Fra Mauro's map of the world from the 15th century - toponomastics of the Balkans

Mirko Grčić


Fra Mauro's world map was created in the middle of the 15th century and at that time it represented a great progress in relation to Ptolemy's geographical and cosmographic representations, which until then had been the starting point for every geographical discourse. This map is one of those epochal works from the era of Humanism and the Renaissance, which illuminated the world with new light and thus moved scientific thought forwards. Fra Mauro's map represented the affirmation of geography and cartography, which at that time had not yet been constituted as sciences, and directed at new geographical discoveries and research. The aim of this paper is to analyse the geographical representations of the Balkan Peninsula on Fra Mauro's map. This paper provides the toponym list of the Balkan Peninsula and some surrounding areas and countries, systematised in its original form and identified in its current meaning. Special attention is given to the identification of the map as a text document, as well as to the explanation of the context, symbolism and contemporary meaning of certain geographical names.

Key words: Fra Mauro, Balkan Peninsula, Serbia, historical geography, historical cartography, toponomastics

© 2021 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia

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