, #227), and the position of Alexandria is indicated by the placement of a prominent pagoda-like object representing the famous Pharos. Only in a subsequent version of about 1580 (in the Imperial Palace at Peking) is India shown as a pronounced, separate peninsula between southeast Asia and Africa. The attempt here was to study the best maps available in China, Korea, and Japan, and put together a comprehensive, indeed a€?integrateda€? [honil], map that included every known part of the world, truly a breathtaking objective by the cartographic standards of any nation at that time.
It was probably on a screen or a wall in some important palace building frequented by the king and senior officials. The Ryukoku map was reportedly given by Hideyoshi to the Honganji, an important Buddhist temple in Kyoto. According to Korean historian Gari Ledyard the key element in this proposed hypothetical development is the Arabian peninsula, which with the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea forms a peninsula between the two rivers on the Cha€™onhado.
It also seems conceivable that it is reflected in an interesting map entitled Yoji chondo (Yeoji jeondo) [the Complete Terrestrial Map], dated about 1775 (illustrated below). This is good evidence that the Kangnido tradition was not broken by the Hideyoshi wars, but stayed alive in Korea for two more centuries. It is similar to the 15th century Kangnido in general structure: large Asia, small Africa and Europe, undefined India. 1419-1450) and his son King Sejo (r.1455-1468) extended Korean cartographical foundations by standardizing linear measurement and assembling detailed distance data between Seoul and the approximately 335 districts of the country. The Kangnido is a perfect example of this process: China, either as originator or transmitter, provided Korea with most of the materials for the map, but the transformation and processing of those materials into a genuine world map was conceived and executed in Korea. It was also pursuing a restoration of its northern border and relocation of its population, as well as responding to coastal raids by Japanese pirates.
Although, overall, it is less geographically accurate than its Chinese cousin, most obviously in the depiction of rivers and small islands, it does feature some improvements (particularly the depictions of Korea and Japan, and a less cramped version of Africa). The other map is the Tenri map, located in Tenri University and is called by a similar name (a¤§??Za?‹a?–).
Li Hui supplemented many gaps and omissions on Li Zemina€™s map with Koreaa€™s own map, and added a map of Japan, making an entirely new map. Place names presented on the map suggest that the western portion of the map reflects roughly the situation of the early 14th century. Names based on the former were placed to the north and east of Besh Baliq even if they are actually located to the west. They correspond to the territories of Ilkhanate and the rival Golden Horde respectively, reinforcing Ilkhanate as the main source of information. In particular, the southern tip of Africa is quite clearly depicted, as well as a river that may correspond to the Orange River in Southern Africa.
The map was created in China sometime during the Ming Dynasty and handed over to the new rulers of China, the Manchus. Others maintain a cautious attitude, suggesting that what was revised in 1389 is probably a source map of the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu and that the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu itself was created much later. The situation was changed in 1388 when Uskhal Khan of Northern Yuan was killed and the Khubilaid line of succession was terminated.
Other extant maps considered to be based on Lia€™s map are some copies of the Kangnido (1402) and a pair of maps named Dongnan Haiyi Tu (??±a?—?µ·a¤·a?–) and Xinan Haiyi Tu (e??a?—?µ·a¤·a?–), which is recorded in the Kuang Yu Tu (a»?e?‡a?–)(1555) by Luo Hongxian (#227). It presents India as a peninsula while it sinks into the a€?Chinese continenta€? on the Kangnido.
The use of color is particularly effective within China itself, including elegant touches like the ochre tint of the Huang He [Yellow River]. The interior of the continent is extraordinary: a river with twin sources (the common depiction in Classical and Islamic maps of the Nile) starts in the south of the continent, but enters the Red Sea, while the Nile, contrary to the information in non-Chinese maps of the era (though in conformity with a reported Arab geographical legend that farther south from the Sahara Desert is a great lake, far greater than the Caspian Sea) has its source in a vast inland sea.
The original text was written in Classical Chinese, but Manchu labels were later superimposed on them.
He returned to these folios frequently in the years that followed a€” many include changes, graphic additions, or new captions, which he dated individually (we find dates from the years 1338-1341, especially). Morsea€™s other crucial innovation, in addition to asserting the rational and intentional basis of Opicinusa€™ thought, was to place the Vaticanus manuscript at the heart of her research. Salomon and others characterize the themes of the Vaticanus manuscript as just an extension of those in the Palatinus. The shapes of Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea each contain (or form) a human figure; these are the forms that Whittington calls a€?body-worlds,a€? and they constitute Opicinusa€™ most original and perplexing contribution to 14th century visual culture. One of the things that makes Opicinusa€™ drawings so unusual is that they also incorporate a visual tradition that was practical, empirical, and scientific a€” medieval sea charts, usually called portolan charts. He often kept adding to the drawings over many years, including new details or textual explanations, and dating them to a specific day.
As mentioned above, it seems possible that the Vaticanus was never meant to be viewed by others; much of it is arranged chronologically (like a diary), rather than thematically, and the subject matter of the texts and images suggests a private function. The meaning of such imagery obviously depends on context, but these diverse examples demonstrate how a land, country, or region has often been embodied within a human figure, to show the potential power of that space, or even the dominion of a figure over it. The images of Africa and Europe as human figures were the core of this experience, but the interpretation of the vision was left up to him. According to Whittington the formats of Opicinusa€™ body-world drawings can be grouped into four categories: (1) single portolan charts, (2) portolan charts overlapping with local maps, (3) multiple portolan charts overlapping with each other, and (4) multiple, mirrored portolan charts.
The coastlines of the Mediterranean and the relative scale and position of the landforms are almost exactly the same as we know them to be today.
The figure appears to be bare-chested, although no breasts are visible (perhaps they are covered by her long hair).
But the label above the head of the figure seems to identify it as Opicinus assuming the identity of a€?the house of God.a€? Another caption in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of France labels the figure as an Ymago Prudentie.
