is the name of an explorer-prince who appears in a 1558
book by Nicolo Zeno of Venice
, allegedly based on letters and a map dating to the year 1400
by the author's ancestors, brothers Nicolo
and Antonio Zeno
. Zichmni is described as a great lord of some islands off the southern coast of Frislanda
, a fictitious island claimed to be larger than Ireland and located south of Iceland.
The letters provide what is claimed to be a first-hand account of a voyage of exploration undertaken in 1398 by Prince Zichmni, accompanied by the Zeno brothers. It crossed the North Atlantic to Greenland and possibly reached the coast of North America. Historians consider either the 1558 book, or the letters on which it is based, to be simply a hoax.
Proponents of the authenticity of the tale maintain that Zichmni was a Scottish nobleman named Henry Sinclair. However, scholars point to many flaws in this identification and consider it extremely unlikely.
- Cooper, Robert L. D. (Ed.) The Voyages of the Venetian Brothers Nicolo & Antonion Zeno to the Northern Seas in the XIVth Century. Masonic Publishing Co. 2004. ISBN 0-9544268-2-7.