Zeno map

Zeno map

The Zeno map refers to a map of the North Atlantic first published in 1558 in Venice by Nicolo Zeno, a descendant of Nicolo Zeno, of the Zeno brothers.

The younger Zeno published the map, along with a series of letters, claiming he had discovered them in a storeroom in his family's home in Venice. According to Zeno, the map and letters date from around the year 1400 and purportedly describe a long voyage made by the Zeno brothers in the 1390s under the direction of a prince named Zichmni. The voyage supposedly traversed the North Atlantic and, according to some interpretations, reached North America.

Most historians regard the map and accompanying narrative as a hoax, perpetrated by the younger Zeno to make a retroactive claim for Venice as having discovered the New World before Christopher Columbus.

The evidence against the authenticity of the map is based largely on the appearance of many non-existent islands in the North Atlantic and off the coast of Iceland. One of these islands was Frisland, where the Zeno brothers allegedly spent some time.

Independent research also shows that since the marine chronometer was not invented until the mid 1750's, it would have been impossible to determine the longitude of the land mass shown on the map.

Current scholarship regards the map as being based on existing maps of the 16th century, in particular:

*The Olaus Magnus map of the North, the Carta marina
*The Caerte van Oostland of Cornelis Anthoniszoon
*Claudius Clavus-type maps of the North [Gray, Johnathan "Dead Men's Secrets" ]


* Cooper, Robert L. D. (Ed.) "The Voyages of the Venetian Brothers Nicolo & Antonio Zeno to the Northern Seas in the XIVth Century". Masonic Publishing Co. 2004. ISBN 0-9544268-2-7.

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