nat4b
nat4b
31 August 2022, 10:39

Earth's apple — the very first globe in the world

Earth's apple — the very first globe in the world
"Earth Apple" — this is the name given to the globe created by Martin Beheim at the end of the 15th century, which made it the oldest on Earth.
Behaim's globe
Behaim's globe
It is believed that a German scientist created the world's first globe commissioned by the city council of Nuremberg in 1492. However, available documents confirm that the payment for the globe was made by the Nuremberg authorities much later.
Historical evidence indicates that the "earth apple" was conceived as a model for subsequent globes and to encourage merchants to finance expeditions.
An 1889 map following the contours of the map on Behaim's globe
An 1889 map following the contours of the map on Behaim's globe
Beheim was assisted in the creation of the first globe by the mathematics teacher Ruprecht Kohlberger and the engraver Georg Glockendon. The first covered the clay ball with a cloth, and the second, having painted this ball, divided it into 24 segments, marking the poles on the basis of a map bought by Beheim in Portugal.
The “Earth Apple” is a representation of how the Europeans saw the Earth at the end of the 15th century. There was no new world on the globe, but there was Europe, most of Africa and Asia. Eurasia was portrayed as somewhat elongated. There were no latitude and longitude marks, but there was an equator, meridians, tropics. There were also images of the signs of the zodiac.
Geographical inaccuracies found on the map of Beheim repeated the inaccuracies of the maps of the Florentine scientist Paolo Toscanelli. Also, the results of Columbus' voyages were not taken into account, since the navigator returned to Europe no earlier than March 1493.
Nevertheless, the “earth apple” is a unique cartographic achievement of the late Middle Ages. This applies to both cartographic accuracy and visibility of the image.
Monument to Beheim in Nuremberg
Monument to Beheim in Nuremberg
After its creation, the globe became one of Nuremberg's city sights. Until the 16th century, it was in the reception hall of the city hall. Later, it passed into the possession of the family of its creator, and since 1907 it has become an exhibit of the German National Museum.


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