His claim was largely based on Columbus' earlier conclusion: In 1498, when passing the mouth of the Orinoco River, Columbus had determined that such a big outpouring of fresh water must come from land "of continental proportions." Then in his 40s, Vespucci, enticed by the prospect of fame, decided to leave his business behind and become an explorer before it was too late. (This is the second expedition of the traditional series.) Author of. Amerigo Vespucci, or simply Vespucci as many people would recall his name, is an Italian explorer and navigator. Some scholars have held Vespucci to be a usurper of the merits of others. What did Ernest Giles cross in 1875? The date of Vespucci's birth, formerly much discussed, is now definitively established by the books of the Ufficio delle Tratte, preserved in the Reale Archivio di Stato of Florence, where the following passage is found: "Amerigo, son of Ser Nastagio, son of Ser Amerigo Vespucci, on the IX day of March MCCCCLI" (1452, common style). Vespucci's real historical importance may well be more in his letters, whether he wrote them all or not, than in his discoveries. When he was young he was interested in astronomy, navigation, and the study of the universe. https://www.biography.com/explorer/amerigo-vespucci. He even went deeper into the great river of Amazon. On the way back he reached Trinidad, sighted the mouth of the Orinoco River, and then made for Haiti. Guido Antonio Vespucci, who was ambassador of Florence under King Louis XI of France, sent his nephew on a brief diplomatic mission to Paris. Amerigo Vespucci. Amerigo Vespucci. Amerigo Vespucci was best known for inspiring the names of two continents because of his exploratory observations. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Amerigo-Vespucci, The Mariners' Museum - Exploration through the Ages - Biography of Amerigo Vespucci, Amerigo Vespucci - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Amerigo Vespucci - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Vespucci enjoyed the travels very much and as a result went on many more. Amerigo Vespucci. The name for the Americas is derived from his given name. In this role, Vespucci's job was to recruit and train other navigators, as well as to gather data on continued New World exploration. Known for Demonstrating that the New World was not Asia but a previously-unknown fourth continent. Birthplace: Florence, Italy Location of death: Seville, Spain Cause of death: unspecified Remains: Buried, Abbazia Di Ognissan. [a] Signature . The proposal is perpetuated in a large planisphere of Waldseemüller’s, in which the name America appears for the first time, although applied only to South America. Vespucci was homeschooled by his uncle. When the expedition didn't make any new discoveries, the fleet disbanded. In 1507, some scholars at Saint-Dié-des-Vosges in northern France were working on a geography book called Cosmographiæ Introductio, which contained large cut-out maps that the reader could use to create his or her own globes. While the definition of America expanded to include more territory, Vespucci seemed to gain credit for areas that most would agree were actually first discovered by Columbus. While in the service of Spain, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first European voyage of discovery to circumnavigate the globe. This man is Amerigo Vespucci or, as known to the Spanish, Americo Vespucio. But another famed explorer Amerigo Vespucci couldn’t agree to the claims of Columbus. Vespucci held the position for the remainder of his life. Decades later, in 1538, the mapmaker Mercator, working off the maps created at St-Dié, chose to mark the name America on both the northern and the southern parts of the continent, instead of just the southern portion. In any case, this expedition contributed no fresh knowledge. On the upper part of the map, with the hemisphere comprising the Old World, appears the picture of Ptolemy; on the part of the map with the New World hemisphere is the picture of Vespucci. His widow, Maria Cerezo, was granted a pension in recognition of her husband’s great services. Who wrote Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa? On June 10, 1503, sailing again under the Portuguese flag, Vespucci, accompanied by Gonzal Coelho, headed back to Brazil. In 1508 the house appointed him chief navigator, a post of great responsibility, which included the examination of the pilots’ and ships’ masters’ licenses for voyages. Vespucci was employed by the Florentine Medici family as a representative for their operations in Seville, Spain. Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer and cartographer best known for establishing and governing the settlements of New France and the city of Quebec. Along the way, they discovered present-day Rio de Janeiro and Rio de la Plata. Vespucci thought he had sailed along the coast of the extreme easterly peninsula of Asia, where Ptolemy, the geographer, believed the market of Cattigara to be; so he looked for the tip of this peninsula, calling it Cape Cattigara. Amerigo was especially interested in one star in particular amd he was sure it was to be fixed to the South Pole just as the North Star is fixed to the North Pole. Vespucci and his fleets arrived back in Cadiz in October 1498. Facts about Amerigo Vespucci 1: date of birth. The period during which Vespucci made his voyages falls between 1497 and 1504. Despite the circumstances, Vespucci forged ahead, managing to discover Bahia and the island of South Georgia in the process. American eponym. