Skip to main content

Gasparo Tentivo’s Portolano of the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the Archipelago

 Collection — Volume: 1
Call Number: MS G4


Portolano or book of manuscript sea charts, sailing directions, and descriptions of anchorages covering primarily the Greek islands and coasts; also the Sea of Marmora, Turkish coast, Rhodes, Crete, Cyprus; and part of the Yugoslavian, Albanian, Syrian and Egyptian coasts; and Brindisi.


  • 1715? (after 1714; before fall of Tenos.)


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


1 volume : Pagination: Pages [i-vi] 1-[164] [vii-x]. Irregularly paged; total actually 176 pages (including blanks), plus 8 pages of endpapers, 4 bifolia maps, and 1 single sheet map inserted hors texte. Ornamentation: 88 charts and maps. Charts are usually centered by a windrose in the sea; show shore-line, anchorages, soundings as a map; show skyline of shore, prominent buildings, typical vegetation, town-views as a view from the point of the windrose. Heavily floriated tail-pieces, initials, etc. Brown ink; occasional (later?) use of colour. Material: Paper: bifolium ca 43 x 29 cm. Watermark: 3 crescents. Resembles Heawood 867, 865, 870, 871, 874: all Venetian, ranging ?1600-1783. Closest to 867: Venice 1696. Several obscure counter-marks. ; Volume measures no taller than 45 cm.

Scope and Contents

Full volume title: Nauta omnium nautarum. Il nautico ricercato del Mare Ionio, et Egeo, ó Arcipelago portolano topografo de porti, golfi, canali, capi, punte, secche bassifondi, et isole di questi due mari, aggiuntoui anco le spiaggie di Cipro, e la costa di Soria. Il tutto uisto, e diligentemente dissegnato da Gasparo Tentiuo, et in fine d'ogn'una delle descrittioni de luochi un sucinto, e curioso racconto, tanto delle fauole, come dell'istorie antiche degli'istessi.

The title-page is on pages [v-vi]. An introdutione al libro is on pages 1-2. It explains that for an overview one should use the Carte Geografiche "quali sono appartate con'altro libro con foglio maggiori quattro"--2 for the entire Mediterranean, 1 for the Golfo diVenetia, 1 for the Arcipelago; how to adjust for error, for magnetic variation, and between the charts and the maps; how to use il balestriglio; geographical terms.

The bulk of the text is on pages 3-156. Each section consists typically of a chart, a title, sailing directions to and from other places, specific pilotage instructions and descriptions of the shore, and short history of the area. Apparently drawn from the author's own experience. The text sometimes covers more than the area charted.

Colophon on page 158.

"Tavola in cui sono descritte le figure geographiche con sue dichiarationi..." is pages 159-162.

Physical Location


Other Finding Aids

See the attached for a detailed list by numbered item within the volume:

Custodial History

Obliterated inscription on page [iii]. Note signed W [?] on page [158].

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Rosenthal, before 1963

Guide to Gasparo Tentivo’s Portolano of the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the Archipelago.
Gasparo Tentivo’s Portolano of the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the Archipelago
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1972; revised by ksc, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Gasparo Tentivo’s Portolano of the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the Archipelago, Department of Special Collections, MS G4, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States