Early mapping of Solomon Islands [rough and preliminary draft .... (project postponed)]

Last modified: 
8/3/2017
Unfinished project.

Mendaña & Antonio Millo

Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira, sent by Spain from Peru for further expedition of New Guinea (discovered in 1527 by the Portuguese Menezes Jorge de Menezes; then still believed to be part of the "Australian Continent"), was the first European to discover of Solomon Islands, on the first (1567) of his two expeditions. In his second expedition (1595); planning to begin a colony at New Guinea; he found Santa Cruz Island and Marquesas Islands instead, about fifty to sixty degrees too far east of New Guinea.

It has been argued that the first published mapping then, of Solomon Islands, occurred through the Italian maps of Antonio Millo (1582-1583). The significant number of years passed between Mendana's expedition and the publishing of its data may be attributed to a general lack of political interest in the islands.1

The relevant maps of the native Greek Antonio Millo could possibly be retained in a collection of the "Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuelle II" in Rome, Italy; division "Carte nautiche 6"2 Thumbnails of the maps in that collection entitled "[Atlas with 12 portolan charts and 11 topographical maps], Antonius Millo F", on-line available through the database "Greek Cartography: the Documents" of "the Institute Of Neohellenic Research/NHRF", are marked as being in the public domain3, but their resolution is too small to identify Solomon Islands. As part of NHRF's project "Geographical Culture and History of Cartography", the supervisor of the database is George Tolias.

However, I can not be certain of this, as it is known that the atlases within "manuscript nautical isolarii" by Antonio Millo (sometimes signing as "Antonio da Milo" or "Amiraglio dal Zante"), produced between 1582 and 1591, included at least 90 maps of the islands of the Mediterranean alone.4

Map excerpts

Juan López de Velasco, Descripcion de las Yndias del Poniente (±1575)

Reworking of Herrera y Tordesillas,1625: https://libweb5.prin...

Maris Pacifici, Abraham Ortelius (1589)

Planisphere, João Baptista Lavanha & Luis Teixeira (1597 & 1612)

  • Caption: Visual excerpt as occurring in a compilation by Luis Filipe F. R. Thomaz. Based on: Armando Cortesão & Avelino Teixera da Mota, Portugaliæ Monumenta Cartographica, 1960 and onwards, Volume IV, p. 426; located in "Atlas & Cosmography, Biblioteca Reale, Torino, Italy".5
  • Latin inscriptions: Beach Lucach ♦ Petan Iav? ♦ Nova Guinea ♦ Vastissimas hic esse .regiones facile credet qui 11 & 12 caput liber 3 de Paulo Veneto legerit, collato simul 27 capiti liber 6 Ludovici Romani.

Pacific Ocean, Hessel Gerritsz (1622)

https://upload.wikim...

A map from an atlas, João Teixeira I (1630)

  • Caption: Visual excerpt as occurring in a compilation by Luis Filipe F. R. Thomaz. Based on: Armando Cortesão & Avelino Teixera da Mota, Portugaliæ Monumenta Cartographica, 1960 and onwards, Volume IV, p. 467; located in "Library of Congress, Washington, U.S.A.".5
  • Portuguese inscriptions: NOVA GUINEA ♦ Ilhas de Salamão

Anonymous map, [João Teixeira Alvernaz] (±1640)

  • Caption: Visual excerpt as occurring in a compilation by Luis Filipe F. R. Thomaz. Based on: Armando Cortesão & Avelino Teixera da Mota, Portugaliæ Monumenta Cartographica, 1960 and onwards, Volume IV, p. 498; located in "Bibliothèque du Port de Toulon, France".5
  • Portuguese inscriptions: NOVA GUINEA ♦ I. de Homens ♦ Eq. ♦ Ilhas de Salamão ♦ T. Capric.

Footnotes

  • 1. ▸ Nakamuru Hiroshi, East Asia in Old Maps, Tokyo: The Centre for East Asian Cultural Studies, 1962 (Originally published in 1962 with the assistance of UNESCO, in implementation of the Major Project on Mutual Appreciation of Eastern and Western Cultural Values), Reprinted 1997, ISBN: 4-89656-001-9, pp. 71-72.
  • 2. "Carte nautiche 6" is a part of the eight series of nautical maps, being held as part of the "Collezioni Speciali" > "Cartografia" (Special Collections > Cartography) in the library "Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuelle II", in the room "Sala manoscritti e rari" (Room of manuscripts and rarities.

    http://www.bncrm.lib..., Collezioni Speciali, Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma, accessed at 25 November 2016.
    http://www.bncrm.lib..., Manoscritti, Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma, accessed at 25 November 2016.
  • 3. http://portal.europe...
  • 4. http://ejournals.epu...
  • 5. a. b. c.http://www.persee.fr... / http://www.persee.fr..., Thomaz, Luis Filipe F. R., "The image of the Archipelago in Portuguese cartography of the 16th and early 17th centuries", in: Archipel (1), Vol. 49, 1995, pp. 79-124, ISSN: 0044-8613.

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