Archive Results For: High Middle Ages

Note: Medieval Fenland Stone Barges; a Fragment of Evidence

By HJK Jenkins

Stone quarried in Northamtonshire was distributed by barge, with a cargo carying capacity of about 8 tonnes. The evidence of seven blocks (totalling about 7 tonnes) found in Whitelesey Mere confirms that the barge carrying them was capable of carrying that amount. Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

The Origins of the Ancient Methods of Designing Hulls Part I

By Sergio Bellabarba

Through the study of medieval age’s plans, the shipbuilding evolution in Venice and Mediterranean Sea is analysed. A set of simple rules with numerical instructions as curves, radius and arcs of a circle to determine the shape of the hulls is used in the shipyards until the evolution to a more recent method of drawings. Read More

Filed under: Early Middle Ages | Late Middle Ages | Antiquity | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

The Impact of 1992 on Christopher Columbus

By William D. Phillips Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips

The reputation of Columbus as an indomitable, God-fearing seaman is qustioned in this article which returns to the documentary base on which his legacy is founded. The conflict between scholars and the often mis-informed perceptions of the general public is examined. The article lists the current academic work in progress, including the investigation of the […] Read More

Filed under: Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Caribbean
Subjects include: Miscellaneous | Science & Exploration

Guanahani the Elusive: the Columbus Landfall Debate in Historical Perspective

By David Henige

The article traces the slow emergence of historiography relating to Columbus’s first landfall. There was a difference between what actually happened and what the Spanish court wanted the world to know, and the motives of later editors are examined. The controversy over the identity of Guanahani, the island claimed by Columbus to be his first […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Caribbean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Design and Construction of Fifteenth Century Iberian Ships: a Review

By Clinton R. Edwards

The fact that there are no designs, rigs or construction methods for ships like those of Columbus’s first voyage does not prevent our knowing in general what they would have been like and arguing about that generality. The differences between the typical nao and the caravel are explored. The building of replicas raised more questions, […] Read More

Filed under: Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Other (location)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

Cartographic Knowledge of the World in 1492

By Helen Wallis OBE

Columbus believed that he could navigate to Asia. Although portolans had made voyages south of Africa possible, an advance in cartographic knowleedge had to take place before he could travel to the West. The article examines the existing maps and the controversies surrounding them, finally describing the printed maps and the naming of America after […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Columbus’s Portuguese Inheritance

By David Waters

This article gives the background to Europe before the threats of Vikings or Muslims, where lay schools spread reading and writing and the classical scientific writings were disseminated.   The invention of the compass and quantitative navigation resulted in hydrography, portolans and portolan charts, all useful and practicable within the Mediterranean. Galleys replaced lateen sails with […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Note: Where Columbus did not Find China

By Gad Rausing

A description of the evidence scanned to locate the site of Columbus’s landfall reveals that Columbus believed he had already reached Chinese waters when he found Watling Island. Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | High Middle Ages
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

The Engraver Willem A Cruce and the Development of the Chain-Wale

By André Wegener Sleeswyk

The 15th century saw the move from clinker built ships to smooth carvel planking which in turn led to the building of bigger ships. As the size of the ships grew so did the forces placed on the hull by the shrouds supporting larger masts. The paper describes how the development of the chain-wale to […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Other (location)
Subjects include: Art & Music | Shipbuilding & Design

The Medieval Muslim Ships of the Pisan Bacini

By John H. Pryor & Sergio Bellabarba

The decorative bacini of glazed ceramic bowls used on medieval Italian churches, especially in Pisa, depict magnifient Muslim sailing ships. Medieval Arabic literature uses two hundred words for ships, and the various types are described. The strongly recurved stemposts are similar to those used in the Christian west. The article describes the use of sweeps […] Read More

Filed under: High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Art & Music | Merchant Marines | Shipbuilding & Design

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