Amerigo Vespucci ( / vɛˈspuːtʃi /; Italian: [ameˈriːɡo veˈsputtʃi]; 9 March 1454 – 22 February 1512) was an Italian merchant, explorer, and navigator from the Republic of Florence (modern Italy ), from whose name the terms America and Americas are derived. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer from Europe. and what of the idea that America was named after Richard de Americ who funded American exploration from Bristol? Portrait of Lorenzo deâ Medici from the 16 th century. What was his role on the voyages and what did he learn? Subsequently, they began licensing and seeking out other prominent navigators to sail to the West Indies. Two others have been alleged but the evidence is more problematical. Since he had a keen knowledge of geography and was aware of its imperfections and inconsistencies, his sailing along the coast and careful observations allowed him to deduce that it was indeed a continent that had been unknown to Europe. Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9th, 1454 in Florence. In 1505, he was made a citizen of Castile by royal decree and in 1508, he was appointed to the newly created position of chief navigator for Spain's Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) in Seville, a post he held until his death in 1512. Today we know this New World as America, but do you know where its name came from? He was an early explorer, a navigator and a trader. Aside from this, it is his name that the naming of “America”was coined. Amerigo Vespucci (also known as Americus Vespucci) was born in 1454, in Florence, Italy. Magnaghi determined that the manuscript letters were authentic and based on them he was the first to propose that only the second and third voyages were true, and the first and fourth voyages (only found in the Soderini letter) were fabrications. Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, to a prominent family in Florence, Italy. But that does not mean that they were a rich aristocratic family. Hoogenboom, L. 2006. Within a few years of the publication of his two letters, the European public became aware of the newly discovered continents of the Americas. Trading in Florence required a skill in diplomacy, speech, and a good grasp of commercial business. Traditionally, Vespucci's voyages are referred to as the "first" through "fourth", even by historians who refute one or more of the trips. Most historians now accept them as the work of Vespucci but aspects of the accounts are still disputed. , Many supporters of Columbus felt that Vespucci had stolen an honour that rightfully belonged to Columbus. The Soderini Letter gave Vespucci credit for discovery of this new continent and implied that the Portuguese map was based on his explorations. The Soderini Letter (1505) came to the attention of a group of humanist scholars studying geography in Saint-Dié, a small French town in the Duchy of Lorraine. Little is known of his last voyage, in 1503–1504, not even whether it actually took place. He requested to be buried in a Franciscan habit in his wife's family tomb. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts thatÂ have yet to be discovered and explained. According to Humboldt, Vespucci (and Columbus) died in the belief that they had reached the eastern edge of Asia. He was also hired to captain a ship as part of a fleet bound for the "spice islands" but the planned voyage never took place. He eventually began working for local bankers and was sent to Spain in 1492 to look after his employer's business interests. Before we begin the story of this famous navigator, we need to talk about the so-called New World. Between 1497 and 1504, Vespucci participated in at least two voyages of the Age of Discovery, first on behalf of Spain (1499–1500) and then for Portugal … Tuesday, 21 July 2020, 11:37 Last update: about 5 months ago. It is certain that Vespucci had an advanced understanding of the world around him, and that he was born in the right age for exploration. , Vespucci wrote his will in April 1511. Several scholars now believe that Vespucci did not write the two published letters in the form in which they circulated during his lifetime. From his extensive explorations, he also claimed that the discovered lands were composed of a distinct landmass and that the E… Vespucci was no ordinary explorer, and that was clear. Although historians still dispute the authorship and veracity of these accounts, at the time they were instrumental in raising awareness of the new discoveries and enhancing the reputation of Vespucci as an explorer and navigator. Known for Demonstrating that the New World was not Asia but a previously-unknown fourth continent. