We are delighted to announce that this facsimile can now be found
in numerous public collections worldwide:
Library of Congress, Washington D.C. U.S.A.
Colon, Gran Caneria, Canary Isles.
Prefectural Art Museum, Japan.
dos Descobrimentos, Portugal.
Naval Commission, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Black Museum, Mauritius.
Museum, Montreal, Canada.
This important globe was exhibited in Christies
'World in your Hands' exhibition with Rudolf Schmidt's fantastic
collection of historic globes and globe related items.
On a lighter note, the globe has also appeared in
numerous documentary's and cinema films: BBC's 'tales from the Map
Room'; Rene Margot; Wind in the Willows to name but a few; however
one of the most memorable images is possibly the use of this globe
in the recent remake of Walt Disney's 101 Dalmatians - here you
will find the globe in Cruella De Vil's country pile, located in
the attic covered in cobwebs and due to a large hole a small Dalmatian
puppy is using it as a kennel! Our Behaim globe also appears in
'The Mummy Returns'. Lastly you will see this globe alongside other
G&T globes in the Harry Potter films.
But to date our most important sale was to Baron
Alexander von Behaim-Schwartzbach, a distant relative of Martin
Behaim, he has kindly described the facsimile as "excellent".
His family lost the globe before World War 2 when Adolf Hitler decided
that should belong to the German people, enforcing a sale. When
Alexander received his facsimile he remarked that he "really
had the feeling that the globe had returned to the family again".
the Wrought Iron version we have also emulated the sunken southern
pole which the original in the Germanisch Museum now has)
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Extracts from our hardback book of translations:
MARTIN BEHAIM: HIS LIFE 1459-1507
1459-76 Martin Behaim was the eldest of seven children
born to Martin Behaim and Agnes Schopper in Nuremberg. Martin Behaim
(senior) was a general merchant and in his younger years business
had taken him as far as Venice, he was elected a Senator in 1461,
and died in 1474. His wife survived him thirteen years and died
on July 8, 1487. Young Martin Behaim was intended to follow a commercial
career, and he received no doubt the most perfect education suitable
to his future. His commercial training he received, as a matter
of course, in his father's business; after his death the interests
of the youth were looked after by his uncle Leonhard, and by Bartels
(Bartholomew) von Eyb, a friend of the family and one of the executors
of the last will and testament of his mother.
IN THE NETHERLANDS 1476-84
Martin Behaim at Mechlin 1476-79 On the termination
of his apprenticeship, in 1476, young Martin was sent abroad in
order that he might improve his technical and commercial knowledge.
He was first placed with Jorius van Dorpp, a cloth-merchant of Mechlin,
with whom he remained for over a year. Visits to the fairs at Frankfurt
were included in the scheme of Behaim's commercial education. The
first of these visits was to have been paid at Easter 1477, but
as the roads were not safe at that time for travellers, Jorius van
Dorpp preferred to sell his cloth direct to a German merchant at
Antwerp. Later in the year Martin, by desire of his mother, visited
the autumn fair when he was initiated by fatherly friend, Bartels
von Eyb, into the mysteries of buying and selling. Martin Behaim
at Antwerp 1479-84 He was once more at Frankfurt in the following
autumn, and in a letter written to his uncle Leonhard, on September
18, 1478, he suggested a removal from Mechlin, expressed a desire
to be placed with good (fromme) people engaged in commerce, declared
his willingness to be bound for three years and promised to shirk
no drudgery as long as it would help him in his business career.
This question of a change was no doubt considered by his mother,
his uncle and by Bartels von Eyb, the friend and adviser of his
mother, for early in the following year, if not before, we find
our young merchant transferred to the cloth-dye-house of Fritz Heberlein,
a Nuremberger established at Antwerp. To judge from a letter which
young Martin wrote to his uncle Leonhard on June 8, 1479, he was
well pleased with his stay there. He was a favourite with his master
and the members of the household, whilst the foreman, in return
for being taught arithmetic, initiated him into the mysteries of
the cloth trade. Behaim, whilst in the service of Heberlein, was
permitted to speculate in cloth on his own account on condition
of the cloth being dyed in his master's dye-house.
A Dance at a Jew's Wedding
It was on the 1st of March 1483 when Martin Behaim,
Hans Imhof and 3 others were charged with having been present at
a Jew's wedding on Ember day (February 26th). Martin Behaim and
Sebastian Deichsler, having actually danced at the wedding - a heinous
offence, as it was Lent - were condemned to a week's imprisonment;
the others escaped with a reprimand. The sentence, in the case of
Behaim, was allowed to stand over until his return from an intended
visit to the fair at Frankfurt. History does not tell whether the
culprit was imprisoned on his return to Nuremberg.
BEHAIM IN PORTUGAL
Martin Behaim first went to Lisbon in June, 1484,
at the earliest. It is likely also that the main, if not the sole,
object of this journey was of a commercial nature. Commercial relations
between Portugal, on the one hand, and Flanders, the Hanse towns
and several cities of Upper Germany, on the other, had long since
MARTIN BEHAIM'S PRIVATE LIFE
Very little is known of the life led by Behaim
at Lisbon. There is no doubt, however, that at an early period he
made the acquaintance of Josse van Hurter, the Captain Donatory
of Fayal and Pico, whose daughter Joanna de Macedo became his wife
(this happened in 1488 or earlier, as a son was born to him on April
6, 1489). This connection no doubt gained him admission to the Court
and to Society even though his personal claims as the eldest son
of a German patrician might have done so. It is possible that Behaim,
on making this aristocratic connection, gave up commerce, took up
his residence in Fayal, and assisted his father-in-law in the management
of his estate. But whatever his occupation, there were rumours that
Behaim's conduct was not that of an honourable man. Thus, his brother
Wolf, writing from Lyons to his cousin Michael, on November 27,
"Here at Lyons they say things about Martin
which make me ashamed of him, and I wish very much we were rid of
There may have been a foundation for these rumours
current among commercial men at Lyons. Martin may have been guilty
of "irregularities" in matters of business, which in the eyes of
business men are looked upon as heinous offences, although treated
with some indulgence by men of the world. We can hardly believe
his conduct to have been "dishonourable", or his father-in-law,
only a few years afterwards, would not have intrusted him with the
collection of money owing for sugar sold into Flanders. Nevertheless
Martin Behaim was apparently knighted on Friday, February 18, 1485
by King John II of Portugal. It is uncertain what Behaim had done
to render himself deserving of the distinction of a knighthood.