The fact that the face is labeled as Christa€™s would indicate on the surface that the figure is male. Yet beyond the basic characters and the captions, the drawinga€™s meaning is clearly activated or shifted by the placement of the two personifications within the geographical forms of the portolan chart; after all, it is not difficult to imagine a much simpler way to express this confrontation, using only pictures and no maps. The scene is full of interesting and surprisingly graphic details, many of them interpreted in the marginal texts. Such interpretations are, I think, meant as models; as Morse demonstrated, Opicinus hoped that the drawings could be used by others to probe their own consciences and personal histories. Many parts of it must have been intentionally humorous, such as the basket for collecting the sea-mana€™s excrement, the graphic sexual organs, the interpretation of the Europe womana€™s pearl earrings, or the depiction of the Africa womana€™s cloak as a green river. Even when texts in the Vaticanus indicated the stressors in Opicinusa€™ life a€”spiritual, moral, legal a€” the drawings remain exploratory and even lighthearted. Without any words from him on the subject it is impossible to know where such an idea comes from, but perhaps the grids on the portolan chart(s) from which Opicinus was working reminded him of a gridded map of Pavia that he had seen, or perhaps even made. The mapsa€™ superimposition encourages the viewer to seek correlations between them, and Opicinus reinforces these correspondences by drawing actual lines and lines of text to connect various parts. He grafts a spiritual system of correspondences and coordinations onto this new representation of the physical world, but specifically includes details that undermine both systems, seeking instead a negotiation between the two. The rota on the breast of Affrica naturalis shows the mental processes that lead to sin: thinking, imagining, deciding, and delighting in (cogitatio, ymaginatio, electio, delectatio) lead the sinner to consent to sin (consensus peccati). These can either connect the same geographical location between two separate maps (as in the line drawn between the two Carthages on the upper left map and the lower left map), or establish a point of contact between the same physiological parts of two body-worlds on the same map (as in the line drawn between the reproductive areas of the Europe-woman and the Africa-woman in the upper-right map). It contains four complete portolan charts, all the exact same size, placed in careful relation to one another through overlapping and mirroring. This is different from the numerous drawings in the previous category, in which the two charts overlapped one another; here, the two white charts on the surface of the page are both complete diagrams of the region, reflecting one another along an invisible horizontal line in the Holy Land and Asia Minor. The figures seem to present the encounter between a new priest and his new parish (a situation that Opicinus underwent several times in his early career). The role of this form in the drawing is ambiguous a€” its cruciform shape and its a€?soaking in blooda€? certainly evoke Christa€™s sacrifice, and its position at the heart of the drawing, precisely where the two white maps are mirrored, suggests that it may be significant in the transition between the two. One caption on the left side of the page is a short rant about the mosquitoes that were bothering Opicinus while he made the drawing, while another, longer text at the lower left is an extended metaphorical description of the penis, describing how, like a heretic disobeying the Church, the penis disobeys the orders of the body. It is the caption that tells us something different; over their heads are written the words a€?matrixa€? and a€?virgaa€? a€” womb and penis.
Representing pregnancy and birth inside of Europe was a way for Opicinus to convey how both good and evil tendencies enter the world. Some researchers have convincingly explained this positioning of the tiny body-world figures as indicating a Caesarian birth; as Opicinus explains, the two figures are born through Genoa, the a€?forced porta€? in the stomach of the European figure, rather than through Venice, the a€?natural porta€? of the figurea€™s vaginal canal (Opicinus makes the pun about Venetian a€?canalsa€? several times). The earliest depiction of Europe as a woman is believed to be by the 14th century Pavian cleric Opicinus de Canistris for the papal court, then at Avignon.
The central point is not Jerusalem but near the abode of the mythical Christian king Prester John [Presta Iohan], placed in Nubia between the two branches of the Nile.
It is true that in some cases the term a€?worlda€™ connotes simply the habitable, or known earth as conceived by the author, nevertheless, in others, as the Catalan-Estense map, it is interpreted to include lands not yet discovered, but only posited.
At the same time, these men saw nothing strange about a belief in the Terrestrial Paradise, or in a hydrographical system stretching from sea to sea.
The southern landmass, which may be intended for a separate continent, has no place-names or pictures, demonstrating remarkable restraint on the part of the artist. The southern interior is blank save for the legend Africa begins at the river Nile in Egypt and ends at Gutzola in the west: it includes the whole land of Barbaria, and the land in the south. The outline may be entirely imposed by the frame of the map: at the most, it may reflect the kind of report that we find on Fra Mauroa€™s map (#249). In this spirit of critical realism, the Catalan cartographers of the 14th century threw off the bonds of tradition, and anticipated the achievements of the Renaissance.
This coastline looks in the Modena map rather similar in its outline to Biancoa€™s 1448 chart. Nor can we prove a date from the legend to a mountain near the same gulf, which may be translated as This mountain is called by the Saracens Mt Gibel Camar, which in our language means Mountain of the Moon; this mountain is on the equator. A pass in the eastern part of the range is called a route of Islamic pilgrims, another piece of evidence of Arab sources.
The Catalan-Estense map also gives a short caption on diamond mountains, said to be guardians of the Earthly Paradise.
Thus the capital [Beijing] of Cathay is said to be Cambalec and to have had an ancient city called Garibalu nearby.
Of the northern islands, the furthest northwest is Islanda [Iceland], one of eight in an archipelago. The anonymous artist of the Estense world map combines details from literature of certain regions of the world with empirical facts about the Mediterranean area. These are the earliest European maps to acknowledge and record the presence of Islamic power in the Mediterranean.
To the south the Indian Ocean is greatly enlarged and full of brightly colored islands, but only three are named: Silan, Trapobana, and Java.
Platoa€™s tale of Atlantis is recalled near an island labeled illa de gentils; it was once as large as all Africa but now, by the will of God, is covered with water. Such a map implies several highly complex unknown factors as regards the level of realism aimed at by the artist. The sirens on the Catalan Estense mappamundi are of particular interest because they provide insight into the techniques for making sea monsters in a cartographic workshop. The single river originates in the middle of the Garden before flowing out of it into a lake, there after to separate into four streams. In some instances the legends are more complete, in others they are less detailed; they suggest, therefore, not direct copying but possibly a common source.
However, by the middle of the eighth century the overland route across Central Asia had become paralyzed, and China was compelled to reorient herself to the warm seas and thus embarked on nearly seven centuries of commercial relations with the Near East. Although it is no longer preserved in Korea itself, there are three versions in Japan; of these the copy in the Ryukoku University Library (Kyoto) is acknowledged to be the earliest, and in the best condition. Both of these maps made their way to Korea in 1399 through the agency of the Korean ambassador, Chin Shih-Heng (1341-1407), and were combined in 1402 by Li Hui and Cha€™A?an. In the 4th year of the Jianwen era (1402), Left Minister Chin [Shih-Heng] of Sangju, and Right Minister Yi [Mu] of Tanyang, during moments of rest from their governing duties, made a comparative study of these maps and ordered Li Hui, an orderly, to collate them carefully and then combine them into a single map. Judging by Cha€™A?ana€™s description of the monk Cha€™ing ChA?na€™s Hun-i chiang-li ta€™u, it was probably an ordinary historical map of China, compiled in the late 14th century. Though not on the Ryukoku copy of the Kangnido, the Tenri University copy shows the Chinese transcription Zhebulu hama, which Takahashi identifies with Persianized Arabic Djebel alqamar [Mountains of the Moon].
All this was backed by a general Korean effort to improve the governmenta€™s knowledge of Japan, and this involved maps in particular. But this splendid effort seems to be vitiated by orienting the Japanese portion so that west is at the top. The same holds true for the western half of one of the previously mentioned sources, Li Tse-mina€™s map of ca.
The source of the Nile and the actual shape of the African continent, however, remained largely subject to speculation among the Europeans. The former treatise mentions, among other things, Mo-lin [Maghrib el Aksa, or the Western Territory] and Cha€™iu-sa-lo [Djezyret], the desert expanse between them, and the customs of the inhabitants. The only European exceptions seem to be the world maps of Albertinus de Virga (1415, #240) and the one in the so-called Medicean or Laurentian Sea Atlas (#233), the lattera€™s presumptive date of 1351 being subject to controversy primarily because of its remarkable depiction of the continent of Africa. Hence, no names are given for the southern half of Africa and the Indian Ocean except for the area around Zanzibar that was already the key trading center in East Africa.
