Martin Waldseemüller

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    Martin Waldseemüller was born at Radolfzell on the Bodenzee in about 1470. He lived and worked at St. Dié in Lorraine. His map of the world, from 1507, was engraved on twelve wood blocks with the title: Universalis Cosmographia.

    In his Cosmographiae Introductio (1507), which he says was written to provide “a description of the world map, which we have designed, both as a globe and as a projection...a fourth part [of the earth] has been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci…. Inasmuch as both Europe and Asia received their names from women, I see no reason why anyone should justly object to calling this part Amerige, i.e., the land of Amerigo, or America, after Amerigo, its discoverer, a man of great ability."

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    Although he later thought better of the name and omitted it from his map of 1516, it was already firmly rooted in public use. It is interesting that Waldseemüller believed that the “fourth part” of the world was “an island, inasmuch as it is found to be surrounded on all sides by the ocean,” and that “there is only one ocean, just as there is only one earth….”

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       Waldseemüller issued maps in 1513...

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       ...and in 1516, the Carta Marina Navigatoria Portugallen Navigationes Atque Tocius Cogniti....

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