Skip to Content

Kort - Maps - Tabulas

Tabula alpha.  This 1569 map/tabula by Gerardus Mercator has a very special and unique historic value for Icelandic maritime history, voyages of discovery into the Arctic.  Top left to the old equator line is an Island by the name of Groclant , followed by the text in latin,: Groclant insula cujus incolae Suedi sunt origine.  That translates,:  Isle of Groclant the inhabitants are Swedes by origin.  Groenlant and Groclant apear to be facing east and west but they are not as to the old Tabula  Solar system. The top shoreline is that of Helluland, to the left of Groclant is Vinland in the bottom and the lover shoreline with the text on it is Markland.  Courtesy,: Maritime Museum Rotterdam, of one of the four originals maps.

 This is then tabula bravo, placed below the alpha map, the new version of the New World.  The Island of Friesland is on the wrong side of the line.  Friesland is now the old Groclant.  You are looking at the Hudson Bay and the year is 1569, Frobisher and Hudson a long way off to come, Frobisher in 1576.  Cartier never did wander beyond the Cape Bretons and into Labrador in 1542 and 1534.   All the others came to shore south of the St. Lawrence eastuary.

This is Iceland as Thule, the Thule people, by sailing west you hit on Herjólfsnes/Groenlant, you continue west and north and into Eiriksfjord, until you hit on Eiriksey/Groclant at the northern bottom.  Norðurhafsbotnar.  Northern ocean bottoms.

This might sound strange.  You are now looking at the west coast of Groenlant and notice the name, Screlingers.  This is the earliest name given by the Icelandic mariners to the inhabitants of the New World, the Indians and the Inuits.  Skrælingjar.  At the end of Groenlant to the right you will see the name,:  St. Thomæ.  This is the name of the monastery of St. Thomas at the southern tip of Groenlant, name to be found in the third volume of the book Grönlands Histoiske Mindesmærker.  This was an old religious clan believing in Saint Thomas Becket.  The monastery was owned by the Order of St. Thomas.  Crusaders of the dead, collecting bodies in Jerusalem and having them burried with a prayer. 

In 1484 German rovers or pirates from the Hanseatic cities of Hamborg and Bremen attacked Bergen in Norway and killed all the crewmembers of the Icelandic cargo fleet or better known then as the Greenlanders from old Greenland.  The center of that land was the Island of Grocelant also known as Friesland on the Mercator map of 1569.  What Mercator did not know then was the dobble drawing of the same area.  Mercator never did visit the area so he must have collected the old Tabula from the Bergen rovers or robbers of the Greenlandic cargo fleet.  Taking cargo and ships to Germany.  In 1569 Mercator a Flanders/Belgium national did not know anyone that had saild into this arctic area west of Iceland, not even Columbus in 1492, not even John Cabot in 1497 but he came close but only to Newfoundland.  That land was discoverd by Icelandic settlers as early as the year 1000 on record in Icelandic manuscript of 1285.  Amerigo Vespucci did not or anyone else on the list of voyages to America from 1492 to 1576 when Martin Frobisher first arrived.  Frobisher never did find Iceland on his first voyage, he got lost in fog of the East coast of Greenland. In 2013 I found a navigation map  at a museum in the city of Paimpol in Brittany,  with two lines drawn on it, one from Paimpol and up the east coast of England over to the Orkneys, south of the Fero Islands and up to the  Icelandic  east coast.  Sailors of Normandy and Brittany have lost over 400 ships and 4000 men into the sea around Iceland, when fishing since the beginning of recorded activities.

The other line was drawn  from the Island of Bréhat on the Brittany coast and directly west.  This little Island used to be a pirat heaven for centuries.  Hidden in the old books of the Abbaye de Beauport are donations of sailors from Paimpol, Morlaix and the Íle De Bréhat dating from the year 1424 to 1484, revenue from fishing in the Icelandic and Newfoundland seas.  That year 1484 one captain of Íle De Bréhat by the name of Coatanlem met one Christopher Columbus in the city of Lissbon in Portugal and had him draw a map of the seas, the lover part of the Mercator map above, Tabula bravo.  This map the fishermen of Paimpol have been using over to Iceland and Newfoundland for centuries with one copy surrviving in this little museum in Paimpol, Brittany, France.

This text is in latin on the 1569 Mercator map,: Legend 3- Inspectori Salutem, this translates as,: To the readers of this cart, greetings.   He then refers to Iceland in the following manner,:  sed assumptis simul inslulis Scandia, Albione, Hibernia, Ebudibus, Orcadibus, et Islandia, quam certum est esse Thulen ex Plinio: lib :2. cap:75, et lib : 4. cap : 16, Solino cap : 25, et Pomponio : Mela lib : 3. cap:6.  This translates into,:  but including as well the isles of Scandinavia, Albion, Ireland, the Hebrides, Orkney and Iceland., which evidently is Thule according to Pliny, Bk. 2, chap. 75 and Bk. 4, chap. 16, Solinus chap. 25, and Pomponius Mela Bk. 3, chap. 6.

Legend 6- In subjectam septentrionalis, that translates,: On northern regions.

In the matter of the representation, we have taken it from the Travels of James Cnoyen of Bois le Duc, who quotes certain historical facts of Arthur the Briton, but who gathered the most and the best information from a priest who served the King of Norway in the year of Grace 1364.  He was a descendant in the fifth degree of those whom Arthur had sent to live in these isles;  he related that, in 1360, an English minor friar of Oxford,,, 

Drupal vefsíða: Emstrur