“Prima dedit nautis usum magnetis
This verse of Antonio Beccadelli called “il Panormita” is the
first leterary sign of the compass invention.
to their travel, the Amaphitain sailors learnt how to use some navigation
instruments. In fact Gugliemo da Puglia (historical of the XI century),
speaking about the Amalphitain sailors, he said that they were expert seamen.
first news about magnetic instruments to sail goes up at the end of the XII
the new instrument was invented during the XIII century. It was a box with a
bronze pin in the middle and a magnetic needle and it was closed with a
cover divided in 360 degrees. This new instrument, called "pixidis vitrea",
could be used with a sea rough.
to this instrument the Amalphitain could sail in the winter, too.
the sailors of Positano improved this instrument adding a needle and the
compass-card. The new instrument was called "compass".