500 Year Old Map Handed To US As Germany Reveals America's 'Lost' History
Amazing. Years ago I read a 'lost history' book about how Christopher Columbus married into a family of Knights Templar descendants who then gave him access to maps that showed the way to the land that would later become known as America.
The old story went that Columbus didn't 'discover' America when he first visited the 'New World', he didn't even know it was new territory for Europeans.
The 'lost history' story went that it was Italian explorers and German cartogographers who supplied the information that led to the first maps and formal claims on the 'New World'.
Sounded like a good conspiracy yarn.
Well, apparently not. It appears the old story was pretty well close to the truth.
The 500 year old map of the world, above, covers 36 square feet!
From the Associated Press :
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.We learned nothing about this in Australian schools, a few decades back. We got told Columbus discovered America and Captain Cook discovered Australia. Neither 'fact' was true.
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.
...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.
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."
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.
How about those German princes and their secret hoards of old, priceless, history-changing documents?
What else have they got squirreled away in their castles?
The secrets of alchemy? 2200 year old Greek diagrams for steam engines? The ancient Egyptian maps of far north Australia?