Southern New World
This plate shows the vast ocean west of Africa including the islands off the African cost the jumping off point to the new world. Farther west we get a first glimpse of the new lands discovered after Columbus and Vespucci made their first and second journeys into the western seas.
It appears that Waldseemuller borrowed from the coastline used in the Caveri map for his depiction of the new coastline of the discovered land about which Vespucci had obviously great knowledge. He, like Columbus, was convinced that they were headed for Cathay and he fully believed that by sailing south and around the southern tip they would arrive in India, with its wealth of spice riches.
It was while he was exploring south along the Brazilian coast that Vespucci made the calculation that convinced him that there was another large body of water out west and that Ptolemy's map was too constricted. He calculated the circumference of the earth to within a few miles accuracy, by comparing some figures that he had in his possession for Italy to measurements he made while at the mouth of the Orinoco River.
There are many interesting geographical features and item of great importance historically. The Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn are clearly shown. So too is a curious tropical bird, probably a parrot, borrowed form Vespucci's description the flora and fauna in his book Mundus Novus (New World). There are numerous rivers mapped flowing eastward into the Mare Oceanum, but as in the earlier plate of the northern new land, Waldseemuller depicts the western coastal lands as being a continuous mountain chain.
Spagnola Insula - The island of Little Spain (Hispaniola)
Terra Ultra Incognita - Unknown Land
Tota Insta Provincia Inventa est per Mandatum Regis Castelle - All this province was discovered under the direction of the king of Castille.
Two legends appear on this section of the map.
- These islands were discovered by Columbus, an admiral of Genoa, at the command of the King of Spain.
- All this is sweet water (at the mouth of the Orinoco River).
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