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Title: The Lenox Globe
Description: The Lenox Globe is often referred to as the oldest extant post-Columbian globe. The globe itself, measuring only 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter, is an engraved copper ball of excellent workmanship. It was found in Paris in 1850 by the architect, Richard M. Hunt, and was presented by him to James Lenox the founder of the Lenox Library. It is now a prized possession of the New York Public Library, of which the Lenox Library now forms a part. The small globe is composed of two copper-engraved hemispheric sections closely fitted along the equator, as in the case of the Ulpius Globe (#367), and pierced for an axis. Whatever mountings it may have had are lost. It may once have even formed a part of an astronomical clock. A very similar globe, belonging to an astronomical clock and apparently of about the same age as the Lenox Globe, is in the library of the Jagiellon University at Cracow in Poland.
The globe bears neither the date nor the name of the maker. Neither parallels nor meridians are indicated, and though a striking error appears in giving to the eastern hemisphere, or the Old World from Europe to Asia, too great an extension in longitude, leaving little space for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; the principle latitudes, however, are well given. Europe is rather summarily delineated as is evidenced by the shape of Portugal, France and the British Isles. The proportions of Africa are not very accurate either, but it does display a “modern” (i.e., as opposed to Ptolemaic) southern tip of Africa being clearly identified and separated from Asia.
The Lenox Globe: Provenance and Significance.
What is known about the provenance and acquision of this special globe by the New York Public Library was assembled by Robert W. Hill who published an essay in the Library’s Bulletin in July 1937. The globe was first discovered in an antiques shop on the Quai Voltaire in Paris around 1854 by a New York architect named Richard Morris Hunt. In the late 1860s Henry Stevens, an agent for James Lenox and other collectors of rare books and other historical artifacts, became aware of this special globe and recognized its historical significance. In 1869, he persuaded Hunt to permit the Coast Survey Bureau in Washington DC to make an accurate facsimile projection which has been used by many subsequent scholars. At the time, Stevens hoped to conclude a purchase for the British Museum and was prepared to pay Hunt the handsome sum of £2,000, according to Hunt's widow. But before Stevens could make this offer, Hunt already had already decided to give the globe as a gift to Lenox out of admiration for him. Hunt had a close relationship with Lenox because Lenox had hired him to design a large mansion in Manhattan to house his private collection. The offering of the globe as a gift was evidently timed with the completion of the construction of this mansion in 1870.
Lenox’s personal library was acquired in 1911 by the New York Public Library and in the process this small, engraved globe made of copper became one of the Library’s most valuable possessions. Its historical significance arises from the fact that it is the oldest surviving globe from the post-1492 period and the oldest surviving globe to illustrate any portion of the New World.
Like Martin Behaim’s famous large globe from 1492 (#258), the Lenox Globe still shows only one ocean between Europe and Asia. Thus, in this respect, the small globe does not convey the awareness that there had to be a distinct second ocean (the Pacific) as the Waldseemüller map (#310) clearly does. Despite this fact, what makes the Lenox globe extremely important, indeed revolutionary, is that it depicts the continent of South America as a separate island-like continent. We can even detect the suggestion of a cone-shape in the lower latitudes below the equator and a cape or water passage at the far southern end.
There was no good indication as to when the little globe was made, but three prominent scholars in the late 19th century - Benjamin De Costa, Henry Harrisse and Justin Winsor – addressed this perplexing issue before Joseph Fisher made his discovery of the Waldseemüller map in July 1901.
Harrisse in his landmark work The Discovery of North America (1892) concluded that the most likely date for the Lenox Globe was 1511. Harrisse believed that the Lenox Globe was made in France derived from “an Italian model” and he detected what he thought were some features or nomenclature reminiscent of a sketch map allegedly from the hand of Leonardo Da Vinci (#327) now kept in the Library at Windsor Castle. He argued that this globe was not part of the “cartographical family” with roots in Portuguese sources – such as the Cantino (#306) and Caveri (#307) maps However, closer examination requires a major reassessment of that conclusion because the historical context and other cartogcaphic evidence imbedded in the Lenox Globe suggest that it is indeed of Portuguese origin, or inspiration, or was made to convey Lisbon’s political perspective on discoveries in the New World.
There is another interesting aspect to Harrisse’s analysis. He was one of the first scholars to make the astute observation about how quickly and how inevitably it was that the Europeans would connect the dots, would grasp the continuous unbroken coastline from Labrador to Argentina as seen in the Stobnicza map of 1512 (#319). Harrisse correctly predicted in 1892 that the Stobnicza map was a derivative of the Waldseemüller world map of 1507 and argued that if and when it could be found, it also would show this same continuous unbroken coastline. Given his perspicacity, it remains odd that the Lenox Globe with its distinct image of the South America as a real “island” - totally disconnected from other landmasses - and with no depiction of North America at all – was still not enough to persuade Harrisse to date the globe prior to 1507. Perhaps Harrisse wished to play it safe in 1892 since the near frantic search for the large Waldseemüller world map was still underway. Thus, he cautiously only dated the Lenox globe to just before the Stobnicza map, meaning only to 1511.
Prior to Harrisse, Justin Winsor in the mid-1880s was equally perplexed concerning what to make of and how to date the Lenox Globe. He remarked in his Narrative and Critica1 History of America that “its date is fixed at 1510-1512, but by some as early as 1506-1507.” Curiously Winsor, who died in 1897, never identified which scholars favored the earlier date that would place the creation of the Lenox Globe before the Waldseemüller map. However, it is probable that among the unnamed scholars was the agent Henry Stevens himself who stated that he favored the date of 1506-1507 in an undated letter in the possession of The New York Public Library. Stevens must have taken this position by the late 1870s, because an entry under “Globes” in the Encyclopedia Britannica edition of 1879 quotes him as assigning the date of 1506-1507 to the Lenox Globe. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find any explanation from Stevens as to why he chose this date. To get some clue as to why that date might have made sense to Stevens we need to turn to a contemporary scholar who pondered more deeply and put his thoughts in writing as to when this globe might have been made.
The scholar who provided the first and to this day still the most in-depth analysis of the Lenox Globe was Benjamin De Costa (1831-1904). When he published his critical assessment in a long article for The Magazine of American History in September 1879, he was ahead of his time. For example, Emerson Fite and Archibald Freeman in their folio-sized work entitled A Book of Old Maps published in 1921 by Harvard University Press essentially repeated much of what De Costa had said more than forty years earlier.
What makes De Costa’s scholarship in his 1879 essay so outstanding is that he is open and candid about the profound implications of dating any globe or map depicting the entire continent of South America so many years before Magellan’s voyage of 1519-1522. There in fact are several other maps, globes, or globe gores - associated with the names Boulengier (#324), Green (#342.1), Hauslab-Leichtenstein (#310), Nordenskiold (#311), Stobnicza (#319), and the well-known globes and maps of Johannes Schöner (#328) from the 1515-1520 period - which show this continent having a strait or cape like the African continent and also having a distinctive “ice cream-cone” shape quite unlike Africa.
This is an astonishing pattern of cartographical evidence concerning South America prior to Magellan’s voyage in 1519. And this evidence should raise doubts and did in fact raise doubts among some late-19th century scholars such as De Costa, Nordenskiold, Varnhagen and Winsor concerning the conventional wisdom that everyone in Europe was in the dark prior to Magellan’s famous expedition. These scholars were not entirely convinced that these maps and globes (including especially the Lenox Globe) were “provocative geographical cartoons” as Lawrence Bergreen claims in his book on Magellan’s famous voyage.
We should also observe that even before De Costa, the world famous scholar Alexander de Humboldt took seriously the proposition that there may have been more extensive exploration of South America (Portuguese in his and our view) than the conventional wisdom allowed due to the tradition, surrounding Magellan’s famous voyage. And Humboldt based his conclusion in the 1830s, on the fact that the little essay Cosmographiae Introductio published to accompany Waldseemüller’s world map in 1507 and which names for the first time the New World as America in Vespucci’s honor, also describes the new continent in the southern hemisphere as being like an “enormous island in it that it is found to be surrounded on all sides by water”. In other words, it was not directly an extension of Asia. This total separation from Asia is exactly the cartographic projection we find on the Lenox Globe. But how could anyone have come to that conclusion in 1507?
For his part, De Costa was well aware of Cosmographiae Introductio and the small Waldseemüller globe gores (#310) found in the passage in the south. Therefore, unlike Harrisse who curiously was not willing to date the globe before 1511, De Costa was firm in his conclusion that the Portuguese must have found the strait no later than 1510. He suggested that the Lenox Globe had “some connection” with the voyage of Vespucci in 1501-1502 to South America in the service of the Portuguese King Manuel. And De Costa astutely pointed to Vespucci’s repeated assertion in Mundus Novus that he had reached 50 degrees below the equator which means the Italian navigator would have fallen just short of the strait by only two degrees on this voyage. For all these reasons, De Costa at several points in his essay conveyed his strong suspicion that the Portuguese learned a great deal more about the continent’s configuration in the years that followed and well before Magellan’s expedition.
It is evident that the Lenox Globe must have been constructed subsequent to the discovery of the coast of South America, in 1500, by Cabral, who gave it the name Vera Cruz, which was soon changed to Terra Sanctæ Crucis, as on this globe. It seems probable that it was made after the publication, in 1503, of Vespucius’ letter to Lorenzo de Medici, in which he gave an account of his third voyage, when he followed the Brazilian coast 34° south latitude. The western coast of South America is drawn here, as in other maps that were constructed before the news of Magellan’s circumnavigation had arrived in Europe, laid down not by direct observation but by estimation.
