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A Pacific prospectus: the origins and identities of the islands depicted in the south sea on the Dieppe maps.


The map makers of Dieppe in northern France made brilliantly illuminated world maps and atlases, such as the atlas of Jean Rotz dated 1542, in the middle of the sixteenth century (Fig. 1.). They are well-known for their depiction of Java la Grande, the problematic land mass south of Java, but they depict even more problematic objects in the south-west Pacific Ocean, namely three groups of islands that lie a thousand miles (more or less) off the east coast of the land mass (Fig. 2.). These island groups are often assumed to be geographically related to Java la Grande. If, for example, the land mass is supposed to be Australia then they are taken to be islands in the south-west Pacific; if its eastern coastline is supposed to belong to Indo-China then they are islands in the South China Sea; or, if the land mass is supposed to be a duplicated South America then they are Caribbean islands (Table 1.). However, they can be identified without reference to Java la Grande. Their origins lie in the inconsistent accounts of Magellan's two island discoveries in the South Pacific. Their locations supply the main evidence for their Magellanic origins. Their names and shapes, together with the insights afforded by the texts of the contemporary pilot and cosmographer Jean Alfonse, supply evidence of their transformation at the hands of the Dieppe mapmakers from two small, barren, uninhabited and harbourless atolls into three large and attractive island groups.

Two authors, Roger Herve and Peter Trickett, have considered the possibility that one or two of the groups might depict Magellan's South Sea discoveries. Herve listed two of the groups as possibly having Magellanic origins but he offered no argument or discussion of the matter. It seems likely that he took notice of two facts: firstly, that the island groups are shown in the South Pacific and, secondly, that one of the Dieppe place names has the same meaning as the name of one of Magellan's islands. Like Herve, Trickett noticed the same place name but he argued against the possibility, noting that Magellan's island lies in eastern Polynesia and therefore it 'would lie far beyond the Vallard map's north-eastern border' (Trickett 2007, 256). Later, he formed an opinion that the same group represents Vitu Levu, the main island of Fiji (Trickett 2013, 4).


Magellan's story is so well-known that it only needs touching on. His fleet emerged from the strait between continental South America and Tierra del Fuego, sailed north along the west coast of the continent for nearly a fortnight, then turned northwest. In the middle of the South Pacific the fleet came upon two small, barren, uninhabited and harbourless islands. The first island found is usually identified with Puka-Puka in the Tuamoto Archipelago and the second with either Flint or Vostok, two islands among the Line Islands.

Several contemporary accounts of Magellan's expedition survive, all of which mention the discovery of islands in the South Pacific, but the accounts are inconsistent and two mapping traditions emerged from them (Table 2.). The first account to be printed, at Cologne in 1523, is that of Maximilianus Transylvanus who acquired his information by interviewing the survivors of the expedition. Of the islands he wrote:

When they had almost reached the tropic of Capricorn once more, [i.e. sailing northwards] two islands were sighted but small and barren. These they found uninhabited when they tried to land; still, they stopped there two days for their health's sake, and general recruitment of their bodies, for there was very fair fishing there. They named these Unfortunate Islands by common consent (Maximilianus Transylvanus, in Stanley 1874, 197).

Maximilianus' account is evidently the source used by Johannes Schoner for the location of the islands on his globe gores of 1523/4, the first globe to depict geographical information brought home by the expedition's survivors. The islands are shown on it as a binary group on the tropic of Capricorn and they are called insule infortunate (unfortunate islands). Schoner's interpretation was adopted by his many followers, among them Oronce Fine, whose single cordiform world map of 1534-6 also shows the islands as a binary group in the same latitude but now under the name insule deserti (uninhabited islands). Fine's maps are said to have been known to the map makers of Dieppe. (1)

The second tradition stems from the accounts of eye-witnesses, namely Magellan's personal companion Antonio Pigafetta, the pilot Francisco Albo, and the anonymous authors called the Companion of Odoardo Barbosa, and the Genovese Pilot. The account of Antonio Pigafetta may be taken as typical. He wrote:

This [sea] was well named Pacific for during this same time we met with no storm, and saw no land except two small uninhabited islands, in which we found only birds and trees. We named them the Unfortunate Islands; they are two hundred leagues apart from one another, and there is no place to anchor, as there is no bottom. There we saw many sharks, which are a kind of large fish which they call Tiburoni. The first isle is in fifteen degrees of austral latitude, and the other island is in nine degrees (Pigafetta, in Stanley 1874, 65).

