Regarding: the so-called “fantasy isle” of Frisland on the Zeno Map of 1380:
Prince Henry Sinclair’s legacy as a New World voyager, savior of 4,000 stranded Greenland farmers, and pirate-fighter has been held hostage by doctrinaire historians who have claimed that the Zeno Narrative and Map are “a Venetian-sponsored hoax.” Academic scholars, loyal to their antiquated Padigm, have insisted for eons that a prominent isle on the map, Frisland, “never existed” – except in the fictional musings of Nicolò Zeno (the Younger – a Venetian Senator) in the 16th century. He has been wrongly accused of inventing the “hoax” – although his reconstruction of events from memory did have some significant “lapses.” These difficulties were augmented with a little “literary license,” in places, that resulted in ultimately compromising the integrity of Gian Ramusio’s publication in Viaggi in 1558.
I noticed that three ancient maps (the Zeno 1380, Catalan 1480, and Prunes 1553) all had similar – but not identical – coastlines for Frisland. On the Catalan and Prunes Maps, the title is spelled Fixland – where the “x” was probably pronounced as “sh.” This would yield an English title of “Fish-land.”
Newfoundland was known as the principal isle of codfish from the 14th century up to modern times. The Portuguese and Basques called the Island bacalaos – which was the Portuguese-Basque word for “codfish.”
Check Amazon for Pricing. I suspected that maps of Frisland were made in the 13th or 14th century using the magnetic compass – thus, all Frisland Maps were disoriented with respect to true geographical coordinates as seen on modern maps. I further suspected that the error of declination could be resolved by tipping the maps upside down to account for the fact that in the 14th century, the Magnetic North Pole was situated someplace between Labrador and Foxe Basin near Baffin Island. The magnetic error was about 180°.
The adjusted orientation placed three promontories of Frisland on the Northeastern Coast. At this point, I noticed that all three maps showed Frisland with “shoals” or “shallows” along the East Coast; and there were small islands along this coast. I noticed that on modern maps, Newfoundland had a similar arrangement of three major promontories and shoals on the Northeastern Coast in the region of Notre Dame Bay.
All three ancient “Fantasy Maps” featured a peculiar “circular island group” along the Northwest Coast. I wondered: is it possible that the real Newfoundland also had a similar “circular island group?”
My curiosity seemed to be “unfounded” on the basis of experience and physical evidence. Indeed, all the maps of Newfoundland I had ever seen in the past did not show such an island group along the Northwest Newfoundland Coast. Nevertheless, I am a “Time Detective” who is compelled to check out every possible clue. Therefore: I went to Google Maps; and kept enlarging the Northwest Coast of Newfoundland to see what might have been hidden by the scale of such a large territory. To my amazement: there it was!
The Newfoundland Island Group along the Northwest Coast of “Long Range Peninsula” is called “St. John’s Island” (in reference to the largest isle in the circle). There are about 9 smaller isles. The 1380 Map has 6; the 1480 Map shows 11; and the 1553 Map has 10. I suspect that the total number of isles counted by ancient cartographers was influenced by changing sea-levels and leeway in the size of isles that were identified as important.
Why were the isles shown enlarged on the ancient maps?
I suspect the ancient isles were major spawning grounds and fishing areas during the Medieval Warm Period – but not so later on. It was not at all unusual for mapmakers to enlarge places that had particular importance to patrons. Fishermen were inclined to keep favorite grounds secret; and that preference was not betrayed by placement on schematic maps. Actually finding the valuable fishing areas depended primarily upon the skills and memories of veteran navigators. The ancient maps were not particularly accurate with respect to longitude and latitudes; therefore, schematic maps revealed little that would enable rivals to find their ways to specific overseas territories – hence the considerable confusion that has hampered the awareness of modern-day, “armchair” historians.
Anyway, ancient fishermen would not have placed the isles on the map – unless they had actually been there. This new revelation about otherwise obscure details on ancient maps proves that “Frisland” on the Zeno Map was (and is) Real. It also means that Prince Henry’s conquest in 1498, when he defeated the Pirate King of Frisland, resulted in the overthrow of a tyrant Vitalien Pirate who had taken control of the Newfoundland fishing industry. This military triumph freed the inhabitants from the pirate tyranny; and it restored the flow of vitally-needed stockfish (dried, salted cod) that was a major food source in Europe from the 14th through the 17th centuries. It also restored the flow of such other vital supplies as lumber from “North Norway,” whale oil, furs, beaver-pelts, turkey corn, and other commodities. Prince Henry’s battle against pirates in Frisland is chronicled in the “Zeno Narrative.”
This research does not mean that everything in the Zeno Narrative and Map are true. However, we do have conclusive evidence that the Isle of Frisland was not a “fantasy.” Details in the Narrative that mention large cargoes of codfish that ships from England, Holland, Norway, and elsewhere obtained at Frisland are thus proven to be based on evidence derived from the ancient commerce between Newfoundland (Frisland) and Northern Europe.
In the traditional history as taught by Isolationist scholars, Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadores got credit for their Conquest of the New World. Prior centuries of trade across the North Atlantic between the Old World and American Colonies was largely ignored, because is simply did not generate the sort of powerful impact that still dominates the popular stories featured in the evening television news programs. Nevertheless, the welfare of European peasants and the economies of European Cities were closely-tied to enormous cargoes shipped across the North Atlantic Ocean.
Reprinted from Ancient America.