Lopo Homem

Lopo Homem

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Lopo Homem was a Portuguese cartographer and cosmographer.


In 1517 King Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 handed Lopo Homem a charter entitling him the privilege of certifying and amending all compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 needles in vessels. This charter was revalidated in 1524 by King John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

. Anytime another person performed these tasks, they should have paid to the cartographer twenty cruzados. Two years later Lopo Homem participated in the making of the atlas
An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a map of Earth or a region of Earth, but there are atlases of the other planets in the Solar System. Atlases have traditionally been bound into book form, but today many atlases are in multimedia formats...

 known as "Lopo Homem-Reinés Atlas" or "Miller Atlas
Miller Atlas
The Miller Atlas also known as Lopo Homem-Reineis Atlas is a Portuguese richly illustrated atlas dated from 1519, including a dozen charts...

" with cartographer Pedro Reinel
Pedro Reinel
Pedro Reinel was a Portuguese cartographer of the 16th century, author of one of the oldest signed Portuguese nautical chart . That is a portolan type of chart, covering western Europe and part of Africa, and already reflecting the explorations made by Diogo Cão in 1482-1485. With his son Jorge...

 and his son, Jorge Reinel
Jorge Reinel
Jorge Reinel born Lisbon renown Portuguese cartographer and instructor in cartography, son of the well-known cartographer Pedro Reinel. In 1519 in Seville he participated in the maps designed for the trip of his countryman Ferdinand Magellan, and his depiction of the Maluku Islands served as a...

. They were considered the best cartographers of their time, with Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 wanting them to work for him.

In 1524 he participated on the Portuguese side in the Conferences of Badajoz-Elvas, established by the Crowns of Portugal and Spain following the so-called "Moluccas issue". A letter written by Lopo Homem alluding to the board quarrels over the claims of the two kings on exploration rights remains in Torre do Tombo. In 1531 Lopo Homem was awarded a pension of 20,000 reais for life, increased to 5,000 in 1532. He was the father of Diogo Homem
Diogo Homem
Diogo Homem was a Portuguese cartographer, son of Lopo Homem and member of a family of cartographers. Due to a crime of murder, in which he was connivent, he was forced to exile from Portugal, first in England, and then in Venice. It was there that he produced numerous manuscript atlases and...

, also a cartographer.


His earliest known work is a world map
World map
A world map is a map of the surface of the Earth, which may be made using any of a number of different map projections. A map projection is any method of representing the surface of a sphere or other three-dimensional body on a plane....

, discovered in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1930. In Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 there is another world map dated 1554, and Lisbon's National Library has also a navigation chart (which before 1910 was in the Palácio das Necessidades, having belonged to Charles I of Portugal). Scholar Armando Cortesão's "Cartography and Portuguese cartographers in the fifteenth and sixteenth" includes an extensive section devoted to Lopo Homem.
  • 1519 world map - surrounded by the four winds
    Four Winds
    Four Winds is an EP by the indie rock band Bright Eyes, that was released on March 6, 2007. The title track is the first single from their album Cassadaga. The other 5 tracks are exclusive b-sides from the 2006 recording sessions. It is marketed as being "quietly enchanting" and including "a...

     in the extremities, with relatively scarce naming in Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

    : in Africa are identified only the regions of Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

    , Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     and Guinea
    Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

    , and Americas
    The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

     is identified as "Mundus Novus Brazil", linked to the Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    n continent by an imaginary continent identified generically as "Mundus Novus".

  • 1519 - Terra Brasilis - part of the "Miller Atlas
    Miller Atlas
    The Miller Atlas also known as Lopo Homem-Reineis Atlas is a Portuguese richly illustrated atlas dated from 1519, including a dozen charts...

    ", attributed to Lopo Homem - currently in the French National Library in Paris. This is a chart handwritten on parchment
    Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very...

    , with detailed nomenclature in Latin (146 names), showing the Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    ian coast from Maranhão
    Maranhão is a northeastern state of Brazil. To the north lies the Atlantic Ocean. Maranhão is neighbored by the states of Piauí, Tocantins and Pará. The people of Maranhão have a distinctive accent...

     to the Rio de Prata. The rich Miniatures
    Miniature (illuminated manuscript)
    The word miniature, derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript; the simple decoration of the early codices having been miniated or delineated with that pigment...

     show Native Americans
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

    , some involved in the business activities of Brazilwood
    Caesalpinia echinata is a species of Brazilian timber tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. Common names include Brazilwood, Pau-Brasil, Pau de Pernambuco and Ibirapitanga . This plant has a dense, orange-red heartwood that takes a high shine, and it is the premier wood used for making bows for...

     export. A coat of arms at the north (Guyana
    Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

    ) and the other to the south (Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    ), indicate the areas of each Peninsular Crown.

  • 1554 - Map currently in Florence;
  • Maritime Chart - (currently in the National Library of Portugal
    Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
    The ' is the Portuguese national library, fulfilling the function of legal deposit and copyright.-External links:*...