These eye-witness accounts, especially Pigafetta's and Albo's, were used in official Spanish cartography, notably on several world maps that Diogo Ribeiro made in the 1520s. Maps drawn in this tradition show the islands widely separated from each other in a narrow range of latitudes between the tropic of Capricorn and the equator (Table 2.). On such maps the first-found island is named isla de San Pablo (island of St Paul) or isla de San Pedro (island of St Peter), and the second island isla de los tiburones (island of sharks). This second mapping tradition prevailed by the end of the sixteenth century.


The problematic land mass called Java la Grande appears on more than a dozen of the Dieppe works. Eight of them show at least one of the three island groups in the south-west Pacific; six of them show all three (Table 3.). In this paper the groups are referred to by their relative locations: Northwestern, Northeastern and Southern and their place names are usually quoted in the Vallard atlas forms.

It seems that the Dieppe map makers followed not one or other of the mapping traditions but both of them. This is evident from the latitudes of the three groups and the distances that separate the Northwestern and Northeastern groups (Tables 4 & 5.).

The tradition derived from Maximilianus is seen in the location of the Southern group. On most of the maps the group lies in 30[degrees]S, (2) a latitude somewhat south of the tropic of Capricorn but that can be explained later with the help of Alfonse. The exception, Guillaume Le Testu's latitude of 32[degrees]S, is a result his re-numbering the latitude scale to increase every latitude by two degrees.

The tradition derived from the eye-witness accounts is seen in the latitudes of the Northwestern and Northeastern groups. The Northwestern group lies in the range 10[degrees]to 13[degrees]S, which is within the range of latitudes 9[degrees]to 14[degrees]S given for Magellan's second island. The Northeastern group lies in the range 12[degrees]to 15[degrees]S, slightly lower latitudes than the range 15[degrees]to 19[degrees]S given for Magellan's first island. Notably, the Northwestern group is in a lower latitude than the Northeastern, like Magellan's islands. Moreover, the distances that separate the Northwestern and Northeastern groups on the Dieppe maps correspond closely with the distance, 200 leagues (i.e. 800 miles), quoted in the eye-witness accounts (Table 5.).

Although the island groups in the south-west Pacific are named on six of the Dieppe works (Table 6.), just one of the seven distinct names corresponds with a Magellanic name (Table 7.). That corresponding name is Illa do tubaros (island of sharks), the name of the main island of the Northeastern group. It is the Portuguese version of the Spanish name isla de los tiburones that was bestowed on Magellan's second island. It does look, at first, as if Illa do tuberos has been applied to the wrong island group, but it may be argued that just as Magellan applied isla de los tiburones to the second island that he found (sailing from south to north) the Dieppe map makers applied the name to the second of their groups (in order south to north).

Most of the Dieppe names have obvious meanings. The word aljofar means 'seed-pearls' in both Portuguese and Spanish. The word tubaros is the Portuguese tubaroes (sharks, sg. tubarao). Instead of tubaros the mappemonde of Desceliers dated 1546 bears the French word marsouyns (i.e. marsouins) meaning 'porpoises'; it seems likely that he substituted a French word for a 'big fish' for an unfamiliar Portuguese word. (3) The word Ronda represents either the French fem. sg. adjective ronde (round) or the Portuguese fem. sg. adjective redonda (round). The word sal is Portuguese for 'salt', and saill, sell and sel are spellings of the French word sel (salt). (4) The place names may be translated as 'island of seed-pearls', 'island of sharks' and 'island of porpoises', 'round island' and 'island of salt'.

