The Cantino Planisphere

Cantino Planisphere, ca. 1502. Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena, Italy. Wikimedia Commons.

Maps aren’t always named for their creators. The Gough map and the Selden map are named the people who owned them last before bequeathing them to the Bodleian Library. The Cantino planisphere, a Portuguese map of the world showing that country’s discoveries in the Americas and along the African coast, is named after the person who, ah, acquired it: in 1502 Alberto Cantino, undercover agent for the Duke of Ferrara, smuggled it out of Portugal, where maps were state secrets. Here’s an article about the Cantino planisphere from the March/April 2017 issue of National Geographic History magazine.

Author: Jonathan Crowe

I blog about maps at The Map Room, review books for AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, and edit a fanzine called Ecdysis.