Alexa

German chancellor hands over to United States the map that first named America

German chancellor hands over to United States the map that first named America

German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially handed over to the United States on Monday a 500-year-old map that was the first to tell the world of a new land that it called America.
Library of Congress historians say the world map, completed by German-born cleric and cartographer Martin Waldseemueller in 1507, is the first known document to use the name America, the first to depict the Western Hemisphere and the first to show separate Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The New World territories were named for Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
Merkel, joining Rep. Steny Hoyer, leader of the majority Democrats in the House of Representatives, in ceremonies at the Library of Congress. She recalled that the map is sometimes referred to as "America's birth certificate," and Waldseemueller and Vespucci can justifiably be called the "godfathers" of America.
Waldseemueller's work recognizes the voyages of Christopher Columbus but chooses to honor Vespucci, who made several voyages along the South American coast shortly after Columbus and concluded that he had found a New World unknown to Europe.
Columbus died in 1506 still believing his four voyages had taken him to Asia.
"I see no reason why we should not call this other part 'Amerige,' that is to say the land of Americus, or America, after the sagacious discoverer," Waldseemueller wrote in an accompanying book.
The full title for the 12-panel map covering 36 square feet was "a drawing of the whole earth following the tradition of Ptolemy and the travels of Amerigo Vespucci and others."
Waldseemueller, who worked out of a school in St. Die in northeastern France, did not use the name "America" in several subsequent maps, but by 1520 several other cartographers had adopted the appellation and it came into common usage.
The German prince who owned the map, the only known surviving copy of the original print of 1,000, agreed in 2001 to sell it to the Library of Congress for $10 million (now worth euro7.4 million). Congress provided half the money, with the rest coming from private contributors.
The deal was completed in 2003 and the map has been at the Library of Congress since then, but the two sides had been unable to arrange an official transfer, required because the map was on Germany's national culture list until now.
The Library of Congress plans to put the map on permanent display in December.
___
On the Net:
http://www.loc.gov/


Updated : 2021-04-10 23:03 GMT+08:00