WWW-Virtual Library: History
Map History / History of Cartography: THE Gateway to the Subject

WWW-VL Main Catalogue WWW-VL History Central Catalogue
(main menu)


What the
site is
Map History

Explanation and footnotes


the three 'Red Names Analysis' listings

Presence of Red Names on the portolan charts (up to 1400)
Presence of Red Names on the portolan charts (1400-50)
Presence of Red Names on the portolan charts (post-1450)
(Note these are Microsoft Word tables)

Red Names Menu   |  Toponymy Menu   |  Portolan Charts Main Menu

Commentary on the analysis (essay)
Summary Table of Red Names: their appearance, frequency and disappearance (a Microsoft Word document)    |    General toponymic listing (an Excel spreadsheet)

Notes on the tables


'Geog[raphical] sort' This refers to the Portolan Chart Toponymy Full Table (an Excel spreadsheet). 'a, b, c,' etc. numbers in the second column were those added since publication of the (now superseded) Table of 'Significant Names' (published 22 January 2012)

'Name (typical form found on the charts)'. An asterisk (*) after the name refers to the respective Footnote below. These are arranged according to their number in the first column (i.e. in the geographical sequence).

Highlighting. For the period up to 1500 the content of Genoese works is coloured red, while Catalan charts are highlighted in yellow

Conventions. Only the presence of a name in Red is indicated. The followng conventions are used:

First and last. A bold tick/check indicates the first noted instance of that name on a dated work; teal (dark green) is applied for works without a date [used only on the first table]; and its last noted appearance is emphasised in blue [used only on the second table]

Specific to the pre-1400 listing:


For the period up to 1469, reference for illustrations is made to the DVD accompanying Pujades 2007, except where two or more charts were considered together. On the '1450 onwards' table, Row 3 'Pujades &c.', includes abbreviations for the source of the scan used in the case of charts from 1470 onwards:

For further information about access to the online reproductions offered by the BnF, Huntington and Yale, see: Scans


Major cities. Some may be indicated on the chart by a prominent flag or vignette instead of being named. Those instances have generally been ticked/checked

Inland cities. A few, e.g. Toulouse (109a), Seville (274), Avignon (417), Vicina (1108a), Cairo/Babilonia (which has not been noted), are sometimes written in the coastal sequence. The absence of a tick does not necessarily mean the name is not included in red. Some chartmakers were erratic in applying red, e.g. Vesconte

Missed names. Sometimes it is apparent that the chartmaker missed an individual name or, more rarely, an entire section of red names. This has not been signalled in these tables (apart from the evidence provided by the obvious gaps). There are sometimes extensive interruptions, which appear to be intentional. It would not therefore be justifiable to attempt to make a distinction between careless error and intentional omission. Later charts frequently started at C. Finisterre, thus omitting France and northern Spain, and many omitted the Black Sea

Top of page


15a. t / beobila on Bianco 1436/48, where Le Tréport might have been expected

26. arefloe - there is apparent confusion here. Both the Bianco atlas of 1436 (Pujades A18) and the 1448 chart (C46) appear to repeat areflor (Harfleur) where antifer (C. d'Antifer) would be expected

77. giranda - this might refer either to Guérande or to the River Gironde. Because it was initially assumed it was the latter, this was not systematically noted

128. gitaria - seen in red only on Pujades C22 (the latest in this group), and not on the other three Cresques atelier works nor on the Catalan Atlas

190a. c.finisterra - it is cited in this listing when it appears as part of the continental sequence, not when it is written off the coast

247. c. de s. vicenzo - usually written off the coast and therefore not thoroughly checked

256. c.s.maria [di faro] - found next to faraom, this reads in full c.s.maria de faro . They are alternatives

279. cadis - sometimes written off the coast and therefore not thoroughly checked

283b. Algeciras - a rare example of three distinct name forms, isalcaldera, zizera and algeçira, the last two of which were introduced during the course of a single chartmaker's career (Vesconte and Benincasa)

345. calp / carpi - the name next to denia (350) to the south was read by Pujades (2007, p.396) as a misplaced calp on the 1447 Roselli chart, but it is illegible on the DVD scan. It is not in red on the later Roselli charts

