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Mapping Terra Incognita
Oronce Finé, Nova, et integra Universi Orbis Descriptio (1531)
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Voyages of discovery ushered in an era of cartographers, who redrafted early maps, drawn from supposition and mysticism, with each new tale of far-flung locales. In the wake of Ferdinand Magellan's first-ever circumnavigation of the Earth, French mathematician Oronce Finé drew the Magellan Straits and the land glimpsed beyond. Reflecting Magellan's uncertainty as to whether Tierra del Fuego was merely an island or the tip of an unexplored continent, Finé incorrectly chose the latter. He designated the supposed southern continent as Terra Australis recenter invento sed nondum plene cognita: "the southern land newly discovered but not yet fully known." Wholly drawn from imagination, the contours of his Terra Australis anticipated the evidence of expeditions in centuries to come.
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Claudius Ptolemy (150 AD) | Oronce Finé (1531)
Henricus Hondius (1639) | J. Dezauche (1773-75) | James Clark Ross (1845)
Royal Geographical Society (1898) | United States Geological Survey (1999)



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