On the other hand, the almost complete lack of information betrayed by the maker of the globe concerning the east coast of North America, and the absence of the name America on South America would indicate that it antedates the map of Martin Waldseemüller of 1507 (#310). It may be concluded from the want of all inscriptions at Corte Real’s land, the draftsman has only had access to very vague reports of a continent or of larger islands to the northwest of the West Indies.
In summary, historians such as B.F. De Costa, Justin Winsor and Henry Harrisse have assigned a date of 1510-11, for the reason, amongst others, that, while several of its representations are in advance of the published knowledge of 1508, they are behind that of 1511-12. Of course the simple fact that an instrument of this kind represents the condition of geographical knowledge at a certain period does not infallibly prove that it was produced at that particular period. Under peculiar circumstances, it would be possible for an instrument like this to possess many of the marks which indicate an early origin, simply through the failure of the designer to incorporate the results of the latest explorations, concerning which he might have been ignorant; but this suggestion, in order to have any weight in the present case, should be supported by some proof of such ignorance. Respecting the points on which the globe gives no light, information was, nevertheless, so wide-spread in 1511 as to render it difficult to believe that any globe or map maker of the period could have failed to know of its existence. It is true that old maps often occur in new books. This was the case with many of the early geographical works; but in every such instance it is easy to show that the map is not in accordance with the text, and that the map was introduced by the publisher in lieu of something better. No such suggestion applies to the Lenox Globe.
Because the date of this globe could be deduced mainly from its representations of America, let us give a brief resume of the condition of geographical knowledge respecting the New World for several years subsequent to 1510.
In the year 1500, Juan de la Cosa, the Pilot of Columbus, drew a map of the New World (#305), but North America does not appear, Newfoundland being represented as a part of Asia. In 1508, on the map of John Ruysch (#313), Newfoundland also appears as a part of Asia, being marked Terra Nova. On the Lenox Globe, however, Newfoundland appears as an island, though without any name, and at the same time no part of continental North America is laid down. In Peter Martyr’s work (Legatio Babylonicd) of the following year, Florida appears as Beimeni, while the Stobnicza map in the Ptolemy of 1512 (#319), gives a rough view of North America, similar to that found in the Ptolemy of 1513 (#320). The very early map attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (#327) shows Florida as an island, but since the map was not published, no inference can be drawn from it. The maps of 1511, 1512 and 1513 nevertheless must have been known to every intelligent person engaged in globe making, and if the Lenox Globe had been made during those years, or later, it would have reflected information published to the world. According to this argument, this globe, therefore, takes its place in the year 1510, or the beginning of 1511. After passing this year, and reaching 1520, the newly found lands are so well known as to be celebrated in an English poem, entitled the Four Elements. The argument is indeed negative, but nevertheless it may be accepted as relevant.
What has been said thus far applies only to North America, but, upon turning to South America, the representation has the appearance of belonging to a period later than 1511. In its New World representation, South America appears as a large island having three regional names, Mundus Novus, Terra Sanctae Crucis, and Terra de Brazil. In fact, the entire continent is laid down, though apart from the Lenox Globe, no analogous representation is found before that of the Schöner Globe, 1520 (#328). This circumstance might, therefore, lead some to conclude that the globe originated at a late period. If, however, it were to be argued that the Lenox Globe belongs to a period subsequent to Schöner, it might be necessary to assign its date to the 16th century. Le Maire and Schouten did not explore that region until 1615. But this question is one that may be disembarrassed, for it will not prove a difficult task to show how the globe- maker may have obtained, in 1610, the knowledge which he exhibits.
In order to present the subject with clearness, it will be useful to state first, that the La Cosa map of 1500 (#305) exhibited the northern coast of South America, together with the eastern coast down to about 25° S. The 1508 Ruysch map (#313) also showed the eastern coast, but only down to 38° S.; while the Sylvanus map (#318), in the Ptolemy of 1511, stopped at 35° S.; Stobnicza (#319), 1512, at 40° S.; the Ptolemy of 1513 at 39° S.: and the Margarita Philosophica of Gregory Ruysch, 1516, at 49° S. Nevertheless the Lenox Globe gives all of South America, the drawing alone rendering it probable that the draughtsman was not unacquainted with the configuration of Terra del Fuego. How, then, could the globe-maker have known that South America terminated in such a form near latitude 55° S.? How, in fact, could he have known that it terminated at all, especially since sketches later than 1515, with one or two unimportant exceptions, represented Terra del Fuego as joined to a great continent, supposed to cover the entire region around the south pole?
On this point it may be observed that such a termination to South America was doubtless rendered probable by the argument from analogy. The ordinary observer must have perceived that the great bodies of land on the globe terminated towards the south in points. Good reasons also exist for believing that Africa was accepted as the “model” for South America. But it is by no means unreasonable to suppose that the termination of South America was known in 1510, even though its circumnavigation had apparently not been accomplished. In 1508 it was recorded by Ruysch (#313), that navigators had reached 50° S. On his map is found a Latin legend, translated as follows: Portuguese mariners discovered this part of this territory, and proceeded as high as the fiftieth degree of South latitude, but without reaching its southern extremity. Alexander Humboldt (Examen Critique, II. 7) calls attention to the fact that in the fourteenth chapter of the work, in which the map of Ruysch appears, there is a separate statement, to the effect that the Portuguese had surveyed the coast of South America as far as 37° S., and that it was known as far as 50° S. by report. Thus in 1508 there existed at Rome a general understanding of the coast to within about two degrees of the entrance to the Straits of Magellan. With such facts before him, Humboldt came to the conclusion that between the years 1500 and 1508 a succession of attempts were made by the Portuguese along the coast of South America, beginning at Porto Seguro in latitude 16° S. Vespucci is even credited with having gone to 52° S. Still the student is not justified, with such data, in declaring precisely how far the navigators knew the region by actual observation. The inference is that the navigators who passed along that region viewed the strait afterwards discovered by Magellan as an inlet, and that they learned from the natives the configuration of Terra del Fuego. Such information has been given to navigators in every part of the world. The French explorer Jacques Cartier in Canada knew of the great lakes from the aborigines. The Indians also drew rough sketches for Champlain in New England. The Hudson’s Bay Company possess at their House important sketches made by the Indians; while Balboa, called the “Discoverer of the Pacific” had the Pacific discovered for him by the Cacique of Zumaco, who, upon the arrival of the Spaniard in the Bay of Panama, figured for him the coasts of Quito, and described the riches of Peru. (Examtn Critique II. 13.) Columbus on his fourth voyage learned of the existence of water beyond Darien. Parry and Ross had the coast lines of their charts extended for them by the Esquimaux. This was all that the Spanish and Portuguese navigators needed to have done for them by the natives of Terra del Fuego.
Sometimes the information thus derived was of great value, and it would appear that the maker of the Lenox Globe had received information of this kind. The principle in accordance with which the age of this globe is to be deduced is now therefore quite clear. The absence of any allusion to the continent of North America would seem conclusive. Perhaps it is not too much to believe that this globe has some connection with the third voyage of Vespucci, which brought him to the latitude of the Straits of Magellan. Peter Martyr, writing to the Pope in 1514, seems to have a definite view of the shape of South America quite in advance of published maps. Being secretly together in a chamber with the Bishop of Burgos, Martyr says that they examined many sea charts, one of which Vespucci was said to have set his hand, while another had been influenced by both Christopher and Bartholomew Columbus. Speaking of South America, he says it reaches forth into the sea even as Italy doth, although not like the leg of a man, as it does. Thus in 1514 South America had been figured more or less as drawn upon the Lenox Globe.
Another interesting and important feature of the globe can be seen in the Far East. The globe shows very distinctly a large island, without any name, lying in the Indian Ocean. To the northward of this island is another, called Madagascar, though the true Madagascar is laid down in its proper place without any name. Northward of the supposed Madagascar is an island called Certina. Since, however, this part of the Indian Ocean contains no such vast island, and since Australia does not appear in its proper place, it has been suggested by De Costa that, though we do so with extreme diffidence, that Australia is represented by the great island in question, which was misplaced; while the so-called Madagascar and Certina are simply Sumatra and Java. Three other islands without names correspond to Sumbawa, Floris and Timor.
The uncertainty of the globe-maker respecting Madagascar may be explained by the fact that it was not until 1508 that D’Acuhna made his exploration of the island, though it was known to Marco Polo. This excuse, however, cannot be offered for those who later represented Zanzibar as a great island out in the ocean.
The Schöner Globe of 1520 (#328) has an island similar in form and situation to the nameless island of the Lenox Globe, but in a reversed position, and called Madagascar. In Bordone’s Isolaria (fols. 28-9 and 70, ed. 1528) Zanzibar is thus represented.
