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Knight's Mechanical Encyclopedia (ed. Knight) 1 1 Browse Search
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ived by the good old channel, India and Arabia; but Marco Polo did not know that, and his services can hardly be exaggerated. The Arabs sailed by the compass during the Khalifate of Cordova, which lasted till A. D. 1237, when it was subdued by the Moors. An authority states that it was known in Norway previous to 1266. Dr. Gilbert, physician to Queen Elizabeth, states that P. Venutus brought a compass direct from China in 1260. See Klaproth's work on this subject, Paris, 1834; Sir Snow Harris's Rudimentary magnetism ; the researches of Biot, Stanislaus Julien, etc. About 1320, Flavio Gioja, a pilot of Positano, not far from Amalfi in the Kingdom of Naples, was instrumental in the improvement of the compass, and for a time passed as the inventor thereof. Such a claim is fully disposed of by the facts above cited. It is probable that Gioja was a skillful mechanic, and improved upon the popular modes of supporting the needle (which were by floating it, or suspending it b