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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Martellus World Map

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"Henricus Martellus, WORLD MAP, FROM "INSULARIUM ILLUSTRATUM", PLATE VII (1489). Courtesy Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz / Art Resource, NY.

Creator Henricus Martellus
Context Martellus created this map in 1489, several decades after the Portuguese had sailed along the coasts of Africa.
Audience Educated Europeans
Purpose To better understand the world's extent

Historical Significance

Mapping neatly expresses the Renaissance's emphasis on the scientific and practical consequences of exploration. What knowledge could be more basic, more fundamental to the human prospect than tracing the physical extent and features of this world–its breadth, depth, oceans, shores, and mountains? These representations were essential to the act of exploring and navigating across a globe that they dimly understood.

Henricus Martellus, a German cartographer working in Florence, Italy, created this map. It was published in 1489.


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