Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Portulan C.G.A.5.c Facsimile Edition

Portugal — 1472–1482

On the way to being a maritime world power: the first of Portugal's amazingly realistic nautical charts

  1. An anonymous cartographer made the first of the astoundingly realistic nautical maps of Portugal

  2. The map displays the discoveries made along the African coast under the Portuguese flag

  3. It is also a testimony to the remarkable development of Portugal and Portuguese seafaring during the Renaissance

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

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  1. Description
  2. Single Page
  3. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Portulan C.G.A.5.c was made by an anonymous Portuguese cartographer between 1472 and 1482. It is the earliest example of the astoundingly realistic nautical maps of Portugal. The map displays the discoveries made along the African coast under the Portuguese flag. The flourishing cities of Lisbon and Ceuta were emphasized in particular.

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Portugal has played a special role in the history of cartography. Portuguese explorers set out into all of the lands and seas of the world and opened up completely unknown regions. In the course of this pioneering work, arguably the most important cartography schools of the European Renaissance developed in Portugal. Some of the most important historical works of the 15th century, which served as a cornerstone for our modern geography and navigation, had their origin here. Portulan C.G.A.5.c is the earliest example of a Portuguese nautical map. It displays discoveries on the coast of Africa by Fernando Gomes in the years 1471–2.

What is a Portulan?

The term portulan or portolan originally indicated a book with nautical information such as landmarks, lighthouses, currents, and harbor conditions. According to historical sources, such sea-books already existed in the 13th century. Beginning in the 16th century, the term broadened and from then on comprised not only the written descriptions, but also the accompanying nautical maps, which were contained in books. Today, the term “portulan chart” indicate a very precise type of map. The map Portulan C.G.A.5.c is one of these special maps.

The Geography of the Middle Ages

It is not known who exactly is responsible for the creation of Portulan C.G.A.5.c, but its formation period has been dated between 1472 and 1483. This is based on the special emphasis on the cities of Lisbon and Ceuta, which enjoyed a blossoming of trade and culture during this time. The faithfully detailed and geographically correct map demonstrates how astounding the knowledge of Portuguese cartographers was during the Renaissance. He managed to create maps completely without modern technical aids that are still of importance for our modern navigation today.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Portolano GCA5c
Portolan map C.G.A.5.c
Portolan-Karte C.G.A.5.c
Modena Chart
Size / Format
1 map / 60.0 × 73.0 cm
Origin
Portugal
Date
1472–1482
Language
Script
Humanistic
Content
Portolan chart of Europe, the Mediterranean, and new discoveries made along the West coast of Africa

Available facsimile editions:
Portulan C.G.A.5.c – C.G.A.5.c – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Portulan C.G.A.5.c – C.G.A.5.c – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Single Page

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Nautical Chart of the Atlantic coasts of Africa, Spain, and France

This map is the oldest surviving document of medieval Portuguese cartography and documents their exploration of the West African coast after the discoveries made by Fernando Gomez during the years 1471–72. Various landing points are marked by flags with the royal Portuguese coat of arms and other heraldic devices. The islands and archipelagos off the coast including Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and the Azores are colored red, blue, and green.

Three cities are illustrated on the map: Paris in the north while to the south we see Lisbon and the North African port city of Ceuta, which was conquered by King John I of Portugal in 1415 at the loss of only eight men before passing into Spanish control after the Iberian Union and continues to be an autonomous Spanish city today. Based upon all of the information found in the 60 x 73 cm map, researchers have dated it to between 1472 and 1482.

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Binding: Protected by a tube
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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#2 Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Binding: Three maps stored in a case with the commentary volume
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!

#3 Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Binding: Walnut showcase houses the three maps, commentary volume, a wooden-bronze paperweight, and a magnifier.
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
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