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer who like Christopher Columbus and John Cabot had sailed westward from Europe to find Asia or more specifically India but ended up in Americas or what was then known as the New World. Amerigo Vespucci, (born 1454?, Florence, Italy—died 1512, Sevilla, Spain), merchant and explorer-navigator who took part in early voyages to the New World (1499–1500, 1501–02) and occupied the influential post of piloto mayor (“master navigator”) in Sevilla (1508–12). The father of Ser Nastagio (Anastasio) Vespucci had the name Amerigo Vespucci also. [1][2] The voyage of 1501–02 is of fundamental importance in the history of geographic discovery in that Vespucci himself, and scholars as well, became convinced that the newly discovered lands were not part of Asia but a “New World.” In 1507 a humanist, Martin Waldseemüller, reprinted at Saint-Dié in Lorraine the “Quattuor Americi navigationes” (“Four Voyages of Amerigo”), preceded by a pamphlet of his own entitled “Cosmographiae introductio,” and he suggested that the newly discovered world be named “ab Americo Inventore…quasi Americi terram sive Americam” (“from Amerigo the discoverer…as if it were the land of Americus or America”). Although born in Italy, Vespucci became a naturalized citizen of Spain in 1505. At the end of 1491 their agent, Giannotto Berardi, appears to have been engaged partly in fitting out ships; and Vespucci was probably present when Christopher Columbus returned from his first expedition, which Berardi had assisted. In May 1499, sailing under the Spanish flag, Vespucci embarked on his next expedition, as a navigator under the command of Alonzo de Ojeda. The Vespucci family was well-connected, and Amerigo received an excellent education by his uncle Giorgio Antonio. He actively participated in two exploratory trips in the New World, what we know today as America. The remainder of the voyage is disputed, but Vespucci claimed to have continued southward, and he may have sighted (January 1502) Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro’s bay) and sailed as far as the Río de la Plata, making Vespucci the first European to discover that estuary (Juan Díaz de Solís arrived there in 1516). Explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca spent eight years in the Gulf region of present-day Texas and was treasurer to the Spanish expedition under de Narváez. Amerigo Vespucci made several voyages to discover both North and South America. Omissions? In the late 1490s, Vespucci became affiliated with merchants who supplied Christopher Columbus on his later voyages. Amerigo Vespucci died in Seville, Spain, in 1512. His father was a notary in the Florence government. In this article, we will post a few facts for you about Amerigo Vespucci and his fascinating life. The Vespuccis were a prominent family and friends with the powerful Medicis, who ruled Italy for more than 300 years. Very little is known about the first expedition of the traveler. While Vespucci did not start out commanding the expedition, when Portuguese officers asked him to take charge of the voyage he agreed. Vespucci and his parents, Ser Nastagio and Lisabetta Mini, were friends of the wealthy and tempestuous Medici family, who ruled Italy from the 1400s to 1737. Amerigo Vespucci was born March 9, 1454 in Florence, Italy to Nastagio and Lisabetta Vespucci. The return route is unknown. According to some accounts, from 1483 to 1492, Vespucci worked for the Medici family. Believing he had discovered a new continent, he called South America the New World. (Stefano Garau / Adobe stock) Amerigo’s achievements changed the fate of maritime exploration. Based on Vespucci's accounts, some historians believe that he embarked on a fifth and sixth voyage with Juan de la Cosa, in 1505 and 1507, respectively. There is some speculation as to whether Vespucci made additional voyages. Aside from this, it is his name that the naming of “America”was coined. Amerigo Vespucci (also known as Americus Vespucci) was born in 1454, in Florence, Italy. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. The question is fundamental for the evaluation of Vespucci’s work and has given rise to fierce controversy; attempts to reconcile the two series of documents cannot generally be considered successful. Amerigo Vespucci was born and raised in Florence on the Italian Peninsula.He was the third son of Ser Nastagio (Anastasio) Vespucci, a Florentine notary, and Lisabetta Mini. On May 10, 1497, explorer Amerigo Vespucci embarked on his first voyage. Merchant and adventurer, who gave his name of Amerigo to the new world as America, was born at Florence on the 9th of March 1451. Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who participated in the conquests of Central America and Peru and discovered the Mississippi River. When Vespucci was 24 years old, his father pressured him to go into business. The controversial letter indicates that the ships sailed through the West Indies and made their way to the mainland of Central America within approximately five weeks. While his older brothers headed off to the University of Pisa in Tuscany, Vespucci received his early education from his paternal uncle, a Dominican friar named Giorgio Antonio Vespucci. On May 14, 1501, Vespucci departed on another trans-Atlantic journey. As a boy Vespucci was given a humanistic education by his uncle Giorgio Antonio. Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy. Although Vespucci subsequently helped to prepare other expeditions, he never again joined one in person. Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco Pizarro helped Vasco Núñez de Balboa discover the Pacific Ocean, and after conquering Peru, founded its capital city, Lima. Amerigo Vespucci, merchant and explorer-navigator who took part in early voyages to the New World (1499–1500, 1501–02) and occupied the influential post of piloto mayor (‘master navigator’) in Sevilla (1508–12). Vespucci was important in this role, and is known to have provided beef supplies for at least one of Christopher Columbus’ voyages. Turning south, he is believed to have discovered the mouth of the Amazon River and to have gone as far as Cape St. Augustine (latitude about 6° S). Originally from Florence, he was born on March 9, 1454, son of Nastagio Vespucci, an important foreign exchange man, and Lisa di Giovanni Mini. Amerigo Vespucci made several voyages to discover both North and South America. The Americas are generally believed to have Who Was Amerigo Vespucci? He supposed that the ships, once past this point, emerged into the seas of southern Asia. Christopher Columbus - Small Ships, Big Trip. While searching for the mythical fountain of youth, Juan Ponce de León founded the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and landed on the mainland of North America, a region he dubbed “Florida.”. Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy. Amerigo Vespucci was born in the United States of America around the year 1451. He was the steward in the house of Lorenzo de Medici in 1483. On his third and most successful voyage, he discovered present-day Rio de Janeiro and Rio de la Plata. According to a theory of Alberto Magnaghi, on the contrary, these documents are to be regarded as the result of skillful manipulations, and the sole authentic papers would be the private letters, so that the verified voyages would be reduced to two. He also had to prepare the official map of newly discovered lands and of the routes to them (for the royal survey), interpreting and coordinating all data that the captains were obliged to furnish. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer who is most known for discovering North and South America. Two series of documents on his voyages are extant. Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9, 1454, in Florence, Italy. The trip likely awakened Vespucci's fascination with travel and exploration. Amerigo Vespucci was the “founder,” of America. Later, in his third voyage to the western world in 1502, Amerigo set foot in the Bahamas. After a halt at the Cape Verde Islands, the expedition traveled southwestward and reached the coast of Brazil toward Cape St. Augustine. Amerigo Vespucci was a Florentine merchant and navigator who made at least two transatlantic trips to the New World, voyages that inspired cartographer Martin Wardseemüller to label the new continent "America" in 1507. In the years before Vespucci embarked on his first voyage of exploration, he held a string of other jobs. In the first series of documents, four voyages by Vespucci are mentioned; in the second, only two. … Vespucci's ships sailed along the coast of South America from Cape São Roque to Patagonia. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Later Vespucci was to collaborate, still with Berardi, in the preparation of a ship for Columbus’s second expedition and of others for his third. Vespucci knew that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain were willing to fund subsequent voyages by other explorers. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Unfortunately they were unable to pronounce “America” properly, so he became known as Amerigo. Hernán Cortés was a Spanish conquistador who explored Central America, overthrew Montezuma and his vast Aztec empire and won Mexico for the crown of Spain. The conversation piqued Vespucci's interest in seeing the world with his own eyes. He is famous for being the first explorer to argue out that Brazil and West Indies were not in Eastern Asia. When Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso reached the place once known as the Garden of Eden, by Columbus. Vespucci’s ships anchored at Lisbon on July 22, 1502. Vespucci was the son of Nastagio, a notary. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer from Europe. From his extensive explorations, he also claimed that the discovered lands were composed of a distinct landmass and that the E… Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 to February 22, 1512) was born and grew up in Florence, Italy. As soon as he was back in Spain, he equipped a fresh expedition with the aim of reaching the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of the Ganges (modern Bay of Bengal), and the island of Taprobane or Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The expedition is known from a letter published in 1504. He is famous for being the first person to show that the new lands discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 were not the eastern portion of Asia but actually a separate continent, a New World as it would come to be called. We strive for accuracy and fairness. He is most famous for being the person on whose name the Americas were named. Interestingly, he identified the