368a. anposta - shown in red on both the surviving G. Soler charts (although not noted as such by Pujades for the Paris chart). The recently discovered fragment (see E24) does not extend far enough north

391. palamos / pesamar - written in the sea on the Riccardiana chart (Pujades C4), as is nearby salo

623. taranto - while usually shown at the end of the main south coast sequence (i.e. written vertically) this is occasionally introduced into the Salentine peninsula (written horizontally) - see, e.g.. Pujades A26 (in a small detached strip) and C49

625. galipoli - sometimes written off the coast and therefore not thoroughly checked. Confusingly, it may be written in the Salentine sequence, and either way round

755. aquilea - the 1367 Pizzigani brothers chart, and that attributed by Pujades to them (C21), have agolia instead; the 1373 Pizzigani atlas has both forms

767. piran - appears in red on just the two latest Vesconte works: British Library 27376* and the 1327 Perrino chart. It is misplaced in each case and, on the first, the red is written over a black original

780. pola - appears in red on just two of the later Vesconte works: Vatican 1362A (c.1321) and the 1327 Perrino chart

921. coranto - usually written the other way up, i.e. for viewing from the north

923. [val d']ostria - between that and patras (925) there are two unidentified names on Pujades C21 (the chart he attributed to the Pizzigani brothers) and on the Venetian chart in the (UK) National Archives (Pujades C24). The first name might be val d'ostria

1000. vallo / volo - noted only on the 1430 Briaticho chart in red, where misplaced south of Ladena

1028c. seres - may be a corruption of comitesa (1028)

1037a. thiaso - included by Sideri (Callapoda), this is a repeat of the island named nearby

1056. malido - noted only on the anonymous Venetian atlas of c.1425-50 (Pujades A31). However, it is repeated in red on two overlapping sheets and so must have been intentional

Black Sea (nos.1074-1317) - there are few names on the 'Liber' and that area on the Carte Pisane is largely lost; so presence only is noted for the four earliest columns

1143a. gerzonda - evidently a mistake, on the lower of the two Cornaro Atlas copies of Francesco Beccari's charts, for nearby gericonda (1146, in black). Either of these may refer to cressona, a Genoese trading post on the site of ancient Chersonesus, destroyed at the end of the 14th century

1168. vospro - sometimes written in the sea and, perhaps because of that, written in red

1197. pesso / pexio - the lower of the two Cornaro Atlas copies of Francesco Beccari's charts has lopero here in red; the 1463 Benincasa has faxio here instead by mistake

1215. caquia / zechia - is sometimes written inland, enlarged as a province name. Those instances have not been noted

1219. auogasia - normally found on the north-east shore on earlier charts, it is shown on the uncertainly dated Medici Atlas (Pujades A25, sheet 8) where 1238 castri or arcussi would be expected, next to fasso . On the upper of the two Cornaro Atlas copies of Francesco Beccari's charts costo auogastio appears east of Sevastopoli

1237. fasso - in a coincidental reversal (of 1197), the Genoese atlas (Pujades A9) has peso for fasso

1254. trapesonda - immediately to the east on the Medici Atlas (Pujades A25, sheet 8), and evidently forming part of the same label, is co castro

1361. janicari / graniza - Sideri, who sometimes showed it in red, mutated the name from ianiçari via graniçara to graniza

1548. sturio - this appears in red on an island in the Nile delta, on the Corbitis and Pinelli-Walckenaer atlases

1602. c.rasuto - evidently replaces No.1601 c. de rasaocem

1630. sibecha - not an alternative for the nearby zedicho, since they are sometimes found together

1670. sfachis - the 1421 Cesanis has the sequence: ffaxe, ( )romol, frixolli, faquixe - i.e. Fachs twice; Pujades A15 has: capess, ffaxsse, ffaqxe, zaffrica. Such repetitions of Sfax, typical of 15th-century Venetian work, are indicated with a hash (#)

1731. titellis - the Catalan Atlas appears to have acelia in red where titellis would be expected

1782c. casasa - evidently a Maggiolo corruption of Alcudia

1786. motzema / alsema - the 1367 Pizzigani chart has camor instead of a variant of motzema [cf Azamor at No.1819]