In support of the suggestion that the Madagascar and Certina of the globe are simply Sumatra and Java misplaced, we may cite the fact that the well-known islands of Sumatra and Java do not appear in their places, while the Malayan peninsula, labeled on the globe as Loac, is extended so far south as to confuse the geography of the whole region. Acting, however, in accordance with the suggestion offered, it would prove an easy task to bring order out of the confusion. This may be done by moving the great nameless island into the position occupied by Australia on the modern maps, carrying with it Certina, the so-called Madagascar, and the three islands without name. When this is done, the student will have before him a tolerable indication of the geography of that region. Borneo and Celebes (called Java Minor by Ramusio), having their proper place, New Guiana, without any name, also appearing. In accordance with this view, it would be necessary to conclude that, though misplaced upon the Lenox Globe, even Australia was known to the geographers of that early period.
It is true that one of the first references to the southern coast of Australia in the 17th century was that of 1627, when a Dutch ship sailed along the shore for a distance of a thousand miles, while one of the earliest maps of that century which showed the outlines of Australia was the Montanus map of 1572. Nevertheless it is probable that Australia was known centuries before, when the Chinese, with the mariners’ compass, navigated those seas. From Lelewel’s sketch of map of Idrisi (#219) it is evident that the region including Java was perfectly well known in 1154. In the 13th century Marco Polo traveled with a map of the world in his hand, by the aid of which he appears to have described Madagascar. At that period the great island of Australia, lying close to well-known islands, could hardly have remained unknown to geographers. It would appear that the Java Minor of Marco Polo, a term applied by him to Sumatra, came eventually to include the entire region. That this was so appears from the fact that names belonging to Java and the neighboring islands are given on maps of a later period. The Globe of Ulpius (#367) illustrates this phase of the question, Java Minor appearing as a very large island, and the true Java not being laid down at all. Mr. Major discusses four maps with similar characteristics, belonging to same period, in the Hakluyt Society’s work on Australia, and the matter is also touched upon in his Prince Henry. Some of the geographers endeavored to set off Java, reduced to proper proportions, Schöner, 1520, being amongst the number; but in the attempt Australia in some cases disappeared altogether. On the Lenox Globe, nevertheless, Java appears to have the name of Certina. Perhaps, therefore, the Lenox Globe may be regarded as showing one of the earliest attempts to correct a misunderstanding.
Attention has already been called to the fact that the great nameless island, with its attendant islands, is placed westward instead of southeast of the Malayan peninsula; but Sylvanus, in his Ptolemy map of 1511 (#318), moves the whole group into its proper position to the southeast, thus giving a somewhat correct view of the geography of that region. Still the delineation by Sylvanus does not appear to have been understood. In fact he made too long and too sudden a stride towards the truth to be followed, though Lelewel, while severely criticizing his work, admits that some of his delineations were not equaled for many years after. The Lenox Globe and the Ptolemy of Sylvanus would therefore seem to explain one another. At the same time the maker of the globe, in common with Sylvanus, in forming the outline of what we venture to offer as Australia, appear to have made a certain use of those outlines characteristic of the Java Major of the Fra Mauro map and the Behaim Globe (#249 and #258), which lay on the east coast of Asia. The maker of the Lenox Globe may have misunderstood his instructions, and thus pushed Australia into the Indian Ocean. The attention of the designer of the globe may have been directed to the subject by the voyage of Gonnville, who sailed from Honfleur in June 1503, for the East, and fell upon a great country, not far from the direct route to the Indies, which they called Southern India.
Thus far nothing has been said of the general appearance of the globe, though, if it were necessary, many details could be pointed out which indicate its ancient origin. Amongst these might be mentioned the peculiar configuration of the Asiatic coasts, the style of the lettering, the drawing of the ships, and the aspect of the marine monsters. The delineation of the Asian coast using the “Tiger Leg” configuration carries on the tradition also employed by the Behaim Globe, and the Marlellus, King Hamy, Waldseemüller, Roselli, and Contarini maps. The “Tiger Leg” is Catigara which was the name given on earlier Ptolemaic maps to the land on the easternmost shore of the Mare Indicum, south of the equator.
In Asia the Himalayan range, anciently known as Imaus, had its influence upon the globe-maker's geography, who indicates Schite extraianivm for Scythia extra Imaum. He also puts Simarum Situs on the border of the Gulf of the Ganges, where Sinarum Situs is put by Ruysch, Sinarum, like Serica, or silk, being a name applied to China, which on the globe is called East India. In this region, near the equatorial line, is seen Hc Svnt Dracones, or here are the Dagroians, described by Marco Polo as living in the Kingdom of Dagroian. These people, as once charged against the Irish, feasted upon the dead and picked their bones. Loac is the Locac of Marco Polo, and Seilan is the Borneo of our day, the former name having been taken from its proper place near India to make room for Taprobana, which was often applied to Sumatra. In Northern India is Sacha- vvm Regno, the sugar region described in the Ptolemy of Patavino (1596). Near Persia is Carmenis, the Kermann of Marco Polo, who does not refer to the neighboring Calicut, or Calcutta.
Moabio appears to be the Maabar of Marco Polo, who says that in this entire Province there is never a Tailor to cut a coat or stitch it, for the very good reason that everybody goes naked. The globe-maker, however, should have placed the province where Polo and the Nancy Globe (#363) place it, on the Coromandel coast. Carene appears to be the ancient home of the Mongols mentioned by Marco Polo.
Beyond Newfoundland is a sinking ship, with the figure of a human being in the water, possibly an allusion to the loss of the Portuguese Cortereal. Below South Africa is a grotesque monster, intended for a whale, the creature being delineated with much care. Many curious notions prevailed respecting the denizens of the deep. Hence Arngrim Jonas, in his defense of Iceland (Hakluyt I. 568), believes it necessary to refute what Sebastian Munster said in his Cosmography, to the effect that it sometimes falleth out that Mariners, thinking the Whales to be Islands, and casting out ankers vpon their backs, are often in danger of drowning. It would appear as though Milton found his own Leviathan on the page of Hakluyt, in whose works he had read the treatise signed Arngrimus Ionus.
When, however, the maker of the Lenox Globe looked away toward the region now occupied by North America, he saw only a watery waste, in the midst of which the island of Bacaleos or Newfoundland, rode like some ship at anchor. He may have heard of the Vinland of the Northmen, but the story of the Cabots had already been locked up in depositories where it was destined to lie too long; while Martyr’s map of Beimeni, or Florida, together with the publications of 1512, 1513, 1515, had not come from the press.
Some of the names appear to have been copied from Ruysch’s 1508 map. The word Getulia and Zamor point to the influence of the Goths and Moors in Africa, while Paludes Nile show that, in common with the geographers of that period, the globe-maker had anticipated the discoveries of Livingstone and Stanley. Some of the names are misspelled; among them, Libia Interoir.
In the place of North America there are scattered islands, one of which, located near the northwest extremity of Terra de Brazil, bears the name Zipangri [Japan], being close to Yucatan, whose well-known bay, first explored in 1518, has a conjectural coast line trending towards the south instead of the west. Cuba, on the other hand, is correctly laid down as an island, being called Isabel, in honor of Queen Isabella. The names on South America are few. That country is called TERRA SANCTO CRVCIS, as upon the Ruysch map, and MVNDVS Novvs, a name given by Sandacourt, a Canon of St. Die, when he framed the title of the Latin version of Vespucci’s letter, which described Brasil. But a new name is added, TERRA DE BRAZIL. The history of this name, however, is not quite so clear as the others, though Navarrete calls attention to Muratori’s notice of the fact that brazil, signifying a red dye-wood, was an excisable article at Ferrara and Modena in 1193 and 1306. He also quotes from Capmany’s Memorias sobra la antiqua marina, commercio, y artes de Barcelona, which contains references to this wood connected with the years 1221, 1243, 1252 and 1271. Navarrete takes the ground that Covarrubias (Tesoro de la leng. art. brazil) is in error where he says that the name, as applied to this wood, was drawn from America. Brazil appears on a map of the 15th century, but the Catalan map of 1375 (#235) also shows an island in the Atlantic bearing the name. Marco Polo also mentions Brazil wood. It is reasonable, however, to conclude that the name was applied to South America, because the first navigator found there an abundance of desirable dye-wood. Hence, on the Verrazano map (#347), 1529, is also found a similar name, Verzino.
The name America does not appear upon the Lenox Globe, which fact, so far as it possesses any significance, favors the belief that the early date of 1504 assigned to the instrument is correct. The name America was first proposed in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller, known under the Greek pseudonym of “Hylacomilus.” It appears in his Cosmographiae Introductio, where, having called attention to the fact that the old continents were named after women, he observes that the new one should be called after a man. In the work entitled Globus Mundus, printed at Strasburg, 1509, the suggestion occurs again, Hylacomilas, evidently repeating himself. The name occurs in Schöner’s Luculentissima, etc., 1515, but the idea that it was generally used is a mistake. The name was first published on a map made by Waldseemüller in 1507 (#310) and later by Appianus, 1520 (#331), in the work of Gamers, but the Ptolemy of 1513, in a legend on the map made by Hylocomilus himself (#320), attributes the discovery of the new world to Columbus. This has been alluded to as very curious, though the course pursued by Hylacomilus was altogether consistent. The really curious thing remains to be stated, and for the special consideration of those writers who have had so much to say about the ingratitude shown to Columbus by early geographers. The point is this, that though Ferdinand, the son of Columbus, lived until 1539, and for many years was an owner and diligent reader of the Cosmographise Introductio, which he annotated and rebound, he is not known to have written or spoken a syllable, or to have caused any one else to write so much as a word, expressive of any sense of injustice done to his father by the naming of the New World after Vespucci. The scholar Henry Harrisse, in his Life of Fernand Colomb, also calls attention to the fact that the partisan Life of the Admiral, which has been attributed to his son, while exceedingly severe upon those who detracted from the fame of Columbus, does not mention either Hylacomilus or his book. It would appear, therefore, that the indignation referred to is, upon the whole, a modern thing, of which the immediate friends of the famous Genoese had no experience.