The interior of the continent is filled in by a body of water surrounding an island that is designated as Huang-sha [desert]. The maps of this type are rightly regarded by such authorities as Fuchs as the most magnificent examples of Yuan cartography, completely over-shadowing all contemporary European or Arabic world maps. To the west, the Arabian peninsula, with a clearly delineated Persian Gulf, and the African continent, with its tip correctly pointing south (and not east, as on many early European maps), hang thinly but with assurance, as if they belonged exactly where they are. But a good understanding of its function is hampered by the fact that we know nothing of its history after its completion.
This institution ultimately was divided into two branches, east and west, of which the latter (Nishi Honganji) is today associated with Ryukoku University, which explains the mapa€™s present location.
This map, while clearly influenced by some Sino-Jesuit world map, also shows a strong structural similarity to the Kangnido, as its owner, Yi Cha€™an, has pointed out. Europe and Africa are much more precisely drawn however, and it is possible to make out words such as a€?Atlantic Oceana€? (a¤§e????‹) Mediterranean sea (a?°a?­?µ·), or Italy (?„?a¤§e‡?a?z). As a result of these efforts, an excellent national map was produced in 1463, and a complete geographical survey of the nation, the Tongguk yoji sungam, was compiled in 1481.
At least since Unified Silla and Goryeo periods, Korea was actively trading with Arab nations.
It has been suggested that, despite showing most of the rest of the world, the Korean officials who produced the map were less interested in portraying current images of neighboring Asian countries than in presenting an up-to-date image of Korea itself. It is presumed that the RyA«koku map was copied in Korea but it is not clear when the copy was brought to Japan.
It is currently located at the Honkoo-ji Tokiwa Museum of Historical Materials, Shimabara, Nagasaki prefecture in Japan. In the East, geographic information about the west was not updated in the post-Mongol period unless Europeans such as Matteo Ricci brought Western knowledge. For example, the Talas River, which was important for the Tang Dynasty was placed to the northeast of Besh Baliq although its actual direction is northwest.
To the north of the African continent, beyond the unexplored a€?blacka€? central mass, a pagoda is represented for the lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Arab word Misr for Cairo (al-QA?hira) and Mogadishu (Maqdashaw) are shown among others. The Buddhist monk Faxian was the first Chinese to sail into the Indian Ocean in the beginning of the fifth century AD, visiting India and Sri Lanka by ship.
It has been kept in the Imperial Palace under the title Qingzi Qian Yitong Tu (??…a­—c°?a?€cµ±a?–) in some catalogs. Comparative studies of these extant maps are conducted to restore the content of Lia€™s original world map. It is presumed that India was portrayed as a peninsula on Lia€™s map but shrunk by Korean Confucians due to their anti-Buddhist policy. This is likely to be based on vague information about the several great lakes in the region of modern Tanzania, gained during the course of direct trade between China and southeast Africa.
The prominent peninsula on the west coast of the Chinese landmass is Malaysia, but India is represented merely as a collection of place-names northwest of Arabia. Hand-colored woodcut map of China and the World, printed on multiple sheets and folding into later orange-papered covers decorated in lotus flower designs. The dating of the Palatinus is more complicated a€” the large autobiographical calendar on fol. The Vaticanus was often mentioned by earlier authors, but had never been the object of extensive study, perhaps because its visual material is smaller and less elaborate than the large Palatinus folios. These and other claims are refuted by Whittington with a basic statistical analysis of the manuscriptsa€™ subject matter. Their enigmatic forms, expressions, and arrangements have the power to arrest the attention of modern viewers, reversing expectations about what sorts of imagery were possible in the early 14th century.
The a€?world,a€? in Opicinusa€™ drawings, is always represented using these charts; they form the drawingsa€™ structural basis and frame their meanings. Still, crucially, this does not make the drawings, in their inception, a€?abouta€? Opicinus. The large size of the Palatinus folios suggests a more public function, given their physical similarity to large medieval wall maps and portolan charts. Here one sees before a map of the Mediterranean world a€” Europe, North Africa, Anatolia and part of the Near East are left the white color of the paper, and the seas around them are tinted with a reddish-brown wash. The incredibly diverse drawings that he created in the years that followed were his way of exploring the meaning of this vision and experimenting with different strategies for representing its shape and scope, searching for the arrangements and combinations that would lead him to the deepest meaning.
Opicinusa€™ maps were based on the most modern and technically accomplished cartography of his day a€” marinersa€™ sea-charts, which we call portolan charts.
Several folios depict only the western portion of the standard Mediterranean portolan chart, limiting their view to the area between Gibraltar and the boot of Italy.
The geographic range of the depicted portolan outline is narrow - we see Gibraltar, Tunisia, France, Spain, and Italy, but none of the eastern Mediterranean, which is cut off by the drawinga€™s lower edge. Little is visible of her lower body, but she wears some kind of cloth wrapped around her waist. However, the most prominent indicator of the figurea€™s identity is the large rota around the face in the Iberian peninsula, which seems to label the figure as Christ. The drawing thus suggests a combination of male and female elements: a pregnant female personification of Christendom, with Christ at the head and heart.
In this first example, where the contrast between the two figures is simple and direct, we can more easily explore two ways that the form of the drawing a€” its geographical frame a€”may change the meaning of these figures. For example, the Mediterranean figure appears to have two sexual organs a€” one massive penis that seems to be ejaculating onto the southern coast of Spain, and another that he clutches in his fist (presumably in an act of masturbation) near Venice.
84v, numerous captions explore the moral, theological, quotidian, and incidental correspondences created by the overlay of the city grid on the portolan chart. In addition, the monastery with which they were both associated fell near Rome on the portolan chart. The revelation and the experiment were meant to be used by anyone a€” Opicinus is using himself as a test case, taking examples from his own life, family history, and childhood, and using them to interpret the correspondence between the two charts. These are all examples of Akbaria€™s horizontal allegory, or of allegory as a primarily interpretive act; Opicinus creates the structure (which may or may not have an intrinsic meaning a€” in this case, it seems not to), but the primary work is put into interpretation, play, and the creative exploration of his visual construction.
Opicinus created, an over-determined world because of its opportunities and flexibility, not to build a burdensome system that would collapse on top of him. This basic format is repeated on at least eight other pages in the Vaticanus; again, there are variations in the size and placement of the two maps, but all of these examples include two portolan charts that are laid on top of one another. In the smaller, lower image, the negative space of the chart a€” the sea a€” is tinted with a light brown wash, delineating the body of the so-called a€?Mediterranean Man,a€? often labeled a€?Lucifera€? His head and beard occupy the eastern Mediterranean (his ear tucked against the Nile delta and curving beard shaping the coast of the Anatolian peninsula), his arms gesture near Italy (one fist plunging violently east of Italy, forming the Adriatic), and his feet poke out near Gibraltar, between the faces of Europe and Africa. On this page he connects the two representations of the Adriatic with a diagonal line that slices through the center of the image, running from Venice on one chart to Venice on the other.
