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might have made by lunar distances or eclipses, except by a long series of observations; for such a series I had not time. The principal sources of errors in these determinations are1st. They are affected by errors in the longitude of the initial points.
2nd. The azimuths were determined with a magnetic compass too small for great precision; and only at El Obeiyad was the magnetic declination accurately known.
3rd. It was often (usually, in fact) impossible to get the azimuths between precisely the same points at which the latitudes had been found.
II. ROUTE FROM EL OBEIYAD TO EL FACHER.
The position of El Facher has been determined as follows:
For Latitude by Circum-Meridian Altitudes, N. and S.
As the observations of Colonel Mason were entirely independent of my own as to instruments and methods of reduction, I think that the results are remarkably close and perfectly reliable.
On the route from El Obeiyad to El Facher no attempt was made to determine longitude; but the latitude was found at three intermediate points.
In the final plotting of the prismatic compass line, the total error was distributed over the whole line; and the errors in latitude between the astronomical stations were distributed over the lines between these stations.
NOTE. In constructing the map of Kordofan and Darfur accompanying the above paper, advantage has been taken of other reconnaissances made by officers of the Egyptian General Staff, besides those mentioned by Major Prout. These are generally beyond the area embraced in the map of Kordofan compiled by him, or have been made subsequently. They are as follows:
Major Prout: El Obeiyad to El Facher.
Colonel Colston: Dabbe to El Obeiyad.
Colonel Purdy: Old Dungola to El Facher; upon which the determinations of latitudes and longitudes were made by Lieut.-Colonel Mason.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mason: El Facher to Gebal Medob, and return.
Captain Mahmoud Sami, under the orders of Colonel Purdy: El Facher to El Touecha, and return.
Lieutenant Mahir, under the orders of Major Prout: From El Facher round Gebal Marrah, and return.
W. J. TURNER, R.G.S.
VI.-Zeno's Frislanda is Iceland and not the Faroes. By Admiral IRMINGER.
[With Map and Diagram.]
AMONG the voyages of discovery of former times, few have excited more attention among Geographers than the voyages of the Venetian nobles, the brothers Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, to the northern seas, towards the close of the fourteenth century; an account of which was published under the title of 'Dello Scoprimento dell' Isole Frislanda, Eslanda, Engronelanda, Estotilanda, e Icaria, fatto per due fratelli Zeni, M. Nicolò il Cavaliere, e M. Antonio,' with a map, Carta da Navegar de Nicolo et Antonio Zeni furono in tramontana lano MCCCLXXX.' The latest edition of this work, including the original and an English translation, with notes and introduction, is that by Mr. R. H. Major, published in 1873 by the Hakluyt Society.
Many eminent scholars and critics have discussed the Zeno narrative; some arriving at the conclusion that it is untrustworthy or even fictitious, and others that it has much merit. Humboldt says: "On y trouve de la candeur et des descriptions détaillées d'objets, dont rien en l'Europe ne pouvoit leur avoir donné l'idée." *
As I have been frequently in those waters, and, besides sailing in the open sea between the islands, have stayed for a long time in Iceland and the Faroe-islands, the old narrative of the Zeni has been from an early date of interest to me, and I have followed the later criticisms of it with constant attention.
Some few years since, I took occasion to inform the eminent geographer, Mr. Clements Markham, that my conception of various points in the Zeno voyage did not agree with that of Mr. Major and Admiral Zahrtmann, especially with regard to their identification of the mystic "Frislanda" with the "Færoe-islands." I now take the liberty of submitting to the
* Hakluyt edition 1873, Introduction, ix.
Royal Geographical Society the grounds on which I differ from the above-named authorities.
I will give, first, my critical annotations to Mr. Major's various statements, and then my individual opinion as to the solution of the question in its entirety, constantly referring to the Hakluyt Society's edition of 1873.
At page 6 we read the following:
"Zichmni then, being such as I have described him, was a warlike valiant man, and especially famous in naval exploits. Having the year before gained a victory over the King of Norway, who was lord of the island, he, being anxious to win renown by deeds of arms, had come with his men to attempt the conquest of Frislanda, which is an island somewhat larger than Ireland. Whereupon, seeing that Messire Nicolò was a man of judgment, and very experienced in matters both naval and military, he gave him permission to go on board his fleet with all his men, and charged the captain to pay him all respect, and in all things to take advantage of his advice and experience. This fleet of Zichmni consisted of thirteen vessels, whereof two only were rowed with oars, the rest were small barques and one ship. With these they sailed to the westwards, and with little trouble gained possession of Ledovo* and Ilofe† and other small islands in a gulf called Sudero, where, in the harbour of the country called Sanestol, they captured some small barques laden with salt fish. Here they found Zichmni, who came by land with his army, conquering all the country as he went. They stayed here but a little while, and making their course still westwards, they came to the other cape of the gulf, and then turning again, they fell in with certain islands and lands which they brought into possession of Zichmni. This sea, through which they sailed, was in a manner full of shoals and rocks; so that had Messire Nicolò and the Venetian mariners not been their pilots, the whole fleet, in the opinion of all that were in it, would have been lost, so inexperienced were Zichmni's men in comparison with ours, who had been, one might say, born, trained up, and grown old in the art of navigation. Now, the fleet having done as described, the captain, by the advice of Messire Nicolò, determined to go ashore at a place called Bondendon,§ to learn what success Zichmni had had in his wars, and there, to their great satisfaction, they heard that he had fought a great battle, and put to flight the army of the enemy; in consequence of which victory, ambassadors were sent from § Norderdahl.