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer who like Christopher Columbus and John Cabot had sailed westward from Europe to find Asia or more specifically India but ended up in Americas or what was then known as the New World. He had extensive plans to make further explorations, but these were cut short when the Spanish King Ferdinand proclaimed Vespucci as the Pilot Major of Spain in 1508. In 1924, Alberto Magnaghi published the results of his exhaustive review of Vespucci's writings and relevant cartography. Possibly Vespucci had relations with Toscanelli, who, as is known, died in 1482, two years after Amerigo left for Spain. ( Stefano Garau / Adobe stock) Amerigo’s achievements changed the fate of maritime exploration. In this New World there were many opportunities, including those of trade, gold, conquest, and riches. Always pursuing my passions for writing, history and literature, I strive to deliver a thrilling and captivating read that touches upon history's most enigmatic subjects.  More importantly, the Vespuccis had good relations with Lorenzo de' Medici, the powerful de facto ruler of Florence. Before crossing the Atlantic they resupplied at Cape Verde where they encountered Cabral on his way home from his voyage to India. He continued his work as a chandler, supplying ships bound for the Indies. His motivations for leaving Florence are unclear; he continued to transact some business on behalf of his Medici patrons but more and more he became involved with Berardi's other activities, most notably his support of Christopher Columbus's voyages. It is believed that he was the first to discover the mouth of the Amazon River. During the next few months he received payments from the crown for his services and in April he was declared by royal proclamation a citizen of Castile and León. He was paid an annual salary of 50,000 "maravedis" with an extra 25,000 for expenses. The first known depiction of Cannibalism in the New World. With several years of experience as a writer, I successfully transfer my extensive knowledge of... Read More. The only record of the southbound journey comes from Vespucci himself. Amerigo was born in 1454, into the prominent Vespucci family, in Florence, Italy. America, after Amerigo [Vespucci], its discoverer, a man of great ability. Amerigo was born in Italy (Florence, Italy) originally. Their intention was to explore the coast of a new landmass found by Columbus on his third voyage and in particular investigate a rich source of pearls that Columbus had reported. Portrait of Vasco de Gama. The evidence for Vespucci's voyages of exploration consists almost entirely of a handful of letters written by him or attributed to him. On 17 August 1501 they reached Brazil at a latitude of about 6° south. He is famous for being the first explorer to argue out that Brazil and West Indies were not in Eastern Asia. It is thought at some point, he came into contact and sailed with Christopher Columbus. Both publications were extremely popular and widely read across much of Europe. Consequently, opinions also vary widely regarding the number of voyages undertaken, their routes, and Vespucci's roles and accomplishments. Amerigo Vespucci is remembered for several important reasons. Amerigo had all of these skills well mastered. Vespucci’s father worked as a notary in Florence. Medical Mystery of Usermontu: Why the Discovery of 2,600-Year-Old Knee Screw Left Experts Dumbfounded, Han Purple: A 2,800-year-old artificial pigment that quantum physicists are trying to understand. Earlier generations of Vespucci had funded a family chapel in the Ognissanti church, and the nearby Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio was founded by Simone di Piero Vespucci in 1380. The most interesting question of all is why America was named after a guy who was otherwise so obscure. , Knowledge of Vespucci's voyages relies almost entirely on a handful of letters written by him or attributed to him. The constellations of the Southern Hemisphere are different from those in the … Canaday, J. Norimitsu Odachi: Who Could Have Possibly Wielded This Enormous 15th Century Japanese Sword? History has known many sailors through the ages, and many seafaring civilizations. Amerigo Vespucci was a famous Italian explorer who sailed for Spain and Portugal. A suitable form would be Amerige, meaning Land of Amerigo, or America, since Europe and Asia have received women's names. He is famous for coining the term the “New World.” This supercontinent was eventually named by Martin Waldseemuller “America,” which is a feminized Latin version of his Amerigo. He hastened to write to Lorenzo Medici from what is today Cape Verde. But eventually, Vespucci wanted to go on his own explorations. On the contrary, the king was likely interested in learning about the possibility of a western passage to India. Amerigo Vespucci, (born 1454?, Florence, Italy—died 1512, Sevilla, Spain), merchant and explorer-navigator who took part in early voyages to the New World (1499–1500, 1501–02) and occupied the influential post of piloto mayor (“master navigator”) in Sevilla (1508–12).  