Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The mapamundi of Fra Mauro

Fra Mauro's mapamundi was created before Portuguese explorers sailed around Africa, yet it shows that at least at a certain level there was a fairly precise knowledge of the world.

Between 1457 and 1459, and commissioned by king Afonso V of Portugal the Venetian monk, Fra Mauro, created a map of the world; his mapamundi, as it became known from its description in Latin (the term means "map of the world") is now considered by many as the finest expression of medieval cartography. But the map isn't just an expression of art and culture: It was done for very practical purposes that were considered top secret and shows a level of knowledge that is far beyond what is assumed for the late medieval period.

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