Early Mapping of the Pacific by Thomas Suarez

By Thomas Suarez

290 full-color and b&w maps and early prints. totally illustrated heritage of the Pacific Ocean from Portuguese mariners to twentieth centuy explorers that features a cornucopia of infrequent and gorgeous maps of the Pacific Ocean, particularly, Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, and New Zealand, between different Pacific Islands and territories. The textual content strains the exploration, and charting of the good ocean, and follows the tale from classical occasions during the flip of the twentieth century, telling the stories of seafarers who ventured eastward from Asia and have been the Pacific's maximum explorers.

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Behaim's conception of the waters between Europe/Africa and Asia was typical of late fifteenth-century geographic thought, placing a series of islands off the Asian coast, including Japan, the "Cathay" (China) islands, and various Southeast Asian isles. In the eastern part of the ocean he placed the Azores, Canaries, and Cape Verde Islands. The central "Pacific" is home to the mythical island of St. Brendan, the purported home of a seafaring Irish monk who according to legend roamed the seas in search of an Isle of the Blessed.

North of Java lies Nueupora, a throwback to Marco Polo's mention Above: Fig. 48. Woodcut map of Java. Henricum Petri, in Johann Honter's Proli de Sphaera, 1561. Below. Fig. 49. The western Pacific, Abraham Ortelius, 1570. The Pacific Evolves after Magellan 55 Fig. 50. The Pacific islands of Inebila (left), inhabited by men, and Imangla (right), inhabited by women, from the Cosmographie Universelle of Andre Thevet, 1575. " of the Nicobars, which indeed were often placed north of Java in the latter part of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

Medieval mappaemundi depicted the westernmost Pacific with some Austronesian islands derived from Arabic data and from such European pioneers as Marco Polo, Friar Odoric, and, on fifteenth-century maps, Nicolo de' Conti. Their makers, if not always their audience, likely envisioned the earth as a sphere. But only globes would actually require a mapmaker to confront the full expanse of sea between Asia and Europe/Africa, and it is with a globe that we first see the ocean mapped as an autonomous body.

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