It may have been his supposed services as an astronomer and cosmographer,
or he may have been engaged in one of the numerous skirmishes which
took place at Ceuta and elsewhere in Africa, for the inscription
on the memorial chandelier at Nuremberg tells us that he "stoutly
fought the African Moors". It is, however, quite possible that he
owed his knighthood to personal influence.
It is quite possible that Behaim and Christopher
Columbus met during Columbus's residence in Portugal, and that they
discussed the scheme of discovering the East by the West. However
it is not certain, and there is little evidence to support this
theory beyond an account given by Antonio de Herrera, in his 'Historia
General de las Indias' (Dec. I, lib. 6, I, c. 2), in which after
referring to Columbus's views as to the ease with which India might
be reached by sailing to the West, he adds that, Martin Behaim "he
was confirmed in this opinion by his friend Martin de Bohemia, a
Portuguese, a native of the island of Fayal, a cosmographer of great
THE JUNTA DOS MATHEMATICOS
King John II is known on several occasions to have
referred questions of a scientific or technical nature to men of
learning who enjoyed his confidence and who he believed would wisely
advise him. It is in one such Junta that Martin Behaim participated.
It was appointed in 1484 or at latest in 1485 with the task of laying
down simple rules for determining the latitude from meridian altitudes
of the sun, for the pole star, which had served for that purpose
in the past, was no longer available once the Portuguese navigators
had crossed the Equator. We are indebted to the famous historian
João de Barros for an account of this Junta. J. de Barros (who wrote
in 1589), having informed his readers that when Vasco da Gama reached
the Bay of St. Helena he set up his large wooden astrolabe on land,
as he had been unable to obtain trustworthy meridian altitudes of
the sun on the deck of an unsteady vessel, either with that instrument
or with some of the smaller astrolabes of brass with which he had
been supplied, and having asserted that the Portuguese Mariners
were the first to employ these altitudes for the determination of
latitude, continues as follows:- "At the time when Prince Henry
began the exploration of Guinea the mariners sailed within sight
of the coast, being guided by landmarks which they described in
sailing directions, such as are still in some way in use at present,
and this sufficed for this mode of exploration. But subsequently,
when, in the pursuit of their discoveries, they lost sight of the
land and penetrated the open sea, they found that owing to currents
and other secrets of the sea their estimate of a day's work was
frequently erroneous, whilst an observation of the altitude (of
the sun) would have shown correctly the distance run. And as necessity
is the mistress of all arts, King John II referred this matter to
Master Rodrigo and Master Josepe, a Jew, and both his physicians,
and to one Martin of Bohemia, a native of that country, who boasted
of being a disciple of John of Monte Regio, famed among the students
of the science of astronomy. These discovered this manner of navigating
by altitudes of the sun, and made tables of its declination, such
as are now in use among navigators, and which are now more exact
than in the beginning, when these large wooden astrolabes were in
use." A statement made by so distinguished an author is entitled
to respect and deserves careful examination. Still, it is worth
drawing attention to the fact that, even in the days of Prince Henry,
the Portuguese were not afraid to venture upon the high sea, for
they sailed to the Azores, lying 600 sea miles from the nearest
BEHAIM'S AFRICAN VOYAGE
Behaim has transmitted two accounts of the voyage
along the west coast of Africa which he claims to have made, and
on the strength of which posterity has dubbed him 'the Navigator'.
The first and more ample of these accounts may be gathered from
the legends of his Globe and the geographical features delineated
upon it. The second account has found a place in the 'Liber chronicorum,'
compiled at the suggestion of Sebald Schreyer by Dr. Hartmann Schedel,
printed by Anton Koberger and published on July 12, 1493, on the
eve of Behaim's departure from Nuremberg. The original MS. of this
work, in Latin, still exists in the town library of Nuremberg, as
also the MS. of a German translation which was completed on October
5, 1493, by Georg Alt, the town-clerk. The body of the Latin MS.
is written in a stiff clerk's hand, and is evidently a clean copy
made from the author's original. The paragraph referring to Behaim
has been added in the margin, in a running hand. In the German translation
this paragraph is embodied in the text. This proves that this information
was given to the editor after he had completed the Latin original
of his work, but before Georg Alt had translated it. Behaim at that
time was still at Nuremberg, and there can be no doubt that it was
he who communicated to Dr. H. Schedel this interesting information,
and is responsible for it. A summary of the two Accounts These two
accounts may be combined as follows:-
In 1484 two caravels, commanded by Diogo Cao and
Martin Behaim, were despatched by King John. They traded with the
Jalof and the people of the Gambia, and sailing east "found" the
Guinea Islands, including the Insula Martini. Having crossed the
Equator, a feat attempted in vain by the Genoese for many years,
they discovered another world. Sailing south as far as 37 degrees,
they reached a Monte Negro, the extreme Cape of Africa, where, on
January 18, 1485, they set up a column. Doubling this cape they
sailed east another 260 leagues, as far as Cabo Ledo, when they
turned back. King Furfur's Land, where grows the Portuguese pepper,
seems to have been visited on the homeward journey in 1485. After
an absence of 19 (26 or 16) months, they were once more at Lisbon,
having suffered heavy losses from the great heat, and bringing with
them grains of paradise, pepper and probably also cinnamon (said
to have been discovered beyond King Furfur's Land) in proof of the
discoveries they had made.
