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Published in History Today, 2015
The image above shows the Cantino planosphere, the earliest surviving map showing Portugal’s geographical discoveries during the 15th century. It is named for Alberto Cantino, who brought it from Portugal to Italy in 1502.
The map includes plenty of interesting details, including the line marking the Treaty of Torsedillas, which demarcated Spanish and Portuguese territory in the New World (represented on the map by a trio of parrots). Look also for Terra Verde (modern day Newfoundland) which the explorers Gaspar and Miguel Corte Real reached in 1501; it’s marked with the barely readable legend ‘Terra del Rey de Portuguall’. There is also a remarkable amount of detail to be found along the west African coastline.