Morse also points out that different renderings of the sea in the two charts likely correspond to their content; the embodied a€?devil seaa€? lies between the natural worlds, while the a€?spiritual seaa€? is left empty, perhaps to indicate its purity. Small lines connect the first four concepts to the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth of the Africa-figure, indicating the complicity of the exterior senses in this pathway to sin. 74v how Opicinus, by framing his allegories within the portolan charts, solidified their meaning into measured form, aligning the worlda€™s shapes with the truths and figures they revealed. The meaning of such lines remains ambiguous, but they do suggest points of contact and interconnection between elements that are otherwise set in opposition to one another. All four of these portolan charts are embodied, creating eight distinct characters: four male figures of Europe, and four figures of Africa (two angels and two male figures). Rather than containing the figure of the diabolical sea, the spaces of the Mediterranean and Black Seas on these two charts are left as windows through which the viewer can see the other maps in the drawing.
The colored worlds below are not labeled, but the figures seem to be a precise mirror of those on top, in both gender and physical appearance.
Opicinusa€™ statement about the generation of meaning seems to apply both to this drawing and to many others that depict multiple levels of reality (usually through multiple iterations of the body-worlds). 82r becomes overwhelming, Opicinus provides the viewer with visual cues to make sense of the drawinga€™s disorienting forms. This drawing contrasts two complete sets of body-worlds, one overlapping and partially obscuring the other, and two very different depictions of genitalia are found in the area around Venice on both depictions of Europe. In a passage early in the Vaticanus, Opicinus describes how the a€?diabolical seaa€? inseminates an already-pregnant Europe, splitting the child unnaturally into two figures a€” Europe and Africa.
Victoria Morse shows the way that Opicinus read meaning even into the precise position of these two tiny body-worlds over Lombardy below, determining which local cities fell under Africa and Europe. The map belonged to the collection of the Dukes of Ferrara, who since 1452 had also been Dukes of Modena and Reggio. The abandonment of Jerusalem as a central point is found on several other European mappaemundi of the 14th and 15th centuries. There are also linguistic and topographical similarities with a fragment of a Catalan world map in the Topkapu Sarav Library, Istanbul. This aggravated the cartographera€™s task very considerably for it meant that he was continually being faced with the problem of choosing between scanty and often poorly substantiated fact on the one hand, and plausible and often well-attested theory on the other. Five rivers are shown flowing north from it, one of them a river of gold, flowing through a lake not connected with the Nile.
A legend on the island of Meroe on the White Nile claims this as the place where there is a deep well, on the bottom of which the sun shines; similar ones on the Pizigano map of 1367 (Parma) and the Florence Catalan map mentioned give the month when this happens as June.
The northern coast of the Gulf continues east almost straight, the whole coast of India being much foreshortened. As a result, details from the tales of Marco Polo, known centuries before, can be seen in the descriptive outline of China, with details about the Portuguese recent explorations of Cape Verde, circumnavigated for the first time in 1444 by Dias too. A Chinese junk, identified in a legend, sails through the water, menaced by three half-human figures: one part fish, one part bird, and one part horse.


In the north is a group of colorful islands marked, These islands are called a€?islandesa€™, which may be a reference to Iceland.
It is, for example, inconceivable that contemporary seafarers believed that a large expanse of land actually existed in the south of Africa.
The wavy lines representing the water are discontinuous at a rectangle around each of the sirens, indicating that a blank space had been left for each creature, and that the sirens were painted by a different artist, no doubt a specialist in decorations such as sea monsters. These Mountains of the Moon are stated to be on the Equator, and the streams are called the riu de lor. But as they were predisposed to eschew wild guesses and to be skeptical of travelersa€™ tales, their maps do not afford the best illustrations of this characteristic.A  As a single example, at the beginning of the Catalan period the Rio del Oro [River of Gold], a heritage of classical geography, was made to debouch into the Atlantic immediately south of Cape Bojador.
This similarity is also evident in the delineation of the main features, most of those in the 1375 Atlas are to be found on the Estense map. One notable consequence of this 700-year contact was the stretching of the world in Chinese maps farther westward and southwestward, and the appearance of an ever-increasing number of Arabic place-names. The principal distinguishing characteristics of the Ryukoku copy are its generally excellent condition and its preservation of the original Ch'an Chin preface.
Insofar as the area east of the Liao River and our own countrya€™s territory were concerned, Tse-mina€™s map had many gaps and omissions, so Li Hui supplemented and expanded the map of our country, and added a map of Japan, making it a new map entirely, nicely organized and well worth admiration. Cha€™ing Cha€™A?n (1328-1392) was a close advisor to the Hongwu emperor (r.1368-1398), who was the founder of the Ming dynasty and himself an erstwhile monk. All in all there are about thirty-five names indicated on or near the African continent, most of them in the Mediterranean area. Pak Tonji, a military man and diplomatic specialist in Japanese affairs, made at least two trips to Japan, one in 1398-99, the other in 1401, and the second visit resulted in a map.
Worse, the whole ensemble is positioned far to the south, so that the first impression of a modern observer is that the Philippines, not Japan, is under view. In fact, during the heyday of Arab settlement in southern China, Canton alone accounted for no less than 100,000 Arab residents.
The Kangnido map, however, proves that the Chinese, via their Arab sources, at least as early as the end of the 13th century, had a more or less correct view of the southern extension of Africa, whereas its northwestern bulge had not been as yet recognized. On the other hand, its broader coverage of Africa and the rest of the known world in the same scale provides a very valuable supplement to Chu Ssu-pena€™s map of southern Africa (#227). In contrast, the Mediterranean Sea is almost entirely shown as terra firma failing to blacken it in as he has other water areas, perhaps because he was not quite sure that it was indeed an ordinary sea. The extent of the lead which the Yuan cartographers had, however, may perhaps best be appreciated by comparing the Korean map with the renown Catalan Atlas of 1375, which also purported to show Asia as well as Europe, or the 14th century oikoumene (for this comparison, see #235). At the top of Africa the Mediterranean supports a less securely grasped Europe, and the entire north fades into mountains and clouds. The Ryukoku Kangnido, judging by Korean place-name indications, is a copy reflecting place-name changes made around 1460. The Honmyo-ji copy (paper scroll), which is entitled Dai Minkoku Chizu [Map of Great Ming], was given to that institution by Kato Kiyomasa, its major patron and one of the senior Japanese commanders on the Korean expedition. During the 1430a€™s Sejong built an astronomical observatory and a variety of astronomical instruments and clocks.
One claims that it was purchased by A?tani KA?zui and others assume that it was obtained during the invasion of Korea (1592-1598) and given to the West Honganji temple by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The most important difference is that the place names of China have been updated to those of the Ming Dynasty while the original showed administrative divisions of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Based on two Chinese maps from the 14th century, the Shengjiao guangbei tu [Big map that shows the pronunciation of place names] and the Hunyi jiangli tu [General map of the distances also showing historical capitals [of China]].
