Sebastião Lopes ~ 1558

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     On March 9, 1500 a Portuguese fleet under the command of Pedro Alverez Cabral left Lisbon for India. The voyage was overshadowed by many accidents. At the Cape Verde Islands one ship of the fleet was already missing. To avoid the zones of the calms, an area famous for weak or no winds at all, the fleet sailed with the trade winds in southwesterly direction. The ships were pushed even more westerly by the Equator Stream and on April 22nd, 1500 they sighted land. Cabral named it 'Terra de Vera Cruz', Land of the True Cross. Cabral claimed the area for Portugal as determined by the Treaty of Tordesillas.
      The stamp was issued in 2000 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Brazil.
     The map shown on the stamps is similar to a portion of one by Sebastião Lopes, a Portuguese cartographer, in 1558. The orientation of the map is shown by the compass rose bridging the two stamps. Lopes is also credited with two other manuscript maps dating about 1570 and 1583.

SCN 2102

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