Top of page

Comments on specific chartmakers or charts

[where the work in question has been listed below, a + has been added in the header row of the relevant table]

Up to 1400

  • Carte Pisane (Pujades C1)- there are areas of illegibility

  • Cortona chart (Pujades C2) - there are areas of illegibility, with the red sometimes very faded

  • Vesconte - the 'early' column refers to the 1311 chart, substituted by the 1313 atlas for the Atlantic and west Mediterranean (Pujades C3 & A1); the 'later' column records subsequent names added by the Vescontes

  • Lucca chart (recently discovered and not in Pujades) - several red names show as traces only; some are likely to be unusual; a later attempt at a full transcription should enable more red names to be identified - on this see the article by Philipp Billion, 'A newly discovered fragment from the Lucca Archives, Italy', Imago Mundi: the International Journal for the History of Cartography 63: 1 (2011): 1-21.

  • Dalorto/Dulceti - the pattern on the 1330 and 1339 charts is almost identical. In a few cases - 411 magalona, 536 teracina, 571 policastro, 679 ortona, 1040 asprosa - the area was unclear on the 1330 chart; in others, e.g., 377 salo, 1078 cisopoli and 1482 alesandretta, the 1330's red name was not repeated in 1339. "&" indicates a name seen first on the 1339 chart; "+" refers to names first seen on the undated [but post-1339] British Library chart - Pujades C9

  • Carignano (Pujades C6) - it was too difficult to make out names on the photograph of the chart destroyed in World War II. [Update: A composite version of the pre-War photographs of the Carignano map, engineered by Alberto Quartapelle in August 2022, is available in the Medea database.]

  • the early Genoese chart (ex Nico Israel and Hôtel Drouot) is faded and has smudged sections; some red names may have been missed (Pujades C9bis)

  • Majorcan chart (Pujades C12) - there are no red names; they were either washed out or were never present

  • the 1367 Pizzigani chart treats some of the more important places with vignettes or flags; since their names would not appear in the coastal sequence they were not necessarily noted. Although the red toponyms stand out on the Pujades DVD it is very difficult to read the surrounding black names and hence identify those by context. Access in June 2014 to a high resolution version of the skilful hand-drawn copy made for the Jomard facsimile atlas, c.1849, allowed the first instance in red of a number of places to be transferred from the 1373 atlas to the 1367 chart. This applied particularly to Italy's Adriatic coastline.
          The two later sheets in the 1373 atlas (Pujades A10(b)), covering the Adriatic (sh.8) and Aegean (sh.6), repeat the majority of red names found on the atlas's original sheets. However, there are some significant differences - various omissions, but also red names not found on one or both of the other Pizzigani works, e.g. 654 Barletta, a name that appears (improbably) as sortnbla (where the non-Pizziganian red name lastromola (1032) might have been expected); and a name otherwise unrecorded in red, 1035 cristopoli

  • Cresques atel[ier] - the column contains a composite listing of the red names on Pujades C15, 18, 19 & 22 (the Topkapi chart, C20, could not be reproduced by Pujades)

  • the fragment formerly in the possession of Prince Youssouf Kamal could be reproduced in black and white only (Pujades C23)

Up to 1450
  • Beccari. Those names shown in red on the Cornaro Atlas copy of an F. Beccari chart, but not thus on the signed chart of 1403, are indicated in the table with a red asterisk (*). The seven instances which mark the first appearance of that name are indicated by an enlarged, black asterisk. While the majority of the Cornaro's red name selections match those of 1403, it is possible that exceptions might be mistakes by the unknown copyist. The 1426 and 1435 Battista Beccari charts (Pujades C36 & 39) - both of which exclude the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea - follow closely his father Francesco's chart of 1403. The significant differences are that the 1403 innovation of a red monte argentar (520) is not repeated, while in 1426 Battista writes two new names in red: 73 arabom and 552 vico (indicated in the table with a minus sign).

