Tierra Nueva

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This map is entitled “Tierra Nueva” which is a rendering by Ruscelli of the east coast of the North American continent. Again, it’s very hard to match what you see here with what might be found on a current modern-day map. In the lower left-hand corner, Florida appears – not clear what Florida’s real shape is, but it’s at least indicated. And then there is a potpourri[1] of different islands, or would-be islands, up in the vicinity of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and Maine. There’s a lot of speculation that there were water passages in and around and behind what one sees on the coast. Much of that was speculative. One fun thing about this map is that it shows the prototypic version of the island of Manhattan. Well, it’s not shown as an island. It is shown as a peninsula with the label “Angouleme,”[2] but that, as reflected on later maps, is what the mapmakers of the day thought of what, at the time, was considered an island- I mean, a part of the mainland, but obviously is an island, the most built-upon island, perhaps, in the world.

[1] Potpourri can be defined as “a miscellaneous collection” or “medley.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potpourri Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

[2] “On January 17, 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano, (1485-1528) in command of La Dauphine, became the first European to enter New York Harbor, during a voyage sponsored by King Francis I of France. […] Francis I (1494-1547, King of France 1515-1547) was the son of Charles of Orleans. Prior to Francis’ ascension to the throne, he had been known as Francis of Angouleme. In the King’s honor, Verrazano named the harbor ‘Angouleme’ and reported to Francis: I ‘Called [the harbor] Angouleme from the principality which thou attainedst in lesser fortune…’” http://www.newyorkmapsociety.org/FSAngouleme.html Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.



For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1678261