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Mercator Letter 1577

Two pages with fire damage of Mercator's 1577 letter to John Dee. Whole letter at British Museum, Cotton MS Vitellius C. VII, fols. 264-269. Left, foL 267 v. (according the folio numbers in E.G.R Taylor's text). At page center the mention of the "INVENTIO FORTUNATAE" by the hand of Geradus Mercator. Left are the notes by John Dee. At the bottom is a footnote "in another hand" (Taylor) about "Hugo de Hibernia, Minorita..." who is -besides Nicholas of Lynn - the other candidate for the Inventio authorship.

Right is fol. 267 r. (Taylor wrote 268 r. what seems a typo because in the upper right of the photo "267" is visible.). The text is the description of the Arctic from formerly (according observations by the Monk in the 1360s) inhabited land to the channels of the higher north.

Columbus' First Voyage

Columbus' First Voyage - Intention and Result. The intended course of Columbus was a perfect way to get on the track of a Norse ship to the gold land Yucatan in 1363. Was that Norse journey mentioned in the book Inventio Fortunatae and the real offer by Columbus to the court of Spain?

Roman Globe Fresco, Pompeii

A c. AD 50 Roman globe depiction with a north pole mountain like later time magnet mountains. Found in the Boscoreale villa near Pompeii. Size of original 61 x 39.7 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund 1903. It is less known because it was originally misinterpreted as a sundial. But "This detail clearly shows a globe drawn in approximate perspective." (Woodward & Harley, The History of Cartography, Vol 1, 1987)