Two names have been problematic: Illa do magna and Illa carina. W.A.R. Richardson and Peter Trickett canvassed possible solutions to the problem of Illa do magna, the name of the main island of the Southern group. Both of them considered and rejected the idea that magna might be the fem. sg. form of the Portuguese adjective magno (great), therefore 'great island'. Richardson preferred the explanation that the words magna and sal might have been the result of a scribal error, the scribe having unwittingly read upside down the name Ilhas candora, which he claimed to be a version of the contemporary name of the Con Son Islands in the South China Sea. (5) Nevertheless, he admitted that his solution depends on a 'contrived' inscription (Richardson 2006, 82-4). Trickett explained magna as a scribal error for the Portuguese masc. noun mogno (mahogany) and so he reconstructed the name as Illa do mogno (island of mahogany) (Trickett 2007, 256). This explanation promotes his identification of the Southern group with the North Island of New Zealand. Neither of them commented on Le Testu's spelling manna, which might represent either his pronunciation of magna or, bearing in mind that he bestowed the Biblical name Offir (Ophir) on part of Java la Grande, the Biblical 'manna' (Portuguese mana, manna; French manne). Manna is, of course, 'The substance miraculously supplied to the Israelites during their progress through the Wilderness' (Onions 1973, 1/1273).

The second problematic name is Illa carina, the name of the secondary island of the Northwestern group; it occurs only in the Vallard atlas. Trickett alone has sought to interpret it, but he mistakenly transliterated it as 'carma' and stated that it is 'probably a misspelling of the Portuguese word "calma", meaning "calm"' (Trickett 2007, 256). The mis-transliteration renders this interpretation void. Carina is the Portuguese word for 'keel', in which case the reconstruction illa da carina (island of the keel) might be suggested, but a more compelling interpretation will be offered in the next section. (6)


Although its location allows the origin of the Northwestern group to be attributed to accounts of Magellan's expedition, its names suggest that the group had come to depict two islands mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy in his second century work the Cosmographia but which had not been identified by European mariners.

The word aljofar indicates that the island has a pearl fishery. (7) As mentioned already, the word carina seems at first to be the Portuguese word for 'keel' but it is probably a variant spelling of a place name. This pair of names evidently represents Ptolemy's islands of Bazacata and Chalina. They are described in the same paragraph in the first printed edition of the Cosmographia, a Latin translation which was printed at Bologna in 1477 (8) (Ptolemy, Book VII, Chapter II in Skelton 1963). It is notable that Bazacata is the only pearl fishery, indicated by the statement that it is a source of conchas (shellfish), that is identified in the Cosmographia. W.J. van der Meulen, a Dutch historian, identified these two Ptolemaic islands, which he referred to as Bazakata and Salin[], with islands in the Mergui archipelago in the Andaman Sea (Meulen 1975, 30-1). Mergui Island is in the mouth of the Tenasserim River. It is also notable that Gerard Mercator (alone among other early map makers, as far as I can tell) also had the location of Bazacata on his mind, for he identified it with the Philippine island of Palawan on his famous world map of 1569. (9)


The Northeastern and Southern groups can hardly be explained without Jean Alfonse (also known as Jean Fonteneau) de Saintonge, a pilot in the employ of the French King Francis I, and the author of two cosmographical texts which provide 1530s and 1540s visions of the South Pacific.

One text is entitled Les voyages avantureux du capitaine Ian Alfonce, Sainctongeois (The adventurous voyages of Captain Jean Alfonse of Saintonge). It was published at Poitiers in 1559 but it is thought to have been written in the 1530s. In it Alfonse described one of Magellan's islands as large and attractive, as can also be seen on the Dieppe maps. It is quite unlike the islands described in the authentic accounts.

To the south east of Molucca at least one hundred and fifty leagues, and to the east-south-east comes the island of white men, where one passes the line of the diameter, which is called Estual. (10) On this route, which is more than eight hundred leagues are the islands that Magellan found, when he went through the strait to come to Molucca, and one of the islands has more than sixty leagues of coast, good ports, populated by white people. The land is of a good sort, neither too high nor too low, and seems to be well populated (The author's translation of Alfonse 1559, f.35r). (11)

His second text is a manuscript entitled La Cosmographie avec l'espere et regime du soleilet du nord (The cosmography with the sphere and rule of the sun and of the north), which he completed in 1544. A passage in it describes the South Pacific in terms of the latitudes of six places together with the distances and bearings from one to the next (Table 8.) (Alfonse 1544, 425).

