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- This work is the only known copy of a Dutch translation of a letter from Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) to Lorenzo de Medici (1463-1503), describing Vespucci's third voyage to America, undertaken in 1501-02 in the service of the king of Portugal. The work was published in Antwerp circa 1507 by the famous Flemish printer Joes van Doesborgh. The book is a translation of a Latin text, published in Paris in 1503, under the title Mundus novus (New world), which was itself a translation from Vespucci’s original Italian. In the letter, Vespucci claims that the landmasses that he had just explored were much larger than previously thought and were not part of Asia. They constituted what in fact was a “new world.” The German mapmaker Martin Waldseemüller later named this new world “America” after Vespucci, based on a claim, which may have been spurious, that on an earlier voyage Vespucci had reached the mainland of South America (in present-day Venezuela) on May 28, 1498, some three months ahead of Christopher Columbus. The work contains woodcut illustrations, including, for example, several purporting to depict the people of the Americas, and one showing a large fish threatening to attack Vespucci’s ship.
Joes van Doesborgh, Antwerp
Title in Original Language
Van der nieuwer werelt oft landtscap nieuwelicx gheou[n]de[n] va[n]de[n] doorluch tighe[n] con[inc]. va[n] Portugael door de[n] alder beste[n] pyloet ofte zee kender d[er] werelt
Type of Item
- 16 pages: illustrated; 21 centimeters