Similarly, India and Tibet are based on traditional Chinese knowledge, mainly gained by Buddhist pilgrimage up to the Tang Dynasty.
Afterwards, China engaged heavily in sea travel, especially following the expansion of Islam on the continent in the eighth century. It is currently kept in protective storage at the First Historical Archive of China, in Beijing. The Da Ming Hun Yi Tu is especially important because Luoa€™s copies dropped most place names except for coastal areas and islands and the Kangnido was influenced by Korean cartography. Africa and Arabia on the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu resemble those on the Kangnido while Europe is considerably different.
Another manifestation of the same problem, dependence on external sources for geographical information, can be seen to the south of Korea, at the far right side of the map, where Japan, over-sized and misshapen, confusingly meets the much more correctly sized and positioned Taiwan.
The texts taken from the Chinese original are particularly interesting: the legend on the right gives details of the 29 strategic border crossings, and that on the left describes 33 foreign countries, with the European and African place names taken from Jesuit sources such as Riccia€™s 1602 map.
The first 48 contain little visual material besides a few marginalia, while the second half of the book includes some text-only pages, some full-page drawings, and some smaller drawings with extensive text on or around them. 11r, which provides the most complete information about his life, ends with June 1336, suggesting that this drawing was finished by that date. In contrast, Morse demonstrated that the Vaticanus holds the key to understanding Opicinusa€™ thought: its drawings are more intimate and revealing, and it contains over a hundred pages of text.
Portolan charts were modern, cutting-edge diagrammatic maps of the Mediterranean region, and Opicinusa€™ use of them transforms what would otherwise have been old-fashioned, theoretical, and primarily textual drawings into a completely new type of representation. Interpreting the vision with relation to his own body and life was only one of the tactics that he used. The drawings in both manuscripts could have been preparatory studies for some larger-scale project or commission that was never carried out.
According to Whittington, to explain what the body-worlds a€?mean,a€? one must explore how and why Opicinus harnessed these maritime maps to a completely different purpose from that for which they were created. Others include the entire range of the chart, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea and the Holy Land. Small captions and rotae are positioned at various points on the map; some of these are placed to comment specifically on a geographical feature, while others remark more generally on the drawing and its characters. A worm or snake emerges from an otherwise empty circle on her stomach, twisting along the North African coast, its mouth gnawing on the figurea€™s thumb near Carthage.
Large red capital letters spell out C-R-I-S-T-U-S, with each letter also being the first letter of one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Opicinus uses the portolan chart to construct a binary system in which values can be opposed, and also to place these allegories or personifications within a space that is, in the broadest sense, real.
On the southern coast of France, a basket-woven pattern is explained in a caption as a basket to catch the excrement of the sea-figure. For example, in a short passage in the upper left corner of the page, Opicinus mentions that the body of the sea-devil extends beyond the inner city wall of the Pavian map, which he interprets as a sign that malice and mischief are spread out in the city; beyond the old city walls. An over-determined world allowed him to make visible to himself and his potential readers the primary concerns, impulses, histories, and spaces of his world and his body in a way that led to potentially productive connections and revelations. In contrast, the sea of the larger top map is not embodied, and retains the color of the paper. This line could help the viewer perceive the imagea€™s orientation, by providing a reference point for the location of the same city on each map at this crucial juncture at the center. The sea-figure takes control of the pagea€™s center, superimposing his twisting body over the eastern half of the upper, spiritual chart a€” his a€?negativea€? space dominates the positive space of the other chart. In contrast, a caption on the rota for Affrica spiritualis points to the interior senses (sensus interiores) that indicate spiritual progress: meditation, contemplation, discernment, and rumination (meditatio, contemplatio, discretio, degustatio).
They also establish that the body-worldsa€™ identities as both bodies and maps remain significant on their own; because connections rely on their status as both maps and bodies, one is not emphasized over the other. This window or outline a€” the negative space of the upper drawing a€” provides a view onto a world of color.
The mirror of any of his creations, which he acknowledges are fabrications (in the sense that they are imaginary and exploratory), will always contain some new level of meaning. The two red lines indicate the precise point where worlds are mirrored, and the differentiation in color a€” white, brown, and red a€” brings the forms of the body-worlds into a near-sculptural relief. In the overlapped body-worlds, which are tinted with red and brown wash, we see a small penis depicted inside the figure of Europe, just past the fist of the Mediterranean figure. It must be acknowledged that both figures are shaped like small penises, but it is also true that in medieval anatomical texts the female genitalia are often described as an interiorized mirror image of a male penis, so perhaps we should not be surprised that the two are a€?personified,a€? if we want to use that term, in similar ways.
According to Victoria Morse, Europea€™s pregnancy was also related to local political situations, visualizing the (sexual) corruption of Lombardy within an otherwise holy European body. She then contrasts this a€?violenta€? delivery of the figures with the small baby depicted on fol. In 1537 the Tirolese cartographer Johann Putsch celebrated the Hapsburg rule over Europe by presenting a placid a€?Europa Reginaa€? wearing Charles Va€™s Spain as a crown and Ferdinanda€™s Austria as a medal at her waist, representing the triumph of the Hapsburgs. Many of them had collections in more than one place and the Estense library is very rich in their collections of different periods.
Africa, to which the cartographera€™s attention was clearly directed as new discoveries were incorporated, is enlarged, crosses the equator, and reaches a southern coast. As these Catalan maps developed, some of them aimed at including the latest information available from European navigators and compilers. It is a tribute to the integrity of these men that their work contains so much that subsequent investigation has proved true. Later draftsmen, in order to escape the embarrassment caused by indicating the great trans-Saharan caravan routes within these narrow limits, began to speculate on the course of the African coast, south of Bojador.
Differences in ink and supposed linguistic variants caused earlier scholars to wonder if two different periods of composition were involved, but George Kimble (1934) pointed out that the handwriting had been judged the same throughout. This river of gold is different from the Riu del Or reported in the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235) as having been discovered in 1346; that is an inlet in the former Spanish protectorate of Rio de Oro. Near Cape Verde we are told, a€?At this cape is the end of the land of the west part of Africa. There is nothing corresponding to the Malay peninsula, only a gentle bend leading north-westwards to surrounding Ocean. The circumference of the capital in Marco Polo is 24 miles, in the Catalan-Estense map 24 leagues. But south of it is inssula [sic] destillant, whose inhabitants are said to be Norwegian-speaking Christians. The same discontinuity in the wavy lines is visible around the two ships on the map, and given the similarities between the faces of the sirens and those of some of the sovereigns painted in Africa, it is tempting to conclude that one specialist painted all of the more artistically sophisticated decorative elements on the map: the sirens, the ships, the sovereigns, and so on. It is a tribute to the integrity of these men that their work contains so much that subsequent investigation has proved true.A  In fact it is this careful sifting of evidence that constitutes one of the chief merits of the Catalan school of cartography, in an age when intellectual honesty was none too common. We may therefore assume that the headwaters of the Niger marked the approximate limit of contemporary knowledge in this region, and it is not improbable that reports of the sea to the south had been received.