His description traverses the ocean three times in five stages:

1. From the Strait of Magellan north-west to le cap de la Tourmente (storm cape) in Chile,

2. Then west to Le cap Formose (beautiful cape) on the western side of the Pacific,

3. Then north-east to L'isle de Fernande de Magaillan (island of Ferdinand Magellan) in mid Pacific,

4. Then north to Le cap de l'Anguille (eel cape) in Peru

5. Then west to Maluku.

The traverses are plotted in Fig. 3a according to Alfonse's data. This Figure reveals a doubling error in the length of the stage C--D, which is rectified in Fig. 3b. (12) When the arrangement of the groups on the Dieppe maps is superimposed on Alfonse's South Pacific, with the two 'beautiful' capes brought into the same longitude, their relationship becomes clear (Fig. 3c.). The resemblance is even stronger when the 'beautiful cape' on the Dieppe maps is moved north to 39 1/2[degrees]S, the latitude of Alfonse's 'beautiful cape' (Fig. 3d.). These resemblances suggest either that the Dieppe map makers drew on Alfonse's work or that they all drew on a common source.

It seems that the Dieppe cartographers not only drew on but amended some of Alfonse's data. In doing so they brought Magellan's islands from near the middle of the Pacific far to the west. A plot of the data in the Voyages shows Magellan's islands lying a little more than half way along a direct line across the Pacific from the strait to Maluku. In the same work Alfonse mentioned a cape on the western shore of the Pacific: if it is the same cape as cap Formose mentioned in the Cosmographie (in 39 1/2[degrees]S) then the islands lie about 400 leagues distant from it; if it is same cape as the Dieppe cartographers' Cap frimosa (in 45[degrees]and 46[degrees]S) then the distance is about 500 leagues. In the Cosmographie Alfonse stated that the distance between le cap Formose to l'isle de Fernande Magaillan is 500 leagues but, as we saw, half that distance fits better their quoted latitudes. Now we come to the Dieppe maps: in the Vallard atlas, for example, the distance from the tip of Cap frimosa to the nearest point of the island Illa do magna is exactly 250 leagues (or 1000 miles) measured by its distance scale. The rest of them show similar distances. Enlargement seems to be a factor in the latitudes of places on the Dieppe maps. Alfonse located his cap Formose in 39 1/2[degrees]S but on the Dieppe maps Capfrimosa is in 45 and 46[degrees]S. The Dieppe cape is about 1 1/3 times further south, measured from the tropic, than Alfonse's cape. It seems possible that the same applies to the southern group, for Alfonse's isle de Fernande de Magaillan is in 27[degrees]S but the southern group is usually in 30[degrees]S. (13)


The correspondences are so close between Alfonse's vision of the South Pacific and the south-west Pacific of the Dieppe maps that Alfonse's names for two of the places (Le cap de l'Anguille and L'isle de Fernande de Magaillan) help us to identify the Northeastern and Southern groups.

The main island of the Northeastern group has a Magellanic name and latitude but the other properties of the group are Caribbean. This group occupies the same place in the Dieppe configuration of the South Pacific as Le cap de l'Anguille (eel cape) in Alfonse's South Pacific. The name is a French translation of the contemporary Spanish name Cabo enguila (i.e. anguila, eel cape) in Peru, a cape that Afonse's editor George Musset identified with the present Punta Aguja (needle cape) (Alfonse 1544, 425).

Alfonse's name of the main island and its shape on the Dieppe maps, together with the name of the secondary island of the group, suggest that the Northeastern group on the Dieppe maps is modelled on the island of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles. The name of the secondary island, Illa Ronda (round island), seems to correspond with Sombrero Island, an island that was named after its original profile before guano mining levelled it in the nineteenth century. (14) Sombrero was no doubt a landmark for pilots steering their ships from the Atlantic through the Anegada Passage into the Caribbean Sea. Furthermore, Sombrero and Anguilla were a pair in Alfonse's mind:

Sombrero and Anguilla are in nineteen degrees and a half north latitude. Anguilla is a low island made in the fashion of an eel, all covered in trees (The author's translation of Alfonse 1544, 434). (15,16)


The latitude of the Southern group (as we have seen) indicates its Magellanic origin too. There are three reasonable, but not mutually exclusive, explanations of its names and shape.