In 1482, when his father died, Amerigo went to work for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, head of a junior branch of the Medici family. It was at this time that he made his second voyage, which is the first one that scholars have confirmed as authentic. He was the third son of Nastagio Vespucci and Lisabetta Mini. Martin Waldseemüller, Franz Wieser (Ritter von), Edward Burke (trans), This page was last edited on 11 October 2020, at 19:30. , From 1505 until his death in 1512, Vespucci remained in service to the Spanish crown. He assumed they were on the coast of Asia and hoped by heading south they would, according to the Greek geographer Ptolemy, round the unidentified "Cape of Cattigara" and reach the Indian Ocean. But that this their opinion is false and utterly opposed to the truth...my last voyage has made manifest; for in those southern parts I have found a continent more densely peopled and abounding in animals than our Europe Asia or Africa, and, in addition, a climate milder and more delightful than in any other region known to us, as you shall learn in the following account. Forced to turn around, the ships headed north, retracing their course to the original landfall. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer who like Christopher Columbus and John Cabot had sailed westward from Europe to find Asia or more specifically India but ended up in Americas or what was then known as the New World. And once you set out on the ocean, youâre bound to discover America sooner or later. Vespucci's reputation as an explorer and presumed navigator had already reached Portugal, and he was hired by the king to serve as pilot under the command of Gonçalo Coelho. Amerigo Vespucci was best known for inspiring the names of two continents because of his exploratory observations. He managed to sail extraordinary lengths, and due to this feat, he realized that such a diversity of native tribes, the enormity of coastline, and a mild, warm, and tropical climate, were all telltale signs of a new continent.  Meanwhile he continued to show an interest in geography, at one point buying an expensive map made by the master cartographer Gabriel de Vallseca. Amerigo Vespucci (also known as Americus Vespucci) was born in 1454, in Florence, Italy. After years of controversy, the authenticity of the three complete letters was convincingly demonstrated by Alberto Magnaghi in 1924. Opinions began to shift somewhat after 1857 when Brazilian historian Francisco Adolfo de Varnhagen wrote that everything in the Soderini Letter was true. Vespucci and his backers financed two of the four ships in the small fleet. Vespucci estimated their latitude at 32° S but experts now estimate they were closer to 25° S. Their homeward journey is unclear since Vespucci left a confusing record of astronomical observations and distances travelled. , Sometime after he settled in Seville, Vespucci married a Spanish woman, Maria Cerezo. After Hispaniola they made a brief slave raid in the Bahamas, capturing 232 natives, and then returned to Spain. However, profits proved to be elusive. , Upon his death, Vespucci's wife was awarded an annual pension of 10,000 "maravedis" to be deducted from the salary of the successor chief pilot. And this New World was named America, the female form of Amerigoâs name in Latin. There are also difficulties with the reported dates and details in the account of this voyage. In the following years, other maps were printed that often incorporated the name America. Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian merchant, explorer, and navigator from the Republic of Florence, from whose name the term "America" is derived. Later, Bartolomé de las Casas argued that Vespucci was a liar and stole the credit that was due Columbus. Vespucci's reputation was perhaps at its lowest in 1856 when Ralph Waldo Emerson called Vespucci a "thief" and "pickle dealer" from Seville who managed to get "half the world baptized with his dishonest name.". Amerigo Vespucci: Italian Explorer of the Americas. Could Plastic Bottles Made by Ancient Americans be the Cause of their Health Decline? , In 1488, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco became dissatisfied with his Seville business agent, Tomasso Capponi. Rosen Publishing Group. The discovery of an ancient Etruscan honey harvesting workshop at Focello in Italy, and the analysis of charred remains unearthed at the site, has let archaeologists to propose a remarkable hypothesis. Even as a boy, Amerigo studied the arts, literature, mathematics, and above all - geography. Possibly painted by Cristofano dell'Altissimo.Â Â Â Source: Public domain. He explored the mouth of the Amazon River. Felipe Fernández-Armesto (2007) calls the authenticity question "inconclusive", and hypothesizes that the first voyage was probably another version of the second; the third is unassailable, and the fourth is probably true.. A two-voyage thesis was accepted and popularized by Frederick J. Pohl (1944), and rejected by Germán Arciniegas (1955), who posited that all four voyages were truthful. After that he returned to Seville in Spain. 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