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Home  > Medieval  > Juan de la Cosa
World Map of Medieval Era

Juan de la Cosa

Juan de la Cosa is one of the most renowned medieval map makers of the world who had largely contributed in the discipline of cartography. He has left a large body of work to his descendants which had earned him a lot fame during his life time. Juan de la Cosa owned the Santa Maria, which was Christopher Columbus' flag ship. He went on the first two trips of his life to the western hemisphere with Columbus. Columbus set sail on this voyage in the years 1492 and 1494.

Juan's most ambitious work for which he became famous was created in the year 1500 or 1502. It was a map on which he left his signature under the image of Saint Christopher at the western end of this map.

Cosa continued his study on the American coast till the year 1504. There are two panels on the map. On one side of the map, the New World of Columbus is shown. On the other side of the map, the continents of Africa, Europe and Asia are shown. The two panels have different scales; the one depicting the New world has a bigger scale. The details like compass roses, loxodrome and a scale reminds one of a Portolan chart.

Many details given in the map like the inscription Mar descubierta por los Ingleses and four English banners towards the north remind one of John Cabot's voyages during the period of 1496 to 1498.



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