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23.09.2014
One of his friends was Fernan Martinez de Roriz, a Portuguese canon who later became King Alfonsoa€™s confessor at the Court in Lisbon.
The upright lines on this chart show the distance from east to west, whereas the cross lines show the distance from north to south.
That you may know as much about these places as possible, you should know that the only people living on any of these islands are merchants who trade there.
There are said to be as many ships, mariners and goods there as in the rest of the world put together.
From the city of Lisbon to the west, the chart shows twenty-six sections, of two hundred and fifty miles each - altogether, nearly one-third of the eartha€™s circumference before reaching the very large and magnificent city of Kinsai. I could still tell of a€?many other things, but as I have already told you of them in person, and as you are a man of good judgment, I will dilate no further on the subject.
It is clear that Toscanelli obtained most of his information about a€?Furthest Indiaa€? from Marco Poloa€™s book, but he also mentions that an a€?ambassadora€™a€™ visited Pope Eugenius. Whether Columbus ever saw any printed or manuscript account of Poloa€™s narrative before 1485 or 1487, at the latest, is uncertain, but it can be readily ascertained from his log of the first voyage that he had seen a letter written by Paolo Toscanelli to a friend of his in Lisbon named Fernando Martinez.
The original of Toscanellia€™s letter is no longer in existence so far as known, and the only contemporary evidence that it existed is found in a volume in the Colombina in Seville that had belonged to Columbus. To Toscanelli the goal was Marco Poloa€™s Cathay, and within the intervening ocean he was aware of no considerable land other than the two large islands of Antillia and Cipangu [Japan]. Taking his departure from a port of the Iberian Peninsula and sailing down into the zone of the northeasterly trade winds, according to Toscanelli a navigator could then lay a course west or southwest on which he would find Antillia lying across his bows. The specific latitude of Somalia suggests its position in Northern Hemisphere and its proximity to the equator.
It is probable that some time about the beginning of the 1470a€™s, the canon had come to discuss geographical questions with the King, or with Crown Prince JoA?o, who was more interested in geography, and then happened to mention Toscanellia€™s theory about a passage to India across the ocean to the west.
Often before have I spoken of a sea route from here to India, the land of spices; a route which is shorter than that via Guinea.
The chart also indicates various places in India which may be reached if one meets with a storm or head-wind, or any other misfortune. Especially in the principal port called Zaiton [Marco Poloa€™s Zaitum] where they load and unload a hundred great ships of pepper every year, not to mention many other ships with other spices. This city is approximately one hundred miles in circumference, possesses ten marble bridges, and its name means a€?The Heavenly Citya€™ in our language. I have tried to answer your questions as well as the lack of time and my work have permitted me, but I am always prepared to serve His Highness and answer his questions at greater length should he so wish. Poggio Bracciolini, the Papal Secretary who wrote about Nicolo Contia€™s travels in India, adds at the end of Contia€™s narrative: a€?There came a man from the northern parts of Upper India to the Pope, wishing, on the instructions of his Nestorian Patriarch, to learn of the Christians in the countries of the West.
It appears that Martinez had written Toscanelli at the request of the king to find out whether Toscanelli thought it would be feasible to reach India by sailing across the Atlantic to the west.
At the end of this volume on two leaves the letter in Latin, dated June 25, 1474, is copied together with a letter from Toscanelli to Columbus. These were in fact the courses set by Columbus in the late summer of 1492, and Antillia was the first land which he expected to sight on his westward passage from the Canaries, based upon the Toscanellia€™s reference in his letter to Columbus to a€?the island of Antillia which is known to youa€?, in the latitude of Cipangu. Crone suggests that the belief that the East could be reached by sailing West was being reconsidered in geographical circles before the second half of the 15th century, possibly in the 14th. These were in fact the courses set by Columbus in the late summer of 1492, and Antillia was the first land which he expected to sight on his westward passage from the Canaries, based upon the Toscanellia€™s reference in his letter to Columbus to a€?the island of Antillia which is known to youa€?, in the latitude of Cipangu.A  A mapmaker who thought in terms of a globe could locate Antillia somewhat further west than might be suggested by an ungraduated mappamundi or portolan chart in which it was drawn at the left-hand edge of the parchment. Below is the map of Somalia showing major towns, roads, airports with latitudes and longitudes plotted on it.


