Questionable content, possibly linked

Isle of Devils / Isle of Demons

Historians have conjectured the “Devils” of Satanazes might be a reference to the Skraelings (indigenous peoples of Greenland and Vinland) reported in the Norse sagas, notably the Grœnlendinga saga and the saga of Erik the Red, which began to filter south around this time. Pizzigano may have constructed Satanazes island to capture their rough geographic location.[6]

The possible connection between the Satanazes and the Skraelings was first proposed by Nordenskiöld (1889), his attention drawn by an inscription on some islands between Newfoundland and Greenland in the 1508 map of Johannes Ruysch, which notes how ‘devils’ located there attacked sailors (See Isle of Demons).[7] The connection need not require direct knowledge of the Norse sagas themselves, e.g. Fridtjof Nansen has drawn attention to how Norse encounters with North American ‘demons’ were adopted in Irish immrama,.[8] Given the tendency of the legends of Atlantic seafarers – Norse, Irish, Arab and Iberian – to move quickly and cross-fertilize each other,[9] the news of an Isle of Devils out in the North Atlantic may have arrived to Italian cartographers via several channels.

Source: Satanazes – Wikipedia


Sandy Island, New Caledonia (Cartography)


Immram (Irish mythological voyage)

1 Comment

  1. Tim B.

    “It was believed that the island was populated by demons and wild beasts which would torment and attack any ships that passed or anyone that was foolish enough to wander onto the island. […]

    The Isle of Demons first appears in the 1508 map of Johannes Ruysch. It may simply be a relocated version of the older legendary island of Satanazes (“Devils” in Portuguese) that was normally depicted in 15th century maps in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean just north of Antillia. With the Atlantic better mapped with the trans-oceanic voyages of the 1490s, Ruysch may simply have transplanted old Satanazes to a more suitable location. “

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