Chapter 20

What’s in a Name?
Chapter 20 Summary

Amerigo Vespucci made several trips across the ocean and in the southernmost parts of South America. America was from the name Amerigo. He was most famous because of his travel diaries. He also understood there was another huge continent (Vespucci called it novus mundus). In my opinion, novus mundas meant new world. Amerigo and Christopher Columbus were great friends, but they were different from eachother. Chris had his head in the clouds, and Amerigo was a sailor, a reader, and a mathematician. He once wrote, “In those Southern parts, I have found a continent more densely people and abounding in animals than our Europe or Asia or Africa.” A cartographer named Martin Waldseemuller was fascinating with Vespucci’s writing. Martin then quoted, “Americus Vespucius has first related without exaggeration of a people living toward the south, almost under the Antarctic pole. They go around entirely naked, and not only offer to their king the heads of enemies whom they have killed, but also feed eagerly on the flesh of their conquered foes.” In 1507, Waldseemuller printed out a map (with Gutenberg’s printing press) of the whole world. His references were Cabot, Columbus, and Vespucci. In honor of Vespucci, novus mundus is officially America. His map was a bestseller and sold like hotcakes.

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