Amerigo Vespucci

(1451-1512) Cosmographer and navigator, after whom America was named, born Florence; died Seville. The fact that his discovery of the mainland (1497-1498) antedated that of Columbus was responsible for the appearance of the name "America" for the first time in 1507 and for its application first to South America and afterward to the entire Western Hemisphere. Vespucci, a friend of Columbus, had no part in this appellation. The history of his voyages (1497-1508) appears in his "Letters" (1507) and "Novus Mundus" (1503 or 1504).

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