Hylocomilus, while admitting the priority of the voyage of Columbus, felt no necessity for naming the New World after one who, in the most pronounced manner, declared that there was no New World to be named. Hylacomilus was entirely friendly to Columbus, as was the case with Vespucci in his relations to the Genoese; nevertheless the geographer of St. Die named the New World after the Florentine, Amerigo Vespucci. It is probable that he had resolved upon this course before Columbus died, while there is nothing whatever to indicate that Vespucci took any action to secure the honor awarded to him, or even that, any more than Columbus, he was solicitous upon the subject. His claims were not understood to conflict with those of Columbus. The Lenox Globe appears to have been made at a time when geographers regarded the matter with unconcern, as neither Columbus nor Vespucci have any honor awarded.
Humboldt maintains that Vespucci, equally with Columbus, believed that the land discovered formed a part of Asia. He says that three times in his second voyage Vespucci calls the country terra del Asia, but in the third voyage calls it un’ altro mondo and Mondo nuovo. To break the force of this, Humboldt refers to the fact that Cadamosto calls the west coast of Africa Altro mondo. This, however, he confesses is a mere adaptation of the old classic use, the alter orbis of Pomponius, Mela and Strabo. He then shifts the argument, and shows that Peter Martyr in 1493-4, while speaking of the novis orbis, did not recognize its separation from Asia, and that this use was long continued. He forgets, however, that Martyr describes South America as land never known by the ancients.
The Viscount Santarem (Researches respecting Vespucci) has taken the ground, as well as some others, that the map of Hylocomilus, in the Ptolemy of 1513, was the work of Columbus. This map shows the separation of America from Asia, but we believe that the Lenox Globe is earlier. The separation, however, on the map in question proves that it could not have been the work of Columbus, as it has been shown repeatedly that Columbus died in the belief that there was no separation. The Genoese, at the end of Cuba, on his second voyage, required his companions to declare on oath that Cuba was not an island the person maintaining the contrary being liable to a fine of ten thousand maravedis, and to have his tongue cut out. (Navarrete II. 145.) Pinzon on the first voyage understood Cuba to be a city, and that the land here was a continent of great size, which extended far to the north (First Voyage of Columbus, Boston, 1827). The map of 1513 would seem rather to reflect the ideas of Pinzon, as it extends to 55° N. It has invariably been used by mapmakers to represent the coast of North America, whatever may have been its origin.
In summary, the following may be suggested as legitimate results of the discussion: First: The Lenox Globe is the oldest Post-Columbian globe now known to geographers. Second: It is the oldest Post-Columbian globe that shows any portion of the New World. Third: It is the oldest instrument of any kind showing the entire continent of South America. Fourth: It is the oldest instrument showing that the discoveries of Columbus formed no part of the Asiatic Continent, and that America was absolutely Mvndvs Novvs, or the New World. The historians B. F. De Costa and J. Winsor, neither of who had seen the Waldseemüller map of 1507, which was only discovered in 1901, fixed the date at 1508-11 and 1510-12, respectively. The most probable date is 1503 to 1507. The southern coastline of Asia is copied from Ptolemy. The numerous islands in the Indian Ocean are difficult to identify. De Costa suggests that the large unnamed island was meant for Australia, and Madagascar and Cirtena for Sumatra and Java are misplaced. As Madagascar was not explored until 1508, it might be argued that its appearance here would indicate that the globe was made after that date, were it not for the nameless island off the coast of Africa more nearly on the site of Madagascar. Moreover, a comparison with the Ruysch map of 1508 (#313) shows at a glance the ignorance of the maker of this globe in regard to the Indian Ocean and furnishes additional evidence that it must have been made prior to 1507.
The southern coasts of Asia are drawn less correctly than on the map of Ruysch and on the Tabulæ Novæ of Asia inserted into the Ptolemy edition of 1513. The Simarum Situs east of the Ganges River corresponds to the Sinarum Situs of Ruysch. Sinarum, says De Costa, like Serica, was a name for China. The Loac Provincia is the Locac of Marco Polo. In northern Asia is Sacharuum Regno or Sugar Country. On the eastern coast, Hc sunt Dracones must refer to the Dagroians of Marco Polo. A few of the many islands in the eastern seas are designated by name: Taprobaba, Madagascar and Seilan.
In the New World representation, South America appears as a large island having three regional names: Mundus Novus, Terra Sanctæ Crucis, and Terra de Brazil. Isabel [Cuba], Spagnolla [Haiti] and a few unnamed islands belonging to the West Indies have been outlined. According to the historian Henry Harrisse, the American configurations seem to be derived from the same prototype as the gores “erroneously” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci (#339). The legend: c. de bone speranza may indicate a French cartographer copying an Italian model. The size of South America also attracts attention. Waldseemüller extends the coast of that continent southward to about 50° south latitude, Ruysch to about 40° south latitude or slightly farther south than the Cape of Good Hope but, in an inscription, states that the coast had been explored to 50° south latitude. The Lenox Globe, though giving no lines of latitude, represents the coast as far south as about 55° south latitude, the correct latitude of Cape Horn. Moreover, it places open water to the south of this new continent and thus suggests that the water-route around South America was known before Magellan set out in 1519. The Schöner globes of 1515 and 1520 (#328), on which South America is separated from an Antarctic continent by a strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, give further evidence of this fact.
In the place of North America there are scattered islands, one of which, located near the northwest extremity of Terra de Brazil, bears the name Zipangri [Japan], and one in the far north, but unnamed, clearly resembles the Cortereal region, as it appears on the Cantino and Caveri maps (#306, #307). According to Harrisse, in the “alleged” da Vinci map, the large island west of the Terra de Brazil may have been originally Zipangri, while Zinpangri on the Lenox Globe may have become the Terra Florida of the da Vinci map.
Most of the inscriptions on the globe reference back to the medieval picture of Asia, combining antique sources, travel accounts, and fabulous legends. The anonymous engraver filled the ocean with ships and sea monsters and stressed the dangers of navigation by illustrating a shipwreck off the coast of China. The enormous size of the grotesque monsters on the map undoubtedly added to the terrors of the deep. “It sometimes falleth out,” wrote Sebastian Munster in his Cosmography, “that Mariners thinking the Whales to be Islands, and casting out ankers upon their backs, are often in danger of drowning.”
From the standpoint of 2012, with our greater appreciation of the Waldseemüller world map, we can see how De Costa’s suspicions of a pre-Magellan discovery of the strait point to the broader cartographic issue.
Either the Lenox Globe really was a post-1507 creation, which in view of its shortcomings oddly failed to take into account the Waldseemüller map of 1507, which was reportedly issued in 1000 copies for sale, along with the essay Cosmographiae Introductio. Or the Lenox Globe indeed was made prior to 1507 that would or could mean that its amazing depiction of the new southern continent was derived from highly valued geographical knowledge that also made possible the brilliant synthesis that we see in the Waldseemüller map of 1507.
De Costa did not explicitly renege on his estimation of the 1510 date for the Lenox Globe as the most probable but he waffles. The main reason for De Costa’s waffling is that he remained intrigued with the notion that there was “some connection” between the Lenox Globe that refers to the New World as Mundus Novus, and Vespucci’s 1501-1502 voyage. And this connection, if correct, would suggest that a 1510-1511 date might be too conservative, especially when De Costa himself drew attention to one crucial fact. That fact is the absence of America on the globe as a name for the new continent - a name which caught on quickly at least in Italy and northern Europe after Cosmographiae Introductio was published in many editions following the first edition in St Die in eastern France in April, 1507.
Given these facts, one has to give serious consideration to the possibility that the creator of the Lenox Globe made it before April 1507 or at least not to long after that date if one is to explain ignorance of this widely published essay.
De Costa originally prepared his analysis in 1879 without benefit of any knowledge of the large Waldseemüller world map discovered 22 years later. Curiously, for some reason, even though De Costa lived until 1904, there is no record of what he thought after the discovery of this map in 1901, which might well have prompted him to date the Lenox Globe prior to 1507. Harrisse lived until 1910 but he remained silent on this issue as well.
Neither Winsor nor Baron Nordenskiöld who died only weeks after Fischer’s discovery of the Waldseemüller map in July 1901 lived long enough to make a strong case for a pre-1507 date for the Lenox Globe which they likely would have done if they had had the opportunity to compare the globe with the large Waldseemüller world map.
For his part, Nordenskiöld in his Facsimile Atlas (1889) cited De Costa’s “estimate of 1508-1511” and concluded that this “seemed to be about right”. The Baron had no doubt that the globe was made well before Magellan since its depiction of Asia was more primitive than what one sees on the Ruysch map included the 1507-1508 Rome editions of Ptolemy’s Geographia. As far as direct European knowledge of the west coast of South America which was implicit in the Lenox Globe, Nordenskiöld hesitated, even though in 1884 he had on his own discovered a fabulous set of globe gores very similar to the Waldseemüller globe gores that conveys the continent’s the distinctive ice cream- cone shape.
