Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 3, No 1 (2014)

Between India and the Indies: German mercantile networks, the struggle for the imperial crown and the naming of the New World


https://doi.org/10.3989/chdj.2014.003

Renate Pieper
Chair in Economic and Social History, History Department, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria

Abstract


In 1507, the excitement over the publication of the Mundus Novus led to the naming of a new continent on the map, a globe and a learned treatise as an appendix to an edition of a work by Ptolemy published in Saint-Dié, Lorraine. Network analysis of the cities where the broadsheet Mundus Novus, attributed to Amerigo Vespucci, appeared shows that the text was mainly published in German mercantile cities, especially Augsburg and Nuremberg between 1504 and 1506. There is strong evidence that this text about the voyages of Amerigo Vespucci was primarily issued to raise money in order to finance German mercantile investments in the Portuguese fleet to Asia in 1505-1506. In 1507, the map and the globe with the new name for the New World demonstrated the riches that the members of the Diet of Konstanz might obtain if they supported Maximilian in his expedition to Italy and his quest for the imperial crown. Thus, the struggle between Maximilian I and Louis XII for the title of Holy Roman Emperor and the need for investment in German trade with Asia determined the invention of America.

Keywords


Maximilian I ; Louis XII; Holy Roman Emperor; Konstanz; Augsburg; Nuremberg

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References


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