Beyond the Pillars of Hercules


The new chapter from my second manuscript “The Enchanting Encounter with the East” focuses on the onset of the European maritime expansion into the Atlantic. Bold mariners would pave the way to the north as far as England and the Lowlands as well as to the south along the Moroccan seaboard down to Cape Chaunar. – See more at:

I claim that this time frame-roughly the late 13th-14th century can be dubbed the Little Age of Discovery. Sailors bacome experienced enough and their ships secure enough to sustain the Atlantic voyages. The interests are mostly commercial; however, the pursue of the personal glory cannot be excluded.

This chapter will be followed by two additional extracts devoted to the discovery of the new Atlantic space, not yet designed for colonization.

Photo by Rosan Harmens

Sailing Rings of the Western Indian Ocean


Over a year, I have been following Julian Whitewright, a maritime archeologist from University of Southampton, UK. I used his comparison of the efficiency of square and fore-and-aft sails while navigating in the Mediterranean in my own paper-still unpublished-which is devoted to medieval sailing. His research focuses on the Indo-Roman trade throughout the first two centuries CE. The author asserts that the whole assortment of the sailing rig rather than only the shape of a sail should be taken into consideration. He concludes that initially Indian sailors used the square rig which started to give in to a lateen rig from the 9th century CE. This happened under the influence of the Muslim traders who transferred this rig from the Mediteranean. The lateen rig started prevailing in the Mediterranean from the 5-6 centuries CE.

Medieval geography


I have just uploaded a new chapter of my study about the revival of geographical knowledge in medieval Europe. It can be viewed at
Together with the previously uploaded parts
these four articles cover Unit I of my second project. The Unit’s title is “The Miraculous Revival or the Painful Recovery”. It is devoted to diverse aspects of mathematical geography as they were discovered by medieval scholars including the prospects of navigation through the world ocean.
I would be very grateful to have your comments.

The Little Age of Discovery


My article, Atlantis Revisited, at has been honored by 700 visitors. The more complete version is available at

The European sea powers started their expansion beyond medieval borders that they had diligently constructed. Toward the newly discovered Atlantic islands and along the Atlantic seaboard of Morocco. The article will be revised later by adding new details, not principle changes.

Those, who are interested in this topic, may also read two new chapters from my second book:


The basics of mathematical geography were laid in Ancient Greece. Medieval disciples of classical scholars adopted such ideas as the sphericity of the Earth and attempted to render its circumference. Further articles will follow soon.

Navigation (1)


This week I have finished collecting and developing materials for a new unit of my second manuscript about medieval seamanship. I have also included some illustrations from wikipedia. I am going to have a fortnight’s break before going on. This will be unit 3 of my manuscript about a medieval encounter between East and West. The unit will include 9 chapters.

Nautical Chart


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.

Medieval Navigation (3)


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.