Portolano for the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Marston Portolano)

Published/Created:
Venice
between 1400 and 1450
Physical Description:
2580 x 150 mm.
Notes:
Manuscript on parchment roll, consisting of five skins pasted together, of an untitled list of 267 courses mentioning distances between two places and the bearing according to a 32-point compass, in Venetian dialect. Damp stains have damaged and even obliterated some parts of the text, especially in its first section. Ruled in lead for three columns of uneven width, the first containing two place names and the bearing, the second the word mi(lia) and the third the number indicating the distance between the two places. Written by one scribe in black ink except for five lines in red; of these lines 145 and 171 are no entries, but rubrics introducing the sections dealing with the Sea of Azov and the islands of the Aegean Sea respectively. The handwriting is a small Southern Gothica Textualis Libraria under Cancelleresca influence; the latter is most apparent in the shape of the letter g and in the horizontal approach strokes at the top of the ascenders.
In Italian (Venetian dialect).
The date and meaning of this exceptional document have been debated since it was described in 1972 by its owner, Thomas E. Marston. Whereas Marston dated the document from ca. 1300 and considered the possibility of its being produced as an aid to medieval portolan map making, research by James E. Kelley has demonstrated that it cannot be dated before the fifteenth century and that a document of this kind and containing so many errors could not be used as a basis for the making of a map. Kelley consequently classified the document in the category of pilot books.
The majuscules are heightened in red.
Cataloged from microfilm by Albert Derolez.
Cite as: Marston Portolano. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Faye and Bond, p.?, no. 238. Thomas E. Marston, An Aid to Medieval Portolan-Chart-Making?, Gazette, 46 (1972), pp. 244-246. James E. Kelley, Jr., The Marston Portolano. An Alternative View of a Fifteenth Century Scroll thought to be a Cartographer's Guide, ?. James E. Kelley, Jr., Pilot Books. A Survey of Periploi and Portolani from Ancient Times through the End of the Fifteenth Century, ?.
Topics:
Manuscripts, Medieval -- Connecticut -- New Haven
Topics:
Italy -- Description and travel
Language:
Italian
Genre:
Manuscripts, Medieval
Scrolls (information artifacts)
Format:
Mixed Material
Content Type:
Archives or Manuscripts
Rights:
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Public
Call Number:
Beinecke MS 506
Orbis Record:
9653358
Orbis Barcode:
39002091471038
Yale Collection:
Beinecke Library
Digital Collection:
General Collection, BRBL, Yale University
oid pointer:
15505649
Extent of digitization:
Complete work digitized.
OID:
9998847
PID:
digcoll:3694873

Number of Pages: 18
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