Behaim's account examined It is quite conceivable
that Behaim's townsmen in the centre of Germany believed this account
of his African voyage, but Behaim himself must have been aware that
he was misleading them with a view to his own glorification. Even
though he had made no voyage to the Guinea coast at all, and took
no special interest in geographical exploration, he must have known
that the islands of Fernando Po, do Principe and St. Thomé, as well
as the Guinea coast as far as the Cape of Catharina in latitude
1degree 50' south, had been discovered in the lifetime of King Alfonso,
who died in 1481. Genoese, and also Flemings, certainly took a small
share in the trade carried on along the coast discovered by the
Portuguese, but since the days of Teodosio Doria and the brothers
Vivaldi, in 1291, no Genoese vessels had started with a view of
tracing the coast of Africa beyond the Equator. Behaim, if he really
joined Cao in an expedition to Africa, must have known that his
companion, in 1482, had discovered a mighty river and the powerful
kingdom of the Mani Congo, and that in the course of a second expedition,
in 1485, Cao traced the coast as far as a Cabo do Padrao, quite
six degrees beyond the Monte Negro of his Globe. He must have known
that Dias, in 1488, returned with the glorious news that he had
doubled the southern cape of Africa, 12 degrees to the south of
this padrão, and explored the coast for 120 leagues beyond, when
the ocean highway to India lay open before him. Behaim is silent
with reference to these facts and any person examining his globe,
and not conversant with them, would naturally conclude that it was
Behaim, and his companion Cao, who first doubled the southern cape
A VISIT TO NUREMBERG 1490-93
Martin Behaim left his home in the spring of 1490
to visit his native town of Nuremberg where he arrived in the summer
of 1490. The main object of his journey was of a business nature.
His mother having died in 1487 the time had arrived for a distribution
of her estate among the heirs. It is pretty safe to assume that
this business which had brought Martin Behaim to Nuremberg had been
satisfactorily settled by the end of August 1491. He might therefore
have departed for his distant island home at once, but it pleased
him to extend the duration of his visit for another couple of years.
It is to this extension of his visit and one Georg Holzschuher,
a member of the City Council, that we are indebted for the famous
Georg Holzschuher in 1470 had visited Egypt and
the Holy Land, and he evidently took some interest in the progress
of geographical discoveries. It was he who suggested that Behaim
should undertakethe making of a globe, upon which the recent discoveries
of the Portuguese should be delineated. This suggestion was of course
At lenghth, in July 1493, and after a stay of nearly
three years, Martin Behaim left Nuremberg, carrying with him not
only his "goods", but also a letter of his friend Dr H.
Monetarius to king John of Portugal, in which he directs the King's
attention to the bearer as a person well qualified to be employed
in an exploring voyage in the west.
A MISSION TO FLANDERS
1493 Martin Behaim had hardly returned to Portugal
with all his "goods" when he went forth again to Flanders, chiefly
no doubt for the purpose of collecting the money which was owing
to his father-in-law for sugar, but also, as he asserts, on a secret
mission to the "King's son" which King John had confided to him.
All we know about this mission we learn from a poorly indited letter
which Behaim wrote to his cousin Michael. Cardinal Saraiva declares
that it is most unlikely that Behaim was entrusted with such a mission,
and that this is only "one of his impostures, so that in his native
country he might be looked upon not only as a great discoverer but
also as a wise diplomat, enjoying the thorough confidence of the
King of Portugal."
THE DEATH OF MARTIN BEHAIM 1507
Wolf Behaim, the youngest brother of Martin, appears
to have come to Lisbon towards the close of 1506 as the representative
of the Hirschvogels of Nuremberg, and among the "novelties" introduced
by him into the great mart of Western Europe were pocket watches
which struck the hours, or "Nuremberg eggs," then recently invented.
He evidently met there with his brother in distressed circumstances
and living away from his wife, for in reply to a letter which he
addressed to his cousin Michael at Nuremberg, the latter replied
on January 30, 1507, as follows:-
"I, for my part, cannot mend Martin Behaim's
affairs; this and other things we shall have to leave to God. I
should like to know how his wife, his son and their friends are,
also who they are and where."
Wolf, unfortunately, died on March 20, 1507, a bachelor.
His place of burial is uncertain.
Martin Behaim did not long survive his younger
brother, for he died on July 29, 1507, very poor and in a hospital.
Of the causes of his poverty we know nothing definite. It is believed
that he died in the Hospital de Todos os Santos, of which the foundations
had been laid by King John in 1492 in the Garden of the Monastery
of the Dominicans, and close to their church in which he was buried.
A chapel within that church had been granted in 1422 to the German
and Flemish brotherhood of the Holy Cross and St. Andrew, a brotherhood
which looked after its members in sickness, and saw to their decent
Whilst Martin Behaim's grave at Lisbon was soon
forgotten, and can no longer be traced, his son in 1519, whilst
at Nuremberg, placed a more permanent memorial in the church of
St. Catherine. The inscription on this reads:
"1507, on Thursday after Jacobi July 29th there
died the worshipful and valiant Herr Martin Behaim, knight in the
kingdom of Portugal. May God have mercy upon him."
This was removed from the church at the beginning
of the 19th century. It has been stated that it had been removed
to the Germanic Museum, but Ravenstein failed to discover it there.
A more permanent and public memorial in honour of Martin Behaim
was unveiled at Nuremberg on September 17, 1890. It consists of
a bronze statue modelled by Professor Rössner. The "Navigator" is
represented clad in armour, with a globe by his side and allegorical
figures of Science and Commerce sitting at his feet. Of Martin Behaim
it certainly cannot be said what has been said of certain prophets,
that he had no honour in his own country...........
Extracts from our hardback book of translations
THE GLOBE THE HISTORY OF THE GLOBE by E.G. Ravenstein.
MARTIN BEHAIM'S stay at Nuremberg in 1490-93 is
memorable for the production of a globe with which his name is identified,
and which has secured for him a place in the history of geography.