Firstly, Alfonse's island in 27[degrees]S occupies nearly the same place as the Southern group. His name of the island, L'isle de Fernande de Magaillan, fosters the explanation that magna is an abbreviation of the surname of the great navigator. In that case we ought to read not magna but magua. (17) Le Testu's atlas of 1555/6 offers more support for this idea; in it the southern half of the eastern Java la Grande together with the Southern group is replicated fifteen degrees further south on the eastern side of the Pacific. The replicated island group is located in 45[degrees]S and 100 leagues (400 miles) from the coast of South America, and has the name Isle de Magaillan. On contemporary maps the name usually appears either in the Portuguese form Magalaes or in the French form Magaillan. Nicholas Desliens' world map dated 1541 (one of the Dieppe maps) has a variant spelling, MAGVELLAN and Maguellan, that uses /u/ to preserve the sound of the hard /g/ before the front vowel /e/. Such a spelling might well have led to its being abbreviated as magua (18)

Secondly, the configuration of the group has several specific likenesses to a pair of Indonesian islands, Pulau Bangka and Pulau Lepar (Figs. 4a & b.). This pair has features in common with the Southern group: a doubled bay (Teluk Klabat) at one end of the larger island (Bangka); at the other end a smaller island (Lepar) that is separated from the main island by a strait in which lie several islets; they have the same north-east and south-west alignment (although the Southern group must be rotated through 180 degrees in order for these features to be orientated with Bangka and Lepar). Furthermore, Pulau Lepar is named 'island of salt' on two European maps of the eighteenth century, one by Apres de Mannevillette (1745) (Fig. 5.), where it is named I. de Sel, and the other, the same map republished by Sayer and Bennet in 1778, where it is named Salt I. Lepar has no history of engagement in salt making or collecting, which suggests that the eighteenth century 'sel' might represent the Malay word selat (strait); Lepar lies beside the Gaspar Strait. In that case, perhaps Illa do sal on the Dieppe maps was likewise derived from a Malay name or descriptionpulau selat (island of the strait).

Lastly, one or both of the islands' names might be have been derived from, or reinforced by, the name insula solis (island of the sun). Chet Van Duzer (2007 & 2008), a map historian, noticed this name on early sixteenth century maps where it often refers to the Azores in the North Atlantic. He derived it from a Latin name insula solstitionis magna or insula magna solstitionis (great island of the solstice), the medieval name of a paradise island in the North Atlantic off the Iberian peninsula. The meaning of the name is appropriate to the southern group's latitude, for the Latin solstitionum means 'the place where the sun stops', that is to say the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.


These south-west Pacific groups are echoed on certain later charts that do not depict Java la Grande. This fact suggests that the groups are not dependent on Java la Grande for their identifications. Three works should be noted:

* Andre Thevet's map entitled Quartepartie du monde (Fourth part of the world) of 1575, shows islands in a similar configuration in the eastern Pacific close to South America (Figs. 6a & 6b.). The inscriptions beside the two northern islands, I. infortunee (luckless island) and infortunee (luckless), suggest that he identified them with Magellan's islands. The two islands of the southern group are named I. de Mague and I. de Sally--almost the same as on the Dieppe maps. The name I. de Mague suggests that the word on the Dieppe maps should indeed be read magua not magna.

* A terrestrial globe made by Mario Cartaro, apparently at Rome in 1577, shows Magellan's two islands in locations that are consistent with the eye-witness accounts but they have the shapes of the main islands of the Northeastern and Southern groups on the Dieppe maps.

* In the Atlas Arcana of Robert Dudley dated 1661 one of Magellan's islands survives with the same name and shape of Illa do tubaros on the Dieppe maps.


