La Stolonomie (1550)

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The French text Stolonomie, sub-titled Tracté contenant la matière de dresser et fournir aequiper et entretenir en tout temps en bon ordre une armée de Mer et raisõ des frais d'icelle, is an anonymous manuscript dated from 1547 to 1550 and pertains to the design, building, handling and maintenance of galleys. The original is presently in the Bibliotèque Nationale de Paris, under the reference français 2133 and has been published with a complete study by Ian Fennis.

Colbert purchased it in 1682 from the private library of Mr. de Montmort, Henry-Louis Habert, whose grand father had exerted functions of Treasurer of the Galleys around 1580.

The manuscript encompasses 91 folios still in the original binding, and starts with a dedication to King Henry II of France (1547-1553), which stresses the importance of having an organized fleet of galleys in the Mediterranean (folios 1-2). Follows a short introduction (folios 3-4), and 20 chapters dedicated to several aspects of the building, manning, and maintaining a fleet of galleys (5-87). The last folios contain an index of the work (88-91). Only the first chapter deals with the question of building the vessels, containing a complete description of the different timbers necessary to build a galley of 24 banks.1


1. Filipe Castro 2002 Webpage Nautical Archaeology Program, Texas A&M University

Further Reading

Fennis, Ian, La Stolonomie, Amsterdam: APA - Holland University Press, 1978

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