In his later work entitled Periplus published in 1897, Nordenskiöld dramatically asserted that knowledge of the Pacific, the isthmus and a water passage to the south “must have reached Europe prior to Balboa’s journey”. Why did he shift his position? The main reason that he shifted was that he was heavily influenced by the discovery in the 1890s of four copies of the Waldseemüller 1507 world map made by Heinrich Loritti (Glareanus). Glareanus states that he had followed the projections of Waldseemüller whose large map still had not been found but whose globe gores were well known since the early 1870s. And the date of April 1510 on one of these Glareanus copies made it impossible for the Baron to support von Wieser’s attempt to push these maps to the 1520s. That said, Nordenskiöld was still content in Periplus to give the Lenox Globe a date of about 1510 that just happened to be the same year for the Glareanus copies of Waldseemüller’s work.
Ultimately, Emerson Fite and Archibald Freeman in their 1926 work A Book of Old Maps argued that the Lenox Globe was made sometime in the 1503-1507 period.
One reason why they came to this conclusion was that the Lenox Globe lacks the sophistication of the Ruysch world map (1507-1508) with its more accurate depiction of features associated with the region of the Indian Ocean, something which troubled both De Costa and Nordenskiöld. The Ruysch map was inserted in the widely available Rome editions of Ptolemy’s Geographia which published in 1507-1508, the first such edition of this work since 1490. By the time the Ruysch map appeared, the Portuguese had established a presence in South Asia (India), which this map reflects. The other crucial factor that Fite and Freeman cite as in favor of an earlier date prior to 1508 is the fact that the Lenox Globe does not show any portion of the North American mainland - meaning, as observed earlier, that the maker of the little globe was still wedded to the Ptolemaic concept of only one ocean separating Europe and Asia. This strange level of ignorance on both points seems puzzling for any map or globe made as late as 1510- 1512, and defies a good explanation.
The bottom line is that the maker of this globe seems to be unaware of not only the Waldseemüller 1507 map, the Ruysch map of 1508, but also ignorant of others such as the Juan de la Cosa, Cantino and Caveri maps from the 1500-1504 period which do show substantial parts of the North American mainland including Florida and the Gulf coastline and also in the Caveri map the Central American coastline from Mexico to roughly Honduras. Instead, in sharp contrast, the Lenox Globe shows what the Cantino and Caveri maps do not show: namely, the coastline from Venezuela around Panama then upward to Honduras with no hint of a strait in the region of Panama.
This discontinuity in cartographical conception makes it hard to know where to place the Lenox Globe on the family tree of maps and globes made during the first decade of the 16th century. It’s amazing depiction of the southern continent, essentially in its entirety as a land mass totally separate from Asia and surrounded like an island virtually on all sides by water makes the Lenox Globe a strange hybrid. It conveys or mixes the sophistication of the 1507 Waldseemüller map with respect to the southern continent, with a retarded perception of the new lands in the northern hemisphere that lay within the Spanish maritime zone.
This analysis, if correct, would suggest that Lenox Globe was not likely to have been based on tightly held information in the possession of Spanish navigators. In Spanish maritime circles, knowledge of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and even much of the coast north of Florida (all of which fell within the Spanish maritime zone) was fairly complete by 1502-1504. Yet this globe does not reflect this knowledge.
Furthermore, given that Balboa did not cross the Isthmus of Panama to see the Pacific Ocean until 1513, it is extremely hard to imagine the maker of the Lenox Globe getting his “island-like” conception or vision of the new southern continent from Spanish sources. At the same time, we know that in the Spring of 1501, after Cabral had found the east coast of Brazil the previous year, the Portuguese focused intensely on exploring the eastern coastline of South America in order to determine if there was a cape and if it fell within Lisbon’s maritime zone.
There is other evidence that strongly points to the source of the Lenox Globe being Portuguese rather than Spanish. The globe reflects a pro-Portuguese political bias and here we come to what is perhaps the most astonishing and revealing feature of the globe. The southern end or tip of the new fourth continent is bent or twisted toward the east. Although there is in fact a curl in that direction, it is quite exaggerated on the globe which is a strong hint that someone wanted to be sure that others would conclude that the cape or strait fell inside the Portuguese maritime zone as defined by the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494.
This geographical distortion seems far too neat or convenient in political terms to have been a mere coincidence as we can see when we superimpose the Line of Demarcation established by this treaty onto the Lenox Globe. We can also see this same eastward twist of the coastline in the Cantino (#306) and Contarini (#308) maps both of which date to before the Waldseemüller map. The Maggiolo world map (#316), which dates to January 1511, is the last known map to contain this curious geographical feature.
Despite this obvious manipulation of nautical data, Fite and Freeman, like De Costa before them, observed that the Lenox Globe still accurately places the southern edge of of this continent at 55 degrees south of the equator. Based on this evidence, Fite and Freeman felt compelled to conclude (again like De Costa and Nordenskiöld) that this “suggests a water-route around South America was known before Magellan set out in 1519”.
What is amazing is that Fite and Freeman made such a bold statement based merely on their assessment of the Lenox Globe of uncertain date with no consideration of the Waldseemüller globe gores of 1507 which also clearly shows a southern water passage. In any case, the preponderance of evidence and the historical contextualization seems to validate the Fite-Freeman argument that the Lenox Globe dates to sometime between late 1503 when the first editions of Vespucci’s Mundus Novos were published and April 1507 when Cosmographiae Introductio and the Waldseemüller world map and globe gores appeared.
We would argue further that if this analysis is correct, then the Lenox Globe would represent a stepping-stone or interim intellectual stage in the evolution of geographical knowledge that made possible the more impressive and comprehensive cartographic synthesis articulated by Mathias Ringmann in Cosmographiae Introductio and shown visually in the world map and globe made by Martin Waldseemüller at the Gymnasium at Saint-Die.
Lenox Globe. B.F. De Costa delineavit.
Note the same land mass in the southern part of the Eastern Hemisphere as in the Jagiellonian Globe, but unlike on that globe, unnamed. De Costa thought this could have been a representation of Australia, but the inscription AMERICA-NOVITER·REPERTA on the Jagiellonian Globe demonstrates that to its maker it represented the continent newly discovered by Amerigo
As illustrated in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition, Volume X, 1874, Figure 2
The Jagiellonian Globe
The Jagiellonian Globe, dating from around 1510, held by the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, depicts a continent in the Indian Ocean to the east of Africa and south of India, but labeled America. The globe illustrates how geographers of that time struggled to reconcile the discoveries of new lands with orthodox Ptolomaic cosmography. According to Robert King it offers a clue as to where Thomas More located his Utopia, and may provide a cosmographic explanation for the Jave la Grande of the Dieppe school of maps.
The appearance in the mid-16th century of Jave la Grande in a series of mappemondes drawn by a school of cartographers centred on the French port of Dieppe, suggesting an early Portuguese or Spanish discovery of the eastern coast of Australia, has been called “one of the puzzles of European history”. The discussion over this puzzle may be dated from 1786, when Alexander Dalrymple first drew attention to the resemblance between the shape of Jave la Grande on the Dauphin, or Harleian map (#378) and the shape of the coastline of New South Wales as it had been charted by James Cook in HMS Endeavour in 1770. It was announced in the London press in February 1790 that:
An ancient Map of the World has been discovered in the British Museum, which lays down the coasts of New-Holland, as described by Cooke and Bougainville. This map, which is on parchment, appears from the characters, and other circumstances, to have been made about the beginning of the 16th century. The names are in French, and it is adorned with Fleur de Lis, but most probably has been translated from the work of some Spanish Navigator, whose discovery being forgotten, left room for the new discoveries of the English and French Navigators.
In all the subsequent discussion of the Dieppe maps and Spanish or Portuguese discovery of the East coast of Australia in the early 16th century, it is noteworthy that there has been no consideration of the Jagiellonian Globe and the bearing it might have on the matter.
The Sydney Morning Herald of 19 January 1911 carried an article with the arresting title, “Australia’s Discoverer: was it Amerigo Vespucci?”. The article was the report of an interview of Edward A. Petherick, Commonwealth Parliamentary Archivist, historian, collector of Australiana and bibliographer, whose name is commemorated in the Petherick Reading Room of the National Library of Australia. In the interview, Petherick referred to the work of Tadeusz Estreicher, a professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Professor Estreicher described a globe which he dated to between 1509 and 1511 held in the Library of the University. Fortunately, it has survived the vicissitudes of the 20th century and is still held in the Treasury of the Jagiellonian Library, now the Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego Collegium Maius. It measures 73.5 mm/2.9 inches in diameter and was made to contain the mechanism of an astronomical clock of which it forms the central part. The globe consists of two gilded copperplate calottes, inscribed with the Earth’s principal features as understood at that time, including a continent inscribed AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA. It is the earliest surviving globe on which the name America appears, a name invented by Martin Waldseemüller and published in his Cosmographiae Introductio, St. Die, 1507 and inscribed on his accompanying world map and globe (#310). Four copies of the gores for Waldseemüller’s globe survive.
Globus Jagelionicus. Tadeusz Estreicher delineavit.