Globes in his age, and even earlier, were by no means unknown. Giovanni
Campano, a distinguished mathematician of Novara, who flourished
in the time of Pope Urban IV (1261-64), wrote a 'Tractatus de Sphera
solida,' in which he describes the manufacture of globes of wood
or metal. Toscanelli, when writing his famous letter in 1474, refers
to a globe as being best adapted for demonstrating the erroneous
hypothesis as to the small distance which he supposed to separate
the west of Europe from Eastern Asia. Columbus, too, had a globe
on board his vessel upon which was depicted Cipangu, and may have
been the work of his brother Bartholomew, who according to Las Casas,
produced charts as well as globes. But only two globes of a date
anterior to the discovery of the new World remain to us, namley,
that still preserved at Nuremberg, and a smaller one at the Depot
des planches et cartes de la marine, paris. The
latter, known as the "Laon Globe" because M. Léon Leroux picked
it up, in 1860, in a curiosity shop of that town, has been described
by M. d'Avezac ('Bull. de la Soc. de Géographie,' XX, 1860). It
is of copper gilt. Its diameter is 170 mm, and it seems originally
to have formed part of an astronomical clockwork. The design of
this globe dates back to a period even anterior to the age of Prince
Henry the Navigator, but as the names "S. Thomas" and "Mons Niger"
[Cão's "furthest" in 1485], and the legend "Hucusq: Portugalen:
navigio: pervenere: 1493" are to be read upon it, it has been supposed
that this globe, notwithstanding its antiquated geographical features,
is in reality no older than the year named. I am not prepared to
accept this explanation; I am inclined to think that the above legend
was added long after the completion of the globe, this being a cheap
and ready means of bringing it up to date, a proceeding by no means
unknown among modern map publishers. But however this may be, this
"Laon Globe" is too small to enter into competition with the fine
globe produced at Nuremberg in 1492.
suggestion We are indebted to the public spirit
and the interest taken in geographical discoveries by the chief
magistrates of Nuremberg for the production of the globe now under
review. The idea of executing such a work was proposed to Martin
Behaim by the three "chief captains" or "triumviri" of the Imperial
City. They appear to have done so at the suggestion of Georg Holzschuher,
a member of the City Council, who had visited Egypt and the Holy
Land in 1470. As a far-travelled man he may thus be supposed to
have taken an interest in geographical matters, an interest enhanced
by the discoveries reported to have been made by the Portuguese,
and their commercial advantages, of which members of his family
at a later period fully availed themselves. At all events, Georg
Holzschuher1 was entrusted by the City Council with the supervision
of the work, and in the legend surrounding the city arms, his "help
and advice" in producing the globe are acknowledged.
With regard to Behaim's qualification for the task
committed to him, I shall have much to say in a future chapter.
I may, however, state at once that I agree with Oscar Peschel,2
who calls him a "cosmographical dilettante." It is quite possible,
nay, probable, that Behaim took some interest in geographical subjects,
that he may even have drawn maps, but we know nothing concerning
him which would entitle us to describe him as a "great cosmographer"
or an innovator in applied astronomy. His utter failure to portray
the results of contemporary Portuguese discoveries upon his globe
seems to me to be conclusive in that respect. I would rather class
him with a man like Richard Thorne, an English merchant residing
at Seville, who in 1527 sent a map illustrating the progress of
Portuguese and Spanish discoveries to Dr. Edward Leigh, the ambassador
of Henry VIII, for the "rudeness" of which Hakluyt apologises on
the ground that "the knowledge of cosmography among our merchants
not having been as great then as it now is."
The manufacture of the globe
We are happily in a position to follow the mechanical
production of the globe through all its stages, for the accounts
rendered by Georg Holzschuher to the city council have been preserved
and have been published by Dr. J. Petz, the secretary of the Nuremberg
The production of the globe involved first the
compilation of a map of the world as a guide for the artist employed
in painting the globe; secondly, the manufacture of the globe, together
with its accessories; thirdly, the transfer of the map to the globe.
The compilation of a "printed mappa mundi, which
was used for the globe," naturally fell to the share of Behaim himself.
It cost the city council only £1 3s 7d,5 out of which 13s 7d was
paid to Behaim himself (probably for expenses out of pocket) and
10s to a limner. This map was subsequently mounted upon two panels,
framed and varnished, at an additional expense of £1 1s 4d and hung
up in the clerk's office (Kanzlei) of the city hall. Johann Schöner,
in 1532, was paid £5 for "renovating" this map and for compiling
a new one, recording the discoveries which had been made since the
days of Behaim.
The manufacture of a hollow globe or sphere can
hardly have presented any difficulty at Nuremberg, where the traditions
of the workshop of Johann Muller (Regiomon-tanus), who turned out
celestial spheres, were still alive.
The mould or matrix of loam was prepared by a craftsman
bearing the curious name of Glockengiesser - bell-founder. The spherical
shell was the work of Kalperger. Having covered the mould with successive
layers of paper, pasted together so as to form paste-board, he cut
the shell into two hemispheres along the line of the intended Equator.
The hemispheres were then taken off the mould, and the interior
having been given stability by a skeleton of wooden hoops, they
were again glued together so as to revolve on an iron axis, the
ends of which passed through the two poles. The sphere was then
coated with whiting, upon which was laid the vellum which was to
bear the design. The vellum was cut into segments resembling the
gores of a modern globe, and fitted the sphere most admirably. A
smith supplied two iron rings to serve as meridian and horizon,
a joiner a stand, and there was provided a lined cover as a protection
against dust. All this only cost £3 7s 7d, of which £1 was paid
for the mould, £1 10s 0d to Kalperger, 3s 2d for vellum; 5s for
the iron rings; a like sum for the stand, and 4s 5d for the cover.
