(addition – 12 August – chastel pele
urim (Château Pèlerin).
Much time and ink has been spent on the likely originals for these two castles in folio 86v.
Unless I’ve substantially mis-read folio 86v’s orientation, the detail shown left
marks a point on the eastern Mediterranean shore is meant for Constantinople and the other (right) a place some distance inland from the coast, but still apparently in the Egyptian delta. (The so-called ‘Volcano’ I rather think is meant to represent a pyramid).
Given the date I’ve posited for addition of these geometric structures to the older map (I date their addition to between the mid-12th – mid-13thC), it seems worth offering other examplee of how castles were being drawn on Latin maps depicting that part of the world.
Below, the detail shows the coast of the eastern Mediterranean from Haifa to Damietta, as pictured in an Itinerary to Jerusalem ( Brit.Lib. MS Royal 14 C VII f.4v. ), attributed to Matthew Paris in southern England (St. Albans) 1250-1259 AD.
One of the Norman-French names
has me stumped is problematic, but otherwise I make them as:
left to right: ‘Kaifas’ (i.e. Caiphas = Haifa); chastel pele
urim (Château Pèlerin, 8 miles south of Haifa); ‘Cesaire’ (Caesarea‘); ‘Jafel’ (‘Jaffa’); ‘escalione’ (Ashkelon); ‘te Darun’ ( ‘Daron’ or Darum’ monastery and Fortess = Deir al-Balah); ‘Damiettos’ (Damietta).
It’s an orderly progression (see modern map following). For that reason, I don’t think ‘Chastel Peleuim’ can be meant for Pelusinium/Pelusium. Do comment if you can work it out. (Click if Damietta is not visible).
(click if you can’t see the inset in the map below).
As most ‘Voynicheros’ know, ‘swallowtail’ crenellations were used within mainland Latin Europe (principally in some of the Italian city states) to signal political allegiances during Italy’s near-civil war over whether ultimate authority in western Christendom should be inherited through a royal dynastic line, or whether it should be granted to an elected religious leader. The Ghibellines espoused the first, the Guelfs the second. Neither ‘party’ could be considered secular in the modern sense.
Since it was perfectly possible for a lord to be a Ghibelline and his son to be a Guelf, swallowtail merlons need not (even when incorporated in a castle) necessarily signal continuing adherence to one or the other. However, because the issue was of such importance to the italian states, members of that region might ornament any castle with merlons of that type, and ornament even schematic figures with the style they espoused. Within Italy.
Beyond Italy, these ‘swallowtails’ could appear on crusader castle, or around mercantile centres such as Caffa, in which both Guelf and Ghibelline residents coexisted. They do not signal party allegiance in those circumstances but only an enclave of more-or-less self-governing Latins.
Still, the Genoese were almost in a state of civil war over the issue during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to the point where the hundreds of Genoese who went as mariners to the Persian gulf are said to have wiped each other out to the last man. It may even be so.
So, here’s a map showing which among the eastern harbours and ports were preferred by the Genoese.