Name

Amerigo Vespucci

Career

Explorer/Cartographer

Region

Europe

Era

Europe's Reconnaissance (1351-1640)

Born

1454

Died

1512

Source

Robert A. McCaughey

Text

Florentine-born merchant, explorer and fabulist, was initially credited, based on his own false claims in his Mundus Novus (1503), to have sailed to America in 1497. Hence the mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller's designation of the the southern continent on his 1507 world map as "America." Vespucci's first contact with the "new world," a designation that he was also incorrectly credited with coining, was likely on a voyage in 1499 in the company of Alonso de Ojeda along the coast of Brazil. Vespucci later became an official overseeing Spain's transatlantic fleets. He died in Seville in 1512. By then Waldseemuller had acknowledged his mistake in not crediting Columbus with the European discovery of the new world.

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