With the extension of trans-Saharan commerce in the 14th century, and, along with it the enlargement of geographical knowledge, the Rio del Oro was pushed, little by little, farther south until at length in the Catalan-Estense map it is located approximately in the latitude of the Senegal-Niger system, which no doubt, it is intended to represent. While the Terrestrial Continent remained intact until the Jesuit era in Chinese cartography with Fr.
Painted on silk and still preserving its colors well, it is a very large map, nearly square at 171 x 164 cm (5 x 4 ft). Apart from its use as a source for the Kangnido, nothing is known of Cha€™ing ChA?na€™s map.
A later report quoted his statement that in 1402 he had been given a map by the title: Bishu no kami, Minamoto Mitsusuke. A possible explanation for this is that the cartographers had run out of space on the right (east) edge of the Kangnido, and so had to place Japan in the open sea to the south. It too must go back to an Islamic prototype that, like the globe, belonged to the later 13th century. Through the ensuing long period of Sino-Arab trade and intellectual exchange, the Chinese, on their part, were able to accumulate a good deal of this valuable information concerning the Indian Ocean and the continent of Africa. Also his statement concerning the a€?Giant Birdsa€™ there that could swallow camels, appears almost identical to the description by Marco Polo a century later. It is hardly believable that such a representation should be casual or the result of mere speculation. The relief features and an additional stream flowing westward in South Africa roughly corresponding to the Orange River, indicates that Cha€™A?an Chin was not entirely negligent on the least inhabited part of that continent.
On the eastern side of the map, a relatively massive Korea, easily occupying as much space as the whole African continent (which, to be sure, is unduly small) identifies itself as a very important place, while Japan, as if randomly flipped off the fingers into the ocean, floats uncertainly in the South China Sea. Nothing is reported concerning the provenance of the Tenri University copy (silk scroll, no title), but according to a study by Unno Kazutaka, it is a a€?sister mapa€? to the Honmyo-ji scroll; his persuasive analysis of the place names indicates that both maps were copied in Korea about 1568, from a version already cartographically distant from the Ryukoku copy. This provided a foundation for continued research and observation in the reigns of his successors. To the west of the a€?olda€? India, contemporary place names of India such as Delhi, Badaun and Duwayjir Duwayqir (Persianized form of Devagiri) are shown. The Maghreb and the Iberian peninsulas are depicted in detail, while Genoa and Venice are omitted.
The Tang Dynasty writer Duan Chengshi, along with other writers, wrote detailed descriptions of Africa, its coastal commerce, and slave trade. It is also distinct from the Kangnido in the depiction of the source of the Yellow River, which looks very similar to that in Luoa€™s Kuang Yu Tu (#227). The representation and interpretation of this divine image of the earth would occupy much of the rest of his life. Other dates in the manuscript are scarce; most scholars agree that the bulk of the drawings were completed between February 1335 and June 1336, with later additions stretching all the way to 1350.
Opicinus was working during a crucial moment in the history of cartography, when numerous artists and mapmakers sought to combine old and new forms.
Most of the drawings suggest other interpretive avenues, through personifications, allegorical confrontations, or superimposition; one does not have to turn to Opicinusa€™ biography to explain them. It is also possible that these works were intended, like several of Opicinusa€™ earlier treatises, for the Pope. In this example, Europe is embodied as a man a€” his head occupies the Iberian Peninsula, his chest and stomach lie in France (where some kind of beast in the ocean tries to bite at his shoulder), his arm arches up through the lowlands and Germany, and his legs occupy the Italian peninsula and the Dalmatian coast. He used this technical, practical, scientific cartography to probe deeper into the nature of God and the created world. But all of the drawings in this category share a single feature: they include only one map, one level of cartographic reality on the page. The two figures that constitute, lie within, or coexist with Africa and Europe are classic examples of Opicinusa€™ body-worlds (the third figure that often appears in the Mediterranean is not included, in this particular drawing). In two outer concentric rings Opicinus places the names of the seven planets and the days of the week. Yet their placement within a map, particularly an empirical one which was actually used for travelling, emphasizes the tenuousness of such binary oppositions.
Despite these and other details on the figures, the actual bodies seem less important to Opicinus in these three drawings; the commentary focuses more on the physical interplay and connections between the two overlapping maps.
It is not that he thinks that this image of the two maps placed in this particular arrangement is necessarily a€?correcta€? or a€?truea€? a€” on fol.
84v offers further evidence that Opicinus viewed the portolan charts as empirical representations. At the centre of the page the embodied eastern Mediterranean of the lower map (including the Black Sea) overlaps both the land and the sea of the upper map, so that its eastern half (part of Italy and all of Greece, Egypt, and Turkey) is obscured. Or, given the opposing genders of the two Europes in the maps, and the fact that the area at the top of the Adriatic was understood as the erogenous zone of the European body, the line could suggest a sexual point of contact a€” even intercourse a€” between the two figures. It is necessary first to describe and explain the drawinga€™s complex structure, before discussing its content in relation to several captions that surround it. In the space below, the continents are shaded a brick red, while the seas are painted a soft brown-grey. The interpretive paradigm for this drawing must be one of experimentation; it is the only image in the manuscript with this particular arrangement of forms, and through it Opicinus only seems to have arrived at fragments of meaning. The small caption nearby simply reads Venetie [Venice] and without further explanation it is unclear whether the penis belongs to the European body, depicted lying back against his stomach, or whether he is somehow being penetrated by a small penis belonging to the sea-figure.
Here, reproductive sexuality is a sign of corruption; elsewhere, as we will see, it is a marker of generative spirituality. 74v, which is positioned for a normal delivery through Venice, with its head down and its arms folded peacefully in prayer.
The queena€™s crown (Spain), orb (Sicily), and heart (Bohemia) from a triangle that directs the viewera€™s eye away from Eastern Europe toward the West. The map was taken there in 1598 by Cesare da€™Este who was the illegitimate son of Duke Alfonso I.
A Mons Lune [Mountain of the Moon] is also found by the Gulf of Guinea on the Medici Atlas (#233), whose world map is now thought to be 15th century. The island of Trapobana is much enlarged, and is placed on the southeastern margin of the map. Despite this primitive cartographic approach to Asia, the evidence given above from West Africa seems conclusive on the dating.
This island is surely not a misplaced Estland [Estonia], as Kretschmer gives, but Shetland [Hjaltland], for which compare Ilia de Scillanda, near Archania, in the 1375 Catalan Atlas. Or that theologians could accept that Paradise, which ceases to appear in Asia following Marco Poloa€™s travels, could be relocated to Ethiopia. The legends about sirens on the Catalan Estense mappamundi derive ultimately from the so-called Tuscan bestiary, perhaps by way of a Catalan bestiary. The value of the Catalan maps, as commentaries upon the state of contemporary knowledge at once becomes apparent and we are hardly surprised to find that the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235) has the finest delineation of Asia Europe had seen up to that time, or that, in its knowledge of Cathay [China] and the Sudan, the same map is surpassed in the Middle Ages only by the 1459 Fra Mauro map (#249).
