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Mediterranean Sea, 14th century. North is at bottom. This portolan chart was produced in around 1320-1350, probably in Genoa, Italy. It ranges from the Balearic Islands (far right) to the Levantine coast (far left), and also covers the western part of the Black Sea (bottom left). Venice and Italy are at lower right, Greece at centre left, and the North African coast is across top. Portolan charts are nautical charts with harbours and coasts labelled (here in Latin). The lines on the map are rhumb lines, designed to make it easier to steer a straight course. This manuscript chart made on vellum is the oldest original map held at the Library of Congress.
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