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Piri Reis and Turkish Mapmaking after Columbus

Piri Reis and Turkish Mapmaking after Columbus


Published 1996

Svat Soucek

Columbus’s discoveries in the New World quickly became known in the Muslim lands around the Mediterranean, and the man who played a leading role in transmitting them was the Ottoman naval commander and cartographer Piri Reis in the early 16th century. His work is known from fragments of two world maps, and from his Kitab-i bahriye (‘Book of Seamanship’), which he devoted to the problem of sailing the Mediterranean and illustrated with hundreds of charts.

The Khalili Portolan Atlas is a fine example of the cartographic tradition Piri Reis established and, in addition, it includes a series of city views – among them Istanbul, Venice and Cairo – which reflects the vitality of Ottoman topographic painting.

This book, which includes a detailed analysis of the late 17th-century Khalili Portolan Atlas, was first issued as a limited edition and accompanied by a facsimile of the manuscript. The aim of this edition is to make more widely available the author’s important contribution to our understanding of Piri Reis and his work.

About the author(s)

Professor Svat Soucek – Professor Emeritus of History, Princeton University, New Jersey; specialist in historical cartography


194 pages halftone illustrations hardback 31 x 22 cm; 1-874780-67-6 (10 digit), ISBN: 978-1-874780-67-0 (13 digit)

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