Kalperger, however, was not paid the 3 gulden which he claimed for
making the shell; for he had been given the linen of a tent which
had sheltered the "beautiful fountain" (during repairs); he had
moreover broken the first mould which Glockengiesser had made, and
lastly he had promised to forgo his claim if Behaim would teach
him "cosmography and the laying out (austeilen) of the sphere."
In 1510 the iron meridian was displaced by one of
brass, the work of Johann Werner, the astronomer, for which £4 10s
was paid. The wooden stand was superseded about the same time by
an elegant tripod of iron.
The important duty of transferring the map to the
surface of the globe and illuminating it was entrusted to Glockenthon.
This artist spent fifteen weeks over this work, for which he was
paid £7. In addition to this his wife was awarded 10s, and both
being supplied with dinners at an additional cost of at the most
10s, though wine and beer were included.
All in all, and including Kalperger's claim this
fine work of art cost the city no more than £13 17s.
For over a hundred years the globe stood in one
of the upper reception rooms of the city hall, but in the beginning
of the sixteenth century it was claimed by and surrendered to Baron
Behaim. This was fortunate, for had it remained, uncared for, in
the city hall it might have shared the fate of so many other "monuments"
of geographical interest, the loss of which the living generation
has been fated to deplore. In November 1907 the globe was removed
from Baron W. Behaim's family mansion in the Egydienplatz to the
Repairs of the Globe
The globe, in its pristine condition, with its bright
colours and numerous miniatures, must have delighted the eyes of
a beholder. In the course of time, however, the once brilliant colours
darkened or faded, parts of the surface were rubbed off, many of
the names became illegible or disappeared altogether. The mechanician
Karl Bauer, who, aided by his son Johann Bernhard, repaired the
globe in 1823, declared to Ghillany, that it had become very friable,
and that he found it difficult to keep it from falling into pieces.
In his opinion it could not last much longer. Yet the globe has
survived, and its condition seems in no manner worse than it was
when it was under treatment by the Bauers. Indeed, on examining
the globe, a beholder may feel surprise at the brightness of much
of the lettering. This, however, is due to the action of the "renovators,"
who were let loose upon the globe in 1823, and again in 1847; who
were permitted to work their will without the guidance of competent
geographer, and, as is the custom of the tribe, have done irreparable
mischief. As a result numerous place-names have been corrupted past
recognition , and Dr. Scheppig is quite right when he maintains
that if we desire to recover the original nomenclature of the globe
we must deal with it as a palimpsest. Such a process, however, might
lead to the destruction of the globe, whilst the result possibly
to be achieved would hardly justify running such a risk.
A General description.
The globe has a circumference of 1,595 mm, and consequently
a diameter of 507 mm, or 20 inches. Only two great circles are laid
down upon it, viz., the Equator, divided into 360 degrees, and the
Ecliptic studded with the signs of the Zodiac. The Tropics, the
Arctic and the Antarctic circles, are likewise shown. The only meridian,
is drawn from Pole to Pole 80 degrees to the west of Lisbon. The
sea is coloured a dark blue, the land a bright brown or buff with
patches of green and silver, representing forests and regions supposed
to be buried beneath perennial ice and snow. Perhaps the most attractive
feature of the globe consists of 111 miniatures, for which we are
indebted to Glockenthon's clever pencil. The vacant space within
the Antarctic circle is occupied by a fine design of the Nuremberg
eagle with the virgin's head, associated with which are the arms
of the three chief captains by whose authority the globe was made,
namely, Paul Volckamer, Gabriel Nutzel and Nikolaus Groland, of
Behaim and Holzschuher. There are in addition 48 flags (including
10 of Portugal) and 15 coats of arms, all of them showing the heraldic
colours. The miniatures illustrate a great variety of subjects.
Forty-eight among them show us kings seated within tents or upon
thrones; full-length portraits are given of four Saints (St. Peter,
St. Paul, St. Matthew and St. Iago), of missionaries instructing
natives and of travellers. Eleven vessels float upon the sea, which
is peopled by fishes, seals, sea-lions, sea-cows, sea-horses, sea-serpents,
mermen and a mermaid. The land animals include elephants, leopards,
bears, camels, ostriches, parrots, and serpents. Among the animals
represented we miss flying fish and whales, which Behaim must have
observed even if he got no further than the Gulf of Guinea. Even
more curious is Behaim's faulty representation of the Portuguese
arms. Such a mistake may be forgiven to Italians like Bartholomeu
di Pareto (1455) or Nicolas de Canerio (1502), but Behaim had resided
for years in Portugal and had repeatedly sailed in Portuguese ships.
The only fabulous beings which are represented among the miniatures
are a merman and a mermaid near the Cape Verde Islands, and two
Sciapodes in central South Africa, but syrens, satyrs and men with
dogs' heads are referred to in some of the legends. Nor do we meet
with the "Iudei clausi," or with a "garden of Eden," still believed
in by Columbus. This is a commendable forbearance in an age which
still rejoiced in "mirabilia". The globe is crowded with over 1,100
place names and numerous legends in black, red, gold or silver.
The author has not always been happy in the selection of these names.
Even in Germany and Belgium we miss such names as Hamburg, Lübeck,
Antwerp, Brugge, Cologne and Frankfurt. Another curious omission
is that of the island of Malta, which is likewise omitted by Giovanni
Leardo (1448) and Waldseemüller (1507). A peculiar feature is the
uncalled-for duplication of many place names..........
Extracts from our hardback book of translations
NOMENCLATURE AND COMMENTARY
THE ISLANDS OF THE ATLANTIC ICELAND
eislandt, isslandt (D 62)
eislandt ift schon weifs volkh vnd findt Christen dafselbft ift
gewonheit daf man die hundt teler verkauft vnnd ire kindt geben
fy hinwegk den kaufleutten vmb gots willen auf dafs die andern brot
haben (C 76)..
jtem in jfslandt findt man menfschen vo 80 jaren die nie kain brott
gefsen da wechft kain korn vnd an brot ftatt ift man dürr fifch.
der Jnsel ifslandt fengt men den ftock fifch den man im vnfer landt
bringt (D 76).