However Compare Infobase Limited,its directors and employees do not own any responsibility for the correctness or authenticity of the same. Somalia is bounded by the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and is located towards the east of Ethiopia. At that time the Portuguese believed that they had already reached the southern extremity of Africa, and that the way to the riches of India already lay open before them.
You tell me that His Highness wishes me to explain this in greater detail so that it will be easier to understand and to take this route.
That country has many inhabitants, provinces, kingdoms and innumerable cities, all of which are ruled by a prince known as the Grand Khan, which in our language means a€?The King of Kingsa€™, who mainly resides in the province of Cathay.
Amazing things have been related about its vast buildings, its artistic treasures and its revenues. He told of the Grand Khan and of his dominion over nine powerful peoples.a€? This man was probably the ambassador mentioned by Toscanelli, and we shall have to presume that Conti and other travelers who are unknown to us today gave Toscanelli further valuable information. There is no evidence that at that time Portugal was endeavoring to reach India by rounding south Africa.
This copy, according to Columbus, was a copy of the one that had been sent to Martinez and which had been sent to Columbus himself at some later date, unknown because this second letter of Toscanelli is not dated. Toscanelli (as he told Columbus) supposed Antillia to lie 35 degrees west of his prime meridian through the Canaries; and it is in just this longitude, a little north of the equator, that Martin Behaim lays down, in his globe of 1492, the Island of St. But then came the disconcerting news that once past the Cameroons the coast again turned south and continued to do so for mile upon mile; it seems almost as if all hope of ever being able to circumnavigate Africa was abandoned. Although I could show this on a globe representing the earth, I have decided to do it more simply and clearly by demonstrating the way on a nautical chart. His forefathers greatly desired to make contact with the Christian world, and some two hundred years ago they sent ambassadors to the Pope, asking him to send them many learned men who could instruct them in our faith; but these ambassadors met with difficulties on the way, and had to turn back without reaching Rome. It lies in the province of Manji, near the province of Cathay, where the king chiefly resides. Toscanelli probably based his very exaggerated idea of the size of the world on what Marinus of Tyre had said; this was later to have some very remarkable consequences, for Christopher Columbus corresponded with Toscanelli during this time. It might appear from the contents of it, however, that Toscanelli believed that Columbus was still in Portugal, and indeed he may have been there, but I think it was much more likely that the letter did not reach Columbus until he had gone to Spain.
Brendan, with an outline very like that of Antillia in the 15th century charts and in the Vinland map (#243).
It was in this situation that the King instructed his confessor to write to Toscanelli and ask him to explain his plans more clearly.
I therefore send His Majesty a chart drawn by my own hand, on which I have indicated the western coastline from Ireland in the north to the end of Guinea, and the islands which lie along this path. In the days of Pope Eugenius, there came an ambassador to him, who told him of their great feelings of friendship for the Christians, and I had a long conversation with the ambassador about many things: about the vast size of the royal buildings, about the amazing length and breadth of their rivers, and about the great number of cities on their banks - so great a number that along one river there were two hundred cities with very long, wide bridges of marble which were adorned with many pillars.
And from the island of Antillia, which you call the Island of the Seven Cities, to the very famous island of Cipangu are ten sections, that is 2,500 miles. He sent Columbus an encouraging reply along with a copy of a letter and map that he had prepared at the request of Afonso, King of Portugal, outlining his ideas.
The original letter to Martinez, or the copy of it rather, is nothing but an abstract from some text of Poloa€™s narrative, either manuscript or printed.
He sent Columbus an encouraging reply along with a copy of a letter and map that he had prepared at the request of Afonso, King of Portugal, outlining his ideas.A  The map by Toscanelli depicted the intervening ocean which Pierre da€™Ailly described in his Imago Mundi as a€?the sea is little between the farthest bound of Spain from the east and the nearest of India from the westa€? and that a€?this sea is navigable in a few days if the wind is favorablea€? (#238).
Behaim gives it the name Insula de sant brandan.A  This apparent association of Antillia and St.


The southern area is arid and damp in monsoon, while moderate weather is found in northern part of Somalia. Toscanelli answered at some length, enclosing a map of the sea which divided Europe from Asia. This country is richer than any other yet discovered, and not only could it provide great profit and many valuable things, but also possesses gold and silver and precious stones and all kinds of spices in large quantities - things which do not reach our countries at present.
That island is very rich in gold, pearls and precious stones, and its temples and palaces are covered in gold.
Besides Toscanellia€™s extract from Poloa€™s narrative he included in the letter some calculations on the method of reaching Cathay and Cipangu by sailing to the west. Toscanelli sent the letter and maps (or charts) to the King of Portugal in 1474 and to Columbus before 1481.
And be not amazed when I say that spices grow in lands to the west, even though we usually say the east; for he who sails west will always find these lands in the west, and he who travels east by land will always find the same lands in the east. And there are also many scholars, philosophers, astronomers and other men skilled in the natural sciences who govern that great kingdom and conduct its wars. But since the route to this place is not yet known, all these things remain hidden and secret; and yet one may go there in great safety. The letter is somewhat ambiguous but with the letter to Columbus he sent a map on a plane projection and Columbus speaks of it several times in his log. We must note, however, that the globe also shows Antillia, as a triangular island lying on the Tropic of Cancer (thus nearly due west of the Canaries) and about 10 degrees east of his St.
The time followed in Somalia is observed as UTC+3 which signify that Somalia's standard time is 8 hours ahead from Washington. In his letter Toscanelli says that the map is divided into spaces which could only have been five degrees square.
There were twenty-six such spaces from Lisbon to Quinsai, he said of 250 miles each, that is 6,500 Italian miles, or about 5,000 Spanish miles. All the evidence which he could collect indicated that both his objective and the best route thither lay in tropical latitudes. From the island of Antil [that is Antilla] a purely legendary island, Toscanelli says it is 2,500 miles to Cipangu. Toscanelli, however, neglected to state how far it was from the mainland to Cipangu and this omission cut a great figure later in Columbusa€™ bewilderment when he finally reached the West Indies.
When Columbus finally found what he called Cipangu, he did not know where the mainland lay because Toscanelli had neglected to state it.
Toscanellia€™s figures amounted to about 130A° longitude difference between Lisbon and Quinsai, whereas the actual difference is about 220A°. He probably figured his 50 miles to the degree on the parallel of about 40A° which passes close to Lisbon.
As he advised sailing a little south of west he evidently considered Quinsai to lie in a lower latitude, which as a matter of fact, is the case. Like Toscanelli, he took Antillia to lie on or near the Tropic of Cancer; and if (as we suppose) the world maps he consulted included ones like those by Henricus Martellus in 1489 and 1490, which reflects Toscanellia€™s views, he could see that a course along the same parallel would bring him to Cipangu and to Mangi, the a€?cape of Asiaa€?.
As it was when he had sailed some 3,000 miles or more he gave up the search, largely I imagine because the crew refused to sail any farther from land.




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