These may have induced the cartographer to accept the western gulf of Ptolemy, but to enlarge it considerably.A  Again, the name Rio del Oro [River of Gold] recalls the inscription on the Catalan Atlas and the classical tradition. It was first brought to scholarly notice by the Japanese historical geographer Ogawa Takuji, in 1928. By looking at maps one can know terrestrial distances and get help in the work of government. Its chief contribution to the latter is believed to have been the Chinese historical dimension, the indication of the areas and capitals of the earlier dynasties, which was accomplished by a combination of textual notes and cartographic devices. But since Japan had always appeared east of southern China on Chinese maps, there was some earlier cartographic basis for its placement there.
This being the case, the picture of Africa as given on the lower left of the reproduction is of particular interest. That China was indeed a beneficiary of this Arab monopoly can be evidenced by several Chinese world maps such as those by Chu Ssu-pen ca. Chao Ju-kuo, commissioner of the maritime trade office at Cha€™A?an-chou (Marco Poloa€™s Zaiton) which had extensive contact with the Arab merchants, and author of Chu-fan-chih (1226), provided the first account of the products from the East African coast, Somalia to Zanzibar, including an elaborate description of the ostrich and the giraffe. Most scholars such as Walter Fuchs are inclined to assume that the cartographic heritage of the Arabs had been transmitted to the Chinese, albeit incompletely and probably did not always reflect the actual experiences of their seafarers. To the left of it lies Spain, and to the southeast Arabia is outlined as a long protruding peninsula.
The relative size and disposition of the three major East Asian countries reflects a plausible Korean view of the world in the early 15th century: Korea projecting itself as a major East Asian state, refurbishing its traditional view of China as the major center of civilization, and playing its eternal game of keeping Japan as far away as possible. Many projects were also carried out in meteorology and agronomy which not only led to new scientific understanding in Korea but which provided for rationalized administration and taxation.
The most obvious feature distinguishing this later version from the original Kangnido map is the more correct size and orientation of Japan. There are over 100 names for the European countries alone, including Alumangia for the Latin word Alemania [Germany].
Wang Dayuan was the first Chinese ship captain to sail into the Mediterranean Sea (by Mamluk Egypt) and as far as Morocco in North Africa during the 14th century. Matteo Ricci in the late 15th century, it is clearly evident that by the middle of the 15th century, Chinaa€™s own centrality in her concept of the world had been substantially reduced.
In over eighty surviving drawings, now kept in the Vatican Library and referred to by scholars as the Vaticanus and Palatinus manuscripts, he experimented with how he could uncover the meaning that he was sure God had planted in the vision he saw, in the hope that his drawings would help to renew the faith of all Christians. Far more drawings in the Vaticanus portray body-worlds (23), while few in the Palatinus do so (6). This encounter between the scientific and the spiritual is best explored by looking at the structures that Opicinus used to create the drawings.
Another rota lies inside France, near the location that Opicinus usually associates with the a€?hearta€? of the Europe figure a€” Avignon. On a map you can literally sail by sea from one a€?placea€? or a€?bodya€? to the other a€” each place is accessible to the other. Here, the grid structures the space of the local map, but also shapes the way we view the portolan below. It looks like a kind of symbolic twin to the spatio-indexical rhumb lines of the original portolan charts. 61r demonstrates that Opicinus was also aware of the dangers of aligning appearance with truth; appearances could just as easily deceive as reveal.
The arrangement of these colored maps beneath the surface of the white ones is the most complicated aspect of the drawing. The angels are labeled angelus lucis and angelus tenebrarum a€” an angel of light and an angel of darkness.
Given the penises in this region that we discussed above, this latter proposition is not without basis, but it seems more likely that it belongs to the European figure, since it is tinted the same color. In the interior the Catalan-Estense map has the land of the King of Melli said, as on the Paris and Florence maps, to be rich in gold, to which the Modena map adds that it is poor in salt, which comes to be worth its weight in gold. So the Pillars of Hercules have slipped down the coast and will eventually disappear completely. The surrounding ocean, the Mar deles indies is filled with numerous nameless and featureless islands. It is also difficult to imagine that they believed that the laws of God and nature ceased to apply beyond the frontiers of Europe and that it was possible anything was there.
The entire land area was on it, all but the islands of Iki and Tsushima, so added them and doubled the scale.a€? In 1420, this report states, he formally presented this map to the Board of Rites, which was the branch of the Choson [Korean] government that handled foreign affairs. 1320 (#227), the nautical charts from Cheng Hoa€™s expedition of 1405-1433, preserved in the Wu-pei-chih (1621), and, of course, the present map under consideration, Cha€™A?an China€™s. This north-south extension and shape of Africa can be seen in the cartography of the Arabs as early as the 13th century on Ibn Saa€™ida€™s world map (Book II, #216). The large, round island east of Arabia is simply named Hai-tao [island], which apparently represents Sri Lanka (Ceylon). On the other hand, Koreans were telling themselves that theirs was not just an East Asian country, but part of the larger world.
The geographical knowledge represented in the map beyond China and Korea seems mainly a result of 14th century trade connections within the Mongol Empire. Nearly all of the drawings in the Palatinus feature what Whittington calls an a€?overarching containing structurea€? a€” a geometrical framework that contains all of the drawinga€™s content.
Her face is to the west, shown in profile as she seems to whisper into the ear of the European figure across the Straits of Gibraltar. She seems to speak directly into the ear of the European figure, depicted partly in profile and partly from the front. At the center of the roundel is a seated figure of Christ showing his wounds; around this are the names of seven episcopal seats, and the seven planets and their positions. In these simplest drawings, though, such a possibility is only hinted at; a much fuller manipulation of the metaphor of travel and movement between binaries, and indeed a subversion of the very concept of binary opposition, is found in Opicinusa€™ more complicated images, discussed below. This grid, eight squares by ten, is oriented in the same way as the map below, with east at the top of the page (the street grid of Pavia was, and still is, slightly off-axis from the cardinal points because of its alignment with the river, which is reflected in its positioning at a slight angle on the page). Opicinus just seems to be testing each possible arrangement on either side of the folio, turning it back and forth to see which parts of it align with things he believes to be true. Any resident or visitor familiar with the city would recognize that the local map of Pavia was a measured, accurate representation, and the fundamental hypothesis of this image and its interpretation is that correspondences can be deduced through the alignment of one measured map with another. One complete map lies below the upper white map, and one complete map lies below the lower white map, but each is placed in a different relation to its chart above. The angel of light in the surface map whispers into the ear of the upper male Europe, labeled homo spiritualis, while the angel of darkness whispers to homo carnalis. 61v, where two tiny figures with the same labels hold between them a baby, its head positioned downward, pointing toward the area near Venice through which we presume it would be born. Therefore, apart from a small portion of the coastline, the map owes nothing to Portuguese exploration.
