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Author Topic: PORTOLANS  (Read 3405 times)
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« on: September 30, 2007, 08:48:44 am »

Figure 2. Canakkale area,
Kitab-i Bahriye, Suleymaniye
Library, Ayasofya, 2612.

A study of such maps or sea charts from the Mediterranean reveals the interplay between diverse cultures in the area and especially the political and cultural relations between the Mediterranean countries, and the different approaches revealed by the works of Italian, Catalan or Ottoman cartographers.

The Catalan or Italian cartographers preparing maps and sea charts for their patrons seem to have developed a special interest towards the Moslem rule in the eastern Mediterranean. Ottoman expansion into Anatolia and especially the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 must have been an unpleasant reality for Italian and Catalan cartographers as they were reluctant to depict the city under Moslem rule and they preferred to indicate if all, the new masters of the Byzantine capital only by a flag and symbolize the Moslem rule in Anatolia by banners with crescents or sometimes a turbaned figure holding a dagger.

The sixteenth century saw the production of several maps and sea charts by the Ottomans. The Ottoman expansion policy in the Mediterranean resulted in the annexation of Syria and Egypt followed by the siege of Rhodes already signalling Ottoman supremacy in the Aegean by 1520's. This continuing interest in campaigns in the Mediterranean necessitated the presence of a powerful fleet and extensive geographic material.

It was Mehmed II in the 15th century who had acquired a rich collection of geographical sources for the Ottoman court. His personal interest in geography is revealed by a large number of books and maps still kept in the Topkapi Palace Museum. Francesco Berlinghieri, the Florentine geographer, dedicated a copy of Ptolemy's Geographike's Italian translation to Mehmed II. A military map of the Venetian republic also commissioned by Mehmed II is now in the Topkapi Museum.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 08:51:41 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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