  • Sentuzo Pongeto, fragments of a chart of 1404 - reproduced in black and white only (C26)

  • Viladesters (M. & J.) - none of the three surviving charts (1413, 1423 or 1428) was wholly legible. The 1428 chart, because it is in the Topkapi Museum, Istanbul, could not be included on the Pujades DVD. However the western half is reproduced legibly in Pujades (2009, pp.80-1). That was used where possible and the 1413 chart (Pujades C30) elsewhere

  • Medici Atlas (Pujades A25) omits all red names from sheet 4, covering Spain and N. Africa

  • Bianco - the 1436 atlas is hard to read and his names are often so corrupted (e.g. for the North Atlantic) that only the position of those in red suggests what might be intended. However, there are considerable differences between the atlas and the 1448 chart. Sheet 8 of the 1436 atlas has all the names in red, and has therefore been omitted from this analysis

  • R. Soler - the signed (but undated) chart (Pujades C52) starts at 254 faraom. Red names up to that point have been taken from the attributed chart (Pujades C51). No differences in the red names were noted between the overlapping sections, though it was not possible to confirm the reading of the single innovation on C52 (1409 statea) but it is likely

1450 onwards
  • Benincasa - the 1463 atlas was checked and no differences were found between that and the atlas of 1469 (Pujades A33 & 41)

  • Russo. Because the scan of the 1520 chart was clearer, the initial analysis was done from that rather than the 1508 chart. However, all apparent innovations on the 1520 chart were checked on the 1508 version. Just three of the many instances (marked on the table with +) were not seen on the earlier chart.

  • Sideri (Callapoda) - the latest available chart was used (that of 1565). The Freduccis and Sideri were slavish imitators of the Benincasas. Since this applied also to the choice of red names, the Sideri column has been highlighted in grey and repeated immediately after Benincasa to allow direct comparison. As was found with the ordinary (black) place-names, Benincasa's Freducci/Sideri successors seriously distorted the observed pattern of toponymic obsolescence, preserving some names for half a century or so after almost all other chartmakers (except sometimes Agnese) had abandoned them. [Where a Sideri work is the last to include a red name, this fact is noted in a separate column in the Summary Table of Red Names: their appearance, frequency and disappearance (a Microsoft Word document)]

  • Maggiolo family. No adequate facsimile was available to me for either of the 1512 charts (since the Hispanic Society reproduction is in black and white) and so the 1516 chart was used instead, supplemented by the more legible one of 1519

Top of page

The Pujades' listings

Good use has been made of the detailed comparative tables in the 2007 volume, covering Valencia/Catalunya and the northern Adriatic. This relates to my numbers 340-401 and 706-833 respectively. A few corrections had to be made to Pujades's red colour indications. The same applies to the listing for the 1439 Vallseca chart in the 2009 volume, where the colour of some names was wrongly identified.

Toponymy on charts produced outside the Mediterranean

It was noticed that there were marked differences in the selection of names on Portuguese, French and English charts. Those charts have therefore been excluded from this analysis, since they would have seriously obscured any patterns that have otherwise emerged.

This applied particularly to the Atlantic coastline. For example, the 1543 Brouscon chart (available online via the Huntington Library) includes a number of otherwise unrecorded names for the French coast. Likewise, a century later, the charts of the Thames or Drapers' School, as evidenced by Comberford and Burston, have a distinctive toponymy for the same region, something that would merit investigation.

Starting with the Aguiar chart of 1492 it is apparent that Portuguese toponymy, and the selection of red names, is quite unlike Italian and Catalan work. It is often difficult to match up the Aguiar names with those found on contemporary Mediterranean charts. Indeed, a number are unrecognisable, whether on the chart itself or in the Guerreiro transcription.

It was, nevertheless, planned to check the Aguiar chart to see if it showed in red any names first noted thus for the 16th century. However it swiftly became clear that its author's selection of red names apparently followed a different logic to that of the Mediterranean chartmakers. Many of the usual names were ignored, while numerous relatively obscure places were favoured instead. The 1492 chart was therefore omitted entirely from this analysis, although any first instances of black names had been noted in the earlier, general toponymic analysis.

Top of page

Red Names Menu   |  Toponymy Menu   |  Portolan Charts Main Menu

HOME (main menu)  |  Tony Campbell articles  |  Index   |   Sitemap   |   What this site is about   |   What's New