Treaty of Tordesillas ~ 1494

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     Pedro de Medina was the Royal Cosmographer of Spain in the 16th century. He published the first manual for compass navigation, Arte de Navagar in 1545, and his Suma de Cosmographia in 1550. The map on the souvenir sheet issued in 2006 by Spain is from the Suma. It has been described as "quite detailed regarding the Atlantic coast of America, showing the mouths of the Mississippi, called Rio del Espiritu Santo, the St. Lawrence and the Amazon, as well as Labrador, Florida, Cuba, Panama and Brazil.
     The map has five "circles," Circulo Artico, Tropico de Cancer, Linea Equinocial, Tropico de Capricorn, and Circulo Antartico. There are two vertical lines, the line of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), 1550 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, near 3953'W, and a line that appears to be marked with latitudes. South America is designated as Peru, and the first 2 letters of Africa are visible on that continent. Other details and not clear.

SCN 3410

     The souvenir sheet was issued to commemorate the 5th centenary of the death of Columbus in 1506. No likeness of Columbus was made during his lifetime. The portrait was made by Ambroise Tardieu (1788-1841) and published by Theodore de Bry in Histoire de l'Amerique, 1565. The map is preserved in the Biblioteca National in Madrid, and the portrait in the Galleria de Palazzo Rosso in Genoa.
     A further note: Pedro de Medina was commemorated with the naming of a mountain in Antarctica in his honor.

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