AMERICA 421 AMERICA and thirteenth centuries. On one of these voyages of exploration in 1194 they reached SvaibarSr or .Svall)ar5i. According to Storm's investigations this island is thought to be Jan Mayeii or Spitzbergen. Almost a hundred vears later (iL'.Sj) two priests, sons of Helge, nameil Aldabrand and Thorvald, discov- ered, over against Iceland, a new country (the Diinen Islands). These voyagers are rightly called the pre- cursors of Nordenskii)ld. inasmuch as like him, ttiey set out from Denmark, and reached the eastern coast of (Ireenland (not Newfoimdland). These and similar discoveries of skilled Norse from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries made it po.ssible long before C'oluml)Us, to draw so perfect a map of that part of .America, known as (ireenland, but a cartographer to whom Nordenskiold showed such a chart declared emphatically that it must be a forgery of I lie nineteenth century. The first .scholar who inserted the daring Norse discoveries in .Vmerica in Ptolemy's map of the world was Claudius Clavus Niger (Swart). a Dane, who left two maps and two geograiihical des- criptions of the northern countries of Kurope in which (ireenland appears as a peninsula of the conti- nent. The first chart with subjoined description is preserved in the precious Ptolemy MS. of (Cardinal Filiaster of 1427, now in the city Ubrary of Nancy in France. In this MS. the learned cardinal expressly says of the eighth chart of Europe: "Ptolemy makes no mention of these lands (Norway, Sweden, and Greenland) ami he seems to have liad no knowleilge of them. Hence a certain Claudius C>'mbricus has described these northern parts, and represented them in charts". This precious cartographic treasure has been preserved only in the Ptolemy codex of Nancy. Both chart and description have long been known and often reproduced. The second description and the second map have come down in various manu- scripts, but separated from each other. The chart with its strikingly correct representation of Green- land was a riddle to cartographers from the time of its discovery, inasmuch as it contains many names of rivers and promontories which in no wise correspond with the statements found in ancient Norse sources. Only recently have the Danish scholars Hjornbo and Petersen succeeded in solving this riddle. In two mathematical MSS. of the Ilofbibliothck at Vienna they found the long lost description of the secoml chart of Claudius Clavus, from whioh it appears that Clavus (b. l.'5S,S) was once in (ircciilaml. and that the fantastic names on his chart are iiktcIv the words of an old Danish folk song, of which the follow- ing is a literal translation: There lives a man on Greenland's stream, And Spieldcbodli doth he be named; More has he of white herrings Than he has of pork that is fat. From the North drives the sand anew. As Clautlius Clavus u.setl the names of the runes to designate places in Iceland and the orilinal numerals, fumla, (the first), etc., on the map of Eastern Europe, so for Greenland he made use of the words of the stanza quoted above, i. e. Thar (there) boer (lives) eeynh (a) manli (man) etc., to designate the succes- sion of promontories and rivers which seemed to him most worthy of note. From Claudius Clavus the strange names were adopted by the cartographers Nicholas Germanus and Ilenricus Martellus. While Nichol.as Germanus in his first copies retained the correct location of (ireenland (west of Iceland an<l the Scandinavian peninsula), in his later works he transferred (ireenland to the Scandinavian peninsula and east of Iceland. On his small charts of the world he completed Ptolemy's map by first giving to Green- land its correct position, but afterwards he placed it in northern Europe and located north of (ireenland the visula glaciatis or insula gtaciei (Iceland). Both representations of Greenland were used by Martin VVald.seemuller. The erroneous map of Nicholas Ger- manus he borrowe<l fn)m the Ulm edition of Ptoleray, which is ba.sed on the Wolfegg parchment MS. of Ptolemy, and presented it in his great wall chart of the world (1507), ".Vmerica's certificate of baptism". The correct map appeared in conjunction with the marine map of (Janerio on the first large marine map ever printed, the "Carta Marina" of 151G. Inconse- quence of the wide circulation of the world chart of 1.^07 (1000 copies, the only one of which now extant is that discovered by myself in Schloss Wolfegg) the faulty representation is found in countless later charts. Henricus Martellus, whoso fine manu.script of Ptolemy was executed in Florence some thirty years after Nicholas Germanus, has given the correct representation of Claudius Clavus in his charts of the northern countries. This correct map, however, first obtained a wider circulation through the often over-estimated Zeno map of 1558. In spite of its manifest inaccuracies — for example the younger Zeno represents the floating icebergs on the great northern map of Olaf Magnus (1539) as islands, to which he even a.ssigns names — the Zeno map has been dofended even in recent times as an original map of the Zeni. dating from the end of the fourteenth century. Since the successful clearing up of the mysterious Gn^enland names, and the iliscovery of Wald.seemuller's chart (Carta Marina, 151G), lost for three centuries, which likewise shows the configur.a- lion of parts of the eastern coast of North America, the last champions of Zeno must admit that the long celebrated Zeno chart is merely a compilation of the younger Zeno (1558). While Claudius Clavus visited Norse Greenland in person and was the first to make a strikingly correct map (c. 1420) he himself was never in Ilelluland, Markland, and Vinland, and consequently diii not introduce them into liis fifteenth-century Ptolemy map of the northern countries. As a result these countries were not represented in the editions of Ptol- emy's map of the world published in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. On a Catalonian marine map (portulana) dating from the fifteenth centurj'. ho%vever, we fintl a large rectangular island named Ilia Verde, and to the .south of it a smaller island almost circular named Brazil, which have been rightly conjectured to be (ireenland and Markland (tlie wooded land) respectively. On a sea chart di.s- covered by me in the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris there is likewi.se to the north-west an island termed " Insula viridis, de aua fit mentio in geographia ", and south of it the above mentioned circular island. It is interesting to note that on his great map of the world (1507) Waklsocmullcr sets down a viridix in- sula north-west of Ireland. On the corresponding section of the " Carta Marina" of 151G there is no trace of the eiridis insula but the round island Brazil ap- pears. These divergences in cartographic represen- tations arise from dilTerences in conception of the territories discovered. The discoverers took the bodies of land they encountered for islantls. a iew which is also reflected on the sea charts of the fifteenth century. When the attempt was made to apportion these islands to the three then known continents, Europe, A.sia, and -frica, the fact that Svalbarflr, i. e. Jan Mayen or Spitzbergen had been discovered in the twelfth century became of decisive importance, for by this di.scovery the theory that (ireenland was in .some way connected with the European mainland was apparently confirmed. This opinion was based on the fact that reindeer, arctic foxes, and other mam- mals which were found in Greenland, are not met with on islands, unless they were brought there. Since this was not the ca.se in Greenland it was inferred that these animals must have migrateil there from some con- tinent. This conclusion received support from the ice
Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/473
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