Note South America, inscribed TERRA DE BRAZIL, MUNDUS NOVUS and TERRA SANCTAE CRUCIS, and in the Eastern Hemisphere, AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA, located to the east of Africa and Madagasgar
Professor Estreicher drew attention to a globe of similar date held by the New York Public Library, known as the Lenox Globe. This had been described in the 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and discussed in an article by Benjamin Franklin De Costa in the Magazine of American History. It is five inches in diameter and made of copperplate, manufactured probably in France to form the central feature of an astronomical clock or armillary sphere, like the Jagiellonian Globe. On both globes South America is shown, bearing the names MUNDUS NOVUS, TERRA SANCTAE CRUCIS and TERRA DE BRAZIL. De Costa noted a large land mass depicted in the southern part of the Eastern Hemisphere, unnamed on the Lenox Globe and suggested, “with extreme diffidence”, that this land represented Australia, misplaced to this location. If so, “it would be necessary to conclude that, although misplaced upon the Lenox Globe, Australia was known to the geographers of that early period”.
A similar land mass appears on the Jagiellonian Globe, lying more or less between 110° and 160° East, and 25° and 60° South, bearing the inscription AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA. Estreicher pointed out that the western coasts of both this continent and the MUNDUS NOVUS in the Western Hemisphere are schematic and without detail, in contrast to the eastern coasts which show bays, rivers and promontories, indicating that they are the result of actual discovery by voyagers. America was the name given by Waldseemüller to the new continent discovered by Amerigo Vespucci on his second voyage of 1501-1502 and which on his third voyage he coasted as far as 52° South, as reflected in Waldseemüller’s map. Although the newspaper article reported that Petherick said that Estreicher had stated that the globe proved that Amerigo Vespucci had discovered Australia, what Estreicher actually wrote was:
Ein solches Land is nur Sudamerica allein, und wir mussen annehmen, dass jene Insel Sudamerica vorstellen soll, freilich an einer ganz falschem Stelle. Diese Annahme wird zur Gewissheit, als wir auf dem Jagellonischen Globus finden, dass die Insel die Inschrift tragt: AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA. [Such a land can only be South America, and we must take it that this island depicts South America, certainly in a utterly false location. This conclusion becomes a certainty when we find that on the Jagiellonian Globe the island bears the inscription: AMERICA-NEWLY-DISCOVERED].
The maker of the globe had put South America in twice, in opposite hemispheres. “South America” is a term that belongs to a time much later than the Jagiellonian Globe, to Gerard Mercator’s world map of 1538. Waldseemüller’s America referred to what later became known as South America, as the continental extent of the lands later known as North America was not understood in 1507. The fact remains, the Lenox Globe and the Jagiellonian Globe are evidence that there was an authoritative map made around 1507-1508 that showed, albeit mistakenly, a continental land mass in the southern part of the Eastern Hemisphere. The Jagiellonian Globe shows that its maker believed this continent to have been the New World discovered by Amerigo.
Estreicher proposed Louis Boulengier of Albi as having been the cartographer responsible for the Jagiellonian Globe, on the basis of similarity between it and the Tross Gores, dating from 1514-1518 (#324), of which Boulengier is known to have been the author. The Tross Gores also bear the inscription AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA, but in this case placed over South America (Waldseemüller’s America), and there is no continental land mass in the southern part of the Eastern Hemisphere. The formula AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA would indicate a common authorship, and therefore a French origin, for the Tross Gores and the Jagiellonian Globe.
An armillary clock, similar to the Jagiellonian, made by Jean Naze of Lyons in 1560 is held at the Orangerie Planetarium of the Staatliche Museen Kassel (formerly the Hessisches Landesmuseum). The depiction of the continents on the globe in this clock is similar to the globe or gores made by Louis Boulengier in 1514, indicating how globe makers could persist in using cosmographical concepts that were decades out of date.
This small gilded copper globe, part of a fine old clock, is virtually identical to the one in the New York Public Library but is slightly smaller – 7.3 cm in diameter compared to 12.7 cm for the latter. Unlike the Lenox Globe, the Jagellonian Globe has engraved on it the lines of latitude and longitude with the prime meridian passing through the island of Ferro.
But the most revealing feature of this globe is that its maker was aware of Cosmographiae Introductio, because he refers to America. However, as mentioned above, he oddly applies this name, not to the new fourth continent in the Western Hemisphere but instead to an unsubstantiated mythical island in the southern portion of the Indian Ocean. The relevant phrase on the Jagellonian globe is America novitert reperta [America, land newly discovered].
This glaring mistake is very bizarre. For his part, Estreicher drew the sensible and logical conclusion that the use of the name America clearly indicates that the Jagellonian Globe was made after the spring of 1507. However, there is no way such a mistaken attribution to a island in the Indian Ocean could have been made if the maker of the Jagellonian Globe had in his possession the world map or globe gores made at St. Die in 1507. Is it possible that this globe-maker was simply confused because he did not have the benefit of the world map and only had a copy of Cosmographiae Introductio in front of him? Not likely because Vespucci’s detailed letters concerning all his voyages were attached to Cosmographiae Introductio. Certainly Vespucci never gave the impression in these letters or in the earlier publication known as Mundus Novus that he was sailing in the Indian Ocean.
If it was impossible that the maker of the Jagellonian Globe with the benefit of access to Cosmographiae Introductio which invented the name America could have been that confused, why the gross mistake? One distinct possibility consistent with the other indication of a pro-Portuguese political bias, is that the Jagellonian Globe was made by someone with that same bias and who was furious that Amerigo Vespucci had revealed far too much in Mundus Novus for Lisbon’s liking and who may well have been dismissed in late 1504 from further service for Portugal for that reason.
Edward Stevenson, discussing Estreicher’s work in 1921, commented that he seemed not to have noticed that the inscription AMERICA-NOVITER-REPERTA possibly indicated not only an acquaintance on the part of the Jagiellonian cartographer with Waldseemüller’s suggestion as to the name America, but a belief that America was actually located in this particular region. In his chapter on climates in Cosmographiae Introductio, Waldseemüller says:
In the sixth climate toward the Antarctic there are situated the farthest part of Africa, recently discovered, the islands Zanzibar, the lesser Java, and Seula [Ceylon], and the fourth part of the Earth, which, because Amerigo discovered it, we may call Amerige, the land of Amerigo, so to speak, or America.
In his 1911 interview, Petherick pointed out that Thomas More’s Utopia (published in Louvain in 1516) reflected this concept of the earth’s geography. Hythlodaeus, the narrator, whose name perhaps recalls Hylacomylus (Waldseemüller’s name in latinized form), is said to have accompanied Amerigo Vespucci on what, according to the perhaps apocryphal but widely read Soderini letter, was his fourth voyage (1503-1504). Amerigo set out from Lisbon in May 1503 in an unsuccessful attempt to reach Malacca (Melaka) by sailing westwards. Having gone with Amerigo as far as the farthest point he reached (ad fines postremae navigationis) on the coast of the new continent, Hythlodaeus left the expedition and after passing through unknown lands proceeded on to the Portuguese base at Calicut in India by way of Taprobana (Ceylon, present day Sri Lanka) discovering the fabulous island of Utopia on the way. This placed the land discovered by Amerigo and the island of Utopia which lay contiguous to it to the south of Taprobana and India. This is just where Amerigo’s newly discovered land is shown on the Jagiellonian Globe, indicating that Sir Thomas More probably had such a globe before him when he wrote Utopia.
Petherick also drew attention to the relevance of the Jagiellonian Globe to consideration of the Dieppe maps, several of which had been displayed at the VI International Geographical Congress in London in 1895:
The representations of the east coast of ‘Jave Ie Grand’ [sic] (Australia) delineated in those maps are, I assert, very rough representations and repetitions of the east coast of South America when that continent and our Australia were supposed to be one, before the Pacific Ocean was known. Magellan ... discovered an ocean 5000 miles wide, upsetting preconceived ideas of geographers and cartographers, and thus divided the original ‘Terre Australe’ into two continents-as shown on these old French mappemondes-the coasts of the one continent being erroneously repeated. Both east coasts extend to 55° deg. S. with extreme east capes named ‘Fremosa’, and a great river (the Amazon); both are bounded by a west coast with the place name ‘Cattigara’ of the Indian Ocean repeated. That, in short, is the explanation of these old mappemondes.
From this perspective, one might speculate that the bizarre attachment of the name America to a mythical or hypothetical island in the southern Indian Ocean was an expression of strong contempt for the Florentine navigator and an attempt to delink his name from the South American continent, which had been made by Waldseemüller’s team at Saint-Die in 1507. This analysis would suggest that the Jagellonian version of the Lenox Globe might have been a hostile reaction to what the mapmakers had done at St. Die.
Whatever the truth, we know one solid fact. The maker of the Jagellonian Globe who inserted this erroneous inscription with regard to America’s location on a globe was dependent on a prior cartographic projection that had to have originated elsewhere. In sum, the Jagellonian borrowed directly from the Lenox Globe which does not refer to America. The reverse sequence - the notion that – the Lenox Globe could appear after the Jagellonian Globe, the Waldseemüller map and also the many editions of Cosmographiae Introductio – and deliberately drop the name America - makes no sense whatsoever. When we also note that the Lenox Globe was made by someone who amazingly still seems to be in the total dark about basic geographical knowledge concerning North America – well-known by 1507 to many scholars, not just those involved with Waldseemüller - then this would lend considerable weight to the conclusion that the Lenox Globe should date to a time period prior to or no later than Cosmographiae Introductio and the Waldseemüller map - namely, to the 1503-1507 period as Fite and Freeman argued in 1926.
