Majorca of the late middle ages that had not obtained the recognition it deserves in the English-speaking cartographical research world. I knew Father Llompart from my school days in Majorca when I attended Colegio San The Cartographer, the community where he still resides. Llompart and proposed to translate his and Riera’s research into English. Jaume Riera, Secretary of the Archival of the Kingdom of Aragon at Barcelona, who also agreed to this enterprise.
I am indebted to both the late Father Llompart and Jaume Riera for their help throughout this project. I am also grateful to Mr. Picture above centered: The Catalan Atlas of 1375, attributed to Cresques Abraham. Picture above left: Juan Ceva on the left, with Father Gabriel Llompart, Mallorca 2009. Let us take a trip into some periods of the past. The first stop on this trip will be Turkey thirty years ago. For the second stop let us take the year 1929.
Let us go into the Palace of Topkapi of the Ottoman Sultans, situated on one of the most beautiful spots of Istanbul called Sarayburnu. The palace, which consists of various buildings, each surrounded by vast gardens, testifies to the different characteristics of the Ottoman period. The Turkish Republican Government decided to turn this palace into a museum. In the process of classifying the numerous articles in the buildings, Mr. Upon hearing of this discovery of the oldest map of America Ataturk showed great interest in the matter.
He asked for the map to be brought to Ankara, studied it and ordered it to be published as it stood and to be submitted to scholarly research. Map, or chart, “portulano” in contemporary phraseology, a term used for all such charts showing the position of ports and based on the idea of the earth being flat. To study this map for the first time with Ataturk was an immense thrill. It had been drawn hundreds of years ago on a roe-skin, with various coloured illustrations and writings on it. As I held it in my hands, I felt as if I were living in the long forgotten past. My emotions are twenty-four years old now, but let us, with the same national and scholarly pride, take a glimpse into the period when this map was drawn and into the history of the man who had drawn it. This is one of the oldest and yet most perfect maps of America, drawn by a Turkish admiral.
Now, if you do not mind being centuries old for a few minutes, come with mc to the XVIth century. In this third stop our journey suddenly covers a vast ground. In the XVth century, particularly after the conquest of Istanbul, the Ottoman state grew into an Empire. To secure Turkish domination over the Black Sea and the Mediterranean she had to possess naval strength, which she did.
To get the upper hand on the Mediterranean, the Turkish forces had to fight against the Venetians, the Genoese, their usual ally the Knights of St. They finally succeeded in acquiring territorial sovereignty as far as Vienna in west, to the Caucasus, Iran and Iraq in the east, and south and the as a result of adding Syria, Egypt, Tunis, Algiers, the Hejaz and Arabia to the former conquests, formed close contacts on various seas. The fleet carried it across to the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Amman Seas up to the Indian Ocean. We do not exactly know the date of his birth, but we presume it to be between 1465-1470. He was born at Gelibolu or Gallipoli as the Anglo-American world calls it, a lovely coastal town on the Marmara Sea, which was then used as a naval base. His father was Haci Mehmet, and his uncle, the famous admiral of the period, Kemal Reis.
The children of Gelibolu grow up in water like alligators. They are rocked to sleep with the lullaby of the sea and of the ships day and night. This Turkish boy, too, falling asleep with the sound of the sea in his ears spends eleven years of his life in his native town. Like other Turkish children of the time, he acquires his early notions about the world from the ideas at home and around him, and also from the elementary teaching he was given. After he is twelve, he joins the crew of his uncle, Kemal Reis. He starts his career under the vigilance of his uncle, and takes part in all kinds of naval activities for fourteen uninterrupted years.
The first fourteen years of Kemal Reis’ life is spent in piracy, as was the custom at the time. After becoming a considerable power on the sea through his own personal efforts, in 1494 Kemal Reis accepted official recognition and position from the Ottoman Government, along with his worthy and experienced crew. Several sources confirm the indication – that Piri was with Kemal Reis before this date. In front of the monastery of Alaviri stand native rocks, among which there lies a natural port. It can take only one boat at a time, but since the mouth of the port lies open to the north, the North and the East winds do much harm to the boat lying there. It so happened to us once.
The remarks refer to the coast of Athos. There is a cape at Karaburun. People call it the cape of Kesendere. From this cape to “Kumburnu” it is all covered with pine woods. On it, 100 miles to the North-West lies the city of Salonica.