In Iceland are handsome white people, and
they are Christians. It is the custom there to sell dogs at a high
price, but to give away the children to (foreign) merchants, for
the sake of God, so that those remaining may have bread.
Item, in Iceland are to be found men eighty
years of age who have never eaten bread, for corn does not grow
there, and instead of bread they eat dried fish.
In the island of Iceland they catch the cod
which is brought into our country.
The story of the Icelanders selling their dogs and
giving away their children is a fable invented by English and Hanseatic
pirates and merchants, who kidnapped children, and even adults,
and sold them into slavery. As an instance may be mentioned the
misdeeds of William Byggeman, the captain of the 'Trinity,' who
was prosecuted in England in 1445, for having committed this offence.
Scotlant (D 60)
Wildt Scotlant (D 62) on the north coast,
the "wilde Scotey" of Harding's chronicle, with a flag bearing the
mysterious inscription Ioh. M Tratz, which Francis J. Grant, Esq.,
Lyon Clerk, suggests may stand for "Johny Groat's House," whilst
the kneeling figure (only shown by Ghil. and Jom. and no longer
traceable on the original) may refer to the Christian missionaries
Orcanay (D 65) Orkneys. No islands visible
on the original.
Lincoln (D 61) on mainland, which is omitted
by Ghil. and for which Jom substitutes Saba! We should have expected
to find Catenes (Caithness) in that position.
Edmundeburg (D 60), Edinburgh.
Tillf (D 59), the insula de til or tilf of
Dulcert (1339), Andrea Benincasa (1476) and of others, off the Tay.
This imaginary island is believed to be Thule. For a discussion
of the question see Gough's edition of Camden's 'Britannia,' III,
The Western Isles of Hebrides (D 60) are shown,
but the names attached to them, irgan, bea, dseds (Ghil and Jom
call them argat, tia or lia, and led), are evidently much corrupted.
Among the islands named by Dulcert (1339) and A. Benincasa (1476)
are Argate, bra and ledros which Hamy ('Études,' p.436) ventures
to identify with Egach, Bara and Torosay.
Engelant (D 55) with the Royal Standard (the
leopards of England quartered with the lilies of France).
Jork (D 58), given by Jom only, York.
huntingdon (D 57).
glocester (D 55).
bristol (D 54).
Reymor (D 52), given by Jom only. It is A.
Benincasa's Premua or Plymouth.
sorlinge (D 56), the Scilly Islands.
portsmouth (D 53).
lambeth (D 54).
london (D 55).
cambridge (D 57).
Illa da man (D 56), the island Man............
Extracts from our hardback book of translations
Jnsula dos azores . . . . catharides (C
Jnsula de Sacta maria (C 37), ilha de S.
Jnsula de sant michel (C 40). Ilha de S.
Miguel, with the Portuguese flag. We are told nothing about the
"burning mountain" and the great earthquake which happened in 1444.
Jnsula de Jesu cristo (C 43), ilha de Jesus
Christo, now Terçeira.
Jnsula de pico (B 40), ilha do Pico.
neu flandern, oder Insula de faial (B 42), New Flanders
or Ilha do Fayal. Two flags fly above the islands from the same
flagstaff, the upper one with the arms of Nürnberg, the lower with
those of Behaim. Two more flags are merely shown in outline and
may have been intended for the arms of Portugal and Hurter. These
skeleton flags are omitted on the Paris facsimile.
Jnsule de flores (C 44), ilha das Flores.
A sea-horse and four vessels sailing to the west
are shown to the south of Flores.
The following legend to the north-east of the Azores
has been added after Behaim's death:-
Martinus pehaimus verschied zu lisibo-na anno
domini 1506 im 29 juli (C 45). nach crifti unfers lieben hern gepurt
1431 far alfs regiert in protugal jnfante don pedro wurden nach
notturft zugericht zway fchiff auf 2 Jar gefpeifst von den hochgebornen
Jnfanten don heinrichen defs koniks aufs portogalli bruder zu erfahren
wafs do wer hinder fanct Jacob fynis terre weliche fchiff alfo gerüft
fegelten alweg nach den untergang der fonnen bey 500 teusche meilen
zuletft wurden fy ains tags anfichtig dife 10 jnfeln und aufs landt
trettendt funden nichts dann wildnufs und vögel die waren fo zam
dafs fy vor niemandt flohen aber von leutten oder thieren mit vier
füssen war von wege der wildtnuss kains darkhumen zu wohnen um defswillen
die vögel nit fcheuh waren
waren alfo wurden fy geheiffen infulen dos azores
das ift auf teutsch fo vil als der habichen jnfeln und umb welichs
willen der könik von portugal das ander jar fchikt 16 fchiff mit
allerley zame thiere und liefs auf jede infel fein tail thun umb
darzu multiplicieren (ABC 65). die obgefchriebini jnfeln wurde bewohnt
anno 1466 wan der konik vo portugal dise infeln vo vleiffiger bydte
wegen fi gefchenckt het der herzegin vo burgund feiner fchwester
mit namen frawen isabella und waren in flandern difsmals grofs krieg
und teurung, und fchickte die vorgenant herzogin vil volks man und
frawe allerley handwerk mit fambt prieftern une was zum gottesdienft
gehort etwen vil fchiff mit haufrath und was zu dem veldbau gehoert
zu pauen aus flandern jn die jnfel lifs jedem in die zwai jar geben
wafs fy nottürffig fein umb zu ewigen zeitten in allen meffen jr
zu gedenkhen jegliche person mit einim aue maria welcher persone
bei 2,000 ware und mit denen die feiter jürlich darkumen findt und
feiter darine gewachfen di findt vil taufent worden anno 1493 do
wonte in vil taufent per fohne noch da von teutsch und flaming angefeffen
weliche unter dem edlen und geftrenge ritter hern jobfsten vo hürtter
hern zu mörkirchen aus flandern meine lieben hern fchweher dem dife
jnfel von der vorgenanten herzogin von burgundt jme und feine nachkhumen
gegeben ift jn welichen jnfeln der portugalifchel zucker wechft
und die frücht zwier im jar wan dafelbft nimermehr winter ift und
alle leibs nahrung vaft wolf eil ift darumb kumen noch jarlich vil
volckhs da umb jr narung da zu fuchen (B 20).
