"Here be Dragons"
November 27, 2009 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Hadji Muhiddin Piri Ibn Hadji Mehmed, ( 1465–1554/5) was an Ottoman-Turkish Admiral, Privateer, Geographer and Cartographer more commonly known as Piri Reis. In 1521 he finished his Kitab-I Bahriye or Book of Navigation This is an exquisite C17th - C18th revised and expanded version.
( scroll down and click the icons which can then be magnified. ) Marvel at the gold leaf and coloring of the map of the Bay of Salonica or the wonderful map of Rhodes. ( click addittional information button below map to get further information.)
However Piri Reis is more famously known for this map dated 1513 which is one of the oldest surviving maps to show the Americas. In the marginalia are the accounts of the pioneer seamen who have taken part in the discovery of the places shown on the map.
Piri Reis at The Map Room and wiki and related.
posted by adamvasco (6 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Those are truly amazing maps. The map of the Bay of Salonica is stunningly beautiful, if a little ridiculous for its gold leaf... but fantastic. Thanks
posted by neewom at 11:19 AM on November 27, 2009

"These coasts are named the shores of Antilia. They were discovered in the year 896 of the Arab calendar. But it is reported thus, that a Genoese infidel, his name was Colombo, who discovered these places. For instance, a book fell into the hands of the said Colombo, and he found it said in this book that at the end of the Western Sea [Atlantic] that is, on its western side, there were coasts and islands and all kinds of metals and also precious stones. Colombo, having studied this book thoroughly, explained these matters one by one to the greats of Genoa and said: "Come, give me two ships, let me go and find these places." They said: "O unprofitable man, can an end or a limit be found to the Western Sea ? Even its vapour is full of darkness." The above-mentioned Colombo saw that no help was forthcoming from the Genoese, he sped forth, went to the Bey of Spain [king], and told his tale in detail. They too answered like the Genoese. In brief Colombo petitioned these people for a long time, finally the Bey of Spain gave him two ships"

-fascinating to read another culture's take on a popular mythology-folktale. Excellent post!
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on November 27, 2009

"These [Spaniards] were pleased and gave them glass beads. It appears that he [Columbus] had read-in the book that in that region glass beads were valued."

Hmmm, that sounds like a good book. Wonderful post, many many thanks.
posted by rudster at 12:08 PM on November 27, 2009

Intriguing stuff. Thanks!
posted by ob at 1:55 PM on November 27, 2009

I love maps, the older the better :) Thank you.
posted by pjern at 4:55 PM on November 27, 2009

Metafilter: Even its vapour is full of darkness.
posted by basicchannel at 6:10 PM on November 27, 2009

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