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Marino Sanudo: the geographical knowledge of an italian merchant in the fourteenth century

Derrick, Jacqueline Anne; (2023) Marino Sanudo: the geographical knowledge of an italian merchant in the fourteenth century. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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The Liber Secretorum Fidelium Crucis (1306-1321) was written by a Venetian in response to a papal call for practical advice. The advice was needed to prepare for a crusade and the hoped for recovery and retention of the Holy Land after the fall of Acre in 1291. The Venetian was Marino Sanudo (1270-1343), a member of a wealthy merchant patrician family whose contacts reached from the commercial trading world of the Italian maritime states to the courts of kings, dukes and the papal curia in Rome and Avignon. His life was varied and so was his treatise. In order to meet every possible requirement of a crusade proposal, Sanudo wrote a circa 150,000 word treatise ranging from matters related to trade, ship construction, and travel, to war, recruitment and provisioning a campaign. In addition, Sanudo included nine highly innovative maps, city plans and sailing charts with his manuscript which he sent to influential crusade participants around the courts of Europe. Much of the knowledge he provided was from his own experiences. He had travelled widely in the eastern Mediterranean and Northern Europe and his observations influenced his ideas for a crusade. He was fervent in his desire to recover the Holy Land and in order to achieve his aims he examined his world and searched for details that would enhance his proposals. In so doing he revealed an extraordinary variety of geographical knowledge accrued in the everyday but rarely evident in contemporary traditional geographical literature. This thesis arises out of discourse within the field of geography which has questioned how far back it is valid to seek antecedents to the history of the subject. The medieval period is frequently overlooked in this, seen as a hiatus in knowledge accumulation and transmission and therefore unworthy of consideration. In an attempt to refocus attention on the period, geographers called for research into texts that were not specifically geographic but which provided insight into how people were interacting with their environment in their daily lives. By taking a contextualized approach, it was hoped that a variety of geographies would become evident within different social, political and economic backgrounds and that this would help to incorporate the period into geography’s long history. This thesis is a contribution to the extension of geography’s history. Sanudo’s text and the genre of recovery treatise within which he wrote, provide evidence that crusade strategy, logistics and propaganda provided an opportunity for the dissemination of geographical knowledge often unrecorded in scholastic works. Sanudo’s appreciation of geographical knowledge is at the core of my thesis and his novel use of maps and their contents are a part of this. Within the academy there is uncertainty as to the extent of his participation in the production of these maps and his role in determining their contents. Little research has been attempted recently to resolve this uncertainty. Therefore the second part of this thesis concentrates on a search for new evidence and answers to the origin of his unique atlas.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Marino Sanudo: the geographical knowledge of an italian merchant in the fourteenth century
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2023. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10178149
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