At Freiburg Waldseemüller studied cosmography with Gregor Reisch,

compiler of the Margarita Philosophica, (Pearl of Wisdom), first published in Basel in 1503. This book is an encyclopedia of knowledge, including commentaries on anatomy, astrology, astronomy, geometry, music, natural history, philosophy, and geography.

In a section on geography Reisch provides a Ptolemaic map of the world showing the Indian Ocean enclosed by land. However, Reisch has added his observation on the supposed land connection between Africa and the East, as follows: "Here is not land but sea, in which there are such islands not conceived of by Ptolemy" (Shirley 1983, 21).

Ptolemy's map

In this way Reisch shows awareness of the voyage of Vasco da Gama. Thus he refutes Ptolemaic geography, but with words, not by changing the map. It was a time when new information about geography came to scholars regularly. This information had to be incorporated, somehow, into the classical view of the earth that was represented in the maps of Claudius Ptolemy.

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