The spatial data comprise the main evidence for concluding that the three Dieppe island groups have their origins in the two islands found by Magellan in the middle of the South Pacific in 1521. They show that the Dieppe mapmakers followed two mapping traditions, one that originally showed two islands together on the tropic of Capricorn, and the other that shows two islands two hundred leagues apart between the tropic and the equator. The case is supported by the correspondence of one of the Dieppe names Illa do tubaros with one of the Magellanic names isla de los tiburones.

The nomenclature of the Northwestern group shows that it purports to be the site of Ptolemy's undiscovered islands Bazacata and Chalina. By comparing Jean Alfonse's nomenclature with that of the Dieppe maps we see that the Northeastern group was probably modelled on the islands of Anguilla and Sombrero in the West Indies. As for the Southern group, Alfonse's testimony suggests that the Dieppe cartographers understood it to be Magellan's island, that the name of its main island is an abbreviation of the explorer's surname. A question remains about the origin of the name of the secondary island: perhaps from Malay words meaning 'island of the strait', which suggests that it was inherited with an Indonesian model, or perhaps it comes from insula solis, which should be a mark of its location near the tropic of Capricorn.

The net effect of the Dieppe map makers' choices of names and shapes for the islands of the southwest Pacific is the transformation of Magellan's two small, barren, uninhabited and harbourless islands into large and potentially beneficial island groups. I believe the Dieppe cartographers offered their patrons a Pacific Prospectus.


(1) Fine's earlier double cordiform world map of 1531 does not show Magellan's South Pacific islands.

(2) The latitudes of the island groups have been determined by cartometry.

(3) Richardson misread the word marsouyns as merloupes, literally sea-wolves (Richardson 2006, 80).

(4) The spelling saill for sel is to be compared with another Dieppe spelling herbaiges for herbages (grasslands). Even now the pronunciation of /e/ in sel is the same as /ai/ in many French words.

(5) The name of the islands is usually found in Malay forms on early maps, for example, pullo codor (i.e. pullo condor), in which pullo is the Malay word pulau (island).

(6) The reading carina is confirmed by the presence of a dot (iota) over the letter that Trickett read as /m/. There are several words in the Vallard atlas in which an /i/ is joined to a following /n/ giving the appearance of /m/. The /i/ is sometimes dotted, as in this instance, but many instances of it are undotted.

(7) Because of this word Richardson identified the island as a misplaced Hainan Island, another well-known pearl fishery.

(8) Chalina is mentioned only in the first printed edition of Ptolemy. It is absent from later editions.

(9) Palawan on Schoner's map bears the name Palohan and alongside is the Latin inscription Palohan in/sula, Ptol:/Bazacata.

(10) Here is an obvious error: Estual, that is Estival, refers to the tropic of Cancer but Alfonse's heading east-south-east brings him to the line of the diameter called Hiemal, that is the tropic of Capricorn. Elsewhere in La cosmographie Alfonse wrote: 'le troppicque estival, qu'est dict Cancer ... le troppique yemal, qui est dict troppicque de Capricorne ...' (the summer tropic that is called Cancer ... the winter tropic that is called Capricorn ...) (Alfonse 1544, 85)

(11) Original text: 'Au Sudest de Meluques bien cent cinquante lieues, et a l'Est-sudest vient l'isle des Hommes blancs, ou lon passe la ligne du diametre, qui ce dit Estual. En ceste route, qui est de plus de huit cens lieues sont les isles que trouua Magaillan, quand il passa le destroit pour venir a Meluques, & l'vne des isles ha plus de soixante lieues de coste, de bons ports, peuplee de gens blancs. La terre est de bonne sorte, ni trop haute ni trop basse, & montre estre bien peuplee.'

(12) Alfonse's text gives the distance C-D as 'cinq cens lieues' (500 leagues), which pushes the three northern places far to the north of their quoted latitudes. Halving the distance to 250 leagues brings the northern places close to their quoted latitudes. A dictation error probably occurred: the speaker said 'deux cent cinquante lieues' (250 leagues) but the scribe heard 'deux cents cinq cents lieues' (200 500 leagues) and assumed that 'cinq cents' corrected 'deux cents'.