all parts of the island to yield the country up into his hands, taking down their ensigns in every town and village. They decided therefore to stay in that place to await his coming, taking it for granted that he would be there very shortly." And further, at page 9.
"Departing thence, they went in triumphant manner towards Frislanda, the chief city of the island, on the south-east of it, lying inside a bay, in which there is such abundance of fish that many ships are laden therewith to supply Flanders, Brittany, England, Scotland, Norway, and Denmark, and by this trade they gather great wealth."
As Zichmni came by land, Sanestal (Major's and Zahrtmann's Sandóe) must have been on the same continuous land as the place from whence he had journeyed thither. The island Sandó, through which I myself have travelled twice from north to south, and am therefore well acquainted with the localities, has indeed a few dwellings at "Sand," around a small bay with anchorage, though open for southern winds, which frequently cause a very heavy sea against the land. On that insignificant spot Zichmni is said to be with his army.† From whence he came is not said, but by land it is not possible to come to that little island.
I may remark as a well-known fact that on the Færoe-islands the preparation of fish with salt (Klipfisk) was not practised before the present century; before that time dried fish without salt (Stokfisk) only was prepared; I will not, however, urge this as a principal and decisive argument.
At page 6: This sea through which they sailed from Sanestal to Bondendon was in a manner full of shoals and rocks," &c.
From this place Sanestal, Zichmni, of course, intended to go to the conquest of Frislanda (Major's Færoe-islands), but casting a glance on the chart of the Faroes, and following the line which the fleet with Nicolò Zeno on board is said to have sailed, it perplexes me that the fleet at the outset were not directed to Skaapen, a landing-place on the northern side of Sandó, in order to transport the army to Stromó (Major's Frislanda), for the purpose of conquering it. What, at any rate, had the fleet to do at Bondendon (Mr. Major's and Admiral
† According to Mr. Major's edition, 1873. See the route on the Feroe chart.
Zahrtmann's Norderdahl), leaving the army on the little scantilypeopled Sandó, Sanestal not being continuous land with Frislanda? Mr. Major and others may believe that the word "Norderdahl" to a southern ear sounded like "Bondendon; but this would not justify the fleet's sailing to Norderdahl.
The navigation from Sanestal to Bondendon is, in the Italian narrative, described as perilous through the many shoals and rocks; but this does not agree with the actualities at the Færoeislands; the insignificant distance of 14 to 15 miles, westward of Sandó, passing by the small islands Trolhoved, Hestó, and Kolter, to Norderdahl, being quite clear water. Hestó and Kolter are towering, steep-to, rocky islands surrounded by good water. Trolhoved is a smaller and lower uninhabited rock v island; but so free from obstacles that you may go so close in shore as to touch the rock with your jib-boom. There is no anchoring-ground, however, in the Sound at Norderdahl; but often a strong current and heaving of the sea, the coast being rocky, steep-to: and on such an exposed place Mr. Major supposes that the fleet had thought fit to wait for Zichmni's arrival. The coast in its whole length, from Norderdahl to the southernmost part of Stromó, is somewhat steep-to and rocky, where no dwellings, except little farms, have ever existed. Norderdahl, Sydredal, Velbastad, Kirkebó, and Bó, where some grass-plots may be found, but only near the houses, just sufficient for the few cattle and sheep, the produce of corn being very small. I have several times passed between Thorshavn and the southern part of the island. The whole southern part, the above-named grassy plots excepted, as well as the inner part of Sandó, exhibit nothing but rocks and sterile stony tracts, and is therefore uninhabitable. Certainly the triumphal march of Zichmni cannot have taken place on the Færoe-islands, from Sanestal to Thorshavn, but must certainly have passed through a larger land-area and with greater population. From Slattaretind on the north side of Osteró, another of the Faroes, about 3000 feet above the level of the sea, the highest point of the island, I have overlooked the whole group, the ocean all around, and the deep Sounds between all those small steep rocky islands; and am convinced that, from whatever high point of any of these islands Zeno might have formed an idea of the extension of the same, as an experienced sailor he would never in his 'Carta da Navegar' have laid down, as he has done, the Faroes as a single island somewhat greater than Ireland.
At pages 25 and 26 we find in Mr. Major's edition:"Steering westwards, we discovered some islands subject to