Replica of the Jagiellonian Globe made of gilded wood, c.1974.
Note the continent inscribed AMERICA·NOVITER·REPERTA in the southern part.
Catigara was the name given on earlier Ptolemaic maps to the land on the easternmost shore of the Mare Indicum, south of the equator. Writing of his 1499 voyage, Amerigo Vespucci said he had hoped to reach India by sailing westward from Spain across the Atlantic around the Cape of Catigara into the Sinus Magnus, the Great Gulf that lay to the East of the Chersonese Aureus [Malay Peninsula]. On the earliest of the Dieppe maps, that of Jean Mallard of c.1536-1540, La Catigare is located on that part of the Terre Australe occupied on later Dieppe maps by Jave la Grande. On the Harleian mappemonde, CATIGARA is not to be found on the western coast of IAVE LA GRANDE but, as noted by Petherick, is located on the western coast of LA TERRE:DVBRESILL, indicating a pre-Magellanic lack of knowledge of the existence of the Pacific Ocean and the notional character of IAVE LA GRANDE.
Edward Petherick was mistaken in saying the duplication of the American coast was made as a consequence of Magellan’s voyage: the Jagiellonian Globe shows that the bi-location of the New World/America took place before Magellan’s circumnavigation of 1519-22. Johannes Schöner’s globe of 1515 (#328), like Boulengier’s of 1514 (#324), depicted America but, like the Jagiellonian and Lenox, showed another continent to the South West, labeled BRASILLIE REGIA. Schöner said that his source of geographical information was the Newe Zeytung auss Presillg Landt [New Tidings from the Brazilish Land], printed in Augsburg, probably in 1514 and compiled from reports on the recent discoveries sent back to the Fugger banking house in Augsburg from their agents in Madeira. Presillg in the title means “Brazilish” or “Brazilic”, not “Brazil”. In other words, the Brazilish Land, Presillg Landt, was differentiated from Brazil proper, otherwise known as America. The Zeytung described the voyagers passing through a strait, like the Strait of Gibraltar, between the southernmost point of America or Brazil, and a land to the South West, referred to as vndtere Presill (in Latin, Brasilia inferior). This was probably a reference to the Rio de la Plata. The Zeytung said that Malacca was only six hundred miles from the western point of this Brazil. In Schöner’s 1520 globe, AMERICA had evolved into TERRA NOVA, AMERICA vel BRASILIA sive PAPAGALLI TERRA [Land of Parrots], while BRASILLIE REGIO had become BRASILIA INFERIOR (a translation of vndtere Presill). Schöner’s 1533 globe showed the BRASILIAE REGIO as part of the TERRA AVSTRALIS, with an enormous peninsula, the REGIO PATALIS, attached to its southeastern part. Oronce Fine’s 1531 map exhibits this cosmography, and the Dieppe maps show its further evolution, even though it was out of date by the time they were made in the 1540s and 1550s.
In claiming that Amerigo Vespucci discovered Australia Petherick may simply have been intending to make the point hyperbolically that the coastline of the Dieppe maps, taken by some to represent Australia, was the coast of the land discovered by Amerigo, misplaced into the Eastern Hemisphere.
The Jagiellonian Globe demonstrates that it was possible for early 16th century geographers to depict the same coastline, that of eastern South America, in two different places on the same map. This was a cosmographical concept, not based on actual surveys, but as Stevenson pointed out, assumed because the geographers of the time such as Waldseemüller, ignorant of the reality of the Pacific Ocean or of North America, thought Amerigo Vespucci’s newly discovered land was located in the Southern Hemisphere to the eastward of Africa.
The Jagiellonian Globe reminds us that we must try to look at the early maps through the eyes and with the knowledge of their makers, free of the preconceptions arising from our current geographical knowledge. As an authentic document from the early sixteenth century incorporating and demonstrating the cosmographic concepts of that time, it deserves consideration in any discussion of how the Dieppe maps came into existence.
Another four decades were to pass before another scholar addressed the question of the date for the creation of the Lenox Globe. Frederick Pohl (1889-1991) accepted the Fite-Freeman position in an essay published in the Bulletin of the New York Public Library in September 1963. Pohl went further and also argued that the globe in all probability was made in the immediate wake of the publication in Italy in 1505 of Vespucci’s letters concerning his four voyages ostensibly addressed to the Florentine leader, Piero Soderini.
Why did Pohl see the creation of the Lenox Globe being linked so closely to the publication of Vespucci’s letters in Italy in 1505? Pohl drew this conclusion in part because after he published a biography of Vespucci in 1944, Pohl seems to have become aware of the observations of German Arciniegas and Robert Levillier that the Portuguese map makers were in the habit of twisting the southern coastline of South America toward the southeast so that the cape or strait would fall on Lisbon’s side of the Line of Demarcation established by treaty in 1494.
Levillier’s analysis in an essay in Imago Mundi entitled “New Light on Vespucci’s third voyage” was stunning in this regard. Although Pohl in his 1963 essay curiously did not mention Levillier’s essay or Arciniegas’ well-known Vespucci biography, he had already argued in 1944 that someone must have tampered with Vespucci’s letters to Soderini in various passages, especially that conspicuous alteration from “southwest” to “southeast” to give the false impression that the eastern coastline shifted abruptly in that direction – as we can see illustrated in the Lenox Globe in a quite dramatic fashion.
We should observe at this juncture that even prior to the so-called Italian-Sodorini edition of Vespucci’s letters, the famous Cantino map (#306), which is also of Portuguese-origin and which dates to no later than November 1502, also shows the eastern coastline bending abruptly (and falsely) to the southeast. This exaggerated geographical feature strongly suggests that officials in Lisbon were quite eager as early as 1502 to spread misinformation or disinformation about the true direction of the coastline below the Tropic of Capricorn at 23 degrees latitude south.
Thus, in his essay for the Bulletin of the New York Public Library in 1963 Pohl was on solid ground when he pointed to the similar or parallel tampering with the text of Vespucci’s original letter for the Italian-Soderini edition as grounds for suspecting that the Lenox Globe dates to a period before the Waldseemüller map of 1507.
Nevertheless, Pohl deliberately dodged the question of the uncanny depiction of the new southern continent in his 1963 essay. We can say this because he buried a discussion of this specific issue in a long footnote on pages 225-226 at the back of his biography of Vespucci published in London in 1944. Despite his personal fascination with European, especially Norse or Viking expeditions to the New World prior to 1492, Pohl declared in that footnote that while he was impressed by the accurate placement of the endpoint of South America at about 56 degrees latitude south in both the Lenox and Jagellonian globes, he concluded that this was “accidental” and that the depiction of a west coast was “imaginary”.
Pohl went to considerable lengths in this long footnote in 1944 to dismiss any evidence -- the account in the Newen Zeytung journal, the Schöner globes and Valentine Fernandes’ remarks in a deposition in a Portuguese court in 1503 -- that supports Magellan’s assertion that Portuguese navigators had discovered the strait much earlier, and no later than 1506.
Pohl’s rigid position concerning the “accidental” or “imaginary” features of the Lenox and Jagellonian Globes remains baffling given that he was prone to accept highly dubious claims of evidence for the presence of Europeans and Asians in America -- such as the stone tower in Newport, Rhode Island which has been reliably dated to after 1492. However, the most telling observation is that if there was no European knowledge of a cape or a strait with regard to the new southern continent prior to Magellan, why do these globes “twist” the southern portion of the continent to make people believe that a cape and water fall so far to the east, in the direction of, and therefore within the Portuguese maritime zone? Indeed, why show this continent as being like an island at all?
In the more than forty years since Pohl’s essay was published there has been little attention paid to the Lenox Globe. Hans Wolff who edited and also contributed to America: Early Maps of the New World (1992) made a passing remark about how the Lenox Globe “is slightly older than the Brixen-Hauslab globe of 1523” but his suggestion that the globe dates to around 1520 is not credible. Another contributor to this volume, Professor Uta Lingren (University of Bayreuth) preferred the 1511-1512 date. She argued that the west coast was based on mere supposition. Given her exclusively technical approach to this globe, she complained about the bending of the tip of the continent towards the east, but it never occurred to her than this feature might have been part of an attempt to deceive, an effort to spread disinformation to make persons think that a cape would fall on the Portuguese side of the maritime demarcation line established in 1494. In sharp contrast, Rudolf Schmidt in the 1991 reprint of Konrad Kretschmer’s famous 1892 atlas of facsimile maps underscored the crucial question in his brief commentary where he remarked: “How does the unknown author of the Lenox Globe arrive at a quite good representation of South America, if we disregard the eastward kink, which after all persisted for a long time in drawings of Africa as well?” Schmidt at the time was the President of the International Coronelli Society that promotes the study of globes.
Meridians and parallels are engraved and numbered on its surface at intervals of ten degrees, the prime meridian passing through the island Ferro. While it is neither signed nor dated, there is scarcely a doubt that it is as old as the Lenox globe; indeed, the geographical features of the two globes are so similar that they appear to be the work of the same globe maker, or copies of a common original, yet it is note-worthy that the nomenclature of the Jagellonicus globe is somewhat richer.
Conclusions and Implications
We believe that when all the evidence and analysis of the historical context are taken into consideration, Fite, Freeman, and Pohl presented a compelling, convincing argument that places the creation of the Lenox Globe prior to the Waldseemüller map and globe gores.