(13) The latitude of 27[degrees]S that Alfonse quoted for l'isle de Fernande de Magaillan cannot be traced to the authentic accounts. Perhaps he assigned a numeric value to the vague location given by Maximilianus. The tropic of Capricorn was reckoned to lie in about 23 1/2[degrees]S. The 3 1/2[degrees]difference amounts to a little more than one day's direct sailing when sailing 50 to 60 leagues a day, the progress of the fleet reported by Pigafetta.

(14) Note that there is another Caribbean 'round' island south of Anguilla in the Leeward Islands, Redonda Island, which is also mentioned by Alfonse.

(15) Musset's transcription: 'Somboaire (ou Sombraire) et l'Angille sont a dix neuf degrez et demy de la haulteur du polle artique. L'Angille est une isle basse faicte en fasson d'une anguille, tout couverte d'arbre.' Alfonse is notorious for having plagiarized the 1519 publication Summa de Geografia by Martin Fernandez de Enciso, but this passage is not in Enciso.

(16) Anguilla is in 18[degrees]13' N; Sombrero is in 18[degrees]35' N.

(17) The forms of the small manuscript letters /n/ and /u/ are practically the same in the inscriptions on the Dieppe maps.

(18) Desliens' spelling occurs in the names MER DEMAGVELLAN(Sea of Magellan) and Estroit de maguellan (Strait of Magellan).


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Andrew Eliason (1)

(1) Andrew Eliason is an independent researcher based at the National Library of Australia. Contact:

Table 1: Selected identifications of the groups of islands in the
south-west Pacific on the Dieppe maps.

Author             Northwestern               Northeastern

McClymont          St Kitts, Caribbean Sea    Bahamas (Guanahini)

Collingridge       Cape Arnheim (sic),        Part of east coast of
(1895)             Northern Territory         Cape York Peninsular
                                              from Cairncross Id. To
                                              Cape Direction

Heawood (1899)     No opinion                 No opinion

Sharp (1963)       Offir, the Biblical        No mention
                   Isles of Solomon

McIntyre (1977)    No opinion                 No opinion

Herve (1982)       New Guinea-Cape            Tuamoto atolls-Flint
                   York-Solomon Is?           Id.?

FitzGerald         Norfolk Id.,               Lord Howe Id., Tasman
(1984)             Tasman Sea                 Sea

Richardson         Hainan, China              Paracel Is., South
(1984-2006)                                   China Sea

King (2006)        Margarita Id.,             No opinion

Trickett           Perhaps a Polynesian       Perhaps Magellan's
(2007)             island                     Isla de los tiburones

Trickett           Efate, Vanuatu             Viti Levu, Fiji

Author             Southern

McClymont          Jamaica, Caribbean Sea

Collingridge       Part of coast of Queensland from
(1895)             Curtus Id. to Great Sandy Id.
                   (Fraser Id.)

Heawood (1899)     Banda and Ceram, Indonesia

Sharp (1963)       Ceylon and Andaman Is.

McIntyre (1977)    'two flyaway islands'

Herve (1982)       Tuamoto atolls-Flint Id.?

FitzGerald         Furneaux Group, Bass Strait, Tasmania

Richardson         Con Son Is., South China Sea

King (2006)        Cuba (Ysabella) and Jamaica (Iamaiqua)

Trickett           North Id., NZ; White Id., NZ

Trickett           See Trickett (2007)

Table 2: Locations and latitudes of Magellan's two south
Pacific island discoveries.

Author            Isla de San Pablo     Isla de los tiburones
                      (or Pedro)

Maximilianus     'almost reached the     'almost reached the
Transylvanus           tropic'                 tropic'

Peter Martyr         'crossed the            'crossed the
                  equinoctial line'       equinoctial line'

Antonio             15[degrees]S            9[degrees]S

Francisco         161/4[degrees]S        102/3[degrees]S

Companion of        18[degrees]S           14[degrees]S

Genovese           18-19[degrees]S        13-14[degrees]S

Table 3: Dieppe works that show island groups in the south-west

Work                   Type                     Groups shown

Jean Rotz 1542         atlas, double            Northeastern,
                       hemisphere world map     Southern

