Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 12

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Article Title: Your faith is a personal, subjective issue


Article Summary

The article covers the story of a map that gave America its name, the map was drawn by two European humanists. Due to modern maps and precise methods of measuring longitude and latitude, we can pinpoint exactly where a place is on the planet, earlier it was impossible. For centuries, Europeans had believed that the world was made up of three landmasses: Asia, Africa and Europe, with Jerusalem at its centre.  However, the map, printed in 1507, depicted a fourth part of the world for the first time. To the left of Europe, it showed a long, thin version of South America, with a small-sized North America above it. The new continent was surrounded by water, and, on the part that is known today as Brazil, the map-makers placed a name: America.

This map is known as the Waldseemüller map, after the German humanist who drew it. But Martin Waldseemüller was just one of a group of scholars who Walter Lud, the canon of the church of St-Dié-des-Vosges, brought together. he secured funding from René II, Duke of Lorraine, to set up a printing press called Gymnasium Vosagense and assembled a team that included Waldseemüller and another German humanist, Matthias Ringmann. Ringmann coined the name America. The location of the town was also significant as it was the centre for explorers setting off from the Atlantic coast in Spain and Portugal, who were bringing all their information back there, the Italians who were funding and going on these expeditions and the Germans in the middle worked on printing. The article also highlights the controversy behind the naming of America and the way it was deduced to be surrounded by water.

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Words to learn from this Article:

Humanists: a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.

Radically: in a thorough or fundamental way; completely.

Canon: a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral, especially one who is a member of the chapter.

Cloister: seclude or shut up in a convent or monastery.

Remnant: a surviving trace.

Contention: heated disagreement.

Friar: a member of any of certain religious orders of men, especially the four mendicant orders (Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans, and Franciscans).

Juxtaposition: the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect



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