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The Zeno map is a map of the North Atlantic first published in 1558 in Venice by Nicolo Zeno, a descendant of Nicolo Zeno, of the Zeno brothers.

The younger Zeno published the map, along with a series of letters, claiming he had discovered them in a storeroom in his family's home in Venice. According to Zeno, the map and letters date from around the year 1400 and purportedly describe a long voyage made by the Zeno brothers in the 1390s under the direction of a prince named Zichmni. Supporters of the Henry Sinclair legend suggest that Zichmini is a mistranscription of d'Orkney. The voyage supposedly traversed the North Atlantic and, according to some interpretations, reached North America.

Most historians regard the map and accompanying narrative as a hoax, perpetrated by the younger Zeno to make a retroactive claim for Venice as having discovered the New World before Christopher Columbus.

The evidence against the authenticity of the map is based largely on the appearance of many phantom islands in the North Atlantic and off the coast of Iceland. One of these non-existent islands was Frisland, where the Zeno brothers allegedly spent some time.

Current scholarship regards the map as being based on existing maps of the 16th century, in particular:

  • The Olaus Magnus map of the North, the Carta marina
  • The Caerte van Oostland of Cornelis Anthoniszoon
  • Claudius Clavus-type maps of the North


More information on the Wikipedia page [1]

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