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The Oronteus Finaeus Map

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Author Topic: The Oronteus Finaeus Map  (Read 2040 times)
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« on: July 11, 2007, 11:46:19 am »

As far as is known, the first cartography to indicate a southern continent was by the great Leonardo da Vinci himself, who depicted it on a globe and the planispheric map made by Francesco Rosselli. Dated to about 1508, the globe shows a vast land below Africa, labelled Antarcticus. In 1515 a southern continent was shown on another globe made by Schoner. But Finé's continent is more exactly drawn than those of his predecessors and in fact - as can be seen from the illustrations - the great Mercator adopted Finé's version of the shape of the continent wholesale, along with a similar Latin inscription: "It is certain that there is a land here, but what its limits and boundaries are is unknown"

One possible explanation appeared in a longer inscription on a map by Cornelius de Judaeis dated 1593. It says that a promontory of this land was "discovered by the Portuguese, but they did not explore the interior. This reference to the Portuguese is interesting, for Finé inscribes a portion of the Antarctic continent, "Regio Brasilis", "the region of Brazil" - which might imply Portuguese discovery.

Furthermore, the coastline that turns eastward on the Piri Reis map - identified by Hapgood with the coast of Queen Maud Land - also bears a curious inscription referring to the Portuguese. It reads: "It is related by the Portuguese that on this spot, night and day are, at their shortest period, of two hours duration, and at longest phase, of twenty-two hours. "Unfortunately, this tantalizing bit of information - which would certainly suggest Antarctic latitudes - is vitiated by what immediately follows: "But the day is very warm and in the night there is much dew".
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