500 Yr Old Map Related to America’s ‘Birth Certificate’ Discovered in Munich

The American continent was “christened” by the cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. A previously unknown variant of the famous world map from the mapmaker’s workshop has unexpectedly turned up in the collections in the University Library in Munich.
When Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel officially handed over the famous map of the world printed by Martin Waldseemüller (ca. 1470 — 1522) to the Library of Congress In Washington in 2007, she referred to it as “a wonderful token of the particularly close ties of friendship between Germany and America.” And indeed, the gesture had great symbolic weight, for the chart — then exactly 500 years old — can be seen as America’s birth certificate. On this map, the New World appears for the first time under the name “America,” chosen to honor the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451 — 1512), whom Waldseemüller erroneously regarded as the discoverer of the continent.

500 Yr Old Map Related to America’s ‘Birth Certificate’ Discovered in Munich

The American continent was “christened” by the cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. A previously unknown variant of the famous world map from the mapmaker’s workshop has unexpectedly turned up in the collections in the University Library in Munich.

When Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel officially handed over the famous map of the world printed by Martin Waldseemüller (ca. 1470 — 1522) to the Library of Congress In Washington in 2007, she referred to it as “a wonderful token of the particularly close ties of friendship between Germany and America.” And indeed, the gesture had great symbolic weight, for the chart — then exactly 500 years old — can be seen as America’s birth certificate. On this map, the New World appears for the first time under the name “America,” chosen to honor the explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1451 — 1512), whom Waldseemüller erroneously regarded as the discoverer of the continent.

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