Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29339 times)
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caclark
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« Reply #330 on: June 13, 2007, 05:46:15 PM »

Blame it on the cartographer
(link provided below for the full article)

“Vespucci came to the world's attention chiefly through the publication in 1503 and 1504 of two brief letters he purportedly wrote to Lorenzo de Medici about a voyage undertaken for the king of Portugal. Obviously the work of an educated man (the Vespuccis were a prosperous family in Florence), the letters managed to be both scholarly and entertaining, combining a sober discussion of navigational issues with the news that the natives of the New World would have sex with anybody, including Mom. Vespucci, or perhaps his anonymous publisher, also had the wit to entitle the first letter Novus Mundus, the New World, an audacious and as it turned out accurate claim.
 
“The letters were by far the most interesting account of explorations in the Americas that had appeared up to that time and caused a sensation that if anything exceeded that created by Columbus's description of his first voyage ten years earlier. The letters were reprinted in every European language and soon came to the attention of Waldseemueller and his friends, who were members of a think tank of sorts in the town of Saint-Die, Lorraine, now part of France. The Waldseemueller group published Cosmographiae Introduction (Introduction to Cosmography), the first attempt to update the geography texts of the ancients. They were quite taken with Vespucci's idea that the Americas were a new land, since it meant they had gone beyond the knowledge of the ancients, in whose shadow they had long toiled. They thought it only appropriate that AV's name grace the new land, of whose extent they had at that point only the vaguest inkling. The naming of America after Amerigo Vespucci was thus a bit capricious but not entirely undeserved.”
- CECIL ADAMS


http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_021.html
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Bob
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« Reply #331 on: June 13, 2007, 09:31:37 PM »

calark

I apologize if I came across in a negative way above. I have the highest respect for your knowlege of history and for your views in general. 

I just read all the posts since then and I'd like to join in but unfortunately I'm due to be admitted to the hospital at 6:30 AM Thursday. I'll be in there between five and seven days---surgery time....then I'll be back and see if I can't get right back into things. I won't have access to a computer for  a week. The surgery is not life threatening by any means, but is necessary from a preventative viewpoint.
Till then...keep the discussion rolling....
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Bob
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« Reply #332 on: June 13, 2007, 09:36:26 PM »

 :'( I'll be among the missing for about a week. Discussion on THE SHAKESPEARE RIOTS is scheduled to start  on June 20.  I'll still be away then. Please start without me...
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weezo
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« Reply #333 on: June 13, 2007, 10:46:43 PM »

Bob,

Sending good wishes for an easy surgery and a quick recovery!
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bosox18d
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« Reply #334 on: June 13, 2007, 11:31:20 PM »

Good Luck Robert.If you survive the hospital food you can look forward to a Q/Pounder w/cheese.Someone should write a book on The History of Hospital Food in America.
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« Reply #335 on: June 14, 2007, 12:02:24 AM »

Sometimes hospital food can be quite yummy...well, at least tasty....Best wishes on recovery.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #336 on: June 14, 2007, 12:05:01 AM »

I think you are being a little too respectful, bob.  

Clark, Columbus sailed all around the Carribean, which one would have thought might have clued him into being between land masses, not a string of islands girding Asia, a view he held onto until the bitter end.  I believe he thought that South America was Japan, and he still hadn't wrapped himself around the idea that the Orinoco flowed from a great inland source, instead coming up with Biblical explanations for the the source of the fresh water rising out of the sea.  Of course, it was a brave new world, but Columbus simply couldn't get past his old world ideas.  Vespucci not only turned out to be the more captivating writer, but the better navigator as well, giving the mapmaker a better picture of what lay between Europe and Asia.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #337 on: June 14, 2007, 12:06:03 AM »

Good luck, Bob.  Wish you all the best.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #338 on: June 14, 2007, 02:55:25 AM »

I just read a story in the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle where the Senecas have submitted a bill of 2.1 million to NYState for use of a three mile stretch of NYState Thruway since April 15th.They based the fee on vehicles per day crossing their land.Gov. Spitzer is trying to collect something like 200 million from the tribe for sales of cigs and fuel to non-Indians they have sold to so the Senecas revoked a 1954 agreement letting the state of N.Y. cross their land with the Thruway.I thought Spitzer was a bright man but this smacks of small thinking.A century plus later and we are still trying to screw these people by changing the law after the fact.
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weezo
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« Reply #339 on: June 14, 2007, 07:53:33 AM »

Just started reading an eye-opener of a book. 1421 - The Year the Chinese Discovered America. Seems that in 1421, decades before Columbs made his eye-opening journey, the Chinese circumnavigated the world seeking trading arrangements. Sadly, when the expedition returned to China in 1423, the Emperor who sent them was done-for and the new emperor had absolutely no interest in the outside world. Records of the expedition were, for the most part destroyed.

The book was published in 2001, but I haven't heard much of a stir among the historians that they are rethinking or re-writing the history of the explorers. It truly takes Columbus down a peg or two.
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liquidsilver
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« Reply #340 on: June 14, 2007, 10:56:30 AM »

Just started reading an eye-opener of a book. 1421 - The Year the Chinese Discovered America. Seems that in 1421, decades before Columbs made his eye-opening journey, the Chinese circumnavigated the world seeking trading arrangements. Sadly, when the expedition returned to China in 1423, the Emperor who sent them was done-for and the new emperor had absolutely no interest in the outside world. Records of the expedition were, for the most part destroyed.

The book was published in 2001, but I haven't heard much of a stir among the historians that they are rethinking or re-writing the history of the explorers. It truly takes Columbus down a peg or two.

From what I've heard his theory is highly controversial and largely dismissed by historians.  Especially since a map purported as evidence of the theory turned out to be a hoax
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weezo
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« Reply #341 on: June 14, 2007, 11:48:35 AM »

Thanks, Liquid. I will henceforth read it as if it were possibly fiction. I couldn't understand such a massive piece of evidence going underground so quickly I never heard of it. Usually anything on Columbus that suggests he wasn't the great "hero", prickles my ears. At this point, I wonder how much he unearthed and how much he made up. He speaks often about the stuff making sense to him as a navigator that would go unnoticed by the "typical historian".
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Bob
« Reply #342 on: June 16, 2007, 01:37:47 PM »

Hey Bob, you are in my prayers and I send you best wishes for the speediest recovery. Several days in the hospital is NOT fun. Hope you have pretty, perky, nice nurses to make the stay more pleasant.

Vickie

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Dzimas
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« Reply #343 on: June 18, 2007, 02:21:42 AM »

Weezo, I have 1421 sitting on my shelf.  Need to read it.  Another interesting book is Farley Mowat's The Farfarers:

http://www.amazon.com/Farfarers-Before-Norse-Farley-Mowat/dp/1883642566/ref=sr_1_19/002-1948969-6965627?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182147607&sr=1-19

in which he makes the case for the Albans having sailed to the shores of Canada long before the Vikings.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #344 on: June 18, 2007, 07:09:57 AM »

Clark,

Seems we have Washington Irving to thank for many of the myths surrounding Columbus, including the one about the world being flat,

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8519

Haven't been able to find a linke to volume one.
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