Toponyms on the Western and Southern Coasts of Africa
One of the areas on the Yale Martellus map that has elicited the greatest interest is the western and southern coasts of Africa, specifically the coastal place names. It seems likely that the Yale map, which is drawn at a larger scale than Martellus’s other world maps, would contain coastal place names that his other maps do not, place names from recent voyages down the coast of Africa that would shed light on his sources. There was no expectation that Martellus’s coastal African place names would have influenced Waldseemüller in making his 1507 map, for Fischer and von Wieser’s statement that Waldseemüller took his coastal African place names from Nicolo de Caverio’s chart of c. 1504 has been accepted without question. It would certainly be interesting to know whether there is a close correspondence between the coastal African place names on the Yale Martellus map and those on Martin Behaim’s globe of 1492.