Martin Behaim died at Lisbon in the year of
the Lord 1506 on the 29th July.
1431 years after the birth of our dear Lord,
when there reigned in Portugal the Infante Don Pedro, the infant
Don Henry, the King of Portugal's brother had fitted two vessels
and found withall that was needed for two years, in order to find
out what was beyond the St James's Cape of Finisterra.The ships
thus provided, sailed continuiously westwrd for 500 german miles,
and in the end they sighted these ten islands. On landing they found
nothing but birds, which were so tame that they fled no one. But
of men and four footed animals none had come to live there because
of the wilderness, and this accounts for thebirds not having been
shy. On thisground the islands were called dos azores, that is Hawk
islands, and in the year after the King of Portugal sent 16 ships
with various tame animals, part of whom were put on each island
there to multiply. The above islands were first settled in the year
1466, the King of Portugal having presented them to his sister Donna
Isabella, Duchess of Burgundy, who had urgently begged for them.
There was at the time a great war and dearth in Flanders. The Duchess
then despatched several vessels with men and women, mechanics and
priests, together with utensils, for divine service, also domestic
furniture and what is needed for agriculture. And each person was
supplied with what was needed during two years on condition of remembering
her for all time in all masses, each person saying one Ave Maria.
Of these persons there were 2,000, and adding those who have come
since that time every year, and the annual increase of population,
there are now many thousands. In the year 1490 many thousand persons
had settled there, Germans and Flemings, under the noble and worshipful
Sir Jobst von Hürter, lord of Moerkerken in Flanders, my dear father-in-law,
to whom and his descendants the said duchess gave this island. In
these islands grows the sugar of Portugal, and the fruits ripen
twice annually, for it is never winter there, and food of all kinds
is very cheap, on account of which many people still go there every
year in search of a living.
Behaim's bald and unsatisfactory account of the
Azores is all the more surprising if it be borne in mind that he
resided for years upon one of the islands, and enjoyed exceptional
facilities for gaining knowledge of their geography and the history
of the colonization. However, Behaim had many short-comings as a
cartographer. Behaim's statement that the "sugar of Portugal" grows
in the Azores is not borne out by other authorities, for Madeira
was well known as the great sugar island of the Lusitanian Kingdom
which yielded the King a splendid revenue. Val. Ferdinand in 1507
mentions woad, orseille (brazil) and wheat as the principal exports,
and says nothing about sugar.......
Extracts from our hardback book of translations
Taprobana (H 5), with a royal tent.
modin (H 9), Moda of
Scorria (H 8),fcte of Ghil.
samia (H 6),Samfu?
cap frazio (H 6), captran of Ghil.
Taprobana von difer jnsel fchreibt man man unfs
vil edler ding in den alten historien wie fy alexander magno geholffen
haben und gen rom zogen findt mit den romern und kaifer pompejo
fefellfchaft gemacht haben dife jnfel hat umbfangen 4,000 meil und
ift getheilt in vier konikreich in welichen vil goldtes wechft auch
pfeffer camphora lignum aloes auch vil goltfandt das volk pet abgotter
an und findt groff ftark leut und gut astronomy.
Many noble things are said about this island
in ancient histories, how they (the inhabitants) helped Alexander
the Great and went with the Romans to Rome in the company of the
Emperor Pompey. This island has a circuit of 4,000 miles, and is
divided into four kingdoms, in which is found much gold and also
pepper, camphor, aloe wood and also gold sand. The people worship
false gods: they are tall, stout men, and good astronomers.
Seilan jnsula ein der beste jnsul in der welt
aber de mer hat fie abgeben muffen (I 30 s).
In diser jnfell findt man vil edelgesteins perlein
oriental der konik difer jnsul hat den grosten and schonste rubin
den man in der welt je gefah dafs volkh gehet nakhet man und frawen
kain korn wechft alda dan rais (J 38 s).
Jr konik ift niemandt underworffen und betten
abgotter an die jnsul Seilan hat im craifs 2,400 meil als enfs fchreibt
marco polo im driten buch am 19 capitel (I 46 s).
Jtem in vergangenen Jaren fchickht der grofs
kaifer in cathay ain potschast zu disen konik von seilan lifs an
in begern zu haben disen rubin fich erpietent grofsen fchatz dafur
zu geben also gab der konik zu antwort wie dafs diser stein seiner
vorfahren fo lang geweft wer fo stuendt in ebel an dafs er der folt
fein der diesen stain dem landt folt empfrembten der rubin foll
anderthalb fchuh lang fein und ain spann brait on alle mackhel (I
The island Seilan, one of the best islands
in the world, but it has lost in extent to the seas.
In this island Seilan are found many precious
stones and oriental pearls. The King of this island possesses the
largest and finest ruby ever seen in the world. The people, men
and women, go naked. No corn grows there, only rice.
Its king is subject to no one, and they pray
to false gods. The island Seilan has a circuit of 2,400 miles, as
is written by Marco Polo in the 19th chapter of the third book.
Item, in past times the great Emperor of Cathai
sent an ambassador to this King of Seilan, asking for this ruby
and offering to give much treasure for it. But the King replied
that this stone had for a long time belonged to his ancestors, and
it would ill become him to send this stone out of the country. The
ruby is said to be a foot and a half in length and a span broad,
and without any blemish.
