Tag Archives: old map

The Black Sea – the hub of the Ottoman navy

black sea old map

Map of the Black Sea and the Surrounding Areas, 1590

The map covers the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the adjoinng regions in Europe and Asia. Latin term “Pontus Euxinus” (=Hospitable Sea) is used for Black Sea.

At the end of the 16th century, the Black Sea (referred to in the map as Pontus Euximus – a hospitable sea) was fully under the control of the Ottoman Navy at the main access points, i.e. the Straits of Bospohorus and Dardanelles while the mouth of the Danube River was seized by the Turks.

Despite its supremacy, these were not easy times for the Ottoman Empire. In 1571, the Ottoman navy was defeated in the Battle of Lepanto (near what is today Patras, Greece) by the European coalition, which slowed down the Turkish invasion of the west. At that time, the Battle of Lepanto was one of the largest navy battles in history, involving over 400 vessels. Most of the Ottoman fleet was destroyed, which resulted in a large shipbuilding boom; however, the positions of Ottoman Navy in the Black Sea had been weakened as a consequence. In addition, since the second half of the 16th century, the Cossacks from the region of today’s Ukraine and Russia were organising raids against the Turks and attacked several Ottoman ports on the Black Sea coast.

Caroline Finkel’s “Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire” is a great reading for anyone interested in the Ottoman Empire.

1780s: Canada Is Shaping Up

canada vintage map reproduction

Map of the Atlantic Canada, 1785.

The map covers the territory of what is today Atlantic Canada. In 1785, they were the British Colonies of Newfoundland, St. John’s Island (today called Prince Edward Island), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick (which split from Nova Scotia in 1784).

This map was released just eighteen years after Captain James Cook surveyed and mapped the area between 1763 and 1767. This was his second trip to the region; he first arrived as a soldier of the British Crown in 1757–1758 where he participated in the Siege of Quebec during this military expedition.

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed and the United States officially recognized as an independent country by the British and other signatories. The Treaty also laid out how the borders would be charted in the area and granted fishing rights to the American fishermen in Atlantic Canada. Quebec was also a British colony at that time. However, after the arrival of 10,000 loyalists from the newly founded USA in 1791, the province of Quebec was divided into Lower Canada: a predominantly French-speaking region downriver of St. Lawrence River covering the south-eastern part of modern-day Quebec and areas on the Labrador peninsula that are nowadays part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Upper Canada, a predominantly English-speaking region upriver of St. Lawrence covering what is the southern part of the modern-day Province of Ontario.

Ann and Seamus”, a historical novel by Kevin Major set in Newfoundland about 40 years after this map was first printed narrates a story of Irish immigrants who were shipwrecked on the shore of the island when on their way to Quebec.

Buy restored reproduction of this map printed on a high quality handmade paper here.