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thomas w. simons, jr., eurasia’s new frontiers, young states, old societies, open futures , cornell university press, 2008
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the mistake would probably have gone no further except that a german geographer named マルチ ン・ワルドゼーミュラー was working on a revised edition of the map of ptolemy( プトレマイオス ). in the course of his research he stumbled upon the florentine letters. he was impressed with the spurious account of vespucci's exploit , hook -line-and-sinker, and inadvertently named the massive continent in his honor. although at that time it only referred to only south america, later its northern counterpart got to be called north america.
if all of what was written in the textbooks about vespucci was wrong, he still had one possible, if marginal, claim to fame. he is believed to have been the brother of simonetta vespucci, the model for venus in the famous painting by botticelli.
incidentally, this may be a good example on how we should learn world history. the niece i am teaching has long tried very hard memorizing historical events in the world almost blindly and mechanically without knowing any kind of such stories about them. world history is one of the most interesting subjects if we are curious about how and why events happened. if he knows this story how can he forget that botticelli, columbus and vespucci lived in about the same period in the history. something is definitely wrong with the way teachers nowadays teach history... and any subjects.
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