This week I have nearly finished the first draft of the chapter called “The Enigma of the Portolan Chart”. I am sure that these charts had a shipboard use; there is enough textual evidence. Sure they were inaccurate – their typical scale 1 cm: 63 km was too small for port identification, that is a counter-argument – but so were nautical guides. Besides, nobody claims that nautical maps were the only device. Marines used other means for dead reckoning, to say nothing of their experience based on intimate knowledge of currents and winds, the flight of birds and the color of waves. In any case, sailors could find a desired haven in the Mediterranean from time immemorial. New devices enabled them to start sailing in the Atlantic throughout the 14th century.
I have completed my research on European navigation during the Late Middle Ages, i.e. 1300-1500. What is left now is to write the last chapter on portolan charts and review the whole unit. It is going to be the largest unit of my second book about medieval encounters between the West and the East. I speak about galleys and sailing ships, spice trade, compass, nautical guides, and portolan charts.
I also decided to reread important articles and books that has influenced my writing. This is for the future review of the whole unit.
I am writing a series of articles (a unit from my future book) about medieval ships, foreign trade, and navigation. I would like to research if medieval European mariners had powerful ships to take blue water courses, why they sailed that far, and how they knew how to get to their destination. This week I finished a draft copy of a chapter about dead reckoning and the compass. The known facts and citations are laid out in such a way as to explain that in the course of the 14th century mariners were ready to travel all weather, every season, day and night. I also developed extracts for my next chapter about portolan charts. I tried to find facts and documents relating to their shipboard use in spite of their drawbacks. I also collected material about toleta de marteloio. This is the last part of my research. I will certainly need to reread very important monographs that I encountered during my research.
My publisher, Authorhouse, wants me to take an active part in spreading a word about my history book in Israel, where I live. I was hesitant because I feel that it is not my piece of cake. I don’t believe that I can convince many people to buy my book. However, I decided to try. This week I sent e-mails to all seven Israeli universities. I told them that my book can be helpful to their students and that they can invite me to a book signing ceremony. Meanwhile, following a call from my book consultant, I ordered a batch of books to be delivered to organizations who can be interested in my work. Wish me good luck!
Not only the war! Iraq’s contribution to civilization
As we watch horrific images of beheadings from the country formerly called Iraq – a country that is disintegrating into various tribal fiefdoms before our eyes – it is easy to forget that it was once the cradle of civilization. In point of fact, Arabs are latecomers to the area. They are first mentioned in the mid 9th century BCE as a tribal people subjugated by the Assyrians. Way before that, the area was home to the Babylonians. First records indicate that Babylon was established as a city around the 23rd century BCE. It stood about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad. The city is mentioned in the Biblical Book of Genesis (11:9) as the home of the infamous Tower of Babel.
According to Huffingtonpost, in 587 BC, it was the Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Jerusalem, the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. They also destroyed…
View original post 139 more words
The full name of my history book is “Dawn and Sunset: A Tale of the Oldest Cities in the Near East”. It has just come out of print and is available in three versions: paperback, hardback, and E-book. My work describes the life and strife of one of the earliest complex societies on earth. The second version of the book contains many new ideas and considerations. It is intended for a general reader who loves to read how events and processes had actually taken place. It will also be useful for history students as a reference book on many aspects of Near Eastern studies.The book can be ordered at Authorhouse online bookstore at https://3c-lxa.mail.com/mail/client/dereferrer?redirectUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fbookstore.authorhouse.com%2FProducts%2FSKU-000923535%2FDawn-and-Sunset.aspx