Marco Polo's Seilan is undoubtedly our Ceylon, and
all that is said will be found in Pipino's version III 22, in Ramusio's
Java minor dise jnsel hat umbsangen 2,000 welsch
meil und hat in ir acht konikreich und haben ein besundere Sprach
und betten abgotter an do wechst auch allerlei Specerey jn den konikreich
bossman genant find man vil ainhorner helfanten und affen die menschen
angesicht und glidtmass haben jtem wechst kain korn da fy machen
aber prot aufs reis an weinstatt trinken sy sasst der aus paumen
tropft den man findt rot und weifs und ist ain redlich guet getranck
von geschmackh dess haben sy nach nottursst genug in dem konikreich
Samara aber in konikreich genanth Dageram ist gewonheit fo ir abgott
sagt dass ein krancker mensch sterben foll so ersticket man dea
kranckhen bey zeit und die freundt kochen das slaissch irs krancken
freundt und essen jne mit einander mit grossen freudten aus dafs
er den Wurmen nit zuthail werde. Aber in konikreich Jambri haben
die leutt man und frawen hinden fchwenz gleich die hundt do wechft
der best camphor in der welt den man mit golt abwigt daselbst find
gross gewachsen paumen da zwischen holz und rinden auss dem Sasst
mehl wurdt dass guet zu essen ist und marco polo fchreibt in feinem
dritten buch am dem 16. Capittel er fey funf monath in difer jnsell
gewest (J 42 s).
Java Minor. This island has a circumference
of 2,000 Italian miles, and within it are eight kingdoms. They have
a language of their own and worship idols. Various kinds of spices
grow there. In the kingdom of Bosman are found many unicorns (rhinoceros),
elephants and monkeys, who have human faces and limbs. No corn grows
there, but they make bread of rice, and instead of wine they drink
the sap which trickles from trees; it is found red and white, and
furnishes a tasty good drink, of which they have as much as they
need in Semara. In the kingdom of Dageran it is the custom that
when their idol says that a sick person is about to die they suffocate
the patient in time, and his friends cook the flesh of their sick
friend and eat it with much rejoicing in order that the worms may
not have it. But in the kingdom of Jambri men and women have tails
like dogs. Excellent spices grow there and various animals are found,
such as unicorns and others. In the kingdom of Fanfur is found the
best camphor in the world, which is worth its weight in gold; there
are tall trees, the sap of which, between the wood and the bark,
is converted into flour (sago), which is good to eat. Marco Polo,
in the 16th chapter of the third book, says that he spent five months
in this island. (M. Polo's five months refer to Samara only.)
The Java Minor of Marco Polo is Sumatra.
The information given in the above legend is derived from
Pipino's version book III, 13-19. The reference to a five months'
residence is to be found in c. 16 as stated. The eight kings are
made to dwell in four tents. The little monkey on the south coast
is referred to in c. 15.
felech (J 36 s) (perta or pertes of Jom and Ghil),
called ferlach in Pipino's version, has been identified with Perlak.
bosna (J 36) (Pipino's bosman, the basma of others)
has been identified with Paseir, on the north coast.
sama, Samara (J 39 s), corrupted by Ghil into fomat,
the modern Samalanga on the north coast.......
Extracts from our hardback book of translations
Insula Candyn (L 25 s).
dife jnfel candyn mit fambt den andern jnfulen
fo java minor und angama und neucuran pentham seilan mit sambt der
hohen jndia Sant thomas landt ligen fo vaft gegen mittag dafs der
polus articus dafelbft mimmer mer mag gefehen werden aber fy fehen
ein ander geftirn geheiffen antarcticus, dafs macht dafs daffelb
landt ligt recht fufs gegon fufs gengen unfer landt uber und wen
wir tag haben fo haben fy nacht und fo uns die Son undergeht fo
haben fy jren tag, und das halb thail des geftirns das under uns
ift das wir nit fehen das fehen fy, dafs macht dafs alles dafs die
welt mit fambt dem waffer von rondter formb von Got gefchafen ift
fo befchreibt Johannes de Mandavilla den lies in fein buch am dritten
theil feiner moerfahrt.
This island Candyn, together with the other
islands, Java minor, Angama Neucuran, Pentham and Seilan, together
with High India, the country of St. Thomas, are situated so far
to the south that the Polus Arcticus is no longer visible. They
see, however, another star called Antarcticus. This is because this
country lies foot against foot with respect to our land, and when
it is day with us they have night, and when the Sun sets with us
they have their day, and that half of the stars, which are beneath
us, and not visible to us, are visible to them. All this is beca-use
God has created the world together with the water of a round shape,
as described by Johannes de Mandavilla in the third part of his
voyage (C 17).
Candyn is usually identified with Odorico's Dondin
or Duarte Barbosa's Dandon (Andam). Dr Hamy ('Etudes,' p. 162) identifies
this island with Ombira, S. of the Moluccas; Romanet du Caillaud
with the Philippine Islands; and A. Gummé ('Le Dondin et les Philippines,'
Barc., 1897) with Ceylon or one of the Sunda Islands. On the Genoese
Pitti Palace Map (1457) we read that a monster fish was taken in
the Indian Ocean, at Candia, and taken to Venice. May not this Candia
be identified with Candyn?
THE MAGNETIC ISLANDS
difer jnfell findt zehen gehaifen maniole dafelbft
mag kain fchiff faren das eifen an hat umb defs magnet willen der
dafelbft wechft (K 5 s).
There are ten of these islands called Maniole.
No ship having iron in it dare navigate near them because of the
magnet which is found there.
Ptolemy (VII 2) has "Maniolae insulae decim, quarum
incolae sunt anthropophagi, in his gignitur magnes." These Magnet
Islands of Ptolemy, however, are placed in the Sinus Gangeticus,
whilst Behaim's legend is shifted to the east of the mainland. On
fabulous Magnet Rocks, to be dreaded by mariners, because on approaching
them the iron nails flew out, and the ship fell to pieces, see Peschel's
essay in 'Abhandlungen zur Erd- und Völkerkundes,' Leipzig, 1877,
p. 44 .
The above extracts are a mere handful of examples
taken from our book of translations.
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