02 September 2012

Piri Re'is and the Candy-Colored Mountains of the Argolid

Map of the Argolid Peninsula by Piri Re’is.  Before 1540.
(You may need to click on the map to get the whole thing.)

This is Piri Re'is' lovely map of the Argolid. Pierre MacKay transliterated and translated the Ottoman Turkish for me.

Starting in upper left, going down the west coast, then up the east:

- The unlabeled river of Lerna, Arhos/Argos probably Stymphalia above by the pink mountain. 
- Kale-i Anabolu/Fortress of Nauplion on its peninsula.
- The blue-grey island is Ropolı/Romvi, the red Plateia.
- The coast to the right of the little green island is labelled Eski Anabolu/Old Nauplion= Asine. 

- The bottom-left island is Suluca (Water Island) Spetses, with three springs and two ships in port.
- Spetsopoula to the right, with Kavoiskilı/Cape of Dogs marked just above. 
- Up in the large central bay is Fanar/Phanari, below it Kastri.
- Termia/Thermissi the red castle above yellow Çamlıca (Pine Tree Island)/Hydra. 
- Dokos the blue to Hydra's upper left.
[Notice the little dots between the long cape and the little red island indicating shoals and reefs.]

- The square red island is Damala-ı-Venedig.
- Under the blue arrow, Pâtarina. 
- Pink island above the arrow, Satika. 
- Blue island inside circle, Porto Dina.
- In gulf, Atina Körfezi/Gulf of Athens.

Along the base of the mountains, Liva-ı-Mora Mensübdir/Attached to Province of Morea.
- Castle, Kale-i Piade
- On blue mountain to the left, Vilayet-ı Mora/Province of Morea
The double rectangle at the top of the coastline is the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth going up to the pinkish İnebahti Körfezi/Gulf of Nafpaktos.

Corrections and other identifications will be welcomed.

Nauplion and Argos, picture upside-down, text right-side-up.
The big blue island is
Ropolı/Romvi, known locally as "the tits of Aphrodite,"
as the image may suggest.  The red island is Daskalo.

 Nauplion and Bourdzi, right-side up.

 If anyone wants a larger copy of the main image, e-mail me.


  1. This is gorgeous! Where is the manuscript located?

  2. Hi, Michael -- I should have included that information.

    The manuscript is in Istanbul, Aga Sofya 2612, and I took it from Kitab-i Bahriye, Publication 2 of the Turkish Historical Society, Istanbul, 1935.

    A few years back, Pierre and I had the opportunity of holding and looking at, page by page, a gorgeous, hand-candied edition made especially for Suliman the Magnificent, now in the manuscript collection of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

  3. Hi Diane,
    If you did not know already, Walters Art Museum have digitized the entite manuscript and it is available online, and allows downloads of it. Here is the link:



    Murat Cem Mengüç

  4. I don't think this is from the Walters manuscript whose pages I have actually turned. Here is a list of the extant Piri Re'is manuscripts from another reader

    Ayasofya 2605, Süleymaniye, I: 133 maps.

    Ayasofya 3161, Süleymaniye, I: 125 maps.

    Âşir Erfendi 227, Süleymaniye, I: 92 maps.

    Hamidiye 945, Süleymaniye, I: 42 maps.

    Hamidiye 971, Süleymaniye, I:116 maps.

    Husrev Paşa 272, Süleymaniye, I: 127 maps.

    Yeni Cami 790, Süleymaniye, I: 128 maps.

    Fazıl Ahmet Paşa 172, Köprülü, I: 123 maps.

    Nuruosmaniye 2990, I: 132 maps.

    Nuruosmaniy 2997, I: 130 maps.

    Ali Emiri, Millet: Coǧrafya 1, I: 136 maps.

    Topkapısarayı, B.337: 134 maps.

    İstanbul Üniversitesi T. 123/2, I: 124 maps.

    Deniz Muzesi 987, I: 69 maps.

    Deniz Muzesi 990, I: 134 maps.

    Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, MS 3612, I:105 maps.

    Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, MS 3613, I: 125 maps.

    Sachsische Landesbibliothek, Dresdan, MS eB. 389, I:119 maps.

    British Library, MS Or.4131, I: 137 maps.

    Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS d’Orville 543, I: 122 maps.

    Bibliothèque nationale, MS Suppl. Turc 220, I:122 maps.

    Prague MS 308, 87 maps

    Tubingen, MS. Or Foliant 4133 Housed in Deutsche Staatsbibliotek, Berlin, I: not yet known

    United States, private collector, Thomas Phillipps MS 3974, I: 123 maps.

    Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. H.O. 192, I: 130 maps

    Deutsche Staatsbibliotek, Diez A. Foliant 57, I: 50 maps.

    Ayasofya 2612, Süleymaniye, II: 216 maps.

    Fazıl Ahmet Paşa 171,Köprülü, II:117 maps.

    Topkapısarayı, H. 642, II: 215 maps.

    Topkapısarayı, R. 1633, II: 221 maps.

    Topkapısarayı, B. 338, II: 189 maps.

    İstanbul Üniversitesi T. 6605, II: 228 maps.

    Atatürk Library, Belediye, Muallim Cevdet 30, II:226 maps.

    Deniz Muzesi 988, II: 238 maps.

    Deniz Muzesi 989, II: 226 maps.

    Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MS W.658, II: 239 maps.

    Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyah, LNS. 75, II: 131 maps.

    Bibliothèque nationale, MS Suppl. Turc 956, II: 219 maps.

    Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, MS 3609, II:204 maps.

    Nasser D. Khalili MS 718, II: 119 maps.

    University of Kiel, Universitatsbibliotek MS. Or. 34, II: 51 maps.

  5. Do you recon the Walters Museum put somebody else's manuscript instead of theirs?

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