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The Carta Marina, made in 1516, relied on detailed knowledge from nautical charts and books. Not much is known about how Renaissance cartographer Martin Waldseemuller created his 1516 "Carta marina" world map, possibly the most up-to-date conception of the world at the time. But scholar Chet Van Duzer offered a rare peek into Waldseemuller's process Tuesday night (Oct. Martin Waldseemuller's Carta marina of 1516 has always remained in the shadow of his 1507 map--less famous and less studied.
In fact the Carta marina is in several ways more interesting than the 1507 map: it is the result of Waldseemuller's radical re-evaluation of what a world map should be.



Waldseemuller essentially started from scratch in creating the Carta marina, rejecting the Ptolemaic model and other sources he had used in creating the 1507 map, and adding more descriptive text and a rich program of illustration. In this talk Van Duzer examines the differences between the two maps and discuss the new sources that Waldseemuller used, placing particular emphasis on his iconographical sources. Unlike the Caverio map, Waldseemuller's map is crowded with descriptive texts and illustrations of royal rulers.
The map also includes an image of Noah's Ark resting in the mountains of Armenia, probably based on similar images in other nautical charts of the time, Van Duzer said. As stated by Peter Whitfield "This map is in fact the first and only printed version of the world charts previously known only to Spanish and Portuguese explorers and their patrons" (Whitfield 1994, 54-55).


But the Caverio itself is copied from the Cantino planisphere (1502) and from other unknown Portuguese sources of the time.2) The only signs that Columbus conception of the world was adopted are in the legends, not in the geometry of the chart, which is identical to Cantino's. In the Cantino, the separation between Asia and America seems clear: there is a legend near the eastern margin reading "Oceanus occiderorientalis" which probably means "an ocean eastward of China and westward of America";3) If the geometry of the chart is identical to Cantino's, which was based on latitudes, magnetic courses and estimated distances, why the square mesh?
Apparently Waldseemuller was also convinced (like many others) that this was a "square chart".



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