landmasses as continents and he inferred that the New World was not Asia … During this journey Vespucci is said to have discovered the Amazon River and Cape St. Augustine. Soon after, he was forced to prematurely abort the voyage and return to Lisbon, Portugal, in 1504. In 1496, after Columbus returned from his voyage to America, Vespucci had the opportunity to meet him in Seville. Amerigo Vespucci was born in Ognissanti, Florence, Italy on 9 March 1451. At the beginning of 1505 he was summoned to the court of Spain for a private consultation and, as a man of experience, was engaged to work for the famous Casa de Contratación de las Indias (Commercial House for the Indies), which had been founded two years before at Sevilla. If the letter is authentic, this would mean that Vespucci discovered Venezuela a year before Columbus did. Nevertheless, let’s start from the beginning. Since Vespucci took part as navigator, he certainly cannot have been inexperienced; but it does not seem possible that he had made a previous voyage (1497–98) in this area (i.e., around the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast from Florida to Chesapeake Bay), though this matter remains unresolved. Test your knowledge of the world’s explorers by taking this quiz. The name for the Americas is derived from his given name. During that time he is said to have learned that explorers were looking for a northwest passage through the Indies. On returning, Vespucci entered the “bank” of Lorenzo and Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici and gained the confidence of his employers. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. In 1479 he accompanied another relation, sent by the famous Italian Medici family to be their spokesman to the king of France. But how much do you know about this early explorer? To Vespucci's chagrin, the commander of the Portuguese ship was suddenly nowhere to be found. Giovanni da Verrazzano was an Italian explorer who charted the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor in 1524. But the Spanish government did not welcome his proposals, and at the end of 1500 Vespucci went into the service of Portugal. Now on his third voyage, Vespucci set sail for Cape Verde — this time in service to King Manuel I of Portugal. On February 22, 1512, Vespucci died of malaria in Seville, Spain. The suggestion caught on; the extension of the name to North America, however, came later. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. During his role as a provision contractor, Vespucci was invited to observe on a number of voyages. The first series consists of a letter in the name of Vespucci from Lisbon, Portugal, dated September 4, 1504, written in Italian, perhaps to the gonfalonier (magistrate of a medieval Italian republic) Piero Soderini, and printed in Florence in 1505; and of two Latin versions of this letter, printed under the titles of “Quattuor Americi navigationes” and “Mundus Novus,” or “Epistola Alberici de Novo Mundo.” The second series consists of three private letters addressed to the Medici. Amerigo Vespucci is best known for his observation that the lands that constitute modern-day Brazil and West Indies were not a part of Asia as initially believed, but an entirely different continent hitherto unknown to Europeans. Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9th, 1454 in Florence. Amerigo Vespucci was an Italian explorer who made at least two voyages to the New World and was the first to recognize the Americas as distinct continents and not part of Asia. Born on March 9th, 1454 in Florence, Italy, Amerigo Vespucci was a prominent Italian explorer, cartographer, merchant, navigator and financier. Amerigo Vespucci was an explorer who is most known for discovering North and South America. Little is known of his last voyage in 1503–1504. After being educated by his uncle, Vespucci himself worked for the Medicis as a banker and later supervisor of their ship-outfitting business, which operated in Seville, Spain. Conclusion Although there is ongoing doubt among scholars and historians about some of Amerigo Vespucci’s claims, one thing goes uncontested: he proved that North and South America were their own land. His mother's name was Lisabetta. Crossing the equator, they traveled to the coast of what is now Guyana, where it is believed that Vespucci left Ojeda and went on to explore the coast of Brazil. According to a letter that Vespucci might or might not have truly written, on May 10, 1497, he embarked on his first journey, departing from Cadiz with a fleet of Spanish ships. Vespucci's father worked as a notary in Florence. Believing he had discovered a new continent, in a letter to Florence, Vespucci called South America the New World. He was educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antionia Vespucci, who was a friar belonging to the Dominical Order in San Marco, Florence. First of all, Vespucci was the first European man to sight and reach the shores of Brazil, and to explore its coastline. He is famous for coining the term the “New World.” This supercontinent was eventually named by Martin Waldseemuller “America,” which is a feminized Latin version of his Amerigo. Navigator and explorer Amerigo Vespucci, the third son in a cultured family, was born on March 9, 1451, (some scholars say 1454) in Florence, Italy. “America” is a feminine Latin term for his surname Amerigo. 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