Li is mentioned by the Ming cartographer Lo Hung-Hsien (1504-64) as a contemporary and possibly as an associate of Chu Ssu-Pen (see #227). Interestingly, the Korean makers of the Tenri and Honmyo-ji copies corrected the orientation to the north, even while substituting more conventional Gyoki-style outlines. These cartographic portrayals of the continent of Africa pre-date the Portuguese exploratory efforts by nearly a century. It should also be mentioned that the southern tip of Africa is shown in almost the same form on Chu Ssu-pena€™s atlas Kuang YuA? Ta€™u, preserved in a copy dated 1541 - 1555 (#227) the original edition of which, the YuA?-Ta€™u, again, is dated 1320, i.e. To the east of Sri Lanka, India betrays its triangular shape only by a river, obviously the Ganges. The danger of any study of Opicinus is that in seeking out the contexts in which one may understand Opicinusa€™ work as logical and coherent, one risks losing sight of what makes them so exceptional.
But he also used this idea in order to create images unrivalled in their complexity and interpretive difficulty, multiplying maps and figures across the page in kaleidoscopic networks. The local grid is filled in with detail; the numerous small labels in brown indicate churches, city gates, bridges, and monasteries in Pavia, while the few red captions refer to cities or regions on the portolan below (here, like elsewhere, Opicinus uses color to clarify his content for the reader).
Once again, a grid serves two functions, measuring the space of one reality and indicating the measurability of another. On the top half of the page, the tinted map below is a precise mirror image of the upper map, reflected from it along a red horizontal line that bisects the upper, white body-worlds. The arrangement recalls nothing so much as the angel and devil of the human conscience that perch on the shoulders of cartoon figures in modern movies and comics, offering advice and urging the character towards good or bad decisions; in the drawing, the heads of the angels seem to rest directly on the shoulders of the figures below them.
Here, the two a€?personificationsa€? of the penis and the womb have produced a tiny child and are preparing it for birth. Later editions of Europe as a queen were issued by Sebastian Munster, Heinrich Bunting and Matthias Quad. The scholar Aoyamaa€™s careful study of the Chinese place-names on the Kangnido shows them in general accord with those on Chua€™s map, as preserved in Loa€™s Kuang yu ta€™u, but with variants that would indicate place-name changes made in 1328-1329; this suggests that the Kangnidoa€™s source map was made around 1330. They also represent the culmination of an era of Sino-Arab exchange of geographical information long before the Jesuit scholars, beginning with Matteo Ricci, ushered in another era in the late 16th century.
The long river emerging to the south is the Hei-shui [Salween], and the great lake in the upper center combines the Black and the Caspian Seas. This a€?manuscripta€? is a collection of 27 huge unbound parchment sheets, averaging about two by three feet, although some are significantly larger. This observation prompts the next a€” that the Palatinus drawings almost always include calendars (usually as part of the overarching containing structure), while few of the Vaticanus drawings do.
Looking at the drawings as a whole, there can be no doubt that there are distinct threads running through them a€” themes, problems, and possibilities that Opicinus set out to explore. And just as the drawingsa€™ forms combine simplicity and complexity, their content also veers from the straightforward to the impenetrable. The relationship between these human figures and the landforms is, as is always the case in Opicinusa€™ drawings, very difficult to describe.
The huge green swath at the right of the page indicates the Ticino River, which is coextensive with the long veil or cloak worn by the Africa woman. The white body-worlds in the top layer always overlap the lower, colored ones, which are only visible in the negative space of the sea. These personificationsa€™ sexuality is normative and non-transgressive a€” male and female members come together inside of the female body.
Maritime exploration had hardly begun to yield fruit while the land explorations of the Poloa€™s and their contemporaries had not yet produced a systematic revision of current ideas. Since Chu explicitly excluded most non-Chinese areas from his map, Aoyama and others have reasoned that Li Tse-min must have found his cartographic sources for these areas elsewhere, the only plausible source being Islamic maps, which made their appearance in China under Mongol rule. Thus the cartographic expression manifested in this map of China€™s reflects the last phase of traditional Chinese cartography that, again, was conceptually based upon the idea of one single Terrestrial Continent of which Africa became considered as an arm.
In the utmost northwest, Germany and France are marked phonetically, A-lu-mang-ni-a and Fa-li-si-na; here, in the West, the Azores are also shown. Depending on the individual viewera€™s perception, the figures can seem to be lying on top of the land, growing out of it, or somehow placed under it a€” as if the landforms are windows through which we are looking. The green lines at the top and bottom of the page show the path of several Pavian canals, and the three concentric red boundaries drawn around the page indicate the city walls. The same system is repeated in the lower half of the drawing, except that the lower tinted map is reflected along a vertical line, also colored red. This knowledge, presumably acquired from first-hand experience and Arab contact, not only manifested itself in the emerging world concept of Chinese cartography, but also served to facilitate the spurt of maritime activities in the Indian Ocean and along the coast of East Africa in the early Ming Dynasty (late 14th, early 15th centuries). This representation of the Atlantic island group is indeed remarkable, especially on a map produced in the Far East at such an early time, when comparable detail of the Far East is scant on European maps of the same period. In the Kyujanggak Library of Seoul National University there is a modern Korean hand copy done during the 1980s, considered highly researched and beautifully executed. From these observations, Whittington generalizes some of the basic differences between the two manuscripts. Most of all, however, these enigmatic forms seem to depict the earth and the bodies as coextensive, and of the same material a€” bodies made out of the earth. The two maps on the bottom half of the page are also mirror images of one another, but along a different axis. But for the missing or incomplete detail in the eastern areas of Manchuria, Korea, and Japan, that map bears a very close resemblance to the Kangnido.
Of the two largest capitals in the world, as judged from the selection of symbols adopted by Chin, one is obviously Pyongyang in Korea, and the other is a European city of apparent equal importance, the position of which would suggest the city of Budapest. Based on a legend of the temple, it has been believed naively that the HonmyA?ji map was given to KatA? Kiyomasa by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in preparation for the Korean campaigns. The Vaticanus seems to be more of a personal manuscript, perhaps never intended for a wider audience.
The more one looks at these body-worlds, the more one sees the human figures as figures a€” the stranger parts of their bodies, where the landforms do not align so easily with a normative human shape, become less and less noticeable.
The two red axes are thus crucial to understanding the drawing: they must have been used to construct it and also intended to aid in its decoding. However, the Seonjo Sillok of Korea reports that in 1593 the son of a Korean official who had surrendered to KatA? copied and offered map(s) of China and Korea to him.
Its drawings are less structured and presentational, contain more sexual imagery, and include more personal themes, all of which we might associate with a private, rather than public function (although such distinctions were perhaps more fluid in 14th century Italy than they are today).
Secondly, the drawings in the Vaticanus and Palatinus have very different structures; the Vaticanus uses the form of the portolan [nautical] chart to structure meaning and representations of bodies, while the Palatinus drawings use larger geometric, ecclesiastical, and temporal frames, which in turn often contain representations of the earth. This map was discovered in the HonkA?ji temple of Shimabara, Nagasaki in 1988 and is much larger than the RyA«koku map. Finally, the Palatinus drawings contain a temporal, cyclical element (numerous calendars and representations of the zodiac) that the Vaticanus drawings usually lack.



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