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Sebastian Munster: Die Nuw Welt

Map: AMER2261
Cartographer: Sebastian Munster
Title: Die Nuw Welt
Date: 1558
Published: Basel
Width: 14 inches / 36 cm
Height: 11 inches / 28 cm
Map ref: AMER2261
Munster's map is the earliest separate map of the whole of the Western Hemisphere as it is defined today. America is shown for the first time as an entirely new continent. completely surrounded by water. Earlier maps had shown America as an eastern extension of Asia, or had only shown the eastern coastline. Due to its inclusion in the "Geographia", a popular geographical encyclopaedia published in the 16th century, Munster's map of America was the one most widely known prior to Ortelius's landmark map of 1570. An important geographical misconception on this map is the depiction of a narrow constriction of the North American continent, roughly in the region of the present day Carolina coastline. This is based on the mistaken findings of the explorer Giovanni da Verazzano, who sailed along the outer banks of Pimlico Sound in 1524. Observing the water on the other side of the banks, he assumed this to be an arm of the Pacific Ocean. This "arm" of the Pacific became known as the Sea of Verazzano. Due to its radical re-working and advances of the geography of the New World, this is a historically significant piece of cartography. [AMER2261]