Pierre Desceliers      mappemonde               Northwestern,
1546                                            Northeastern,

Pierre Desceliers      mappemonde               Northwestern
1550 *

Anonymous Harleian     mappemonde               Northwestern,
c.1547                                          Northeastern,

Vallard 1547           atlas, folio 1           Northwestern,

Pierre Desceliers      atlas, chart 6           Northwestern,
(attrib.) c1555                                 Northeastern,

Guillaume Le Testu     atlas, chart relating    Northwestern,
1555/6 **              to text of f.32          Northeastern,

Pastoret 1587          atlas                    Northwestern,

* The Northwestern group is drawn within the decorative
border of the mappemonde.

** The locations of the Northwestern and Northeastern
groups are swapped, but the names remain in the usual locations.

Table 4: Latitudes of the centres of the main islands of the
south-west Pacific groups on selected Dieppe maps

Map                      Northwestern    Northeastern    Southern

Vallard (1547)               10.95           12.91         30.14
Harleian (c.1547)            12.25           13.63         30.21
Desceliers (1546)            11.98           13.85         30.33
Desceliers (1550)            12.41            --            --
Desceliers? (c.1555)         11.74           13.5          30.25
Le Testu (1556)              13.03           15.24         32.38

Table 5: Comparison of distances between Magellan's Isla de San Pablo
and Isla de los tiburones and of distances between the northeastern
and northwestern groups on selected Dieppe maps.

Sources                  Leagues    Miles

Magellanic accounts        200      (800)
Vallard (1547)            (207)      830
Harleian (c.1547)         (189)      756
Desceliers (1546)         (195)      780
Desceliers? (c.1555)      (189)      757
Le Testu (1555/6)         (184)      738

Distances in parentheses are conversions of the units in
the opposite column.

Table 6: Names of the south-west Pacific islands on the Dieppe maps.

Map            Northwestern      Northeastern      Southern

Vallard        Ila do aljofar    Illa do           Illa do magna
(1547)         Illa carina       tubaros Illa      (x2) Illa do
                                 Ronda             sal

Harleian       [y.sup.e] de/     [y.sup.e] de      Ysles de magna
(c. 1547)      Aliofer           Tubaros

Desceliers     [y.sup.e] de/     [y.sup.e] des     ys de magaa
(1546)         Aliofer           marsouyns         magna [y.sup.e]
                                                   de saill

Desceliers?    [y.sup.e] de      Aliofer           ys de magna
(c.1555)       Tubaros                             [y.sup.e] de

Le Testu       Ille doalfer      Ille de           Ille de manna
(1555/6)                         tubaros           Ille du sel

Pastoret       Isle aljofer      Isle de           Isles de magna
(1587)                           tubaros           Il do sal

Table 7: Dieppe nomenclature: distinct place names in spellings of
the Vallard atlas (1547) except where indicated

Group           Name               Meaning

Northwestern    Ila do aljofar     Island of seed-pearls
"               Illa carina        ?
Northeastern    Illa do tubaros    Island of sharks
"               [y.sup.e] des      Island of porpoises (lit.
                  marsouyns *        sea-hogs)
"               Illa Ronda         Round island
Southern        Illa do magna      ?
"               Illa do sal        Island of salt

* Inscribed on Desceliers 1546 mappemonde instead of Illa do tubaros.

Table 8: Names and latitudes of the six places of the South
Pacific cited by Jean Alfonse in La Cosmographie.

Alfonse's place        Alfonse's latitude           Modern name

Mallucque et les           0[degrees]       Maluku and the Spice Is.
isles du Cloux

Le cap de                 7[degrees]S           Punta Aguja, Peru

L'isle de Fernande        27[degrees]S
de Magaillan

Le cap Formose,          39/[degrees]S
qu'est a dire Beau

Le cap de la             46/[degrees]S       Cabo Tres Montes, Chile

Le destroict de         52/[degrees]S *        Strait of Magellan

* Alfonse omitted the latitude of the strait in this text. The
figure given by Andre Thevet in La cosmographie universelle,
1575, is supplied here.
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Date:Jan 1, 2016
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