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A: Venezia, Veneto, Italy

Michael of Rhodes Writes the Earliest Known Treatise on Shipbuilding


Page 145b of A Mariner's Knowledge, by Michael of Rhodes, depicting a completed galley ship.

In 1434 Michael of Rhodes, a Venetian galley commander, wrote a manuscript describing his knowledge of mathematics, ships and shipbuilding, navigation, and time reckoning. It contains some of the earliest surviving portolan aids to navigation and the world's first known treatise on shipbuilding.

Michael's manuscript has been published as a 3 volume set, in which the first volume is a full-color facsimile, the second volume is a transcription and translation, and the third volume is commentaries: The Book of Michael of Rhodes: A Fifteenth-Century Maritime Manuscript. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009.

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