The writing on a round red island west of Ireland is somewhat obscured but may be "Insula Brazil" (?), an island that appears on several early portolan charts.
"Insula Brazil" moved about rather often on early charts and may have had its origin in a volcanic island that later disappeared. The word "brazil" or "bresil," old French for "brazier," suggests a connection to volcanic activity.
The islands strung along the west side of the map from north to south include the "Fortunate Isles" (Canaries), selected by Claudius Ptolemy in the 2nd century as the western extremity for his maps (zero meridian).
Three islands, "Salvagia," "Antilha," and "Roillo" on the western portion of the 1489 portolan chart are of special interest and are considered in relation to all three portolan charts.
Visit the Islands Debate
West Islands detail
| Under the Magnifying Glass
The 1489 Canepa
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