Ralf Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany submitted this article: "Non-numismatic, but bibliophile!!" Thanks!
Munich librarians have found a rare 16th century world map that first gave America its name as a continent.
The version by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller survived World War II sandwiched between geometry books.
The Munich version is smaller than the 500-year-old global map found in a German monastery in 1901 and handed over by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007 to the US Library of Congress. Only four smaller versions were previously known to have survived.
Waldseemüller (1470 - 1522) was the first cartographer to depict America as a separate continent on a global map and to name it after the Italian seafaring explorer Amerigo Vespucci. In his journals, Vespucci had described the eastern coast of what he saw as a new continent, which we now know is South America.
The Florentine navigator Vespucci was a younger contemporary of Christopher Columbus, the Italian in Spanish service who reached Central America in 1492 believing it was part of Asia while searching for a western trade route.
"We've made a sensational find," said Klaus-Rainer Brintzinger, the director of Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian
University's library, referring to the latest Waldseemüller map to re-emerge.
The head of the university library's section for ancient books, Sven Kuttner said "there hasn't been a find of this dimension since World War II."
Several days ago, two women involved in catalogue correction at the library opened a bound 19th century
folio containing two printed geometry works. Sandwiched between them was the smaller A4-sized Waldseemüller map, the university said in a statement.
The folio had been bound together by Viennese librarians in 1871, and they apparently did not recognize the map's significance.
To read the complete article, see:
500-year-old global map found in Munich
Wayne Homren, Editor
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