Home Medieval Macedonia on a map by Fernão Vaz Dourado – 1576

Macedonia on a map by Fernão Vaz Dourado – 1576


 A beautiful map from 1576 containing Macedonia created by Fernão Vaz Dourado.

Fernão Vaz Dourado was a Portuguese cartographer, he lived between 1520 and ca. 1580.

He belonged to the third generation of ancient Portuguese nautical cartography, which was characterized by abandoning Ptolemaic influence on the representation of the Orient and introducing better accuracy in the representation of countries and continents. Little is known about his historical figure.

Between 1568 and 1580 he made several atlases, the one presented here is from an atlas from 1576 now kept in the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal in Lisbon.

His maps are among the cartographic masterpieces of the late 16th century, reflecting a period of growing demand for cartographic works characterized by visual excellence and accuracy for practical navigation.

This atlas from 1576 consists of 17 illustrated maps, declination tables and a list of rules for cosmography.

The atlas contains maps of the southern tip of South America and the Strait of Magellan, the Caribbean archipelago and surrounding parts of North and South America, the Atlantic coast of present-day Canada (Labrador) and the United States, Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Baltic Sea, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, West Africa, Southern Africa, Brazil, the Madagascar Islands and nearby Mozambique, East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and India, China and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific coast of Mexico and California.

All toponyms are in Latin. The Atlas was part of the Royal Assembly at the Palácio das Necessidades Palace in Lisbon.

Kings Don Luis and Don Carlos commissioned the sketches and reproductions of maps from this atlas. The atlas became part of the collection of the National Library of Portugal after 1910. It was previously owned by Cavaliero Ferrón (c.1843), a member of the French Geographical Society, and João Martensch Ferrao de Castelo Branco (after 1847).

You can read the Atlas here 

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