His facts are shrouded in obscurities, considered a faker in past centuries (Alexandre von Humboldt denies the veracity of his first trip); today remains the judgment that Vespucci traveled large extensions of the American territory, and that he perceived that it was a continent that could not be assimilated to Asia.
He was born in Florence on March 9, 1454, son of a notary, from a wealthy family close to the Medici circle of power, he studied under the guidance of his uncle, the Dominican humanist friar Jorge Antonio Vespucio.
Vespucio’s travels and letters have been the subject of analysis, studies, commentaries, defenses, attacks and discussions. From Bartolomé de Las Casas in his “General History of the Indies” to the most recent works, the adventures of the Florentine navigator are examined, especially with regard to his “third voyage”.
In 1924, the Italian Magnaghi judged the first and fourth voyages of Vespucio as not having been made, and qualified the letters “Mundus Novus” and “Lettera” as apocryphal, although he acknowledged Vespucio’s discovery of the Río de la Plata and Patagonia up to 50 degrees south. His thesis was supported in 1944 by the American F. Pohl.
Second voyage of Amerigo Vespucci
In the early 1470s , the Vespucci clan commissioned the then little-known Florentine painter Domenico Ghirlandaio to make a family portrait to decorate his chapel in the church of Ognissanti. In the XVI ° century , the painter Giorgio Vasari says that a people is represented Amerigo, but there is no objective evidence of this.
As the Vespucci fortune has been in decline for several decades, Amerigo’s father wants him to devote himself exclusively to the affairs of the clan. He manages to make him stop his studies at the University of Pisa and, thanks to Guidantonio’s efforts, to recruit him as a commercial agent in Florence under Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici and his brother Giovanni. During his stay in Florence, his main job was as a commission agent in the purchase and sale of precious stones on behalf of third parties.
In 1489, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici dismissed his commercial agent in Seville and ordered Amerigo to find a replacement. Amerigo offered Juanoto Berardi, a Florentine businessman based in Seville since 1485, and Lorenzo hired him. The Iberian Peninsula was at that time a thriving commercial center and Seville was the most important economic center of the crown of Castile. The kings of Castile and Aragon, Ferdinand and Isabella are in the process of completing the conquest of the kingdom of Granada.
Who discovered America Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci?
(Amerigo Vespucci; Florence, 1454 – Seville, 1512) Italian navigator whose name would originate the denomination of the American continent. As is well known, Christopher Columbus died believing that he had reached the Indies, without suspecting that those islands he had taken possession of on behalf of the Crown of Castile belonged to a new continent. A friend of his, Amerigo Vespucci, was in charge of telling old Europe that the lands found by Columbus were not the Asian lands, but were part of a “fourth pars” of the world to which he would involuntarily give his name. This man, insignificant compared to the great figure of Columbus, also died without knowing the effects of his revolutionary news: the posthumous glory, derived from that casual baptism, for him and for his lineage.
Beraldi’s sudden death, however, left Amerigo without a patron and without a livelihood. Thus was born his purpose to undertake a voyage to the Indies himself, which he did in 1497 and then in May 1499. In this second expedition, led by Alonso de Ojeda, he followed the route of Columbus’ third voyage: on May 4, 1499, the ships set sail from Puerto de Santa Maria and, after twenty-five days of sailing, they reached the mouth of the Orinoco, already discovered by Columbus, and began their journey along the coast in a northerly direction.
Américo Vespucio for children
It was March 9, 1454 when Amerigo Matteo Vespucci was born in Florence, son of Nastagio Vespucci, a notary, and Lisa Andrea Mini. Very quickly, Amerigo and his brothers and sister, Girolamo, Bernardo and Agnoletta, were abandoned by their mother who preferred to take care of the first-born son Antonio.
Americo learned a lot at the side of his uncle, Giorgio Antonio, who frequented the House of the Medicis, a high place of Florentine culture. Florentine painters of the time, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli, were very interested in the Vespucci family.
Between 1478 and 1480, Amerigo’s uncle, a renowned jurist, decided to take him to France to serve as an embassy secretary. This stay in Paris allowed Amerigo to come into contact with the most illustrious personalities of the French Court and numerous Florentine merchants, who came to France for their business.
In the French capital, Amerigo surely met Bartholomew Columbus, who had come to ask King Louis XI for help for his brother in his plans to discover a new route to the Indies.