The Golden Age of Maritime Maps
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Portolan charts - from the Italian portolano, meaning 'relating to ports' - were used by sailors from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Painted on vellum, they show every coastal feature, with the seas criss-crossed by rhumb lines. This book reproduces 142 of these maps in superb detail, while experts trace their origins among the Jewish cartographers of Majorca, the influence of Islamic and Indian mapmakers, and the maps' dissemination as Europeans began to explore the Atlantic and Indian oceans.