Furthermore, it seems more probable that the Lenox Globe was based on sensitive information that was improperly acquired directly from someone in Lisbon than it was based on information leaked from the Gymnasium at Saint-Die while the work on Cosmographiae Introductio, the world map and globe gores was still underway in 1505-1506. But we cannot exclude totally the latter scenario. We do know that Lenox Globe reflects the island-like conception or model for the new continent that in fact was articulated in Cosmographiae Introductio, in sharp contrast to Vespucci’s remarks in Mundus Novus. In this earlier work, Vespucci had stated: “We knew that land to be a continent and not an island both because it stretches forth in the form of a very long and unbending coast and because it is replete with infinite inhabitants.” Notice that the crucial phrase “unbending coast” is consistent with Vespucci’s other observation in Mundus Novus concerning the seemingly endless extension of the coastline towards the southwest with no indication of a water passage, neither a cape nor a strait.
Thus, there is some basis for concluding that the maker of the Lenox Globe had learned about a water passage and thus knew a lot more than Vespucci conveyed, at least more than the Florentine navigator revealed openly in Mundus Novus which entered into circulation in 1503-1504. At the same time, the maker of the globe evidently and curiously was still not aware of the decision at Saint-Die to baptize the New World as America in honor of Vespucci. Again, when we take all the facts into account, the analysis continues to point to the time period between 1503 and 1507 for the creation of the Lenox Globe.
In conclusion, we can summarize what appear to be five solid facts concerning the creation of the Lenox Globe. First, the maker of this globe accepted or echoed Portuguese cartographic propaganda after 1502 concerning the configuration of the eastern coastline which was depicted as shifting or twisting in a highly exaggerated fashion in a southeasterly direction into the Atlantic.
Second, the maker of this globe also knew from sensitive Portuguese sources a lot more about the overall shape of the entire southern continent than Vespucci conveyed (at least openly) in Mundus Novus that entered into widespread circulation beginning in 1503- 1504. Third, despite all the evidence that the maker of the Lenox Globe was working almost exclusively with Portuguese sources, he oddly fails to provide the more accurate depiction of South Asia that we find in the Cantino, Caveri and Ruysch maps all of which were completed in the 1502-1507 time period. Fourth, the maker of the Lenox Globe was still not aware of the Spanish and also English exploration of significant coastline of the North American continent which we already find reflected in the Cantino and Caveri maps made by 1504 (#306 and #307). And last but not least, he refused to follow or more likely did not know of the decision at St. Die that became widely known after April 1507 to baptize the New World as America in honor of Vespucci who had re-entered Spanish service in early 1505.
When one considers all this chronological evidence, analysis of the most probable historical context points to the creation of the Lenox Globe between the publication of Vespucci’s Mundus Novus in 1503-1504 and April 1507 when Cosmographiae Introductio and the large world map were printed. Pohl’s suspicion that this globe appeared around the time of the publication of the questionable Italian or Sodorini edition of Vespucci’s letters in 1505 or 1506 is a compelling argument.
Whatever the truth, the Lenox-Jagellonian Globes add to a large body of cartographic evidence that points to a Portuguese discovery of the strait before 1519 which is what Magellan had always insisted, and to a clandestine exploration of the west coast of this new fourth continent as far north as what we know as Acapulco no later than 1507. Magellan’s strange decision to turn and sail due west across the Pacific after having sailed northward to a considerable extent up the Chilean coast remains an intriguing fact. We believe that he made that decision based on inside knowledge which suggested to him that if he took the clearly safer route and followed closely this largely barren, mountainous coastline further northward, then he was not going to reach Asia and the Moluccas.
Magellan’s odd decision was illogical or counter-intuitive if he and his contemporaries believed that this new land mass was an extension of Asia. Instead, Magellan seems to have been acting on the assumption or belief that this new southern land, though quite huge, was either an enormous island or a new continent totally separate from Asia, which is precisely what both the Lenox Globe and Waldseemüller maps clearly suggest.
It is a reasonable conclusion that Magellan understood from extensive discussions with Spanish officials and navigators that this land mass was connected to the land region we know as Central America with which the Spanish were quite familiar by 1518- 1519. And surely at that time the Spanish had abandoned any hope in a strait in that region, otherwise they would not have backed Magellan’s expedition to reach the Moluccas. The knowledge that the region associated with the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean was a vast “cul-de-sac” or a gulf - il grand golfo as both Peter Martyr and Vespucci described it - supplied the prime motivation behind Magellan’s attempt to reach Asia in the alternative fashion that he proposed. All the foregoing analysis means that Magellan’s main claim to fame as a navigator rests not with the discovery of the strait - an achievement which he disavowed - but to his bold decision like that of Columbus in 1492 to cross an ocean whose real breadth was unknown.
Location: Lenox Globe - New York Public Library
Jagiellonian Globe - Muzeum Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego Collegium Maius, Cracow, Poland
Size: 5 inches/12.7 cm diameter (Lenox Globe); 2.9 inches/7.3 cm (Jagiellonian Globe)
Chauncey, Henry, a letter written on January 21,1902 to Willberforce Eames, official at the Lenox Library. In this letter, Chauncey conveys what he was able to learn about Hunt’s discovery of the Lenox Globe and its later acquisition by Lenox from conversations with Hunt’s widow who was Chauncey’s sister-in-law. A copy of this letter is in the possession of the Rare Book Division (Reserve Room) of The New York Public Library.
*Circa 1492, p. 235, #134.
*Coastal Survey Bureau facsimile made in 1869 in Washington, DC.
*Cootes, C.H., article or entry on “maps” in The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, 1911.
*De Costa, Benjamin Franklin, “The Lenox Globe,” The Magazine of American History, 1879, Volume III, pp. 529-540.
*De Costa, “Le globe Lenox de 1511”, with additions by Gabriel Gravier in Bulletin de la Societe Normande de Geographie, E. Cagniard, Rouen, 1880, (26 pages).
*Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume X, 1879, pages 680-681, entry under Globes that includes reduced facsimile based on the one Henry Stevens had made in 1869.
*Estreicher, Tadeus, “Ein Erdglobus aus dem Anfange des XVIJh. In der Jagellonischen Bibliotek, Bulletin lnternational de l’Academie des Sciences de Cracovie, Comptes Rendus des Seances (March 1900), “Resumes”, pp. 96-105. Tadeusz Estreicher, Globus Biblioteki Jagiellonskiej z poczqtku wieku XVI, w Krakowie, Nakladem Akademii Umiejetnosci, 1900, 18pp; This article was cited in Bibliographie der Deutschen Zeitschrift-Literatur and in Edward Stevenson, Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, New Haven, 1921, pp.74-75.
Fiske, John, The Discovery of America, 1895, Volume II, pages 120-121.
*Fite, Emerson and Archibald Freeman, eds., A Book of Old Maps, Harvard University Press, 1926, p. 23.
*Harrisse, Henry, The Discovery of North America, 1892, pp. 470-471, Figure 87.
*Hennig R., “The Representation on Maps of the Magalhaes Straits before their
Discovery”, Imago Mundi, V, 1948, pp.11-33.
*Hill, Robert W., “The Lenox Globe”, Bulletin of The New York Public Library, Volume 41, Number 7 (July 1937), pp. 523-525.
*King, R. J., The Jagiellonian Globe, Utopia and Australia
*Kretschmer, Konrad, Die Historischen Karten zur Entdeckung Amerikas: Adas nach Konrad Kretchmer, editor Oswald Dreyer-Eimbeke, Berlin, 1991 reprint of original 1892 publication, Plate XI with commentary by Rudolf Schmidt on page 67.
Lingren, Uta, “Trial and Error in the Mapping of America in the Early Modern Period,” in America: Early Maps of the New World, editor, Hans Wolff, New York, 1992, pp. 122 and 145-160.
*Muris, Oswald and Gert Saarmann, Der Globus im Wandel der Zeiten: eine Geschichte der Globen, Berlin, 1961, p. 71, Figure 6.
*Nordenskiold, Adolf, Facsimile-Adas to the Early History of Cartography, Stockholm, 1889, p. 75a, Figure 43.
Nordenskiold, Adolf, Periplus - An Essay on the Early History of Charts and Sailing-Directions, Stockholm, 1897, p. 150.
Pohl, Frederick, Amerigo Vespucci Pilot Major, London, 1944, pp. 225-226.
Pohl, Frederick, “The Fourth Continent on the Lenox Globe”, Bulletin of The New York Public Library, Volume 67, Number 9 (September 1963), pp. 465-468.
Stevenson, Edward Luther, “Martin Waldseemüller and Early Lusitano-Germanic Cartography of the New World,” Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, Volume XXXVI, Number 4, 1904, pp. 193-215, see especially page 212 for comments on the Lenox and Jagellonian globes.
*Stevenson, Edward Luther, Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, their history and construction, 1921, pp. 73-74, Figures 34, 35.
Warwrik, F., Lexicon zur Geschichte der Kartographie, 1986, p. 199.
Winsor, Justin, Narrative and Critical History of America, Houghton-Mifflin & Company, 1884-1889, Volume III, pp. 212-213.
Zakrzewska, Maria N., Catalogue of globes in the Jagellonian University Museum, translated by Franciszek Buhl, Kracow, 1965.
The Jagiellonian Clock, incorporating the Jagiellonian Globe, c.1510.
The Globe, containing the mechanism, is nested at the centre of the clockwork.
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